Silver Lining and Me / The Story

For those who don’t know: I am a freelance videographer, I operate under my company, Up+Atom Inc, creating all kinds of videos for businesses. The following post recounts the events that happened between September 2009 and March 2010, hopefully serving as a warning to anyone who does business with Silver Lining Ltd as well as any of their customers.

The Background

In September 2009, Silver Lining Ltd asked for my video services; filming and editing their weekly podcast, filming and editing an instructional video for a board game for ZOE Alliance, and creating an informational video for a support services brokerage called InclusionINC. I agreed, sent off my estimates, and Silver Lining agreed to my estimates, and so I commenced the work.

I filmed all of their podcasts, edited them together, and posted them every week. I was given a script for the instructional video, which I filmed and edited together, and delivered. I was given a script for the informational video as well, and I just edited together a string of text and stock images, as per what the script called for. Neither of these scripts were written by me, whatsoever.

I sent my first invoice shortly after posting the first podcast, on October 1, 2009, which was paid rather quickly, all was well in the world.

I completed the ZOE Alliance video and the InclusionINC video mid-October 2009, delivered it to Silver Lining, and sent off my invoices (October 7, 2009 for ZOE Alliance and October 19 for InclusionINC). I was told that I would be paid soon, Silver Lining was just sorting out their accounts – fair enough, I should be paid before November ends.

The Problem Begins To Show

I kept doing their podcast for them, recording another run and continuing to post them weekly. I would send an invoice at the end of every month for all of the work that I would do for their podcast in that month, except at this point, I wasn’t being paid quickly.

I have a rather lengthy string of e-mails between myself and representatives of Silver Lining Ltd where they continue to tell me that I will be paid soon, and that I have nothing to worry about. These e-mails started in November, telling me that I would be paid by mid-November, and they continued all the way through to mid-January, telling me that I would be paid “soon.” Of course, soon never came and by the end of January, they were about three months late on a payment of $2,726.04, which is no small amount for a fledgling small business.


In early February, I received an e-mail from the President and Founder of Silver Lining Ltd, informing me that they were finally going to pay me the amount that they owed me. Well, almost. They were going to pay me for all the podcast work I had done up to this point, as well as the ZOE Alliance video. But… what about InclusionINC?

Apparently, InclusionINC was not happy with my video, and was not paying them, and therefore Silver Lining Ltd wasn’t paying me.

Hold on, I said, that isn’t my concern. My contract was with Silver Lining Ltd, and not with InclusionINC, and I had completed my work 100% to spec. I had gone back and forth during the creation of the video to make sure it was up to the standards of the people I was doing correspondence with at Silver Lining Ltd. They gave me the green light after several revisions, and I had completed it. So why wasn’t I being paid?

When It Got Ugly

At this point, I was pretty steamed, so I was firing off plenty of e-mails to everyone whom I had come into contact with at Silver Lining, as well as Carissa to ensure she got the message. I explained to them what I had written above, that they still owed me money regardless of non-payment from InclusionINC. We never agreed to me being paid only if they got paid, I simply provided a service for them that I had completed successfully.

Carissa sent back another e-mail, which made me quite a bit more mad. In short, she essentially said that they made a mistake in acting as the middle man between InclusionINC and Up+Atom Inc, and it wasn’t their fault that I wasn’t being paid. To make it up to me, she offered me half of the invoice “out of Silver Lining Ltd’s own pockets.”

I agreed; I said sure, give me half of the amount due on the invoice immediately, followed by the rest of the amount plus interest accumulated by the end of the following week.

[EDIT: Just to clarify, I was offered half of the amount, and I agreed as long as I got the other half the very next week. I never received anything, not even a reply.]

Understandably, I received no response.

Around mid-February, I talked to a lawyer, who sent off a demand letter to Silver Lining giving them an ultimatum: pay Up+Atom Inc the full amount due by February 26, 2010, or face litigation.

Guess who didn’t receive a paycheque on February 26, 2010?


At this point, I’m in the process of filing a suit in small claims court for the amount I am owed, which is to the tune of $1,606.04 plus interest from February 2, 2010 onward. In addition, I have written this post to shed light on the type of business practices being committed by Silver Lining Ltd and Carissa Reiniger.

So please, I would love to hear any comments you may have on the situation. I am at my wit’s end, and there really isn’t much else I can do. I would like to thank every single person who has shown me support along the way; you know who you are, you’re all awesometastic. Even better, I would love for all of you to spread this story as much as you can, just to ensure other freelancers don’t run into the same type of problems that I did!

Cheers everyone.

Zoompass Tag: My Impression + Field Test

Usually on a Friday, I’d have a Featured Album Friday blog post up, but because I’m apparently hitting the books hard, I haven’t had a minute to really check out new songs – regularly scheduled posts will be back soon time, I promise.

Anyway, while in the middle of studying today, I received a registered letter that I had to sign for and everything, and lo and behold, it was a letter from Zoompass, informing me that I was lucky enough to be one of the first in Canada to experience the Zoompass Tag! I immediately applied my sticker to my iPhone, and ta daaaaa.

I make it rain with my phone.

I am not fond of what it does to my iPhone aesthetically – it creates a really big bump on the back of an otherwise smooth surface, and turns it into a walking advertisement for Zoompass and Mastercard. Aesthetics aside, the utility of the Zoompass Tag currently outweighs the way the phone looks, so I will have to let it slide.

