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Client getting annoyed when asked for payment
Thread poster: xxxBrandis
xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:57
English to German
+ ...
Apr 2, 2008

Hi! They came with a 20 page contract foreseeing annual volumes etc., and at a fixed average price valid both during all seasons and throughout the year. Payment terms were 30 days clearance. Now we have completed rather large project in Feb and now the payment was due on the 27 Feb. We sent one, two, three reminders only to find that the accountant gets Zillions of mails everyday and is hence very busy, on the weekends they do not work. So two weeks have passed, then the initial terms of payment were being further stretched into batch invoice processing which again might take time, how long was not told to me. Actually the outsourcer enjoys a very good ranking on the BB and I should not have any doubts. Now after having sent the reminders the outsourcer says, there will be some delay due to many invoice clearances and once this invoice cleared I should consider that transaction as complete.I do not understand how to interpret this. The way of the text flow in the mail reflects annoyance and I see no point why the outsourcer getting annoyed. We had a 30 day invoice clearance bound by contract and I and my teams have worked on credit basis.

A second outsourcer is playing dead duck, he is not even responding to mails, but also enjoys very good BB record. I keep noticing that they are receiving the mails and I receive corresponding acknowledgement, but no written answer. I do not know how to interpret this behavior either.

Does any one have insight into this. Brandis


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:57
French to English
Not clear Apr 2, 2008

Brandis wrote:
Payment terms were 30 days clearance. Now we have completed rather large project in Feb and now the payment was due on the 27 Feb.


I'm not 100% sure what 30 days "clearance" means, but I have to assume it is 30 days after some event.
If a project was completed in February, then by any means of counting, 30 days later is sometime in March, not Feb 27th.
There are people/agencies who, for billing purposes, treat anything done during the month as done on the last day.

30 days from the end of February is what... about now...?

In a nutshell, are you sure this payment is as "late" as you think?


[Edited at 2008-04-02 16:50]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:57
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
30 days invoice clearance.. Apr 2, 2008

Actually we completed the project on the 27th Jan and 30 days is 27 Feb. Now many weeks have passed and we sent multiple reminders one customer plays annoyed and the other is just silent. Brandis

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 20:57
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"They came with a 20 page contract..." Apr 2, 2008

The first practical experience with a new client is not to be taken as a standard for what the future may have in store for us. To quote Goldfinger (*) "Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: 'Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, and third time it's enemy action' ".

I would in any case - were I given the choice - start with something less full-blown, like 10.000 words, doing it myself (no subcontractors), to see it all through, check their administration and its paying habits etc... Of course right now it would be rather late to think of this kind of alternatives.

Applying the min-max method: the best that can happen to you now, is you get the check tomorrow, pay off your subcontractors and its blue skies for everybody. The worst that can happen, however, is that they keep pulling out your teeth one at a time. You have to decide yourself, how much pain you can handle.

Please note, that you may well feel like being stuck between a wall and a pretty hard place (unpaid invoices on one side and your commitment to subcontractors), but believe me, the agency does not get it or care about it.

(*) I checked the quote

[Edited at 2008-04-02 17:43]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:57
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ victor.. Apr 2, 2008

But both of them have many and or only 5 rating on the BB and they did not brag about the quality either. But why get annoyed I do not get it. Idid not need a 20 page contract either. Brandis

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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:57
Swedish to English
+ ...
If client in the EU, just remind them of Directive 2000/35/EC Apr 2, 2008

I don't charge any interest to clients who are a few days late paying, but after two weeks or more they really need a reminder of Directive 2000/35/EC.

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/regulation/late_payments/index.htm


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Thorson
Local time: 20:57
Danish to English
Since it's easier to pay right away... Apr 3, 2008

Since it's easier, takes less time and less personnel costs to pay immediately rather than delaying a payment, I consider anyone delaying either in financial trouble or attempting to squeeze a few cents of interest savings on money they have to borrow to pay you, both of which are not good signs.

The 3rd reason might be that they're trying to earn a little extra interest on the money they're going to pay you, but that would be really pitiful.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:57
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
funny fact is that these postings have some effect in the outside world Apr 3, 2008

all have paid prompty today leaving out two - 3 fat rats still lazy or trying to escape. They were reading these postings without invitation. Infact few of these figures have officially requested that I do not post on blog sites like proz.com, that we may arrange it amicably. That calls for an escrow system be implemented. I am a paying member and wish to see all postings whether they match my credential or not. It is not my problem that dollar is perpetually doing a nose dive, that proz.com would like to be careful. I do not have to present jokes ( unless of free accord or even post new findings, which are being screened and removed or changed and reposted in other manner) or even blog - do I have a community, was it not the prime directive why this site is profiling??????? Brandis

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MariselW
Local time: 15:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Delayed payment makes money Apr 3, 2008

Kind of surprising that they try to shut you up like that... maybe they don't understand that ProZ rules say you can't specifically name the client? Either way you're right, that is extremely rude behavior (to say the least).

I think Thorson is right that they may be delaying payment as long as possible to take advantage of interest rates, which is not an insignificant way to lower the burden of invoice payment. I know someone who owns a consulting business for technology-related problem solving and more and more clients are doing the same, which makes it less surprising that you're seeing it happen with a variety of clients. If you delay payment, you can continue to collect interest on the money you need to pay out. And some less persistent freelancers may eventually give up rather than sue for payment. I wonder how long you would have had to wait if you hadn't posted.


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:57
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Blueboard Apr 4, 2008

Even if they paid, the rest of us would like to know who they were so that we don't fall in the same trap.
Blueboard is a good tool if people actually wrote their bad experiences as well. If people write only about their good experiences then it is no longer doing what it was supposed to do in reality i.e. protect us from bad players by keeping each other informed.


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ORANTIC
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to Italian
Late payers are always pregnant... May 2, 2008

Hi everybody,
this is my first message to the forum I'm a freelance translator and I've just met a customer who is really making me nervous!! The funny thing is that it was he who mentioned Proz.com as a reference for his good-payer feedback, earlier than any other Italian agency and safer...and he isn't even mentioned on the site...
By the way, I'm trying to set my business, so I accepted to work with him. We agreed an after-60-days' payment. I finished my first text and asked for 50% of the due money (you know, first time we worked together, unknown company etc...). He postponed the payment and sent me another text to translate.
Of course I insisted on receiving my due and he finally accepted...I think mostly because the other work was in danger...
Anyway, the first translation was delivered on 23th feb, the second on 05th may. On 21th feb I sent a reminder - just to make sure...- and he replied that it was too early (!!!!!!!!?????????); I insisted on the deadline and he replied that he had some cash problems and asked me to wait. Another week passed and nothign happened.
Two days ago, his colleague proposed me another job... I replied that I am available but only after receiving the payment of the other two translations...
This morning he sent me a message INFORMING ME that he will be able to send me the payment in two weeks!!! I replied that I will not work with him again.
Now, the point is: do you think I did the right thing? Am I riskng to loose my money? What can I do? Any suggestions from senior translators.
Thanks a lot


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