Thursday, 18 August 2011

Why I'm Not Writing for London Confidential Anymore

I shan't be writing for London Confidential anymore.

This is why:


9:30 AM (1 hour ago)

Hi X, X,

Finally, I have been paid, a full 10 days after it should have been. This late payment of over £600 to my account was quite unacceptable; I was almost unable to pay my rent. When you set us a deadline of getting our invoices over to you by the 25th (or the 19th, in some cases) of each month, to then be supposedly paid on the 7th, that gives you two whole weeks to pay them. I can't understand why my payment was so late. Especially when you confirmed to me, previous to the 7th, that all the invoices had been received. I worked in Accounts Payable for a company of over 500 people; it really is not that difficult. I know this.

I went two months without payment which was rightfully due to me; firstly, through incompetence on your side by not informing me of your address change - a rather crucial piece of information, since you insist on the antiquated way of posting by mail the invoices (are we back in the 90s?). I find it completely absurd that when I got my invoices to the correct address (after my invoices were returned to me as I'd had them registered - thank god) two days late, I was denied payment for another month because it was merely two days late. And your company had the audacity to withhold payment from me two weeks?

Given that I wrote restaurant reviews for your website without payment for my time or writing, I would have thought you would reimburse me in a timely fashion for the cost of the meals. You were getting the reviews effectively written for you for free. Do you have over £600 that you can bandy about, to sit around waiting for? I certainly don't and now I've been charged interest on my credit card because your company couldn't keep up their side of the bargain. I was, effectively, paying to write for you and that's not right.

I really think you should review the way you are paying people contributing to your website, but I won't be anymore.

I wish you the best in your endeavor.

Best,
Lizzie"

I received a response:

"Dear Mrs Mabbot,

I have been sent your email by X. It's not often I receive comments like this in this day and age, when freelancers are losing their opportunity to have their writing published and possibly paid for as print media is sliding down a black hole.

Frankly, not even gifted freelance writers would send Confidential notes like these , let alone an un-gifted amateur.

Confidential is a self-funding organisation which relies upon business paying its bills on time. It is a labour of love for me and has taken seven years to grow from my own personal food blog to where it is today, arguably the largest of its kind in the world in both terms of readership, income and articles. We continue to win awards, the latest being Magazine of the year in the North West.

Everyone who works and writes with knows that they are not working for NewsCorp; sometimes bills are delayed, and the past six weeks have been difficult but everyone has pulled together.

Reading your note you clearly are not a Confidential type. Reading your articles it becomes even clearer. You should not be writing alongside my team, it does you no favours.

So, allow me to give you some feedback for your tight, fairly well written petit-bourgeois note. Stick it up your fat, suburban arse.

Mark Garner

Publisher

The Confidentials."



EDIT: Thank you all for your comments. Just to clarify;

- The money I was chasing was expenses, not salary. I was not getting paid for the writing, that was the agreement.

- my invoices said payment due by return.

- yes, my email was snarky, but I had been chasing them for two weeks, to be told on falsely at different points that they had been paid, when they had not.

- perhaps I was unprofessional, but I did not make an attack on Mr Garner's personal appearance.

- I have not got a fat arse.


(Please feel free to leave a comment, but please also refrain from making personal remarks about Mr Garner. I won't publish them. Thanks!)

190 comments:

Robert McIntosh (@thirstforwine) said...

*giggle*

Emma said...

Wow. What a professional response. Sounds like you're better off out of it. And well done for posting it - people like that really should be named and shamed. It doesn't take much to respond politely.

Get Lippie said...

Mark Garner appears to have a stick up his bum.

Blonde said...

Fail. Fail, fail, fail. What a disgrace.

Harri @ TotallyMoney said...

I don't normally go in for this but OMG. What a horrible horrible response. I manage a team of (paid) bloggers and, as with anything, you HAVE to honour your agreements and pay up whenever you receive the invoices (and whoever posts invoices these days?!)

Sounds to me like it's a good job you're no longer working with such an awful man.

Bells said...

Holy Moly!!
What a knob...

BribedwithFood said...

What Martin said.

Mr Noodles said...

"You should not be writing alongside my team, it does you no favours."

He's got a point. You're far too good for his shitty website.

Ryan said...

What an awful response - I'm far too loyal to my London bloggers to read London Confidential now!

Anonymous said...
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Laura said...

"the largest of its kind in the world in both terms of readership, income and articles"

Huh. I'd never heard of them until now. They can't be that large or important. They definitely don't get my respect with their assertion that writers should be begging them to print their content for free. We all got bills to pay. I don't shame them for making money and they shouldn't shame you for the same.

Duck said...

Shan't be reading his site again then.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit... that's breathtaking...

Lucy said...

Never read London Confidential until you reviewed for them. Never will again.

What a nasty little man.

Hollie @ deliciousbritain said...

Oh my god I can't believe he actually said that to you!!

Your email is so reasonable considering the circumstances and he has just been such an arse about it when THEY are in the wrong!! Even if he had sent an apologetic email back you're right not to work for them again, but seriously what is he on??

Good on you for posting it though!

Scar said...

Wow.

No Reservations said...

WTF? Un-gifted amateur? What an unprofessional reply. If this is how a "confidential type " want themselves to be portrayed I feel sorry for their team. R.I.P London Confidential!

Themasticatingmanxie said...

"the largest of its kind in the world in both terms of readership, income and articles"

Funny that I had heard of you and never heard of them - you are better off out of it!

Reena Rai said...

Whoa.....really?! Seriously tempted to use the C-word right now. Cannot believe you wasted your time working for such arude, pathetic little man. Never heard of his site/magazine/whatever, he really needs to get off his high horse. You are SO much better off out of it x

Rachel at Catalan Cooking said...

I wouldn't have known whether to laugh or cry with that. Well done for posting it.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Jaw-droppingly appalling behaviour by London Confidential.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. His email doesn't even make sense and it's horribly written, especially for someone who had the nerve to call you an amateur.

Good for you for broadcasting this to the world.

Hannah said...

Absolute scum.
His company may be a 'labour of love' to him; but it's a means of being able to put a roof over one's head for the majority of his employees.
How dare he have the audacity to excuse himself for not paying his freelancers on time: given that he has been growing his mag for >7 years, he should have bloody well learned how to pay a bill by now - or at the very least, employed someone to take care of it for him. Shame.

Anonymous said...

Just wow. That last paragraph is particularly priceless. No wonder 'print media is sliding down a black hole' with tools like him at the helm.

Ollie said...

He obviously knows quite a lot about you - not only that you're fat and suburban, which to be fair is common knowledge, but that you're married, 'Mrs Mabbot'.

Kay @ Chopstix2Steaknives said...

Personal attacks are unacceptable and completely unprofessional. £600 IS a lot of money and for a delay that was caused by them.

Good on ya for posting this!

Graphic Foodie said...

If that's how he treats his writers then I wouldn't want to read anything on that site at all. Shocking.

TQS said...

Wow!

That might be the rudest thing I've ever read, did you reply to this?

