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Dealing with a prospective new client with a low BB record
Thread poster: Ana Naglić

Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 03:40
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Sep 22, 2008

I am negotiating a project with a new customer.
They have a very low BB record (1.7).
They are willing to sign a legally binding confirmation that they will pay me on time.
They regard all those bad entries (actually, only two were positive - a 2 and a 5) "gossipping".
They have 5 negative entries (out of total 7).
They insist on paying with a cheque.
They were not banned from ProZ (despite several non-payment complaints).
Should I trust them nevertheless?

[Uređeno u 2008-09-22 22:51]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-09-23 08:09]


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Alyona Douglas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:40
Member (2007)
English to Russian
- Sep 22, 2008

No, you shouldn't trust them.

OR you can ask for an advance payment. If they are legit and are going to pay you later, they will pay you in advance.

AND if they pay you in advance, cash the check first


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:40
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Can't you market yourself to the ones with 5's? Sep 22, 2008

It might just make life that little bit easier.

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WriuszTran
Germany
Local time: 03:40
Don't even talk to them Sep 22, 2008

I wouldn't even talk to a company like that. There are plenty of companies in the world that pay on a punctual basis.

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:40
Portuguese to English
+ ...
This is just me, but... Sep 22, 2008

If the job isn't too long, I'd be inclined to give them a chance. They've seen the Blue Board, who knows, maybe they're trying to live down the bad rep and mend their ways. If not, then if the job isn't too long, you haven't lost much.

Amy


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ideas ... Sep 22, 2008

Ana Naglić wrote:
I am negotiating a project with a new customer.

Great!
Ana Naglić wrote:
They have a very low BB record (1.7).

Ooops...
Ana Naglić wrote:
They are willing to sign a legally binding confirmation that they will pay me on time.

The main effect of that is that you will have to prove that it is 'legally binding' if they end up not paying. That might be more difficult/expensive than simply demanding the fee for the job on the basis of a standard PO.
Ana Naglić wrote:
They regard all those bad entries (actually, only two were positive - a 2 and a 5) "gossipping".

Well they would say that, wouldn't they?
Ana Naglić wrote:
They have 5 negative entries (out of total 7).

And there's every chance that if you do this job they will then have 6 negative entries out of a total of 8.
Ana Naglić wrote:
They insist on paying with a cheque.

A what? What's wrong with 'real' money (or PayPal, bank transfer, etc.)?
Ana Naglić wrote:
They were not banned from ProZ (despite several non-payment complaints).

Not yet...
Ana Naglić asked:
Should I trust them nevertheless?

Why do you ask?

MediaMatrix


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 20:40
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Why bother? Sep 22, 2008

I don't see why you want to take that risk. I'd say stay away.

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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 03:40
German to Polish
+ ...
Why bother indeed? Sep 22, 2008

Claudia Alvis wrote:

Why bother?


This is precisely what I wanted to say.
Stay away from them, save yourself unnecessary hassle.

Regards,
Agnieszka


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:40
English to Polish
Don't trust them Sep 23, 2008

Ana Naglić wrote:

(...)
They are willing to sign a legally binding confirmation that they will pay me on time.(...)


I am not a lawyer, but isn't the fact you do a job for them is already "legally binding" that they should pay you for that? Does additional piece of paper really secures a payment?

As already suggested - as for a prepayment. If they pay - fine. If not - I would not take that risk.


Anni


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Aren't all confirmations legally binding anyway? Sep 23, 2008

Ana Naglić wrote:
They are willing to sign a legally binding confirmation that they will pay me on time.


Any "legally binding confirmation" is only as good as the bona fides of those who sign it. Besides, any agreements that these people had with translators in the past would have been equally legally binding. You can't make a contract more binding than an already binding one by simply adding some words to it (although IANAL).

Should I trust them nevertheless?


You should trust negative comments, but you should also make up your own mind. With all new clients, you take a risk. With a client that has negative comments, you should take a smaller risk. But feel free to take that risk... the client may turn out to be perfect for you


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
They are "willing too much" Sep 23, 2008

Ana Naglić wrote:
They are willing to sign a legally binding confirmation that they will pay me on time.
They regard all those bad entries (actually, only two were positive - a 2 and a 5) "gossipping".


Honestly, if an outsourcer accepts to sign an additional agreement (I don't see why you need the additional agreement anyway; they will pay or will not pay, with or without the extra agreement), it is a sign that they are a bit desperate to have people work for them.

I would only do ONE job for them if it only means 3-4 hours of work, wait for the payment, do another job, wait for the payment, etc. etc. So individual jobs, individual payments for some months.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:40
Italian to English
+ ...
Steer clear Sep 23, 2008

There are countless decent agencies out there, why stress yourself worrying whether a dodgy one really will pay you?

Unless, of course, they're prepared to pay you up front, as Alla and Anni suggest.


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:40
Member (2003)
French to English
Attitude to providers Sep 23, 2008

Ana Naglić wrote:

They regard all those bad entries (actually, only two were positive - a 2 and a 5) "gossipping".



That's the bit that would worry me the most - agencies that have previously had poor payment practices can sometimes turn around, with a change of management team, say, but it doesn't sound as though this one is taking its reputation with providers very seriously. I think I'd focus my efforts elsewhere.

Best,

Karen


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
That's what the Blue Board is for Sep 23, 2008

Well, I shouldn't work for them if they have a Blue Board record like that - the purpose of the Blue Board is mainly to warn people of bad payers and to recommend good ones.
As others have said, only accept a small job if you're really not busy. Then wait until you've been paid before accepting any further work.
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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Dubravka Hrastovec  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 03:40
English to Croatian
+ ...
Advance payment Sep 23, 2008

Alla Douglas wrote:

No, you shouldn't trust them.

OR you can ask for an advance payment. If they are legit and are going to pay you later, they will pay you in advance.

AND if they pay you in advance, cash the check first


Exactly my thoughts.


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