Mobile menu

What to do if a translator doesn\'t meet deadlines?
Thread poster: LGeller
LGeller
Spanish to English
Nov 14, 2002

I\'m also a freelance translator but work part time for a translation\'s agency. I have to organize the translators to fit the clients requirements. I placed a job with this so called \"agency\", she signed it in acceptance. The job required translation and formatting. To start with, she delivered it 2 weeks later!! and since the very first day she said she would deliver it the next day, and so on so on until she delivered 2 weeks later, incomplete, and without formatting. I had to ask other translators to finish the translation, another translators to proofread it, (it was a large volume job), and another agency to do the formatting. The job was delivered to the client almost 3 weeks later. I called her almost every day, asking her to please deliver, she hang up the phone on me several times, wouldn\'t answer my calls or my emails, and I couldn\'t afford to look for another translator because it was a large volume and no time anymore. She delivered 75 percent of the translation, but no formatting, and the translation was poor.

She has sent me her invoice now, and she has only discounted the missing translation...

What do I do? are there any legal procedures I can take? She insists that I should pay as we agreed earlier. The client of course applied a fine, which we well deserve, and from the final payment we have to discount payment to the extra translators, we paid so much more for the rush translation since we needed it right away, we paid extra money for rush formatting. In the PO I sent to the first \"agency\" it\'s specified that \"incomplete or inaccurate translations may result in adjustment of payment, or, in extreme cases, non-payment\". Of course the last point won\'t be applied. She didn\'t even asked for an extension of time, I would of given it to her without problems. Please advice me, what should I do?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
English to German
+ ...
Well, Lisa, I am really sorry for you, but... Nov 15, 2002

... it really seems to be your fault: why did you let this thing go on for two weeks when it was obvious from the very beginning that no decent job would be delivered? Why didn\'t you appoint someone else for the job immediately after the first deadline was missed? If your agreement with the lady allows I would not pay a single penny in your place for she cheated you as well as she cheated the client. How can she insist you should pay as initially agreed? You had a mutual agreement, isn\'t it? She was to deliver a job, \"as initially agreed\", right. She didn\'t - no payment. That\'s it. I think a missed deadline is even worse than a not-100%-translation but if it comes al together - what should you be supposed to pay for?! Give her a kick - in written, of course, in case she\'s gonna intend to take the whole thing to court later on. And try to remember how often and when you contacted

her, what was agreed then, what was actually the outcome.





Salem

Steffen

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-15 06:51 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-15 06:53 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:49
English to Dutch
+ ...
Steffen is right Nov 15, 2002

Steffen is right. You shouldn\'t have let it come this far and dish her the very next day. However, that\'s a problem between you and your client.



Tear her invoice apart and let her sue you. She didn\'t deliver on time and had no valid reason for that - that means no payment.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 11:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
You bet Nov 15, 2002

I\'ve been in this business for quite a number of years, and have never missed a deadline. I don\'t know what sort of agreement you had with the translator or if your PO specified deductions or fines for late delivery, mistakes, etc. In the least, I would deduct the client\'s fine, the additional cost from the other translator, and then I would erase the translator\'s name from my database.



I imagine you must be concerned about a negative rating in the blueboard or in one of the many payment practices forums, you needn\'t be. If you kept all the correspondence with the translator, which you should have, the moderator will make sure you are not blacklisted for this issue. I\'m assuming, of course that you answered the translator\'s questions (if any) promptly, and that your requirements (deadline, format, etc.) were clearly specified from the beginning.



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:49
Dutch to English
+ ...
Ouch... Nov 15, 2002

Well... I sympathize with you; \'cause I think if you\'re going to hire someone, you should expect that they can do the job. But as you said, it was a large volume job, requiring DTP efforts, and was assigned at the last-minute.



If I were the employer, I would have tried delegating parts of this job to multiple people so that they can work in parallel. It\'s like getting traffic through a green light that\'s only on for 5 seconds.



The more traffic lanes you have, the more cars that can get through at the same time... And you prevent biggER stalls in traffic.



What your translator did, however, was go into the little control-box and change the timing on that the traffic light when (s)he knew that (s)he wasn\'t supposed to. But... in order for him/her to get his/her car through the light when (s)he wanted, (s)he _had_ to change the timing.



The big stink here is that you\'re the one who gave him/her the key to the box. Not only that, you witnessed him/her do it and said... OK.



