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OPINION16 November 2011

Can't pay or won't pay? Whither the upfront fee?

An experienced South African researcher has asked the country’s marketing research association to step in and investigate the “phenomenon” of research buyers who do not pay 60% of the agreed fee when a contract is confirmed between client and agency.

A South African researcher with the best part of 50 years experience has asked the country’s marketing research association to step in and investigate the “phenomenon” of research buyers refusing to pay 60% of the agreed fee when a contract is confirmed between client and agency.

Jean Green has written to the South African Marketing & Research Association (SAMRA) to express concerns that qual companies are facing “frightening cash flow problems” as research buyers do not adhere to the practice.

She argues that research agencies need the upfront payment to cover out-of-pocket expenses, including incentives for respondents, venues, taxis, translators and moderators.

In her open letter to the organisation, Green asks: “What is to be done about it? … I believe that until research practitioners (particularly the qualitative practitioners) can organise themselves into a cartel which refuses to start work on a project until the upfront amount has been paid the problem will never be solved.”

We’re interested to hear from other researchers who may have experienced this. What’s caused this situation to arise? Bad habits or bad economy? How does it compare to what’s going on in other countries? Let us know.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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