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should I trust a company to pay me after I've done the job?
Thread poster: Maria Kirby
Maria Kirby
United States
Local time: 07:38
Swedish to Polish
+ ...
Nov 21, 2003

This will be my first assignment in the US and I do need some help, please...

I was contacted by an agency to do a job for them. They agreed to my price, sent me assignment details, but said that there wasn't any kind of agreement prior to the job. They are supposed to pay me after I do the work. They said they only sent contracts to simultaneous interpreters... They also said that they want my Social Security Number (what for? THe W-2?.

I have a problem just "trusting" them. I actually got scammed before - I had to almost go to court to get my payment (but at that time I had a written contract, which is more than just an e-mail...)

I will be very grateful for any advice.
Thank you,
Maja


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:38
Spanish to English
Trusting Companies to Pay Nov 22, 2003

[quote]majakirby wrote:

This will be my first assignment in the US and I do need some help, please...

I am a relatively new (in experience) not in years translator, living and working in Spain. It is not unusual to wait 3 months after the job for payment. Agencies and companies here want as much details as possible, copies of diplomas, residency, National Identity Number, bank details for payment etc. Who trusts whom?


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Annira Silver  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:38
Finnish to English
+ ...
Standard business practice Nov 22, 2003

Hi,

By the same token, the agency is not likely to pay you first and trust you to then do the job satisfactorily and on time!

I'm afraid many agencies don't issue contracts. However, any agreement between the parties constitutes a contract, so an email, with the agency's full contact details, offering you the job and stipulating pay rate and payment terms is fine. Make sure you print it out and keep it.

All you can do is find out as much as you can about the company and its past record; studying the Blue Board and other similar lists is important. You can also look up their website: you may find out how long the firm has been in business and sometimes who their main clients are.

Start off with a new client by only accepting small jobs (i.e. for amounts that you can afford to lose). Once you know your clients and trust them, you can allow them more credit.

Best of luck!

Annira


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Maria Kirby
United States
Local time: 07:38
Swedish to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Guys, Thank you. Nov 22, 2003

I looked up some web resources yesterday night. Usually people advise one to always sign a purchase order prior to the job. Thank you for the info about what constitutes an agreement. I will speak again with a person from the company and hopefully that will resolve my problems. One more question - in case they don't pay - is there a way to get it from them legally (I mean - with just an e-mail printout?)?

Have a great day!
Maja

ps. I understand that they trust me to do the job, but they didn't even try to verify my credentials - they just called me and offered the job (I had registered online with their agency)... I would feel more "secure" if they tried to get as much information as possible...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:38
English to German
+ ...
Check the Blue Board and other lists Nov 22, 2003

Hi Maja,
One place to check for information is the ProZ.com Blue Board, where fellow translators and interpreters express their willingness to work for a given outsourcer again in the future.

In addition, you may want to check on mailing lists covering payment practices, such as PP_dist or TCR.

HTH, Ralf


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