Production Base – a warning.

Production Base is one of those sites which charges people to see industry jobs. It is also a site which has come under a fair amount of online criticism of late for their sneaky practice of requiring its members to sign up to a continuing authority to take sums of money out of their bank accounts when their membership elapses.

The reason this has caused some irritation is that many people who have forgotten that they have signed this authority and want to cancel have discovered that if they don’t do so in time they find they have had a large sum of money withdrawn from their account and Production Base then refuse to reimburse any of it even if it is a day after the renewal date and was clearly unwanted.

The company is of course within its legal rights to refer to its small print in this way but, as can be imagined, this has not engendered many warm feelings in the hearts of freelancers within the industry.

A warning then: if you have signed up to this lot, do very carefully check when the renewal date is and cancel well in time. You won’t be seeing any of that cash again if you get it wrong, even by one day!

Or better still, use this tip from an online commentator:

“If you’re concerned a new contract with a company might auto renew, send them an email immediately after committing to the initial contract period informing them you do not want to auto renew the contract, do this through a 3rd party email (Hotmail etc) to avoid claims of email manipulation”.

But also ask yourself this: do you really need to pay out any money at all for the privilege of being able to apply for jobs? Apart from the morality of any company charging people to do that, the vast majority (if not all) jobs are available on the abundance of free to use sites online, including numerous Facebook pages (just a few listed below), the Unit List., the free part of Talent Manager and all the companies that have their own Talent databases.

Meanwhile here are a few comments from some those who have posted online:

“What a waste of time and money”

“It must be the only way they stay in business because it certainly isn’t because of any of the services they provide”.

“Awfully outdated site no customer experience and not even a great wealth of work being posted on there especially if you’re freelance. All of which can be found for free”

“With anything like this, if the option is there to pay by card, do it. Then just change credit card company every year so old payments bounce and they have to contact you to ask for money”.

“I had the same shit. They auto-renewed without any form of notification to me and refused to refund me, despite the fact I’d not used their shitty website for 10 months. #C***s”

“All of these companies make money from people desperate enough to pay to apply for low-paid jobs. I wouldn’t expect scruples”.

“I cancelled years ago as it started advertising way low paid jobs and didn’t look into rates”.

“I too have been a victim of PB auto billing. I can’t be specific to other peoples claims but after some fairly flippant replies from them and a refusal to supply supporting documentation, I contacted my payment provider and said I’d been the victim of an unauthorized payment. They gave PB 30 days to prove I’d authorized payment, which they couldn’t and I got a full refund”.

“I’m stunned PB are still trading. With the number of quality, FREE, Facebook groups who don’t spam your inbox with unsuitable positions, and whose members will immediately jump on advertisers for ridiculously low pay rates, means I simply don’t see why anyone would pay for PB.
I know some people like it as an online CV location but you can get that for free on Linkedin”.

Here you go then: some lovely free-to-use pages on Facebook where you can fill your boots with job opportunities galore:

Runners and new starters in the industry.

Experienced TV professionals.

More experienced TV professionals.

Yet more experienced TV professionals.

Even more experienced TV professionals (and some good chat).

Northern crew.