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Thread poster: Cécile Husquet

Cécile Husquet  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:22
English to French
+ ...
Feb 27, 2006

I performed a first and huge translation for an agency a while ago (without any test whatsoever) for which I have had no feedback until today. We are now at the eve of the payment deadline and it would now appears that the client is dissatisfied and requests a "discount". I have no other comments than this; my translation was not sent back to me with any proofs. As we are now at the eve of the payment deadline, what sort of reaction can I have? do i have any kind of legal protection? thanks

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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:22
Member (2004)
English to Polish
No discounts... Feb 27, 2006

I do not think that the quality is the issue here - it is all about money.

Ask for the specific list of errors and tell them you are willing to correct them. Until that, the payment should proceed as agreed.

How long was the payment period?


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Cécile Husquet  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:22
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Feb 27, 2006

Dear Jabberwock, thank you a lot for your answer. Payment period was 60 days.

Jabberwock wrote:

I do not think that the quality is the issue here - it is all about money.

Ask for the specific list of errors and tell them you are willing to correct them. Until that, the payment should proceed as agreed.

How long was the payment period?


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:22
Member
French to English
Risky stuff Feb 27, 2006

hustraduc wrote:

I performed a first and huge translation for an agency a while ago (without any test whatsoever) for which I have had no feedback until today. We are now at the eve of the payment deadline and it would now appears that the client is dissatisfied and requests a "discount". I have no other comments than this; my translation was not sent back to me with any proofs. As we are now at the eve of the payment deadline, what sort of reaction can I have? do i have any kind of legal protection? thanks


I sympathize with what happened, but taking on a *huge* job as a first job with any company is very risky business.

It is always best to grant a small amount of credit until a client establishes a credit history with you.

Good luck,
Karin Adamczyk


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John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:22
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Tell them to show you the mistakes... Feb 27, 2006

...if there are some tell them you'll give a discount on the next project.

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Make sure the problem exists Feb 27, 2006

I agree with all the above comments. You need to ask them to show you the errors. I have given a discount once, and it was my fault. It was a PowerPoint format and I translated it using Trados, which changed the original format (and made a mess with the fonts etc.)

I acknowledged the mistake on my part (formatting problems only, no translation/accuracy problems) and gave them a discount. This is the only time I have given a discount to a client. To do that, you need to be sure that the problem really exists though.

Good luck,
Monika


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:22
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Smells a bit fishy... Feb 27, 2006

The client should have complained a lot earlier than after 60 days right before the payment is due. Ask for a proof, promise to correct the shown errors and in case the complaints are justified, offer a discount on the next job.

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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:22
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
To prevent this... Feb 28, 2006

...my terms & conditions state that complaints should be addressed to me within 8 days after the invoice date. Adding that to you general conditions would be a good idea. I see you're living in Belgium, so you could use the terms and conditions of the Belgian Chamber of Translators, Interpreters and Philologists (see http://www.translators.be).

Anyway, I agree with the previous replies: ask them to prove that your translation was substandard. I'm sure they won't be able to do that.

fwiw

Joeri


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Cécile Husquet  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:22
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you ! Feb 28, 2006

thank you very much to all of you for all your reactions, comments & advice. Joeri, thank you for the link to the terms & conditions of the chamber of translators. i take good note of it

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Expect delays... Feb 28, 2006

hustraduc wrote:
We are now at the eve of the payment deadline and it would now appears that the client is dissatisfied and requests a "discount". ... my translation was not sent back to me with any proofs.


They are obviously trying to delay payment, so you shouldn't be surprised if payment is delayed. You should not accept a discount if they can't show that you really did a bad piece of work. If you believe you did a good job, and they refuse to pay the full amount, you have various unpleasant options (unpleasant for both of you).


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Claire Titchmarsh  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:22
Italian to English
+ ...
Don't be intimidated Feb 28, 2006

Some people will do absolutely anything to avoid payment, including slating perfectly acceptable work, as I have found out the hard way. Recently a client thought they could get out of paying me by getting an Italian to "rewrite" my translation, adding lots of grammar mistakes, misinterpretations and lovely long and contorted Italian-style sentences, and then published it on their website, where hopefully it will get the reaction it deserves.

Any agency/client worth its salt will tell you the "errors" even before you ask for them.

No proof of errors, no discount.


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gad
United States
Local time: 20:22
Member
French to English
I agree with the others here Mar 4, 2006

If they are not willing to show you the alleged quality issues, then you have only to believe that there aren't any. Furthermore, such issues should be brought up right away, not 60 days later - and, at the time they bring it up soon after the delivery of the translation, they should THEN state what they will be paying. Stand by your work and do not accept this kind of treatment. You should do everything you can to get your fair payment that they owe you, and then I think it's obvious that you probably should not work with them ever again.

And might I suggest that you consider not only making an entry on the Blue Board, but also other translation payment practices lists, including http://www.trwenterprises.com/payment_practices.htm . If you spread the word about them, you can potentially save other unsuspecting translation professionals from going through a similar situation.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2006-03-04 02:34]


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