He should be ashamed.

meemalee said...

I'd never heard of them before. Hope this will be the last I hear of them.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else laugh? I thought his response was quite funny....

Anonymous said...

Never heard of London Confidential, checked it out - won't be visiting again. Bookmarked yours though!

Ben said...

What a prize knob. Your arse isn't fat.

Jonn Elledge said...

Is it bad form to point out Mark Garner is on Twitter? Yes? Well, I'm doing it anyway. Here is is:

https://twitter.com/#!/GordoManchester

Anonymous said...

Hmm.
Except your original email was well shitty in tone.
Granted it isn't on to pay you late, but to jump straight into sarcastic crap like ("is this the 90's"?) in your FIRST communication on the subject, does make you a bit of a snotty cow.
I'm sure you were frustrated, but go in first in an appropriate way, THEN get shitty if you get a bad response.

You deserved his comments, I'm afraid, whether or not he's cunt.

T

Gail said...

Mind boggling. They don't pay for the writing, without which they wouldn't exist, and then they don't even reimburse your expenses?!?!
Such crap. They pay other suppliers, I imagine - or does he try the same think with BT? "You should feel privileged to be supplying my phone line"...

Food For Think said...

Watch his 7 years of hard work go down the drain...

Don't take it to heart - I'm sure you won't!

Lizzie said...

Anon - I was wondering when someone would point out the shitty tone of my email. I was pretty miffed, having been told twice that my invoices were paid (they weren't) and having chased them almost every day for a good week or so.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't he on an episode of Come Dine With Me once?

Food Urchin said...

Spectacular own goal.

Good on you for posting Lizzie.

Anonymous said...

If his Website is the largest of it's type in terms of income then why are they unable to pay people on time?

Martin said...

There are lots of words that are inappropriate for this medium, but rest assured I'm thinking them all and will never visit this repugnant web property ever again.

Oh, and, sorry, Anon, but he was in the wrong, and Lizzie had explored the avenues to get him to pay, and he hadn't, so a slightly miffed email is the least he should expect, I would've just sent him a letter drafted by my lawyer threatening to sue him for unpaid fees, so I think Lizzie was being quite generous in simply sending him an email.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm sort of the with 'T' here. His email had a few unnecessary lines, but so did yours. If you'd written a polite but firm email to start with you might not have received such a reply.

*Puts flame suit on*

That aside, I've never really warmed to the London Confidential site. I think the layout and design is poor and much prefer reading yours (and cheesenbiscuits) reviews on your respective blogs.

Justin said...

WOW. His first sentence only barely makes sense, and he doesn't write very well at all. His insult is completely unnecessary and displays a lack of professionalism which suggests you are better off out of there.

I will say, however, as a fellow freelancer, that late payments are quite common. I think their two-week turnaround is massively unrealistic, and they should have managed your expectations more. I generally set a time limit of 28 days for my client to pay me.

He is right in saying that as a small business, he too is at the mercy of those who may or not pay his organisation on time, but that isn't your problem and neither, sadly, is your inability to pay your rent his. It would have been nice if he had communicated this to you in a less-abusive manner, but at least you see him for what he really is.

Suelle said...

I think you're well out of it. I've been reading your blog for ages (when you were still a regular on the BBC messageboards), and seen it recommended in national newspapers, but I'd never heard of 'The confidentials' before, possibly because I don't need to read city restaurant reviews, living out here in the sticks!

Whatever the tone of your letter, the reply was very unprofessional! If he really thinks you are an untalented amateur he should be sacking whoever's been approving the publication of your reviews up to now!

Chris (Deptford) said...

Well, it's their loss. What an absolute unprofessional idiot. I wont be visiting his precious site again
Chris x

Miss Cay said...

Your original email might have been a bit snarky, but you're entitled to be annoyed about the late payment of money owed to you - especially when it's having a detrimental effect on you being able to pay important things such as your rent and credit card bill.

Responses such as that are entirely unprofessional, and will only serve to reflect badly on the organisation as this post whips around Twitter. Ultimately, it's Confidential who have shot themselves in the foot here. Who would be interested in writing for them if this is the kind of response you get when you chase payments?

louise tickle said...

Good god. What a hideous and hideously unprofessional man. Shocking.

Patrick said...
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vintagemacaroon said...

This might be one of those emails I would write and then delete. Good on you for sending it and letting them know they can't treat their writers like this and expect them to go along with it. I think they maybe should have deleted their email too. I can't believe they sent it, so unprofessional.

Chocoralie said...

Wow. Well done for publishing this and letting the world now what this company ethics really are!

Anonymous said...

going viral in 3..2...

Ella said...

His response reads exactly like someone who has never had to worry about paying his rent on time.

rruussell said...

My gosh. If I ever sent an email like that to somebody asking for payment it'd be the day I'd gone absolutely insane. This Mark Garner is clearly full of misjudged self-importance - never heard of London Confidential. Biggest in the world, eh? What a dickhead.

And you were will within your rights to send that email. You were understandably miffed; they messed you about, and it's up to them to sort it out and then apologise - it's called doing the decent thing.

You should've replied thanking him in turn for his own fairly well written petit-bourgeois note, and telling him also where he can stick it. Again, what a dickhead.

AFC 30K said...

Completely brilliant that he's totally failed to grasp the way that we consume news these days.

A complete own goal in terms of his PR. Stupid man.

It actaully made me laugh at the stupidity.

Chris said...

"T", Anon: I can see where you're coming from but this wasn't the first email in the exchange and she had waited over TWO months for her money, having done nothing wrong in the first place. So I think the best of us would have felt aggrieved.

Melissa Cole said...

An utter disgrace, all freelancers face issues with being paid, it's a bitch but it's a fact of life.

However, to not pay expenses in a timely fashion and operate in such an archaic manner seems to be a deliberate ploy to get reviews not only without payment, but with no outlay for as long as possible.

As for his language in the email, I admire the fact that all you did was post his reply on your blog, I probably wouldn't have been as restrained!

Alex said...

Just wanted to add my support; genuinely good writers are difficult to find amidst the flotsam of badly-spelled and grammatically incorrect internet bilge (see Mark Garner's letter, above). At least he was professional and gentlemanly about it...

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

He's probably from the school of thought that they're doing you a favour by giving you the platform to showcase your writing. Which of course completely negates the fact that they're basically getting a shit load of content written...for free. Paying expenses - on time - is the least they can do.

Without writers, there is no website. And without readers, there isn't anyone to hire writers for.

Maybe that's what he's aiming for with this e-mail.

Food For Think said...

Actually, I worked for MySpace as a paid intern for about 9 months and I was constantly having to chase for my payment. It was extremely hard because at times I didn't have a penny to my name, wasn't able to pay my rent and had a miserable couple of weeks before they paid up.

The incredibly wet woman in accounts didn't seem to give a flying crap. I think she got fired in the end.

But I definitely didn't have the balls to write an email like yours at the time.

It's not fair. Invoices clearly state that payment should be made within 28 days and that is plenty of time to sort it out!

