Thread poster: Jason Willis-Lee
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on the above relationship and how best to deal with a middle man (most of my clients are middlemen) saying, well my client is flatly refusing to pay a bill (by spuriously claiming lack of quality) so we can't pay you.
My feeling is that the middleman-translator relationship has nothing to do with the end client-middle man relationship. In this particular occasion, I found myself broaching the work of the middle man and actually telling them to ask for a detailed list of what the client is not happy with so that their complaint can be objectively checked, something that is not my job to do at all.
How can one best deal with this? The problem for me here is that once again, the lack of regulation of this highly skilled profession, the subjective nature and perception of one translator's writing compared to another...leads to the sort of problem I have described above.
I would be most interested in any other experiences regaring this topic and how best to handle the situation. I can't tell you how annoying it is to hand in a perfectly decent piece of work only to have an end client (who perhaps was not expecting such a large invoice) make much ado about nothing after delivery. What protection (if any) is available for freelancers to prevent middlemen only releasing payments when they themselves have been paid?
Many thanks in advance
[Edited at 2004-08-26 11:17]
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| | Jabberwock
Local time: 04:05
English to Polish
| Your deal was with the agency || Aug 26, 2004 |
You should not be interested in the issues between the agency and the client. The agency is getting fat percentage for dealing with all risks and issues related to the client. If not, the agency would not be needed at all.
What is more important, you have no influence whatsoever on the arrangements between the agency and the client. If the agency has agreed that in case of serious quality problems it is not paid, then its their problem, as you had no influence on the terms of that agreement.
I know that in reality it is often different, but you should stress that you are entitled to your payment on the basis of the agreement between you and your agency and no third party's opinion can influence that, unless it is clearly specified in the contract. If the agency itself cannot point out the quality issues, then they should pay you for your good work.
| | DGK T-I
Local time: 03:05
Georgian to English
| Make it clear that they must provide proper details of any complaint || Aug 26, 2004 |
Your agreement is with your client, not their client, so your client is obliged to pay you for the work you have done (unless you specifically agreed otherwise).
If there really is a complaint, then they have to provide you with proper details of it, so that you can judge it, and as a starting point for discussion.
Without that nothing is changed - the onus is on them.
If they send details, you can treat the complaint according to its merits, if necessary providing evidence or obtaining the supporting views of other translators.
If they don't send you details - for whatever reason - they shouldn't expect the complaint to be treated as valid.
[Edited at 2004-08-26 14:03]
.....for all these replies. Perhaps I should point out that this is a regular client of nearly 2 years standing, I don't think they are out to rip me off but they are reluctant to release large amounts for translations which they have yet to be paid for (or so they say anyway, how can one know?)
As already said, all complaints should be backed up with sufficient evidence so that they can be treated seriously. If this is not forthcoming, translators should hold their ground and not give an inch. Simple expression of dissatisfaction in order to not to pay or pay less should always be responded with short shrift.
Best to one and all.