In March 2014, I was hired by Q2A/Bill Smith Group now going by the name of QBS Learning (http://www.qbslearning.com
) for a large project creating items to align to the CCSS (Common Core) for high school mathematics. Per the terms of my contract, “Payment of $3378.00 will be upon satisfactory completion, client acceptance of work, and confirmation of client acceptance of the assignment by QBS. Payment per invoice is end of week following 60-days of receipt by our offices.”
The project was billed in three installments. The dates and amounts of the invoices were as follows:
March 4, 2014: $644.00
March 11, 2014: $950.00
April 7, 2014: $1,784.00
Per the contract terms, I should have been paid IN FULL by the end of May. As of this writing, December 5, 2015, I am still owed over $1,200, with interest $1640.08 to be exact.
It bears mentioning that all previous payments were very late in arriving. These are the amounts and check dates (although many arrived weeks after the posted dated):
May 23, 2014: (a paltry) $201.82
August 8, 2014: $1,000
September 5, 2014: $950
Since that time it’s been nothing but excuses if I get a response from anyone at all.
On May 15, I was told, “Not sure if [we] told you, but the company has recently completed a merger and restructuring. The new organization is in the process of getting all of our financial processes updated--although we are behind in payments, we are working to get caught up. I will work with our new CFO (copied here) to project your payment schedule.” Marie Price and Brent Kunzel were the individuals copied in this message.
On May 22, Marie Price followed up with this message: “I am following up on your email to be sure that you know that have received your message. QBS Learning stands by our commitment to you. As part of the new management plan to get invoices paid as quickly as possible, we have laid out a plan to pay overdue payments via partial payments on a timely basis. We pledge to catch up on these delayed payments as we work through the final stages of our transition in ownership.
Our goal is to catch up on these payment delays as quickly as possible. The newly merged QBS Learning remains a vital development business, backed by a strong investment team, GEM NY (http://www.gemny.com
). Moving forward, QBS will be diligent in adhering to the terms of your 60-day invoicing.
You can expect to be paid on the following schedule/terms. Beginning May 23, you will be receiving payments on overdue invoices every two weeks. You will be paid in full for the overdue invoices by July 31.
Thank you for your patience. We value your continued support and look forward to working with you in the future.”
As you can see from my payment receipts, I received absolutely NONE of these promised payments after the $201 check.
On June 25, after many complaints from me, Brent Kunzel wrote me this message: “We are writing to apologize for the delay in your payment. We are committed to paying you in full.
This situation came about due to the recent acquisition of two companies. QBS Learning is working to pay invoices that were left unpaid by the prior owner dating back to the months before the March acquisition. We are actively fixing the situation created by the former management team and hope you can bear with us as we clear this up.”
At that point, I started receiving vague “To Whom It May Concern” responses from an anonymous email address (email@example.com
). On August 4, this cowardly individual told me “Your payment in full will be mailed to you on Friday.” Guess they meant Friday of next year.
Most recently I’ve been dealing with an individual named Apurv Goyal, who is good with apologies but not much more. On November 4, 2014 s/he sent me this email (sic):
“First of all, my apologies that you did not get replies your email.
I have check you account and the following is the findings.
The value of the invoice is as per my recored ( $ 644+ $950+ $1784 ) = $ 3378
Payment received from QBS : $ 950 – Check No. 45001 – date 09/05
Payment received from QBS : $ 1000 – check no. 44903 – dated 8/8
Payment received from QBS : $ 210.82 – check no. 44477 – dated 5/23
The total payment is $ 2160.82
Net amount due to you from QBS is $ 3378 - $ 2160.82 = $ 1,217.18
Please let me know if I am missing anything. On confirmation, will work on your payment plan.”
I corrected him/her that check #44477 was in the amount of $201.82 and that the amount actually owed to me was significantly more with six months of interested attached. I then proceeded to offer him/her a steeply discounted reduction on that interest if I was paid in full by November 30. No response and since then absolutely nothing from anyone. I have since reassessed all the interest and am filing a complaint with the FBI Internet Fraud Department as well as the State Attorney General's office in both states the company has offices.
My intention in sharing this story is to alert other freelancers of the danger in working with this company. I am not, by a longshot, the only freelancer who is not being paid by this company. Check out this link for all kinds of complaints: http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Q2A-Bi ... 512241.htm
As of this writing the QBS website is down (surprise, surprise), but this is the contact information for the company’s various offices.
New York Office
450 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001
Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste 285
Austin, TX 78731
New Delhi Office
D-8, Level 2, Sector 3,
Noida, U.P -201301, India
Phone :+91 120.4833350
Sao Paulo Office
Rua Alexandre Dumas, 1268 cj. 132,
Chac. Sto. Antônio - São Paulo – Brazil
Phone : +55 11 4305-3805
The original owner, Bill Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org
), can be found at this LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=5771979
. The Gem NY investment team can be found at http://www.gemny.com