Anonymous said...

What an arsehole. Well done for sharing this, I hope it goes viral and everyone sees what a nasty piece of work this man is. No-one would want to work for a site that thinks people who write for a living should contribute for free, and be grateful for the opportunity. Your email wasn't the nicest I've ever read, but you were desperate and he should have been more professional in his response when he was in the wrong.

nuno bensen said...

I don't get 'suburban'?

WalshyMK said...

I think I am MOST shocked by the fact they require your invoices to be posted, not emailed.

Anonymous said...

I'd take the link to their site off the top of your post if I were you. They don't deserve the traffic or SEO benefits.

Joshua Hall said...

Sadly, an all too common story in the world of freelance writing. You would never ask an electrician or doctor to work for free so why a writer?

Thanks for a good laugh.

wildscribe said...

Such a total lack of professionalism on HIS part. Pure projection. Frankly I think their website looks pretty amateur anyway, so the writing is about all it has going for it. Yes you are better off without them, 100%. Boycotted.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or are there only 2 advertisers on his site? Are they aware of his response here? I'm not sure I'd want my brand associated with such a person.

Definitely echo Mr Noodles up there when he says:

"You should not be writing alongside my team, it does you no favours."

He's got a point. You're far too good for his shitty website.

absolutely right.

LeeT said...

OK, he's a dick. But you were *begging* to have your writing skills slammed with that note.. being paid late was 'quite unacceptable', was it? Really?

Also, whilst a company should stick to the payment timetable it sets itself.. very few pay within two weeks of reciept of invoice.. commercial terms are usually 30 days, and there is a reason for that. I'll be amazed if the accounts payable dept you worked in paid people faster than that.

BUT.. he's a dick. And they should have stuck to their promise. So, y'know, GO YOU.

Anonymous said...
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Mark Clapham said...

Late payments happen all over the place, sadly, as much due to incompetence and cash flow problems as malice, but there's no excuse for replying to someone like that. If you're the person in charge it's for you to set a professional standard.

Dan said...

Hahaha by far the most entertaining thing I've read in ages. Nice work Lizzie for making this public. Think you're well rid to be honest. I much preferred reading your stuff on your blog rather than London Confidential.

The Shed said...

NO FUCKING WAY, MAN!

Lizzie, your hot little derriere is – as you concluded yourself – much better off without London Cuntidential. With perhaps the exception of the Otarian freak out, I don’t think I’ve witnessed such unprofessionalism and it was right of you to make it public.

Respeck, lady xxx

Alastair said...

Mark Garner should be ashamed. Rather than sending this ridiculous and poorly written attack, he should have sent you an apology and either an explanation as to why the payment was late or a promise to investigate and get back to you.

Instead, he’s done immense damage to his business’ reputation and indeed to his own.

Anonymous said...

He's right - you *do* have a fat arse.

Anonymous said...

hmm it doesnt seem like Mark is in any position to be commenting on the size of anyones arse...

James Gurd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alexandragoldstein said...

Well, if it helps I'd never heard of London Confidential or this blog until today; guess which one I'm planning to come back and read again?

I think Mr. Garner just wanted a slot on Letters of Note, frankly. Hunter S. Thompson he ain't.

Shaney Hudson said...

Oh Anonymous. At least have the guts to post under your real name. It's fairly transparent.

James Gurd said...

I agree that the reply was unprofessional and doesn't reflect well on him but your letter comes across sarcastic and patronising. That shit will put people's backs up.

I'm a freelancer and I know how hard it is sometimes to get paid promptly (recently took me 6 months for 3 invoices that should have been paid in 30days!). But that is the nature of our game. I'm not excusing late payment and we shouldn't accept it but we've got to be realistic. There are ways of addressing the issue - I find explaining that I'm referring it to my Solicitor does the job - but I've found that writing a confrontational letter that sounds like an emotional outburst isn't a great idea.

You get what you give with emails/letters etc and the response is a reflection of how the original letter was written. Sometimes you have to wait until the emotion has subsided before reacting. I'm not saying your points aren't valid but the tone is clearly provocative.

That said, failing to pay you and putting you through that pain is not acceptable and if he carries on he'll damage his business by losing good freelancers. I just hope making this public doesn't put people off working with you, then again you might not want to work with people like that anyway:)

cheers
james

Ellen Smith said...

Shocking! what a shame they can't keep their words...

Dan said...

Whilst his response is so far beyond the Pale it's unreal, your initial email did you no favours I'm afraid.

You were right to complain about not being paid on time, but the tone wasn't as professional as it should have been.

That said, that is still no excuse for the reply received.

Product Pixie said...

Um....wow. Thanks for the giggle and well done for putting this out there :)

chefpandita.com said...

Love his professional response hahaha unbelievable!!! Late payment and insults? You don't need that. Sending hugs your way. Thank God there is Social Media now and this won't go unnoticed. He will regret writing that nasty email.

Karen Bryan said...

That response from London Confidential was shocking. I've had a team of freelance writers contributing to Europe a la Carte for three years and I always pay their invoices quickly and treat them with respect.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

The late payment is not unuaual in this field, alas. These people have no idea what it is like to have to pay rent on time, etc. But I am speechless at the reply - this guy cannot even punctuate!

Louise Fenwick said...

Regardless of who's right and who's wrong, there are a number of lessons for many of us in this.

1. It's tough out there for all businesses at the moment.

Companies using small businesses and freelancers need to be respectful of this and their attitude to communication and paying on time reflects their values as a company.

2. However, eggs & basket... at the slightest notion that payment is going to be delayed, you need to find more work, different work, with different types of clients

3. One of the reasons why the publishing world is suffering is not just due to social media, but because online & print publications don't value the skill of writing and the trade of journalism any more - clearly London Confidential is one of these publishers

4. Your email to him wasn't professional and was clearly emotional

5. His email was even more unprofessional and alas, in spite of being in the online "publishing" world, I don't think he understands the power of social media and the impact his words can have on his reputation and brand

6. He has damaged his brand and clearly, by the look of these comments, has lost business/ readership

7. Everyone needs to realise the power and impact and instantaneous reach of social media

Sorry to sound so self righteous (at least I recognise it!), but as a marketer I come across numerous businesses - large and small- who make the same under-estimation about the value of reputation and how easily & quickly social media can destroy it.. Thanks for sharing the emails.

Paul said...

Have read the letters and is unfortunately what bigger companies think when using small companies.
Good for you sticking up for yourself.
Hope Mark Garners gets all that is coming too him.

J Neilson said...

I'm not willing to comment about the tone of your email, mostly given that it's clearly not the first communication about the matter and I would prefer read the entire correspondence before I make judgement calls on just how far you were pushed (though, frankly, being left to hang about the matter of expenses and having rent issues as a result seems a pretty hefty push in the direction of 'justifiably enraged' to me). However, unlike the self-styled 'professional', you made no personal remarks (unlike his about your writing, your lifestyle and your appearance), nor did you resort to profanity. An individual who does has no right to call themselves a professional, and he frankly should have known better.

