When do they HAVE to legally pay you?
Thread poster: A-C Robertson
A-C Robertson  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:00
French to English
+ ...
Feb 25, 2005

I did a Vietnamese translation for a company, and had them agree by e-mail that my rate was acceptable and that I should go ahead with the work.

This is the e-mail I got from them today (and they have been VERY uncommunicative since we've started working, which should have been a red flag, but I am naive and always expect people to be as good as their word)...

-------------
Anh-Chi,

For now we are not going ahead with the large translation, as the client has
not received approval for payment. I did have an in-house editor look over
the document and they said there were some problems with the accents.

Regards,

xxxxx xxxxxxx
--------

What does this mean? If he told me to do the translation, doesn't his mean that he has to pay me? Or am I mistaken? I don't know what he is talking about with the 'problems with the accents', but if a few words are misspelled (hypothetically, since I don't think this is the case), does that give someone good cause to not pay you for your work? I mean, in the real world, if you do "bad work", they can fire you FROM THEN ON, but they can't refuse to pay you for the time you put in, correct?

Thanks for all your help in advance

[Edited at 2005-02-26 21:03]


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
French to English
+ ...
Stick to your guns Feb 26, 2005

The key message (from them) is that the client did not receive approval - too bad for them. You are not responsible for their relationship with their client. They hired you to do a job, which you did. As for the problems with accents, ask them to send you examples, or the errors themselves, for your feedback. And threaten legal action.

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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
A similar topic... Feb 26, 2005

Hi, here's a recent thread where a similar issue has been discussed: http://www.proz.com/topic/29548
Hope you find something helpful there!


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agree with Paula Feb 26, 2005

They're obviously mentioning the "errors" in order to confuse you and distract from the main point which is that they don't intend to pay because the client pulled back.
You should demand to take a look at the proofreader's comments to see if that justifies not paying.
As far as the client's decision is concerned, it is definitely NOT your problem. How can you even know if they're telling the truth? For all you know, they may have received their money from the client already..

Good luck!

Nesrin


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:00
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very simple Feb 26, 2005

They owe you for the work they hired you to do. Whether they can use that work or not is irrelevant. There also may be an outside chance that you are misreading their communication and that they may intend to pay.

Where are you and your customer located?


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:00
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Contract? Feb 26, 2005

The question is: did you sign a contract with these people? I know that I work with one agency where I had to sign a contract agreeing that I would not be paid for work that was rejected by the client. I'm okay with that because I trust the PM and I trust my work (I realize it may be controversial for some). If you signed something similiar, there is nothing you can do. If, however, you didn't, just stay as on top of the situation as you can. I had an issue where a client who hadn't paid after 4 months finally answered me saying that he hadn't planned on paying because he didn't think my work was up to stratch but since I had threatened to call a collection agency, post on Proz (which I did do!), kept calling, writing, and sending invoices, he was going to give me my money (which he did). Oddly enough, when I turned the work in he had said it was just fine. So if you don't have a contract, keep on them and I'm sure that you'll get paid eventually. Good luck and happy translating!

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A-C Robertson  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:00
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't think I misread their intention... Feb 27, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

They owe you for the work they hired you to do. Whether they can use that work or not is irrelevant. There also may be an outside chance that you are misreading their communication and that they may intend to pay.

Where are you and your customer located?




I am located in San Diego and the customer is located in Texas. It is a small amount ($89.02) but it is still the principle of it. You know what I mean? I worked on a translation, I have never received a complaint before, and I didn't get a good feeling from them from the start. Threatening legal action would be a total bluff on my part because I really cannot back that threat up. I am not sure what kind of message to write. Can you suggest something that is more effective than menacing?


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A-C Robertson  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:00
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No contract Feb 27, 2005

LSabadosa wrote:

The question is: did you sign a contract with these people? I know that I work with one agency where I had to sign a contract agreeing that I would not be paid for work that was rejected by the client. I'm okay with that because I trust the PM and I trust my work (I realize it may be controversial for some). If you signed something similiar, there is nothing you can do. If, however, you didn't, just stay as on top of the situation as you can. I had an issue where a client who hadn't paid after 4 months finally answered me saying that he hadn't planned on paying because he didn't think my work was up to stratch but since I had threatened to call a collection agency, post on Proz (which I did do!), kept calling, writing, and sending invoices, he was going to give me my money (which he did). Oddly enough, when I turned the work in he had said it was just fine. So if you don't have a contract, keep on them and I'm sure that you'll get paid eventually. Good luck and happy translating!


I did not sign a contract with them. I even had to specifically ask him to agree to the rate that I indicated through e-mail before I started working on it; he had just sent an e-mail saying, "We need it immediately, please start work." I hate the fact that I have to hound someone for $89.02! It's ridiculous!


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:00
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hound away! Feb 28, 2005

A Robertson wrote:

I did not sign a contract with them. I even had to specifically ask him to agree to the rate that I indicated through e-mail before I started working on it; he had just sent an e-mail saying, "We need it immediately, please start work." I hate the fact that I have to hound someone for $89.02! It's ridiculous!



Don't worry about the amount. Hound away no matter what the amount. Just be glad that it wasn't a greater amount! Good luck!!


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