Of course, being a huge dork, I wanted to try it out right away. Here was the real test: I was going to leave my wallet at home, and just get out there equipped with just my phone and my keys. My target of the day was the nearby Tim Horton’s.

I walked inside, waited for my turn and ordered a double double. The woman told me how much I owed – $1.58, and I told her that I was going to be trying out a fast pass that was attached to my phone, and I showed it to her. She smiled and mentioned that she had never seen that before, but I should just hold it in front of the fast pass hub.

Well... that was quick.

I wish I were joking here, but it literally took two seconds for the payment to go through, I was mightily impressed. With my large double double in hand and phone in the other, I thanked the cashier and was on my way.

Conclusion: Zoompass is shaking up mobile payments in a big way, and the Zoompass Tag evidence of just that. I’m getting VERY excited (or that may be the large double double I ordered) about the future in the mobile space, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store! Huge thank you to the people behind Zoompass for letting me try out the Zoompass Tag! :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

ZoomPass: What’s to Like, What’s to Not

In case you haven’t heard, ZoomPass opened its doors on June 15, 2009 for any and all users to sign up and join their service. If you haven’t heard of ZoomPass before, here is a description from their website:

Zoompass is a unique mobile payment service that offers a new way for you to send, receive, and request money quickly and securely, using a mobile device operating on the Bell, Fido, PC Mobile, Rogers, Solo, or TELUS network. With a mobile application that can be downloaded onto your mobile phone and synchronized with your phone’s contact list, you can use Zoompass anytime, anywhere while on the go.

Zoompass funds are held in a stored value account that is linked to your personal bank account or credit card, which makes loading your Zoompass account and transferring money simple and convenient. You can also use the optional Zoompass Prepaid MasterCard® card with PayPass™, linked to your Zoompass account, to make purchases in-store and online or withdraw cash from an ATM.

Innovative stuff eh? Well, I’ve been hoping for something like this for a long time and it has finally come, albeit not in the exact form that I had been looking for, it is a step in the right direction. While I have not actually used the system yet, this is just a quick list of things I like and I don’t like, and hopefully a more in-depth review of the system a little later on, when more users have adopted it and it has gained traction.

What’s to Like?

1. Multi-platform!

Thank goodness for this, ZoomPass has three different platforms that allows users to use it in practically all walks of life. There is the ZoomPass website (Similar to Paypal) as well as the mobile application, and the ZoomPass Pre-Paid Mastercard. They are all linked with each other, and you can send payments directly from your mobile application, accept payments from the ZoomPass website, and spend your ZoomPass balance with your Pre-Paid Mastercard.

I feel the Mastercard is a nice little touch until all mobile phones are retrofitted with RFID technology that we can use to pay with at any retailer. Initially, I was skeptical of ZoomPass because I had only heard about the website and the mobile application, because then it was basically Paypal for the phone, but once I discovered that a Pre-Paid Mastercard was also being offered, it seemed like a great idea.

2. Supported by all most carriers.

On the About page itself, it says that the big three (Rogers, Bell, and TELUS) as well as their budget carriers (Fido, Solo, and Koodo) all support ZoomPass. As the majority of mobile phone users in Canada use one of the big three carriers, ZoomPass makes itself very accessible and easy for almost anyone, anywhere to use.

3. Uses your phone number to send and receive payments.

This is pretty self explanatory, no real need to send using an email or username, just send it to someone’s phone number and they will be the only ones who will see it. Here is the process as described in the FAQ:

You can send money using Zoompass on your mobile phone or logging in to your account on the Zoompass website. To send money, enter the person’s name, mobile number, and the amount and press the Send button. You also have the option of sending money using the funds in your Zoompass account or from your linked credit card instead. A confirmation screen will then appear that asks you to verify the name, amount, and mobile number of the recipient. At this point you can change the information or confirm the transaction.

Seems easy enough.

What’s to Not Like?

1. The Fees!

It’s only natural that there would be fees attached to using ZoomPass, and you can find them here. They seem reasonable, especially since there are three different platforms we can use, as opposed to Paypal. But… what if we compared the core service of ZoomPass of sending money to each other with Paypal?

ZoomPass vs Paypal Fees

Paypal has quite a bit more free features, but once again, since there is a mobile component as well as a pre-paid Mastercard, one can’t really complain.

Until you see the fees associated with the Mastercard and the limits imposed on it.

2. Limited to ONLY the big three.

This felt like somewhat of a competitive move from the big three carriers, they had a project going on several years ago called WPS Pay, which quickly dissolved under, what I was told, as disagreements between the big three. And yet here we are, ZoomPass is released in the year that competitors are finally set to enter the Canadian mobile market. Something tells me the new competitors will have quite a delay before ZoomPass is available to their customers.

3. Requires a lot of traction.

This may be true for a lot of businesses, but for ZoomPass to really succeed, they will have to capture mainstream usage from the Canadian market, which is no easy task. Without the traction they need, ZoomPass will never be a necessity to Canadians.

But that’s enough of my nitpicking, I’m hoping to use it and really get some mileage out of it. I’ll use it for a few weeks and really go through what I like and what I don’t like.

Have I missed anything? Leave a comment! is LIVE!

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