Thank you for making this public. This is not a man I'd associate with on any professional level, and people who are invited to write for him ought to know what sort of treatment they can expect.

Anonymous said...

Funny reply! I like Mark – he is just dry, dont take it personall. Im sure any response above won't be taken that way by him.

Laura said...

Never heard of London Confidential, but if your writing is that bad and they still published it, well, what does that say about how highly they value quality of content?

I don't believe for a moment you are not a talented writer, and good on you for posting this and shame on Mark Garner - what a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

What I do - not saying it's perfect but it works...

Make sure your invoices clearly state your terms (30 days should be the standard, think long and hard before writing for eejits who say 60 days, or 60 days after publication FFS).

If and when they fail on those terms on the 31st day email/post another invoice from your accounts team (set up accounts@yoururl.com) with a £60 late payment fee. When the publisher gets in touch with you, just say that it's an outsourced accountancy firm you use to do all your payments and it's automatic and out of your hands.

I've had several pay the invoice and the £60 and almost all pay the original invoice the same day. Practically none have subsequently refused to work with me after using this tactic and if they did I'm better off avoiding them.

CatchFazed said...

As a freelancer, I have to say that 10 days isn't that late to get paid - yes, it's unacceptable, but that's the name of the game.

As someone who used to get continually paid late in a job, told "I've transferred the money" only to find it not there, and been overdrawn numerous times because of it, I feel your pain.

And also, his email was arrogant and offensive.

So I come down on your side! But do prepare for late payments in the future, as they're not always intentional.

Anonymous said...

Brililant - well done for posting this. Not the first business owner I've met who thinks they can act and speak as they choose.

Reminds me of one thrilling morning with my (now ex-)boss screaming at a colleague "that was F*CKING UNPROFESSIONAL!" ;)

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with James above..
You were understandably pissed off but your email was far from professional so you got something similar back. Also publishing his response with name etc on it...hmmm, might not bode well with future employers.

Kitsune said...

Well I'll be happy to see your reviews back on this site - I never made the jump to read them on London Confidential! :P

George said...

I especially liked this line from his email:

"Confidential is a self-funding organisation which relies upon business paying its bills on time."

Self-funding? Is that just another way of saying you're like any other business in the service industry, in that you rely on being paid for the services you charge for?

Incompetent cash flow management is not an excuse.

I also enjoyed that the great mind behind this sentence went on to criticise Lizzie's writing:

"in both terms of readership, income and articles."

Yeah. Both of those.

bloggiestbloggyblog.com said...

What a douchebag, can't believe his response!

Also, given that you'd gone so long without payment (and I presume you'd been chasing them in the meantime) I'm surprised that your e-mail wasn't more shitty.

Had it have been me, I'd have struggled to ask for payment any more politely than you did. In fact, I'd have struggled to keep the conversation private for so long and would probably have blogged about the arse sooner.

I suspect that freelancers will steer clear of London Confidential from now on as it's clearly not worth spending so much time and effort over with such a risk of receiving no payment.

Mr. Rogers said...

" in both terms of readership, income and articles."

Yes, in both of those three things. Heh.

Gareth said...

Rather than sending contentious emails, which come across as quite emotional (and thereby potentially unprofessional) in content, which might certainly get even the most patient and understanding people's backs up, I'd like to suggest simply putting some clear payment terms on your future invoices?

This way if your payment terms are clearly stated as 14 days, you are entitled to send statements with the age and overdue amounts highlighted.

I know of many organisations that file the original invoices away, and only actually pay the amount once they have received a statement....

From experience, sending a statement along with a "I'd really appreciate it if you could (urgently) have a look at this...." type of email is much more effective than writing an email that could justifiably warrant a response like the one you received....

Dangerous Variable said...

If it is a labour of love, then do not promise the star, moon and stars. Anyway, the publisher is a small fly. Check out his twitter followers' count. Small fly I would say. I have more followers on Twitter and talk rubbish.

Chin up darlings!

SolerosJohn said...

@Lizzie

Well played. Nothing more satisfying than seeing an arrogant dick-head hang himself with his own rope.

Should get a groundswell going to take down this parasite. Then create another platform for their freelancers to move to.

Never heard of this site before and guess I won't hear of it much in the future.

Good luck with future "credible" endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Fair play to Mister Garner, frankly. Writing is a privilege, not a right.

Play the game, or take your toys home and fuck off.

Jack said...

He refers to you as an amateur in an email and that only a true amateur would send (we might write emails like this to vent our anger...but actually sending one is a different matter).

Considering his name-calling it amused me that the first part of his twitter name means 'fat' in Spanish.

Sure your email might have been on the sarcastic side but what do you do when the polite reminders get you nowhere? Everyone who's 'been there got that T-shirt' will empathise with that one. Kudos for outing his school playground response.

Anonymous said...

Lizzie, you got what you asked for. Your initial e-mail was provocative and rude, which was exactly what you received in return. 'Fat ass' may have been below the belt, so to speak, but 'is this the 90s?' is no better.

Ying said...

Wow what a classy response. I've no idea why some people are saying you were asking for it - granted your original letter was on the snarky side but I think it's understandable given your situation, and you never resorted to personal insults. His letter was just shockingly rude and tasteless. For what it's worth I'd never read or even heard of London Confidential before you and Chris started writing for them, and I'm definitely never visting them again.

Gemma said...

Confidential is one of the most unprofessional organisations I've ever dealt with (as an end-user, not a writer or anything). Appalling, disrespectful customer service and wanton disregard for the Data Protection Act, that they think they can get brush over with cutesy "oops aren't we silly" tweets. Yes, they are silly, and I'm glad there are plenty of alternatives to their site - long may the alternatives prosper.

Anonymous said...

The most preposterous thing about this situation is the claim that you have a fat arse. This is categorically untrue. I can't emphasise enough how incorrect this accusation is.

Anonymous said...

Hilariously unprofessional response.

Also love the "we're a self-funding organisation". That's not correct, really is it.

miss south said...

The original email does have a touch of the air of poking something with a stick to see if it'll react, but the reply is ridiculous...

It's particularly interesting having seen Mr Garner be rude and abusive on Twitter at the weekend to someone asking a very balanced question about why they'd been signed up to his organisation's mailouts without their permission.

I'd like to say it's put me off reading Confidential, but their poor design did that anyway.

May said...

Wow, that is so unprofessional and I've never heard of them either. Not paying you probably means they have cash flow problems, which means it's not a healthy business.

You're better off without them.

Ben said...

Many people seem to assume that Garner's organisation is late paying a fee to a freelance writer. In fact, of course, Garner's organisation expects writers to submit content to their site totally unpaid. So what Lizzie was requesting was the (pre-agreed) reimbursement of expenses, not pay, and she was entitled to expect that payment to be made according to their own T&Cs. Effectively Lizzie was subsidising to a considerable extent Mr Garner's enterprise on the shaky premise that it is somehow good for her to be published by him. Fail fail fail.

Alex said...

