In February I did a series of small market TV spot VO's for a North Carolina ad agency. They paid me $1250 for the session. The money was sent via PayPal. It arrived in my PayPal account, I transferred the funds to my bank account and proceeded to spend the $1250 on luxury items like food and shelter. (times are tough all over)
Yesterday my Pal Pal balance was negative $1250. The buyer had revoked the payment. His bank took back the money. Now any payments to my PayPal account will go against that negative balance. The bottom line is this. SELLER BEWARE. If you sell a service on PayPal you cannot dispute a chargeback from the buyer. I have the proof of emails, the scripts that were sent, the audio files I emailed and there's even actual video of the spots with my voice that are currently streaming on the web. Pay Pal basically told me that without sending an actual product through a reputable shipper (UPS, FEDEX) they will not side with the Seller in any dispute. So if you FTP'ed spots, sent MP3's or even did a live session at someone's studio and are paid via Pay Pal the buyer can revoke that payment for UP TO A YEAR! If you ever use PayPal the only way you can have any leg to stand on in any dispute is to physically send the sound on a CD or flashdrive and have the buyer sign for it. I hope my $1250 dollar lesson was not in vain. PLEASE be careful. i hope I saved some of you some trouble.
PS: if you want to see my VO audition put to video by the client in question click here.
My adlibs were what sealed the deal and got me the gig. The finished spots were probably quite entertaining.
Oh well, lesson learned.
NEWS FLASH! The client called and there was someone who had fraudulently accessed their bank account and was using PayPal to make payments using the agency's account. The Bank was on it and revoked all Pay Pal payments made in the last 90 days.....including mine. I will get a check form the agency and they apologized for the inconvenience. There is a happy ending after all SIGHH! (relief) But the exposure we have as service providers is still very real. Cover your butt if you ever want to win a dispute over a PayPal payment made to you. Send the CD via Fedex or UPS and you will have evidence that you provided something to the seller in the event of a dispute.