“Does that include the studio time for recording?”

It’s an oddity when we are asked if our quote includes studio time for recording a voice talent. Sometimes, the question that follows our quote is way more blunt – “Any extra hidden charges?” It took us a while to realise that a lot of other studios can be quite sneaky when it comes to quotes.

We ran into this problem on a baby food product ad that required us to book a top Vietnamese commercials VO based in Ho Chi Minh City.

After the price was agreed, the session was done and the engineer was cleaning up the audio files to send to us, the studio’s production manager kept adding bullshit extras on to the final invoice. The cheekiest extra charge was US$35 for burning a CD: we received the materials via FTP as originally planned, did not want or need a CD of the takes, but the studio was so ingrained to milk clients with add-ons that they refused to remove the ‘extras’.

It’s a sloppy way to do business, and studios that employ hidden charges soon get a reputation for being dodgy.

When we quote, it’s an all-in quote – you ask for a VO, we include the voice talent fee, any loading fee and the studio usage fee. Life’s short – why make things complicated?