Hi Lizzie, it's too late for this instance, but there are things you can do as a small business/freelancer to speed up debt collection. You're entitled to charge interest on late payment and also get compensation. It's all set out in this government document:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file37581.pdf

Thanks,

Alex

kyberia said...

Ah, another site that seems to think freelance writers should be grateful for the chance to create its content for free.

I don't touch sites like that any more. I won't work for them, and I won't read them and potentially boost their ad revenue. If I want to write for free, I'll make my own site and publish it myself. The only time I am a charity is when I'm writing for one.

Happy in red said...

Thank you for posting this. I am a (freelance) journalist and over the last few years I've seen so many freelance job ads state under 'payment': "your payment and reward will be the practise given by this opportunity..." I mean... Seriously! If you hire a house painter do you tell him: 'I can't pay you, but painting my house will be a wonderful experience for you'. Apparantly, writing is a hobby. Grumble grumble... Onwards and upwards!
Esther.

Vanessa said...

First of all... The Confidential is one of the largest of its kind in the world?!!??!!?!? As someone who is rather privy to these sorts of publications, and one who does not live in the UK, I can assure Mr. Garner that not only is his publication NOT the largest of its kind in the world, but I have never even heard of it. That said, after seeing his letter to you, I can assure you I will NEVER be reading it either.
Second, a little feedback on Mr. Garner's letter... I find it highly interesting that he not only chose to insult your writing skills, and the letter which you wrote, but he chose to do so in a format that was poorly written, has some glaringly obvious omissions of quality vocabulary, and is missing crucial and PROPER grammar and punctuation.... Who's the better skilled writer you say?
Lizzie, cut your losses. This guy obviously doesn't know his head from his, as he adeptly referred to it, "arse" so it seems you are better off not writing for them any longer. I just hope that more people see this sort of treatment that you went through, and start cluing in, so that this "largest publication of its kind" can become the smallest "publication of its kind" as it so rightly deserves to be.
I may not be an expert in running a paper, but I am in expert in Communication, as well as how to interact with others like a normal, human being. THIS is not how you treat them, in business or otherwise. Take a page Mr. Garner. There are some important life lessons here.

Matthew said...

http://cheshire.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/cheshire-life-named-north-west-magazine-of-the-year-32745/

Claire said...

Wow. As a fellow freelance writer I've had my fair share of slack publications who take a lot of chasing to pay - and I too have some stories of mind-boggling poor admin. So hard when you have rent to pay and companies like that drag their heels. But nobody has ever been this shockingly rude! Sure, writers will always be glad for a gig, as in any profession. But any publication who thinks that writers should lick their boots and that they can be treated like sub-professionals has another thing coming. I will never deal with - or read - any publication which I know behaves in this manner. Certainly I want nothing to do with Confidential. Thanks for highlighting this!

juliet_mcr said...

Those who've never been freelance will find it difficult to understand the frustration of never knowing when you're going to get paid. It's torture. You can't make plans or commit to anything because you don't know if you'll have any money in the bank. If he's been freelance himself he should understand that position and firstly not get into a position where his freelancers have to complain, and secondly if circumstances mean he can't pay on time he should be apologising profusely. Is there any other profession where people accept that they won't be paid for at least two months after doing the work? (Invoice at the end of the month, wait at least another month for it to be paid.) To everyone who's said the original email was unacceptable, just imagine if your employer didn't pay you and kept making excuses. Polite reminders would VERY quickly turn into stand-up confrontation. Freelancers are expected to just suck it up and we really shouldn't put up with it. Your email was warranted, his wasn't.

Lizzie said...

Thank you all for your comments. Just to clarify;

- The money I was chasing was expenses, not salary.

- my invoices said payment due by return.

- yes, my email was snarky, but I had been chasing them for two weeks, to be told on falsely at different points that they had been paid, when they had not.

- perhaps I was unprofessional, but I did not make an attack on Mr Garner's personal appearance.

- I have not got a fat arse.

Thanks,
Lizzie

psharville said...

Way over the top for a ten-day overdue payment. Try waiting a month or three like a lot of freelancers have to. That's when it's time to get really fucked off. I've always hated the way freelancers jump for their clients and then have to sit and wait to be paid. The inequity is astounding. Having said that, freelancers who jump on the angry button at the earliest opportunity come across as mean-minded, money focused and bad for the business. I'm with Garner on this one.

Anonymous said...

Late payment is bad form but forgiveable - personal abuse isn't.

I'd take the link to his website out of this post - wouldn't want him getting SEO benefit from this would you ;-).

Anonymous said...

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/come-dine-with-me/episode-guide/series-20/episode-7

Jen said...

London Confidential 'relies upon business paying its bills on time'.

We all rely on being paid on time, I think that was kind of your point Lizzie?

Anonymous said...

Lizzie appears to be your archetypal doosh bag, I spend months waiting for payments. 10 days? behave yourself missy. Mark Garner - I will tell tales of your sumptuous syntax for years to come. Grade A legend

Sarah said...

thought i was the only one feeling the hate for londn confidential

Kirsten said...

Advice for all freelancers facing late payment (everyone!):

I use this text that I got from the NUJ (if I remember correctly!). I see someone above suggests £60 rather than £40 penalty so perhaps it's out of date.

Check out payontime.co.uk for letter templates and more advice.

Join the NUJ!

Pavel said...

I work for a company with over a 1000 employees. If my expenses aren't paid on time I get an apology from my director and discreet envelope of cash.

It's not difficult, if you keep your side of the bargain and work to the deadlines set to you then your employer should respect you enough to pay you on time. That's just good business.

For all the people saying your letter was unprofessional just imagine not being paid your expenses for two months and worrying whether you can make rent. I'd be a lot harsher...

Really?... said...

You sent a shitty email and got one back, is that surprising! Yeah he probs shouldn't have said some things, but yours was pretty provocative. I freelance and I would never have sent an email with the tone of yours, unless you were trying to burn your bridges that is.

Ten days really is not a late payment by any standards, I had a payment three months late from a multinational company. This is a pretty small website/mag what do you expect.

Also even though you say they were expenses, it wasn't cement you bought it was a few meals so you were able to enjoy them, essentially for free. As a food blogger you probs went to some places you wouldn't have ordinarily gone too. I can't think of the last time I spent £600 quid on restaurants in a month!

This is the life of a freelancer, if you can't stand the heat...

Chris said...

SHE HAD BEEN WAITING MORE THAN TWO MONTHS FOR PAYMENT NOT TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!

Oh my GOD some people need to read better.

Anonymous said...

