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Client sends money "less our charges" - How would you react?
Thread poster: nettranslatorde

nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
Jul 18, 2003

Hi,

I recently got paid by a client for my services. There were, however, two issues to reduce my satisfaction:

1 - he paid two weeks late and only after I had sent him a reminder

2 - he sent payment by wired transfer, reduced by 20 Dollars, stating "less our charges" in the reference box.

Is this normal? How would you react if treated like this? I mean, when you buy anything online, you will have to pay a certain extra amount for freight and ...
...When you go to any shop, you can't possibly tell the shop assistant that you would pay the price for the product less your travel expenses.

Am I too pedantic?

Thanks in advance for any comments!

Kerstin





[Edited at 2003-07-18 12:51]

[Edited at 2003-07-18 12:53]

[Edited at 2003-07-18 12:53]


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:11
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I agree with you. Jul 18, 2003

Why would you need to incur the wire transfer costs twice? When it gets deposited in your bank, you will probably again have to pay to receive the money (at least my bank charges for that), so you are penalized twice.

If they can handle things like that, next time charge them more to absorb those costs.

I do not think that you are pedantic at all. I do not think that you are wrong. Eg, if you receive money through PayPal, you also have to pay for their service, so you receive less. Why should they not have to pay too; that is the cost of doing business.

Good luck!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:11
SITE FOUNDER
Next time, clarify in advance Jul 18, 2003

Basically, the only way I can think of to prevent this kind of misunderstanding is to clarify in advance. I know it is frustrating, but it can be argued either way who should pay.

Because this issue comes up from time to time, we (staff and moderators) decided to include a few words about it in the
Professional Guidelines

To quote: agree, before work starts, on payment amount, timing and currency, and who will bear any payment cost

(No offense, I post this less for you than for the less experienced colleagues who might be reading this and not think of the other things to work out in advance--like who should pay for delivery, or in what currency payment will be made, etc.)


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:11
English to German
+ ...
Check who made the deduction Jul 18, 2003

Hi Kerstin,
Check if the deduction was really made by your customer - the incoming payment advice should state the original amount of the payment order. Usually this is identified by "OCMT" (SWIFT abbreviation for "original currency amount"), followed by the ISO currency code.

If this amount is correct, the deduction was probably made by one of the banks involved.

HTH - Ralf


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nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
He made the offer and then deducted from this amount Jul 18, 2003

Henry wrote:

Basically, the only way I can think of to prevent this kind of misunderstanding is to clarify in advance. I know it is frustrating, but it can be argued either way who should pay.


Henry, thank you for your reply. But he was the one who made the offer. It was a total amount for the job he offered to pay. And he chose to pay me via wired transfer instead of Paypal (which would have been much cheaper).

To quote: agree, before work starts, on payment amount, timing and currency, and who will bear any payment cost

OK, I did not issue a written agreement of this kind, but he gave me the sum he would be willing to pay for this job, and I accepted.

Thanks anyway. Next time I'll think about this.
Kerstin

[/quote]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Not much you can do, unfortunately Jul 18, 2003

Hi Kerstin,

This happened to me also. I didn't think to clarify in advance, because I assumed that each party would pay their own business costs. Unfortunately, sometimes there is little you can do about it if it is that company's policy other than raise rates.


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:11
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Please mention this on the Blue Board!! Jul 19, 2003

First of all, I would check that the deduction is not originated by the bank.

If it is intentionally made by the client, then there is something you should do: put your experience on the Blue Board.

Next time, if they try it with another ProZ memeber they will have the surprise of an alerted contractor, who will enquire further their malitious offer!

I would not take them to court, but I certainly do not consider this an honest behaviour!


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Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
lots can be done Jul 20, 2003

Hello,

I had the same experience in the past with an agency. When I noticed that I contacted the Finance Department and sent an e-mail saying that such practice was unacceptable and wouldn't work for them again at such conditions.

I didn't give this another thought but that company had still another payment to be made and, funily enough, when they made that payment they didn't repeat the practice and in matter of fact they paid the previously discounted amount. So everything got paid and I am still on their list and work for them when available.

Might not work for all but I always point out that "I don't like weeds in my garden".

Hope this helps
Best regards,
Mónica


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nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Problem solved Jul 20, 2003

Dear Mónica,

thank you for your reply.
mmachado wrote:

When I noticed that I contacted the Finance Department and sent an e-mail saying that such practice was unacceptable and wouldn't work for them again at such conditions.



That's exactly what I did, but in a very polite manner:
I told the client that I have received payment for the job but found that it was reduced by 20$ and that this was against our agreement. I asked him to comment on this, and he answered me that he had wired the whole amount and I should contact my bank if they had charged me the 20$. I checked back, but the had received what I thought, so I sent him the information I had got, and he sent me an apology stating that obviosly his bank had charged me this amount against his instruction. Furthermore, he promised me he whould make up for this amount togehter with payment he would issue for a future job.
Nice idea

Thank you all for your replies to this topic!
Best regards,
Kerstin


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:41
English to Tamil
+ ...
Take with a pinch of salt the client's promise Jul 21, 2003

Twenty dollars represent a sizeable amount and try to persuade the client to send the difference immediately. Otherwise there may be accounting problems if he adjusts with the next job, if and when he gives it. He will sing a different tune at that time. Just write to him politely and request him to settle it immediately. As Galahad Threepwood mentions in one of P.G. Wodehouse novels to his friend, "My dear friend, it's not that I don't trust you, it's just that I don't trust you".


Kerstin Mouhannaya wrote:

Dear Mónica,

thank you for your reply.
mmachado wrote:

When I noticed that I contacted the Finance Department and sent an e-mail saying that such practice was unacceptable and wouldn't work for them again at such conditions.



That's exactly what I did, but in a very polite manner:
I told the client that I have received payment for the job but found that it was reduced by 20$ and that this was against our agreement. I asked him to comment on this, and he answered me that he had wired the whole amount and I should contact my bank if they had charged me the 20$. I checked back, but the had received what I thought, so I sent him the information I had got, and he sent me an apology stating that obviosly his bank had charged me this amount against his instruction. Furthermore, he promised me he whould make up for this amount togehter with payment he would issue for a future job.
Nice idea

Thank you all for your replies to this topic!
Best regards,
Kerstin


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:11
English to French
Don't bank on it but... Jul 24, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

Twenty dollars represent a sizeable amount and try to persuade the client to send the difference immediately. Otherwise there may be accounting problems if he adjusts with the next job, if and when he gives it. He will sing a different tune at that time. Just write to him politely and request him to settle it immediately.


I disagree here. $20 is nothing or close to nothing. To send $20 via bank transfer will cost $40 for the sender and $20 for the recipient, in many cases.

(On a similar situation, I recall once cashing in a $25 check on my bank account and receiving a note that my account had been *debited* by $5, because the check itself was not enough to cover both the handling of a foreign check and the change commision!!! I sorted this out with my bank, and with lots of laughs, but still, hum...you know what I mean.)

If it was any real amount, OK. But here, all you will do is get both banks a little more fat. That's all.

I have the very same situation with a Malaysian customer of mine.

I don't expect to get it back anytime soon, if at all, but it's cheaper just to cut it loose then to call, or run an email comm cycle on that.

However if he ask for an other job, I will sure remind him of that outstanding debt of his.


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