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Thread: People Enterprises, Inc. / iContent Studios

  1. #1
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    People Enterprises, Inc. / iContent Studios

    Hi, my name is Annie and I just signed on to the forums today. I had a bad experience with a client who hired me to freelance for him and after the work put me off for weeks about payment, giving one excuse or another. I've realized, especially since he has stopped returning calls and emails that he isn't going to pay me.

    His name is Scott Raskeiwicz and the Company is People Enterprises out of Austin, TX.

    I did a big write up about it on my blog
    http://writerchicktalks.com/2008/06/...scammed-again/
    (I hope it's okay to put in the link)
    If you want to see the gory details.

    If this guy offers you work, I'd say run in the other direction. Or in the alternative if anyone out there has done work for him and either been scammed or paid, I'd love to hear from you.

    Thanks,
    Annie

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW KCH's Avatar
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    Annie,

    E-mail the guy to inform him that since payment has not been received, you still own the copyright. Until you are paid, the articles may not be used. Call him and leave a message on his voice mail to that effect also. Indicate in both e-mail and phone that if you do not receive payment in full in 2 days, you will have no choice but to notify the client that the material being run is in violation of copyright and you will ask that it be taken it off the website. Short and sweet. No need to rehash the chronology. He knows it.

    And then, after 2 days, do it. The client will no doubt be horrified to learn what went down. But who knows? The dentist and other clients might just see fit to work with you directly. And Scotty doesn't get the lion's share. Voila. Lemonade.

    But I suspect Scott might suddenly discover that his check-writing hand works and that the USPS has overnight mail. At minimum, he stands to lose some clients. More importantly, Scott understands that dentists gave lawyers. These clients paid for a service and now find themselves in possession of stolen goods.

    Good luck. Let us know.

    --kch

  3. #3
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    KCH,
    I had no idea I could do that. Thanks! I'm on it! And will most certainly let you know what happens.
    Annie

  4. #4
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  5. #5
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    Smile got paid - mostly...

    Hi,
    Just wanted to let you know that I did what you said and he did finally overnight me a check. I'll admit it was gratifying to hear him sweat a little in his frantic phone messages. When the check arrived this past Tuesday I was pretty pissed to see that the jerk deducted the cost of overnighting the check to me. But in the end, I just want to be through with it, so I decided to let that pass. I just spoke to my bank and the check has cleared, so it really is done.

    I just wanted to thank you for your very valuable advice and let you know how much I appreciate it. Without it, I probably would never have been paid.

    Thanks,
    Annie

  6. #6
    ^Cool. Well I hope you stick around, because Absolute Write offers a great deal of good advice on writing in general.

  7. #7
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    I intend to stick around - I've been looking for a writer's forum. It does get lonely out here on your own. It's going to take me a bit to get oriented though. Any suggestions on where to start? You guys have so much going on.

    Annie

  8. #8
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Have you been to the freelancer's area?

  9. #9
    Inconsistent AWer dragonmedley's Avatar
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    Yeah, stick around for sure! This place is a treasure trove. I don't come and post all that often, but everytime that I do come by, I always find new things.
    Si tu n'es pas une lumière, tu dois réfléchir.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW KCH's Avatar
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    Annie:
    Delighted to hear it! Not so delighted he shorted you the cost of the overnight mail. Of course, he had no right to deduct that, but being done with him is probably well worth the cost. Good that you're moving on. Oh--and as an aside, your effort may well have helped out other writers he hadn't paid. He figured there was no downside to non-payment, no recourse. You helped educate him.

    Glad you'll be sticking around, and glad I could help.

    --kch

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    From a Fellow "Gobsmackee"

    Quote Originally Posted by anniemr View Post
    Hi, my name is Annie and I just signed on to the forums today. I had a bad experience with a client who hired me to freelance for him and after the work put me off for weeks about payment, giving one excuse or another. I've realized, especially since he has stopped returning calls and emails that he isn't going to pay me.

    His name is Scott Raskeiwicz and the Company is People Enterprises out of Austin, TX.

    I did a big write up about it on my blog
    http://writerchicktalks.com/2008/06/...scammed-again/
    (I hope it's okay to put in the link)
    If you want to see the gory details.

    If this guy offers you work, I'd say run in the other direction. Or in the alternative if anyone out there has done work for him and either been scammed or paid, I'd love to hear from you.

    Thanks,
    Annie
    Annie, your experience is so strikingly similar to my own that it's scary. I made a comment on your blog about this as well.

    I've worked with Scott on two previous projects for which I was paid. I received the first payment with no problem other than it was sent back because it had the wrong zip code.

    The second payment was delayed because, as he stated, the client had not yet paid him. In this scenario, he sent me a payment anyway even though the client had not paid him. At this point, I thought, "What a great guy - a man of integrity."

    Lately, that integrity has been in question as I have been waiting about seven weeks to receive payment in excess of $2000 for the last two projects I completed for People Enterprises. As a single man, a delay of this magnitude has been less than desirable for me, my landlord, my creditors, my insurance company, and everyone else who likes to get money from me every month.

    I'm going to take the advice you were given as I, too, have tried to contact Scott by email and phone for several weeks with no success. I received some of the same excuses you did. Enough is enough.