This is a disgrace and nothing less than I would expect from Mr.Garner. He is an egotistical, self-publicising prick. I have had dealings with 'Man CON' as a reader and as a client. As a reader I have had my account(s) continually disabled when I have posted a negative rant about either a piece of writing or one of their frequently biased reviews - I just keep changing my ISP. As an advertiser, I have been stung due to their money-grabbing tactics, total lack of professionalism and inability to handle bookings on behalf of their clients. Garner and his mates waltz around Manchester like they own the place, generally demanding to be fed and watered for free. Their restaurant reviews are so out of touch and the editor Jonathan Schofield, fancies himself as food/wine/book/film/architecture critic - sad thing is, he's not very good at criticising anything. There are a few sad folks in Manchester that hang on their every word, generally expecting favourable reviews or editorials in return. As for NW Magazine of the Year? That went to Cheshire Life so Garner is a liar on top of everything else. He is an arrogant, rude, obnoxious drunk and he really does have a fat arse. If I could access the ManCon site, I'd post a link to this blog, alas, I am banned again - maybe someone else could? Just a thought. So glad to hear that the last few weeks have been tough for them - maybe they're about to go insolvent - I think it's happened at least three times, the last time being as recent as this February

Will said...

Why do people think that Mark Garner's response is justifiable? Why????? Take issue with Lizzie's tone all you want, but the main difference here is that she didn't sink to the level of unnecessary personal attacks. If he'd just kept his letter to an explanation on the difficulties a small company faces with making payment on time, that would have been fine, but now he just comes off as a nasty, overly-defensive person unable to take any criticism whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

This is the same Manchester/London Confidential that illegally signed its users up to receive spam (diet, hairdos etc sort of spam) and then claimed that you couldn't unsubscribe from something to which you'd not subscribed because their systems weren't up to it.

Anonymous above is quite right about the swanning round Manchester for freebies. Though of course they always pay for meals when they're writing a review. That's ok then.

It's a shame because if ManCon were done properly it could be a really useful site in a city that lacks independent food, arts etc. criticism.

Anonymous said...

This post is a warning tale for working for failed porn entrepreneurs ( http://www.how-do.co.uk/north-west-media-features/special-features/how-dozen.-tony-murray-interviews-mark-garner-aka-gordo-200803172157 ).

Anonymous said...

A two week delay and you send an email like that? You haven't been doing this very long, have you?

Yes, his email was unprofessional, but you get what you dish out - and publishing it as an act of revenge only makes you look even more unprofessional. All editors have to do is Google you and this will come up now. Good luck getting work in the future.

From a freelancer who deals with late invoices all the time, you're spectacularly foolish here.

Anonymous said...

I have unfortunately had dealings with both this publication and mr garner.

Although I can not personally character assassinate Mr Garner (he has superbly done this himself) I have never received such a rude phone call from someone in my life.

I work in PR and when I didn't give one of his" reporters" an interview with one of my clients (who is a high profile musician) when they visited Manchester he preceded to swear, call me at incompetent at my job and then say
I was a stuck up Londoner who didn't know anything about the country.

I have lived in the North and didn't grant his online "publication" an interview due the fact it is isn't the best
thing since sliced bread he thinks it is.
I won't go on as it is a long story but suffice to say when
someone from his company called me up a few days later to ask for advertising I haven't laughed so much in a
long while. Let's just say I wondered then who was incompetent at their job.

Anonymous said...

@ penultimate Anonymous. It was a two month wait, not two weeks. As for 'googling' the blogger, have a go at doing the same to said Mr. Garner. Good luck to him in the future in trying to secure advertising and screw freelancers

Josephine Bacon said...

The name Mark Garner will stick in the minds of people who are now budding journalists but may well become the headliners of tomorrow. Happily, he has done himself more harm than he could possibly have imagined by writing to anyone like that. And by the way, I can't see a woman writing anything so offensive, another case of testosterone poisoning. Next time, by the way, don't wait to be insulted - SUE! Nothing gets people moving more than a Small Claims Court notification that if you don't pay up your whole credit record will be in jeopardy. However, I'd hate to have Mark Garner's credit record after this!

Anonymous said...

Ah Hollowlegs, I feel your outrage, but the truth is people like Mr Garner are plentiful in the business world. The only difference...he actually put his thoughts in writing, silly man.
What I find offensive is the "higher than thou" attitude so prevalent amongst slow paying debtors. You may need to tighten up invoicing procedures with trading terms printed on all dockets, quotes, contracts etc. DO NOT BE AFFRAID TO CHARGE INTEREST ON OUTSTANDING MONIES. That often works better than any other form of pressure that you may apply.

Apart from that, the entertainment value of this exchange between yourself and Mr Garner has been priceless for this audience.

Anonymous said...

They jointly won magazine of the year with Cheshire Life actually so those jumping on the he's a liar bandwagon can jump off - they must have been the online contender http://www.how-do.co.uk/north-west-media-news/north-west-publishing/how-do-awards-2011-and-the-winners-are....-2011052610611

Anonymous said...

Taking a private argument public is not the most professional of things to do.

Lizzie said...

Anon - perhaps not, but nor is insulting someone personally; at least I was polite. I felt it necessary so that others wouldn't go through something similar.

PeppermintPattie said...

Wow - I'm speachless. I only found London Confidential through your writing (and I see I'm not alone from the comments on this site).

I will not be reading it again.

Helen said...

What apalling behaviour from someone who's supposed to be running a business. I hope other London Confidential bloggers follow suit, Lizzie, and his stupid enterprise crashes and burns around his smug head.

Anonymous said...

If Mr Garner runs one of the biggest organisation of this type in the world, including, as he says, in 'income' how come his business cannot pay their bills on time?

A horrible unprofessional response, from someone who's business is clearly run unprofessionally - or they wouldn't have problems like this.

Riocaz said...

1, WOW, just wow.
2, Some people really can't grasp simple point from you post. Expenses are not salary.
3, What an ass.
4, I dont think it would be possible for you to ever have a fat arse.

Anonymous said...

Going viral? Wouldn't he just love that, he thinks it's 'hilarious' The guy is a prize twonk who fancies himself as some kind of Bon Viveur - the funiest thing is, every time he writes a 'review', the vat majority of readers disagree. Most chefs and restaurant operators know him and his posse and as a result, he appears to receive favourable treatment. The web site reviews are biased, the site is swamped with garish advertising banners and don't get me started on their 'opt-out' spam emailing tactics.

http://www.how-do.co.uk/north-west-media-news/north-west-publishing/mark-garner-in-danger-of-going-viral-with-food-blogger-blow-up-20110818100955185#comment-22362

Bistro Becs said...

Lack of professionalism, decency and general manners - you was maybe a little rude in your initial letter - however the man retorted in a despicable fashion.
I have read London Confidential before but will boycott it from now on given it's opinion of 'amateur freelancers' and writers.
Think you'll be better off without the association - good for you for publishing his letter. Becs

Dave S said...

Can we see pictures of the arse in question, so we can make up our own minds?

No, I don't mean Mr. Garner.

Fatty said...

Wow, who knew the Confidential websites were run in such an unprofessional manner. When you've messed up, just apologise and move on. Why would you feel the need to insult someone? Fingers crossed they'll go down the pan soon.

CatchFazed said...

HI Lizzie,

Was it 10 days, or two months late? Little confused from these passages:

"Finally, I have been paid, a full 10 days after it should have been"

and

"I went two months without payment which was rightfully due to me".

Sorry if I'm being a dingbat.

Lizzie said...

