HOwdy all! I've been fortunate to be extremely busy this first quarter - so much so that I have not even had time to do more than a handful of auditions in the last couple of months. Good. BUT, I just got an email from a online voice bank that I belong to (name withheld) that threatened to take me OFF their roster because I have not signed in to my account.
Here is an excerpt:
"If you don't sign in, we will mark your talent-voice producer profile as inactive. All visitors viewing your profile will be warned that you are an inactive user of the marketplace and, as such, may not reply to their messages and requests. You may NOT continue receiving invitations to submit audition and proposals."
WHAT!?! I pay THEM xxx amount of dollars a year - they don't pay ME! Am I off base, or shouldn't I have the luxury of using their service WHEN I want to without being penalized? I am quite frankly stunned and considering dumping this service just because of their attitude. YOUR thoughts on this? Talk me off the ledge, please......

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Lisa, this sounds like a service I also have used. If it's the same one, their biggest problem is that their service is completely automated and computer generated... no human beings involved to generate any sense of warmth or empathy. The excerpt sounds like it was an after thought on the part of whoever wrote the code for the web site interface.

Imagine the situation: "Hey Boss, the server is getting jammed up by old talent accounts that aren't active any more. What d'ya want to do about it?" "Oh, tell the web techie to program something into the code that will fire off a warning to the inactive accounts after a few weeks. If we don't get a reply they get weeded out." And, of course, the "web techie" has all the people skills of a door knob, so the message reads something like your excerpt.

At least, that's one possible explanation. Before you flame them out of your life, you might want to email the CEO or some other actual human with authority at the service and tell them about your feelings. Oh, and congratulations on a good first quarter! I suspect you are in a fairly small group, considering the economy. Good for you!
Lisa, this sounds like a service I also have used. If it's the same one, their biggest problem is that their service is completely automated and computer generated... no human beings involved to generate any sense of warmth or empathy. The excerpt sounds like it was an after thought on the part of whoever wrote the code for the web site interface.

Imagine the situation: "Hey Boss, the server is getting jammed up by old talent accounts that aren't active any more. What d'ya want to do about it?" "Oh, tell the web techie to program something into the code that will fire off a warning to the inactive accounts after a few weeks. If we don't get a reply they get weeded out." And, of course, the "web techie" has all the people skills of a door knob, so the message reads something like your excerpt.

At least, that's one possible explanation. On the other hand, they could simply be web slime. Judging by other's comments, that seem very likely. Anyway, congratulations on a good first quarter! I suspect you are in a fairly small group, considering the economy.

Joe Van Riper
Hi Lisa, Please see my comments at this link in VU

http://www.voiceoveruniverse.com/forum/topics/best-lead-site-voice123

It is regarding a letter I got from Voice 123, my letter back to them and their response.
I too have been on the fence with the big 3. I had voice123 for a time and have continued to receive the auditions that I "miss" by not paying the premium. I read their auditions fully every day - including the non union talent auditions. I find the pay dismal and the quality of the material offered somewhat worse than a junior high paper. All caps, bad spelling and grammar, and the length of auditions are enough to edit me out of a job. I too hate the rating system and the jobs that I have won with voice123 have not materialized. To penalize a paying customer for auditioning too much is quite sad. My range is large and if there is a good gig I have PAID for the right to audition. We are adults and should be treated as such. Conversely if I were to pick and choose auditions only to be threatened I would NOT use them.
Dems my thoughts!
Hey there, fellow voice artists. First post on here. Cool.

Okay, first of all, why does ANYONE PAY to use these sites to begin with? Finding jobs is what an agent is for. Can't get one? There's a reason. You know what that reason is. I'll stop there.

That being said, the only reason you should use sites like Voices.com or Voice123 is to display your work and link it in other websites like Myspace or Voice Acting Alliance. And you should ONLY get the free subscriptions.

Agents should not and can not charge their talents money to be part of their company, lest they be thought of as scam artists by everyone involved.

To you, Lisa, my advice is: stop paying for it and use Webs.com to create your own website. And guess what? It's free until you decide to upgrade, and you can do whatever the hell you want on it. Only downside? It would be LisaFoster.webs.com. It's still a valid site.
Do you honestly think that VoiceABC (letters used instead of numbers to disguise the actual name, I would have used other numbers but that might have been too obvious.) are on your side???? If they were interested they would take a percentage om the gigs you landed though the site and not expect you to pay an annual. I had a lovely online chat with a rep from voices.com, I just wish I could post the transcript..

Richie
Still kind of obvious, Richie.

But, dude, you just hit the nail on the head. They don't care. Not in the least. And like I said all those months ago, if you apply, take the free subscription and leave it be.
What's interesting to me as a paying Client and Voice Talent is that I don't recall receiing any survey or phone call to ask me how the site could better serve my needs. This is perplexing since I think that the answer to all these subscription websites woes is so simple and easy.....The paying Client comes first. This is the gold standard of any business.

Here's a few of my thoughts, now that I've brought it up:

1. Customer service should take responsibility in solving problems. No finger pointing, just solve the problem in a fast, friendly and courteous way.
2. No political answers. No double talk. No evasive answers. Answer the question in a helpful way.
3. Cater to the PAYING Client.
4. Make it easy for everyone to use the website and systems. Don't create hoops to jump through.
5.Talk to us once in a while. Really ask our opinions and then use the information to help us.
6. Designate sales people to obtain voice seekers to submit listings with useful information and a standard format . i.e. How will the voice be used? How long will the voice be used? What format is preferred? and so forth.
7. Focus on the benefits of using your members. Presentation is everything.
8. Treat Talent and Voice Seekers both with equal respect, but for Pete's sake.....CATER TO THE PAYING CLIENT.
9. Smile, be friendly to all, and you'll have more Clients than you know what to do with.

Do that, and you've got a winner. That advice is worth $100,000 and it's free to all subscription websites.

-Barry Trussell
Voice Talent



-Barry Trussell
Oops, do you think someone from VoiceABC might have read my post???? Now I'll never get any work and will be really unpopular! My bad.
If you think that voice seekers leaving your site are bad, think about the talent exitus.

For whatever reason in your website subscription business the paying client does not come first, but in all other business models the client always comes first. There is definitely a lesson there.

I am a prime example and not shy about saying so. Should that ever change, I for one would consider re-subscribing; however I have not found the need as there are many other avenues of obtaining audtions that feed my business perfectly well.

-barry
I got the same message, Lisa, and like you, it ticked me off! My subscription ends in July, and so ends my relationship with them. They also don't like it if you audition a lot, or at least that's what I've "heard". So... as a result, I'm auditioning... a LOT! We're paying for a service. My thought to them is: "Let's pretend that I am the customer and you're here to serve ME!"

Come off the ledge!
You're right to feel the way you do! I say "Move on!" I know I will be!

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