    I've tried to give him the benefit of the doubt as this type of behavior wasn't the pattern as we began our business relationship. I see now that it's time to put the pressure on and, firmly yet tactfully, demand my rights.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Words can't express how much it's helped me. For a moment, I thought I was the only one dealing with this. I'm also glad to hear you received the payment overnight after taking action. I honestly thought the man was dead, hospitalized or on an extended vacation.

    Well, that's it for now. I've got some phone calls to make and an email to send to Mr. Raskeiwicz. Thanks again, Annie.

  12. #12
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    PGF,
    So glad you are going after that rat bastid too. I hope that any other writers out there who he has scammed do the same thing. Perhaps he will end up in the hospital with a nervous breakdown from all the transgressions he's committed against writers.

    I have a sense this is a pattern with him. He once told me he had 300 writers. Initially, I was impressed but as I think about it now, I realize he probably has so many because he needs to rotate them due to non or slow payment.

    Unfortunately, the guy, like some others doesn't appreciate writers and think they are not worthy of paying, after they've gotten their cut. Though in this case, maybe the culprit has been caught in his own web and will think twice about doing it again.

    We can only hope.

    I'm glad that this has helped you. I can't say how very glad I am.

    Now go get that jerk and your money.

    Annie

  13. #13
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    @Julie, nope I haven't been to freelancer's area but will check it out soon.

    @KCH - bless you for your help. I can't tell you how thankful I am. You're a peach.

    @ Dragon Medley - cool name - and I will be checking out this forum on a regular basis. Thanks!

    Annie

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW KCH's Avatar
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    PGF--
    That's a chunk of change. Hope you have the success Annie had. Based on the pattern, it looks as if this guy might not be a scammer so much as just another cash-strapped business operator. When there's not enough cash, bills get paid in order of urgency. When it's gone, it's gone. Triage. Hope you got to the front of that linein time. Let us know.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    KCH,

    Thanks for the support. Annie's been a tremendous help,too.

    At this point, I have no success to report but I will soon. It's become quite an interesting challenge. I'd like to believe he's not a scammer but my communications with others with whom he's done business have revealed a path with lots of red flags and a trail of deception. Too many stories aren't matching up here. The truth will prevail, though. I'll keep you all posted.
    Last edited by PGF; 07-11-2008 at 11:09 PM.

  16. #16
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    Same thing happened to me.

    I did a significant amount of work for Scott Raskiewicz. He initially paid and then he had every excuse in the book regarding lateness on future payments. He also told me that a check had been returned to him in the mail because he wrote my zip code incorrectly on the envelope. He also continually told me that checks were in the mail and I never received them. He stopped responding to my emails and phone messages.

    PGF, what ended up happening with your payment? Did you pursue it further?

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Clearly Pathological

    pupwrite,

    There's seems to be a very disturbing and twisted pattern here with Mr. Raskiewicz. I was given the exact same song and dance regarding my first payment. I thought, "honest mistake" and kept moving. And, of course, you know the rest of the story. It's the same as yours - unanswered emails and phone messages, no payments, etc.

    I've sought legal counsel at this point. I'll send you a private message with more details.

  18. #18
    Writers write anniemr's Avatar
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    Paul & Pup,
    Methinks there are many more of us out there. I guess I s hould count myself lucky for having been paid. Man, this guy is a piece of work. *Shaking head* Paul, please let me know how you are faring on your pursuit. Thanks.
    Annie

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Scott Raskiewicz-Scammer and Thief!

    Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with Scott as well. Scott still owes me money for work that I completed for his company. He is a very rude and inconsiderate man (and a liar), and I will never write anything for him again! I guess he thinks that it is okay to use writers and steal our work! I advise everyone to avoid working for Scott, because he is not to be trusted.

  20. #20
    Requiescat In Pace Requiescat In Pace
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    If your work has been used without your receiving payment, I'd consider filing a complaint about copyright violation under the DMCA.

    Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

    Supposedly there are online sites and message boards that address how to do this.

    -Ann C. Crispin

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Precious,

    Did you complete your work for Scott Raskiewicz through his company People Enterprises, Inc.? He shut down the website but I suspect he's still operating the company, maybe just with a name change.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi pupwrite. Yes, the name of his company is People Enterprises, but as you stated, he shut down the website and he's probably operating under a new name. I will be sure to let you guys know if I ever hear from him again or if I find out that he has a new company name.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Ann. Thank you for the information about the DMCA! I'll give it a try!

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Precious,

    I found out Scott is operating under a new name. It's iContent Studios, Inc. I hope this helps.

    I've not yet taken legal action against Scott because I need to spend my time recovering my losses at this point. Plus, a lawsuit will take more time and energy than I'm willing to invest at this point. I'll look into the DMCA, though. Thanks, AC Crispin! Based on my conversations with the US Copyright office, I thought I didn't have any coverage under US Copyright Law, but the DMCA may protect me.

    I'll keep everyone posted.

    If anybody knows anything more about how the DMCA protects writers, please let us know. It's got my head spinning right now.
    Last edited by PGF; 08-22-2008 at 08:59 AM.

  25. #25
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    The new company name, iContent Studios, is confirmed on Scott's LinkedIn page.

    - Victoria

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