Catch - Yes, it wasn't very clear, sorry. The second paragraph explains that i missed the first payment because of address issues, so in total, 2 months and 10 days late.

Afternoon_Twee said...

Good on you for posting this. The perils of being a freelancer and late payment aside, if he's as much of a media professional as he's made himself out to be, he should be well versed in dealing with this kind of thing and shouldn't have resorted to throwing his toys out of the pram.

Andrea W said...

I'm just wondering if you had actually read any of the confidentials or indeed any of Mark's articles before you signed up for this assignment. If you had you would have realised that the tone of your e-mail would be responded to in kind. You set the tone and he replied in a similar manner.
Londoners if you refuse to read London Confidential as a result of this blog you will be missing out on a great read, fanatstic offers and the opportunity to meet great people.

Lizzie said...

Andrea - really, was it a response in kind? I'm surprised you think a miffed email about having to chase payment of expenses warrants a personal insult.

Anonymous said...

Lizzie,

You have an awesome blog and you are way better off being out of London Confidential.

Whilst your letter was perhaps a bit sarcastic in places it did not deserve the response you received. Garner is clearly a dick.

The London Confidential site user experience is terrible and the brand as a whole has no authority - that is why they need people like you.

Keep up the good work - you will be writing successfully long after Mark Garner has finished trying to peddle his online tat.

Jimmy M

Ash said...

''So sorry for the delay in payment - we've had a few problems lately. I understand if you no longer want to write for us, but hope you'll reconsider - we'll try to get payments through on time in the future.''

Now that wouldn't have been so hard... would it?

As for ''un-gifted'' & ''should not be writing alongside my team'': You're one of the most gifted food writers around - and his team is very much the poorer without you.

What gobsmacking arrogance and twattery!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, now it all makes sense. The 'Confidentials' ask food bloggers of various cities to carry out reviews free of charge, covering only expenses. Now I know why they seem to spend their lives eating and drinking their way around Manchester. When they're not getting it for free, they're spending well-earned money that should be going to pay their writers. Maybe a few bloggers and freelancers will relish the chance to write for this site and see it as a first step onto a difficult ladder and I bet Mr. Garner et al just rub their hands in glee when they see them coming. Personally, as a published author, I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole - unprofessional site which is totally overwhelmed by cheap advertising, biased reviews of 'favourite' restaurants and chefs, a belief that they have some kind of powerful influence in Manchester as a whole (check out their story about the proposed Manchester parking fees), constant bombardment of e-mails and 'offers' and childish habit of disabling readers' accounts if they dare to disagree with their self-important opinions. Bad show all round

Matt said...

"Confidential is a self-funding organisation which relies upon business paying its bills on time."

Actually, no it isn't. If it were self-funding that would mean the money to run it came from within the organisation itself.

That it relies upon business paying its bills on time, then it is not self-funding.

Anonymous said...

Shamelessly I've not read all the comments and this may be re-iterating the comments of others so I apologise in advance.

Although emotional, I can relate to the frustration that prompted the initial letter, however, the response is just disgraceful. It belittle's Lizzie by advising how unprofessional she is, just to make such a ridiculous personal attack on her at the end of the response. Its just as fueled as emotion as Lizzie's inital letter but merely because Lizzie showed the audacity to express her grievances with Confidential.

Furthermore to state "Confidential is a self-funding organisation which relies upon business paying its bills on time" when it clearly fails to pay its bills on time seems a little hypercritical and adds nothing to the writers arguement.

Kate Rose said...

Wow. Love the way the professionally sanctimonious come out of the woodwork on threads like this - your email wasn't particularly snarky or unprofessional, and as someone else observed we're only seeing the end of the trail. Saying that they've made you late with your rent isn't an "emotional outburst", it's a statement of fact.

Mr Garner, on the other hand, comes across as a totally arrogant arse - and one of the very few benefits of freelancing is that you can choose to speak bluntly to organisations who treat you like this, and go public on the results. Good on you.

Anonymous said...

They are absolutely no self-funding. They take money up-front from customers running any special offers with them and also advertisers are on DD or standing order for payments the first payment is also paid up-front before any work is done on the ad. I can't think of any business they deal with that would affect their cash-flow so badly that hey would struggle to pay writers expenses

Azerbijou said...

Typical old Tory mentality, Garner and one of the 'Anonymous' comments. I don't care of Garner thinks it's a hoot. Viral this-- it's a classic!

William Leigh said...

Your arse is definitely not fat. I kicked it the other day so I should know.

Jason Shaw said...

What a hoot, what a nasty man.

Anonymous said...

His Twitter feed just proves this is how he operates.

What a silly little man.

Karma. Just wait. he will get his come-uppance.

Anonymous said...

If you check out how many tweets and re-tweets this has received, by searching for 'London Confidential' or '@ldnconfidential', you can do a quick fag packet calculation of how many people have now read about this sorry saga. Tens of thousands perhaps? Brilliant for all the extra readers your blog will attract. Bad news for Mr. Garner and his crew. Couldn't happen to a more deserving man in my opinion.

A Writer said...

According to Mr. Garner's Twitter feed, this brand of 'humour' is just how he rolls. Well, I'm a Northerner too and I can say without a doubt, if he tried using that brand of 'humour' with me, he'd find himself walking funny for a week.

Thanks to his ridiculous outburst, I'd much rather follow you than him any day of the week. Well done for sticking up for yourself to a man who obviously couldn't lead a piss up in a brewery, let alone manage any kind of team properly.

Cherie City said...

What an obnoxious, puffed up reply from Confidential - you're better off without them.

Firstly, freelance jobs are usually PAID, so to ask a contributor write for free AND shell out £600 of their own cash to pay restaurant bills, then give it back to your over 2 months late is seriously wrong. Do they know what 'freelance' actually means?

Also, were you 'un-gifted' while they were happily posting your content? If they truly believe that, it shows a lack of judgement on their part. They're just trying to put you down undeservedly.

As an online publisher, this guy should know that word travels and such priceless idiocy will be put in the public domain. He may get a spike in traffic because of your article, but it will be short-lived and there will be a lot of damage to his (already questionable) reputation.

Anonymous said...

I see someone posted the link to this blog on London Confidential earlier and was met by a barrage of abuse from Nicole Dalamagas - typical childish and spiteful behaviour, which is the norm from most employed by this dreadful organisation. Needless to say, the link and her comments have been removed - funny, I thought the Confidentials though all publicity is good publicity

Shingo said...

lizzie - you can do so much better than working for such a cock

Daisy said...

HAHA what Shingo said!

Doghead said...

Snarky email gets snarky response, world keeps turning. It all seems a little bit overblown really, I mean, aren't there better things in the world to spend valuable time boycotting like: nestle, goose liver pate, the Israeli government, et al. I can see everyone getting het up on their I-pads, glass of red in hand, tapping away with righteous fury, but end of the day this is just Internet trolling for poshos.

Kingdomofdoghead.blogspot.com

Abi said...

Thanks for highlighting this issue with London Confidential.

