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Third Rail Media / Third Rail Marketing

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fuzzysteamroller

Hi, All,

Hooters Magazine, like some other branding mags, subcontracts out to a graphics firm based in FL - Third Rail. Third Rail seems to be having some issue paying freelancers - they owe me more than $1,000 and have for months, and their previous Managing Editor is pursuing them for something like $10,000. I believe there are four more writers out there, unable to pursue them in court because it's just not worth the time and expense. When some of us made a stink, we were all sent "cease and desist" letters from their lawyer, stating that we were tryng to interfere with their business. I don't care about their business; I care about writers getting paid.

I have seen recent call outs from them for more writers (because we're all quitting when they won't pay) and I want to give a head's up to freelancers who might get pulled in. Then again, they might pay you - it's hard to tell what the game plan is. Just proceed with caution!
 
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JennaGlatzer

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Thanks for the warning! Have you tried placing the debts with a collection agency? Collection agencies don't charge you anything unless they're able to recover the money.
 

fuzzysteamroller

Thanks for moving me!

Actually, I had my lawyer get involved. He offered for us to take 50% of what was owed. They declined. If they didn't care about my lawyer or my demand letters, etc, I fear they won't bend to some collection agency. It will cost me more to chase them, which is what they count on.

I filed with the Better Business Bureau and basically, that's all I can do. That, and warn others. And let freelancers know that this is a well-used tactic - a form legal letter insinuating "Tortuous influences," i.e., if you complain about us, we'll threaten to sue you for trying to ruin our business dealings. Apparently it does scare off a lot of writers from going after them.
 
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Bartholomew

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fuzzysteamroller said:
Thanks for moving me!

Actually, I had my lawyer get involved. He offered for us to take 50% of what was owed. They declined. If they didn't care about my lawyer or my demand letters, etc, I fear they won't bend to some collection agency. It will cost me more to chase them, which is what they count on.

I filed with the Better Business Bureau and basically, that's all I can do. That, and warn others. And let freelancers know that this is a well-used tactic - a form legal letter insinuating "Tortuous influences," i.e., if you complain about us, we'll threaten to sue you for trying to ruin our business dealings. Apparently it does scare off a lot of writers from going after them.

If they can't pay you, chances are they can't afford a lawyer either.

Go to a collection agency.
 

fuzzysteamroller

I believe their lawyer may be working as a friend. I could be wrong, but why use someone who would charge $200 an hour to fight an invoice for $1,216.40?

If my lawyer didn't scare them, a collection agency won't. All Third Rail has to do is not answer the phone (unless collection agencies have gotten scarier :p), and they seem perfectly able to ignore angry writer phone calls now.
 
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mtatum4496

fuzzysteamroller said:
I believe their lawyer may be working as a friend. I could be wrong, but why use someone who would charge $200 an hour to fight an invoice for $1,216.40?

If my lawyer didn't scare them, a collection agency won't. All Third Rail has to do is not answer the phone (unless collection agencies have gotten scarier :p), and they seem perfectly able to ignore angry writer phone calls now.

You are probably right - but the collection agency can worry the h**l outta them by making it necessary to screen their calls and spend time tossing out snail mail from the collection agency. Think how that would fall out if you and the other writers all placed your claims with a collection agency - that could amount to around twenty calls they would have to ignore each business day. Could get a tad distracting and irritating.

Minor irritants to be sure, but why not?

Plus, debts filed with a collection agency have their way of showing up on credit ratings.
 

fuzzysteamroller

More problems with Hooters/Third Rail

Found this on the wire:

"Hooters Magazine, a men's 'lifestyle' magazine jockying for space against Maximg and Stuff, (and subcontracted out to a firm in FL) is 'hard at work working up the time line for issues for the coming year"' and has asked current writers to 'take a break.' Trouble or simple restructuring? No one's saying."

So, that plus the not paying? Beware.
 

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Some writers were paid (WW link), but Third Rail is gone now.
 

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