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Had a call of these guys today offering work to photographers in the local area on insurance claims , I get two or three of these money making schemes thrown at me every month and from the read up online this looks like another , has anyone had experience of these guys ? or had to pay them £75 to join ?
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There are so many "schemes" on offer to give us work and it never ceases to amaze me how much it will cost ME! Must say this is a new one to the usual ones I get. I could spend hundreds of pounds a month but doubt I will see any of that back!
Think I'd be wary of any scheme asking for money up front, even if it was only £75. I'm not saying it's not legit, but what do you actually get for your money, other than lining somebody else's pocket?
Its also good to post these things to keep others aware who are searching for info , the company itself seems legit, I have communicated with them through email they are not looking for photographers on the photographers terms strangely enough its on their own terms and that includes giving them bank details , the job rates are simply not anywhere near industry standard and there has been no mention yet of any £75.00 no doubt that would be in the SLA you have to sign to join.
The call i received this morning came from a mobile and after giving out two email addresses i did finally receive a response to my query for more info , the companys history looks a little less than exemplary and there are some reports on other sites make of what you will.
There you go that's the facts from this side of the fence for anyone else who is contacted by them to make their own decision from.
In my experience, the pay rates for insurance claim pix are less than I'd consider viable. And that's before the meagre sum has been nibbled by a middle-man.
You need to ask a few questions:-
How much per image and when paid? Do they "buy" every image that you make? Are travel expenses in addition to the fee? What is the company's credit history like? If it's a limited company, do a search on the directors to find out if they've been involved in any "dissolved" companies.
From the figures they gave me it worked out at £2.57 per photo , the only way of making that work is too charge £100 per mile fuel & travel and hope they cant find a job in your street lol.
The search on the companies and directors is very good advice and easily found information although you will sometimes need to pay to dig a little deeper , a quick look at this company shows them registered twice at an address on an industrial estate with no further details , at least they are not bankrupt at the moment ! but as for why they have two near identical names is a tax mans guess.
The old adage ' If it seems too good to be true, it is ' holds here again so please all you new togs eager to get into the market make sure and don't get your nose cut off, you didn't spend all that time and money on your hobby to turn it into a charitable giveaway.
I undertake assignments for Service Certainty on a regular basis (usually a couple per week).
They only pay £15 to £18 per job and don't pay travel expenses.
Works for me as I do photography part time and fit the jobs in whilst travelling to/from my "day job".
I'll also take jobs close to home that only involve a few minutes driving otherwise it's not viable.
I've been doing this for the last 18 months or so and manage to make enough to pay my monthly mobile bill, annual website fee plus insurance premium for my gear.
Never going to get rich or be able to leave the bank I work for but it's good fun and I enjoy meeting the clients.
Payment has been slow sometimes as they only pay the photographer once they receive payment from the insurance companies.
Hope this helps.
Thats fair enough and I guess that what this firm is aiming at , people who dont care too much about how much they are paid or how long it takes to get the money they are owed. Much akin to slave labour in the photographic world and as long as there are people willing to do it , it will carry on like that.
Just out of interest how many other professions are there where you can pay after the event with no down payment and have the goods delivered and installed , and in some cases not pay at all ??? not many i bet ! Though i await the barrage of responses coming my way
I don't often respond to the many forum mentions Service Certainty Ltd gets, but felt compelled to raise some observations here.
Firstly the suggestion of investigating the company history and directors is a good one, as you would find that the business has clearly been very open in both it's objectives and pay structures. The CEO, me, has been in business for many years and remains a director elsewhere. There is no history of any fold ups etc., and Service Certainty has grown steadily over the last couple of years.
The initial need to pay a registration fee was suspended over two years ago as it was giving us problems with recruitment, but that's not to say that it may return as we refine our network of imageproof Pros.
We have numerous Pros (agents if you will) who have completed hundreds of assignments and I'm sure they would be happy to endorse us should you so wish.
There is no need to spend your valuable time explaining how you wouldn't get out of bed for our fees, as nobody has insisted you do. The choice remains your own, and what is not right for you, may be perfect for others. Our experience is that the work we offer is suited to photographic professionals seeking an additional income in the field they enjoy so much. The result being mutually beneficial.
The need for us to have your bank details is so that you can be paid more efficiently. Has it occurred to you that every time you right a cheque or show a cashier your debit card, you are showing them your bank details? I expect you have provided hundreds of businesses and individuals this information in your lifetime, yet for some reason you raise it as a suspicious request when we entrust you with information about our valuable business readily.
The observation that there is something wrong in that we contact photographers via mobile phones is an odd one. Of course this is because it is considerably more cost effective to call mobile networks from mobile networks.
In summary Service Certainty is a legitimate going concern whose clients are PLC businesses in the main. We are constantly audited by these said businesses in order to meet specific FSA legislation as well as their own specific security and operational checks.
