Been represent at the wrong rate / agent trying to make money Been represent at the wrong rate / agent trying to make money
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Been represent at the wrong rate / agent trying to make money

    I’m new to the forum so apologies if this thread exists, I looked but couldn’t find it.

    I’ve been contracting for over 15 years so no the game well.

    I’ve been offered a role, but there was confusion with rate, which has lead to me discovering the rate I agreed with the agent is not the rate I was put forward at.

    It would appear that the agent represented me for much more, over 20% more, than I agreed and seems to be planning to pocket the difference, on top of their fee.

    It is a small agency I’ve never heard of.

    What should I do?

    Walk away?

    Confront the agent?

    Let the company know I’ve uncovered what the agency has been up to?

  2. #2

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    northernladuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtime View Post
    I’m new to the forum so apologies if this thread exists, I looked but couldn’t find it.

    I’ve been contracting for over 15 years so no the game well.

    I’ve been offered a role, but there was confusion with rate, which has lead to me discovering the rate I agreed with the agent is not the rate I was put forward at.

    It would appear that the agent represented me for much more, over 20% more, than I agreed and seems to be planning to pocket the difference, on top of their fee.

    It is a small agency I’ve never heard of.

    What should I do?

    Walk away?

    Confront the agent?

    Let the company know I’ve uncovered what the agency has been up to?
    Load of questions to start off.

    • How did you find out?
    • You can't see the upper contract between the client so are you really sure this isn't the way the contract works? i.e Fee to find and then back to a percentage of daily rate model. You could have the fee/daily cut agreement between the client and agent wrong. They might be working like a letting agent where you pay fee when letting a property to cover admin and checks and then the agent get's 10% of the rent going forward. This would make most sense in your case but with agents you can never be sure.
    • Is the fee a one of payment of not a lot or is it a substantial figure?
    • Is the fee a percentage of the income already?
    • What has been said about this discovery to date? Anything or have you found out without the agent knowing?


    You'd need to answer most of the above before you decide what to do. It's quite possible if the fee is £250 and then 20% of your rate then that is quite normal (if not a bit high). You need to get your facts right before making a decision.

    Let's assume it's as I've just said then the only thing wrong here is the percentage of rate is too high, but only by single figures really. If you've nothing else on offer it might be worth taking this and then squeezing the agent for another 5% at renewal time. If you decline you'll end up making less overall on a better contract in a months time if you get me.
    You did accept the rate which indicates you were happy with it. 20% isn't an unheard of figure for an agent to take. If it's a small agent they will have to put a high percentage in to cover time vs a large agent that can reduce the rate due to churn. 20% is very high though. 12-15% is more ballpark.

    If on the other hand you've truly caught the agent with his hand in the cookie jar then you should present it to him and see if he will make it right before you tell his client. You have to be absolutely sure of the facts here though. Get a key piece wrong and you've just gotten yourself canned. It's also quite likely if the second choice contractor would accept it they may just withdraw the offer because you are more hassle than you are worth.

    Go get your facts first then come back and tell us.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 30th April 2019 at 22:47.
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  3. #3

    Nervous Newbie


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    Usually agencies will mark up around 15% over your rate to the client. But that's between them and the end client as per their terms of contract and its wording, and really has nothing to do with you.

    You can always delete the agency out of the picture directly with the client, if you have no formal agreement with them in place (eg a contract or an email verbal agreement) that you won't be doing so. But it's entering dodgy territory.

  4. #4

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    Sounds like the 20% is just the agencies' mark-up, which is not unusual albeit a bit on the high site, it's mostly between 10-15%

  5. #5

    I Am Legend


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    This happened to me. With Modis/Goldman Sachs back in 2000. Goldmans were very unhappy with the agent who was not following Modis orders. And the agent refused to back down. So agent was sacked. 14% pay rise to about 40 contractors. Not one of whom even bought me a beer even though I discovered it.

    Alot depends on who the end client is. Most larger companies have definite margins for their agents. Smaller companies might decide they don't care. 30 years ago I worked with someone where the agent was making a 100% mark up! Yes - 50% of day rate to agent.

  6. #6

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    You just need to be happy with the rate you are on and you can then just ignore what the agent gets up to. It doesnt matter then.
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