ED Magedson – Founder
Polina Steier365 Forest Avenue, Suite 2D Palo Alto, California United States of America
I am reporting the abusive behavior I suffered at the hands of publisher/editor Polina Steier, so other freelance writers might consult the report as a guide to their decision making.
I am giving the editor's name rather than a publication name, because research shows that this publisher/editor has tried starting various publications. For example, there are online records of her having tried to start a HearingLife magazine.
In September of 2009, Steier hired me to write three articles, on the basis that I would be paid for them by the end of October. I had requested formal contracts, was told they would be sent, and so I began work without them, as the deadlines were tight; no contracts ever came.
As per Steier's instructions, I sent my invoice in early October.
A mid-December e-mail I sent to check on publication and therefore payment status went ignored.
I re-sent my invoice after Christmas, and got an answer, purportedly from her accounting department, stating I would be paid in "February," (no day or year given), and that I would be paid only a fraction of my invoice.
I asked to communicate directly with Ms. Steier but was told she was traveling "through January" and could not be reached and that the whole office was going on vacation for several weeks.
At this point, I involved writer's advocate Angela Hoy of WritersWeekly. Only the prospect that a complaint would be published in Whispers & Warnings moved Steier to restore most of my payment due, as compared to what "accounting" had told me.
In fact, before I made clear to Steier what the Whispers & Warnings process involved, she said that if anything were published about "our little snafu," she would consider it "slander." She wrote in an e-mail "Should we get our legal department involved?"
I had to make the extra effort of clarifying the Whispers & Warnings process to Steier before she agreed to pay me for all three of my commissioned and accepted articles.
Steier then sent to me and to Angela Hoy on a Thursday an e-mail titled "Check mailed to Scott Rose today with full payment for all three assignments." She said it "should" arrive in the middle of the following week.
Monday of the next week, I received an e-mail, not acknowledging that no check had been sent the previous Thursday, and telling me one had been arranged for and should reach me by Friday. It did not. A check that finally did arrive the next Monday, was dated that last Friday.
Into this mix came all manner of insults made against me. Never once did I hear anything like "I am sorry that you were not paid in October as you had been promised." To the contrary, in writing to Ms. Hoy and to me, Steier continually referred to the "early" payment she was "arranging" for me, as though she were doing me some special favor, getting me paid over two months late.
While I did get paid most of what I was owed in the end, I had to do a huge amount of additional, unpaid work to collect this payment over two months late. Had it not been for the involvement of writer's advocate Angela Hoy in the case, there is no telling what outcome there might have been. The publication had told me Steier was on vacation through January, could not be reached, and that their offices were going on vacation. It took the prospect of a report being published in Whispers & Warnings for Steier to see that I got paid.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2010 09:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/polina-steier/palo-alto-california-94301/polina-steier-this-publishereditor-is-not-organized-to-pay-freelancers-on-time-palo-alto-553020. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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