The opportunities of becoming one of our registered imageproof Pros are reducing on a daily basis as we have achieved Nationwide coverage, and now tend only to seek to recruit as an area becomes available, like any company.
Finally, there is of course a significant list of professions where you pay after the event with no down payment. Where to start? Milkman, Newspaper Deliveries, Takeaway food deliveries, Catalogue orders, Plumber, Electrician, Builder, Pub, Fuel, Supermarket, Optician,....I'll stop at this point, but perhaps it might be easier to come up with a list of professional services that you pay for before the event!
Personally I am a very charitable man, who lists swimming the English Channel last June as one of many large fundraisers I have organised. Perhaps a google on me or a visit to the website would help in establishing my credentials and put pay to some of the false allegations that my team constantly monitor.
I hope this post will put a few demons to rest, and I will conclude with the warning that whilst freedom of speech is welcomed, Libel (a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation) remains a matter that keeps many lawyers in business, who of course don't get paid until after the event.
My kind regards,
CEO and Founder of Service Certainty Ltd.
A decent enough explanation spoilt somethat by the not-so-veiled threat of lawsuits at the end. I understand why you said it but it does leave a sour taste in my mouth as it seems unnecessary given the reasonable nature of the posts so far.
I appreciate your observation along with your understanding of it's intent. Perhaps since this is the only forum post I have chosen to respond to, due to the good nature of it's thread comment, I too was ironically carrying some demons from elsewhere. Apologies if it came across inappropriately.
When a company charges people a registration fee to be allowed to join its workforce, it's basically asking for bad publicity. A google search will show that this is often the basis of a scam.
Now that Liam has scrapped the registration fee, snappers looking for work will assume that Service Certainty is reputable and fully kosher. Many industries have "middle men" who perform the very valuable service of introducing a worker to folk who need work done.
Quote: I appreciate your observation along with your understanding of it's intent. Perhaps since this is the only forum post I have chosen to respond to, due to the good nature of it's thread comment, I too was ironically carrying some demons from elsewhere. Apologies if it came across inappropriately.
A CEO who carries demons from elsewhere is probably not the best person to be speaking for the company and should probably employ someone more socially aware to do his PR as the comments left do nothing to enhance the companies reputation.
EPZ sees many such companies every week with reasons they are better than their reviews - however customer reviews are extremely important and hold a lot more weight than an employee or director who frankly does not hold any on a public forum.
Of course we live in a land of free speech so you are welcome to make your point and its always nice to see someone from a company take the time.
I have been truthful and laid the facts out as they happened , the thing to do if you want to have a very successful business is take on board your customers and clients comments ( which you have done to an extent ) and work on solving them - I would welcome a list of previous clients , a selection of references or some other information when contacted by a company such as yours out of the blue - understandably the method of contact and events did not lead my to a good conclusion. As has been mentioned we all do Google searches when approached so it would be good to get some positive ones out there and you seem to be willing to act so it should not be long before you have a list of good reviews to work in your favour.
I would also suggest that it is a good use of your time or someone in your businesses time to answer these forums and keep things in check bad reviews and rumours have a habit of travelling fast so making positive moves to dispel them will only do your company good.
Photography in general is NOT a profession for which services are paid for after , until a suitable relationship has been built with a client, wedding shoots , portrait shoots , and landscape photos and prints are all generally paid in advance or on delivery.
I believe you may have missed my point about demons. I made it clear in my opening paragraph that I tend not to respond to forum posts of this nature, but I am completely aware of them in general. My reference to demons was purely illustrative of this point and not an admission of illness.
Having spent some time on this personally today, I have found that most questionable forum posts about Service Certainty have a response from doubters and believers equally so the need to spend significant resources on such is currently not commercially viable.
It is interesting to note that you believe photography is not a profession that accepts work to be paid post event. In my experience I have employed many photographers, aside of Service Certainty, for corporate events, product launches, videos etc., all of which submitted an invoice along with the finished product. On reflection, I don't recall even paying a deposit for my wedding photographer or video men, although that was a long time ago.
I value everyone's opinions and certainly am wise enough to know that listening costs nothing, so this interaction has indeed given me additional experience.
I thank you for your comments and advice and hope you will now be an ambassador of Service Certainty.
No problem Liam !
Can we have a vote then who would take a wedding booking without a deposit and not take pay before the day ( anyone that daft or desperate please put your hands up )
Honestly Liam I used to do a lot of commercial work and due to companies taking forever to pay and not being bothered have completely nailed it all on the head until payment is made now no-one gets the product until payment clears and that will be how a lot of photographers will react in the years to come , far too many people see photography as taking a few pics and do not value the finished article and far too many more think they can take forever to pay. All of our portrait and wedding clients happily pay up front for the full service and it has been that way for years.
I would love to be an ambassador of Service Certainty however i think we have already ascertained that my rates or not compatible with the rates on offer , I am very sure however that there will be part time photographers and amatuers who for what you require can provide a more than adequate service who will happily join your team and I wish your company the best for the future.
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