Should Thailand's dodgy dealers be named and shamed?

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5 thoughts on “Should Thailand's dodgy dealers be named and shamed?

  1. The same thing happened to me when I was a freelance writer. It was for a job in Thailand but the guy who owed me money was actually from the UK.

    After repeatedly assuring me that my pay was on its way, he then stopped replying to my emails and phone calls.

    As I knew his surname and his hometown, I asked a friend in the UK to go through the phone book and make some random calls to try and find him. Amazingly, after about the third attempt my friend got through to this guy's parents and politely explained the situation. They were none too impressed with their son's actions (he was in his 30's by the way) and miraculously a week later I received a cheque for the full amount he owed me.

    So to sum up, I think shaming people into paying up does work, but it dosn't necessarily have to be done publicly.

    Cheers :)

  2. i was many times in the same situation too. not in thailand but back in bulgaria where this was a wide-spread practice, maybe still is…

    i think nonpayers rely mainly on the fact you can't legally force them to pay like you can back in uk. so the way the market was fixing itself was exactly through publicly sharing who's a dodgy dealer and so limiting them from future work opportunities.

    i'd even say that protecting this person's name is very unprofessional as it kind-of supports his scammy work style, and helps him put more people in your situation.

    saying all this i don't want to diminish the financial problems this person is probably into. maybe he's even trying to source the money to pay you, but it's the shifty communication that makes it all wrong.

    Good luck with it anyway!

  3. What are your reasons for not naming them?

    I'm not a freelance writer, but I think at this point (when, frankly, all hope of payment is gone), your duty to warn your fellow freelance journalists of the peril is much more significant thank any duty you may have to keep your boss anonymous. If he changed jobs, then warn his other potential customers — if Google picks up on it, this could save someone else from being tricked.

    I don't see what ethical code says you must keep your former employer or supervisor anonymous. Sure, there are libel laws, but as long as you're respectful and factual, I think it's certainly not wrong.

  4. Part of the problem is that quite a number of expat freelancers do not operate with work permits or companies. Makes them vulnerable for abuse.

    You have absolutely no recourse if screwed over by a publisher when you're working illegally, and the dubious ones use that to their full advantage.

    Here in Phuket there's always a new crop of young writers to pluck…sad but true!

    I've always been paid for my work – you have to be ruthless and very persistent sometimes, but it works.

  5. I think this is a big problem, judging from the emails I've had from readers of my media-related blogs. And as the previous poster mentioned, I think some publishers believe they can get away with it because of the work permit issue.

    Matt – send me details and I will see what I can do to exert some gentle pressure. If this publisher has any intention of hiring freelancers in the future then it cannot do any harm to highlight your current problems getting paid.

    Perhaps this could be an idea for a new blog? Thailand's best and worst-paying publishers.

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