This is a very serious problem for many freelancers, who in my experience are often treated with very little respect by employers, even if not all are as 'honest' as this lovely character you had the misfortune of working with on this occasion.

I hope you have better luck with future partnerships.

Abi said...

FAO Gareth> A bit presumptuous to suggest that setting clear terms would not have occurred to Lizzie.

I have no doubt that she will have included terms as is standard practice for every freelancer I've ever met. The problem is they tend not to be taken seriously.

Kavey said...

Catching up late with my RSS feed...

I had a run in with "Gordo" not long ago when I took issue with their signing up myself (and many others, I believe, including many bloggers) for their mailing list without our knowledge or permission. When I tried to unsubscribe I found that the only method they provided was for me to waste valuable time working out how to register and login to their website, from where I could unsubscribe. Only I'm glad I didn't waste the time as I then discovered from others that the mechanism didn't work anyway.

Despite the fact they were in the wrong, he was really rude on twitter when I dared to express anger about the whole affair, and then when people didn't respond well to his rudeness, tried to shrug it off as "Northern humour".

The man's clearly a self-important, unprofessional and untalented moron and the fact he's built up what he thinks of as his little empire is inspite of and not thanks to his own skills and personality.

Honestly, I can't say I might not have also been seduced into writing for a site like this by the thought of expenses covering the cost of meals in places I fancied visiting. But this'll serve as a bloody great warning!

Sorry you had to go through this, Schmoof, but glad you exposed him for what he is.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much about writing for these losers. Their Manchester site is dire; nothing but offers and advertising - they haven't updated their stats since March and as for London Confidential after several months, they have yet to pull in any advertising or offers at all.

The Grubworm said...

Only just back in the UK so I'm a little late with this. But, what an unprofessional, insulting idiot. I'd be surprised if he has any bloggers writing for him if that's his attitude.

ferdiesfoodlab said...

Crass and arrogant, basically, well out of order!

Schnack said...

I love reading your blog for your food writing and it's a shame that you have fallen out with Confidential as I'm sure it was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

However publishing this on your blog is a bit petty and has certainly lowered my opinion of you. Whatever your disagreement with Confidential may have been (and I think the tone of your letter was bound to elicit a similarly snarky response), it's unprofessional to turn it into a sideshow here.

Personally I wouldn't hire you to write for me after seeing this behaviour, something you might want to consider if you're going to be looking for other outlets for your work in future.

Lizzie said...

Schnack - I'm sorry you feel that way. In the end, it was not beneficial to me; although I got to go to nice places and have my meals paid for, I wasn't paid for the writing of the reviews, whereas the Confidentials got work from me effectively for free, bar expenses.

I published it here as a warning to others on why not to get involved with London Confidential; petty or not, if it prevents someone else from getting in a similar situation then so be it.

Anonymous said...

London Confidential and the whole of the Confidential's are nothing but a means for Mark Garner to get clients to give him what he can't afford and play at being what he'll never be and that's an astute businessman. They really are a poor company in more ways than one. No professional would behave that way. We are bloggers and you did the right thing by reporting this. He calls himself a journalist pahahaha!

And I'm only anon because I couldn't log in. Durrant01

Anonymous said...

Well, what goes around, comes around. Nearly four months after he launch of London Confidential, there is still no advertising on the site - the only income stream they have. His business model may blunder along in Manchester, albeit relying on a pre-pack once every couple of years, but he's clearly bitten off more than he can chew by launching himself into the London market.

Anonymous said...

Posted from 'Gordo', on his Twitter page in replay to a freelancer seeking payment from someone, oh the irony..

GordoManchester Mark Garner
@Augustus82 never ever hate asking for money you are due. Always be straightforward and polite, but never stop asking.
3 hours ago Favorite Retweet Replyit

Anonymous said...

Re Twitter blog. Can you believe it??? He gives us abuse when we ask for our expenses/fees to be paid and withholds payment for months on end because he hasn't actually got any money.

Mark Garner is nothing but a suited and booted vagrant who squeezes his morbidly obese self through the doors of restaurants, bars, hotels and retail outlets for bum scratching deals so he can eat, drink, sleep and wear shit clothes.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! "Straightforward and polite"...he really did say that!

Garner is as bent as a five bob note and would sell his own grandmother to make a quick shilling. Cheap as they come and stupid too - which is why he will never achieve the success and wealth he craves. Nothing he doesn't know already.

Anonymous said...

Is it London Confidential or the Malmaison website? Can't quite tell with the ubiquitous Malmaison banners. And who in London gives a xxxx for Malmaison Liverpool?????

Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't know. I quite like Liverpool and it looks like a good deal to me.

More importantly, Lizzie, advice from the wise here.

Write your email and then go for a walk. Then see if you still want to send it. Chances are not.

All you have done here is guarantee that no one is ever going to risk giving you paid work

MancHack said...

http://www.londonconfidential.co.uk/Food-and-Drink/Blogger-Bites-Jeanne

They may reign supreme but they don't get paid. The last comment above is interesting; on the side of the CONfidentials it would seem, coming after some of their sites were flooded with links to this blog earlier on today and the piece above was published just this morning - wouldn't be a CONfidential employee on a damage limitation exercise would it? I fail to see how highlighting the fact that she had to continually chase payment, will result in the blogger not receiving paid work. Maybe the poster from London/Manchester/Leeds/Liverpool CONfidential could expalin further

Anonymous said...

MancHack, you are right. The staff are ordered to write on sites in support of Confidential and rant positively to give the illusion of interest in their site and are told to 'like' every ManCon event and deal.

I wrote a few pieces for them but never again. It took months to get paid and whenever I phoned my calls were bandied around the office and told that their accounts person works only one day a week. No wonder their finances are up shit creek. That leaves Gordo at the helm eating his way through every penny and claiming it on expenses and avoiding paying writers and suppliers. Wonder what the tax man would have to say about that. No wonder they go into administration every couple of years.

No amount of walking round the block would have stopped me sending an email like that ANON. He deserved telling and Lizzie was right to bring this to everyone's attention. You're not dealing with someone who treats people like this once in a while. He does it on a daily basis because he thinks we should be grateful for the opportunity. Actually, he should be grateful. His site is nothing without the writers, whichever way you look at it.


Gavvvvlaaaaaar :))))))))

Anonymous said...

"Lizzie, advice from the wise..." LOL

That's rich coming from Confidential. Did the 'wise' one go for a walk before telling Hollowlegs to stick her writing up her "fat, surburban ass"?

Word for the 'wise', Hollowlegs equals not actually fat. Gordo on the other hand is fat, in name and nature. FACT!

Clarissa

Anonymous said...

The Editor of London Confidential has taken to using her Facebook to advertise the site and its articles. Not getting the reads she and her puppet master conceitedly believed they would get? Oh diddums!

There is a great deal of truth in the comment that staff are told to use their social media accounts to promote Confidential sites. Desperate times call for desperate measures hey.

Lizzie, I enjoy your blog immensely. Thank you for the pleasure.

Food Eater Extraordinaire xx