Direct Clients: Payment Terms
Thread poster: Hipyan Nopri

Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 10:00
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Aug 31, 2006

At this forum, I want to share my practices in connection with payment terms for direct clients.
For organizational direct clients, I offer them to pay for my translation services up front, right after delivery, or seven days after delivery at the latest.
For individual direct clients, I offer them to pay for my translation services up front, right before delivery, or three days after delivery at the latest and the translation is password protected.
I would like to hear you comments regarding the practices.
Thanks for your precious inputs.


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Veronika Hansova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:00
Member (2006)
English to Czech
+ ...
A go for longer Aug 31, 2006

Dear Hipyan,

in the Czech republic the practice is different. In case of direct clients or companies, I must give them two-weeks or even one-month payment period and still I get paid just about the end of this period, never before! This is what I call "a business illness" here. Never pay for any service during the payment period but only at the end of it or shortly after. And the reason? Because you also get paid this way and never during the period. I am trying to break this "nice" habit here, but not with much success.

But I liked your idea of password protecte documents. I am thinking of using it in case of some insolvent clients and agencies. Sometimes, I am not paid on time and they still want me to do some translation for them. Then, I would do it, but protect it with a passowrd so that they would have to pay me immediately to get the password. But this is only a dream, I am too weak to do it.
BR,
Veronika.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
The bigger the company, the later they pay Aug 31, 2006

because they have the market power to do that. But usually direct clients pay fast.
Regards
Heinrich


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Percy Balemans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:00
English to Dutch
+ ...
Average term of payment: 30 days Aug 31, 2006

The bigger the company, the later they pay


That is my experience as well. My fastest payment was from a small company, they paid within hours of delivery. My biggest client is a big company, they usually take about six weeks to pay.

It's not common practise in the Netherlands to pay up front. Invoices usually have a term of payment of 30 days, which I use as well. Apart from this one big company, up until now all my clients have paid within those 30 days.

To be honest, when I have to pay an invoice myself, I always pay on the last day of the term of payment, so I can't really complain about clients doing the same thing...


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
Flemish to English
+ ...
How unethical ... according to some... Aug 31, 2006

Veronika Masopustová wrote:

But I liked your idea of password protecte documents. I am thinking of using it in case of some insolvent clients and agencies. Sometimes, I am not paid on time and they still want me to do some translation for them. Then, I would do it, but protect it with a passowrd so that they would have to pay me immediately to get the password. But this is only a dream, I am too weak to do it.
BR,
Veronika.


I suggested that a couple of times. It was considered highly "unethical" by some, but it seems that others like the idea.
By the way, Word 2007 offers you the possibilility to put an encrypted password on the text and determine the degree of access a customer will get to the text: Full access, only be able to read and write remarks or no access.
That means that you can put a password on the text, let the customer make his/her remarks and that you can modify it as per the customer's instructions.
Doesn't this make a fair deal possible: the customer sees what (s)he gets and can add his or her remarks and the translator is paid upon delivery.



[Edited at 2006-08-31 10:33]


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
French to English
+ ...
passwords Aug 31, 2006

I see nothing wrong with what Hipyan seems to do, which is to tell the customer that the document will be password-protected until payment is received - establishing contractual terms beforehand.

I see a big difference between that, and unilaterally and without warning withholding access to the document that you are contractually obliged to produce.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
Flemish to English
+ ...
Word 2007: Where is the problem? Aug 31, 2006

Word 2007 solves this problem.
The customer has access, can read the text and can formulate his/her remarks in the text itself, but the option of making changes to the text can be restricted. Isn't it so that most translators offer customer-service for a certain number of days (say 10 days) after delivery.
I don't mind telling the customer or convening this with a customer.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:00
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I think the customer should be given 30 days to pay Aug 31, 2006

Of course, circumstances are different in different countries. However, here in Germany, as far as I know, the customer legally has 30 days to pay even if I write "7 days", for example, on my invoice.

I do not find non-payment a major problem, and my only complete non-payer was a translation agency that turned out to be trading while officially insolvent.

My experience with direct, private clients is that they are grateful for the translation and rush to pay me on the spot. The last one transferred the money on the day of receipt of the translation and the money was also credited to my bank account on that same day!

Direct clients who are companies usually have the same bad habits as some agencies - i.e the bad habit mentioned in this thread of starting to think about paying once the 30 days have expired, and possibly at least waiting for the first reminder about a week later.

Nevertheless, I find it courteous to give 30 day payment terms - at least in Germany, where it is unlikely to create any hardship - and I am disappointed whenever local tradesmen (or also lawyers and accountants) do not have the good manners to state 30 days on their invoices.

Astrid


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 08:30
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Big Organizations pay immediately Aug 31, 2006

Well, I have a few direct clients (organizations) and there's one who pays within three days of the translation (max)... sometimes he's paid within 24 hours.
Then there's one regular client who refuses to send any text through internet, so I've to go to their place and do the translation and they pay me end of the month (almost like salary) eg. For the work done in the month of July, I get paid during first week of August. Just one invoice and that's it...
And these are big organizations (multinationals). May be that is the reason.
Ritu


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 10:00
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks all for sharing your ideas and experiences Sep 2, 2006

They are really great inputs to me. Indeed, my experiences indicate that my position is relatively "stronger" (both in terms of rates and payment immediacy) in dealing with direct clients (individuals or organizations) rather than agencies.

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