Agencies that are hard to get a hold of
Thread poster: Anthony Tamburro
Anthony Tamburro
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 21, 2004

Hi everyone,
does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with the following situation:
a couple of months ago, I was asked to do a translation by an agency in New York - I returned the assignment in a timely manner and was quite happy with the end result. A month goes by and no payment is forthcoming, so I decided to give them a gentle reminder. Since then, I have left numerous messages, faxes and e-mails and only spoken to one person. This person told me that my work had been unacceptable and that they were refusing to pay me. I was quite shocked and asked them for a comments file from the proofreader, which they promised to send me (apparently they had it proofread). Another 2 weeks have passed and I have yet to receive anything. It is still impossible to get anyone on the phone and I am still owed around $2000. I'm not really sure how to deal with this situation...and it has left a horrible taste in my mouth.


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Claire Titchmarsh  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
Italian to English
+ ...
Don't give up! Sep 21, 2004

Hi Anthony, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. The thing about the poor quality translation is just an excuse in my opinion, agencies should get back to you immediately if there is anything wrong with your work, so forget about not being entitled to payment!! As it's quite a large amount I suggest you contact a solicitor and get them to send a letter demanding payment. But you should keep trying on the phone, e-mails, faxes, everything.

I've only ever had two bad payers and basically, the more you make a nuisance of yourself the quicker you get results (after all, you won't be working for them again!!)

Good luck!


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Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Post it on the Blue Board Sep 21, 2004

Hi: Try this. Tell them that unless you receive payment in 48 hours or an edited copy of your translation, you will post the non-payment in all the payment practices lists and that you will contact the client to demand payment.
It generally works,

Regards,
Ricardo


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Jason Willis-Lee  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Advice Sep 22, 2004

Anthony Tamburro wrote:

Hi everyone,
does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with the following situation:
a couple of months ago, I was asked to do a translation by an agency in New York - I returned the assignment in a timely manner and was quite happy with the end result. A month goes by and no payment is forthcoming, so I decided to give them a gentle reminder. Since then, I have left numerous messages, faxes and e-mails and only spoken to one person. This person told me that my work had been unacceptable and that they were refusing to pay me. I was quite shocked and asked them for a comments file from the proofreader, which they promised to send me (apparently they had it proofread). Another 2 weeks have passed and I have yet to receive anything. It is still impossible to get anyone on the phone and I am still owed around $2000. I'm not really sure how to deal with this situation...and it has left a horrible taste in my mouth.


Hi Anthony:

Managaging non-payment and collections is all part of this business. If you have received no response to emails and are being threatened with non-payment I suggest an immediate registered letter stating a payment deadline and threatening negative feedback and exposing the agency to your colleagues (us). This usually works but as a last resort which I have never got to yet, go to a local collection agency or small claims court. In the UK this is for sums less than 5000 pounds, I imagine there is a similar procedure in the US.

Bottom line is, they have to pay you unless they can demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that your work was substandard. This should be the starting point for any discussion over payment. If you threaten to him 'em hard and where it hurts, i.e. to harm their future business prospects and are professional over it, you will usually get a favourable result.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Best wishes.
Jason


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Anthony Tamburro
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you to everyone Sep 22, 2004

Thanks to everyone for your comments - definitely some stuff that I can use. This is the first time I havecome across a similar situation in 8 years of freelancing and it has really left a sour taste in my mouth.
Thanks again for advice and I will keep you updated


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Anthony Tamburro
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again to all Sep 23, 2004

Just wanted to let everyone know that it pays to be persistent- mentioning the Better Business Bureau and a collections agency really did the trick. I received a reply within an hour and have been in constant contact with this agency since. Needless to say, the situation has been resolved.

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:54
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Can you give the contact details? Sep 23, 2004

Anthony

I'm glad for the results and hope you'll see the money soon.
Could you give the details of the Better Business Bureau, please?

I've been paid with a cheque that bounced and the client might have forgotten my name by now, but I don't and can't help thinking that they might pay for their behavior.

Thanks

Claudia


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Anthony Tamburro
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Contact info for Better Business Bureau Sep 23, 2004

Claudia,
I' sorry for you - was this an American agency?
Go to: www.bbb.com

All the information you need is there


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:54
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Thanks Anthony Sep 23, 2004

Yes, it was an American client (not a translation agency), and luckily the amount is ridiculous, but as I had to pay to receive back the bounced cheque I really felt that I was paying for working.
I'll check their website, maybe they don't take in charge anything for small amounts.

Thanks again

Claudia


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