Now, _you_ have gotten into a car wreck because the timing on the other lights (your boss, your client, etc) weren\'t sychronized with his/her light. So who\'s at fault?



In terms of legal liability, I couldn\'t begin to tell you how the judge would find.

I personally think both sides are in error.



One should use better judgement and better project management when assigning these sorts of last-minute jobs. But on the other hand, one shouldn\'t accept jobs that he or she knows can\'t be completed in his or her allotted time.



It all just adds to the unnecessarily quality of life that most people have in some form or another - STRESS!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 17:49
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
a nightmare Nov 15, 2002

Dear Lisa,

I can imagine this must have turned your life for the past weeks into a living nightmare. You should get tough on the person and deduct everything from her pay and announce that she either accepts the result or you will make sure you spread the word on her incompetence and lack of professionalism. You have everything on your side.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
German to English
+ ...
Credentials Nov 15, 2002

What credentials does this person have?



If she is a member of a professional association, you should certainly complain to the association. If she advertises on ProZ, perhaps you should complain to ProZ\' management. If she advertises in the local Yellow Pages, complain to the Chamber of Commerce in her area.



Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:49
English to German
+ ...
One agree - one disagree - one neutral <g>... Nov 15, 2002

Hi Marc,

Quote:


On 2002-11-15 18:15, MarcPrior wrote:

What credentials does this person have?



If she is a member of a professional association, you should certainly complain to the association.



That\'s the one I strongly agree with. AFAIK most professional associations have something in their rules & regs that should deal with such behaviour.



Quote:


If she advertises on ProZ, perhaps you should complain to ProZ\' management.



IMO there\'s practically nothing ProZ could (or should) do in this case. ProZ is a \'venue\' where parties may establish contacts - that said, both sides to a transaction need to ascertain that the other party is going to perform. The same holds true as far as payment by agencies is concerned - we recently had a discussion as to whether something like the Blue Board should be introduced for the rating of freelancers. Personally, I wouldn\'t see a problem in this; however, there was strong opposition.



Quote:


If she advertises in the local Yellow Pages, complain to the Chamber of Commerce in her area.


I can only consider our local CC (IHK Frankfurt) - now *they* certainly wouldn\'t get involved. Bear in mind that Yellow Pages are, in essence, a private advertising service.



Bad situation I know - the only \"early warning\" system I can think of is to entrust new colleagues with smaller jobs, and to leave mission-critical assignments to those who you have worked with on a number of projects. That\'s the way I tend to handle this.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Matt Nichols
Local time: 16:49
Danish to English
Too late to do anything now...? Nov 16, 2002

Hi Lisa



I\'m afraid I pretty much have to agree with Crumpler. Although you needed the translation and must have kept hoping that \'today would be the day\' it would be delivered, you should have intervened more forcefully earlier on in the process. I\'m guessing that you have no record of her hanging up on you and from what you write, it seems that you have no formal agreement to whose terms you could refer in this kind of situation. It just shows that clearly establishing the terms under which any work is to be carried out offers just as much protection to the agency as to the freelancer. You knew about the deadline situation but apparently did not consider it important enough to take further action and this puts you in a weak position. On the other hand, the translation was not complete and had not been formatted as per instructions. I would therefore deduct all of your costs for using additional translators. If it\'s any consolation, it sounds like your translator took on more than he/she could handle and must also have had a few sleepless nights. If the work was as bad as you say, the translator must know this and will not question the deductions when you pay the invoice. If they do, you can always get his/her work assessed by a third party and seee what they make of the whole thing. Once bitten, twice shy. If you arrange the terms beforehand next time, you can avoid all of these problems.



Matt


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LGeller
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks!!! Nov 19, 2002

Thanks, you have all really cheered me up...

I know it\'s my fault in a way but I just could not give it to someone else because, she had 3 weeks to complete the job, and she kept sending me little parts so I thought she would give it to me completed soon...

I just started to work for my agency a few months ago so I still need to learn a lot of things... Yes this person announces herself in the yellow pages as an agency. I didn\'t give it to several translators because for this type of job, an agency was definitely better... Since it was a large volume job I wanted consistency and not different terms for a same word if you know what I mean...

Thank goodness the PO is very specific about meeting deadlines and quality of the translation...

Thank you so much for your input! I look forward to have all the experience you all have... I find the translations business to be really exciting and I learn so much every time...

Thankyou

Lisa


Direct link Reply with quote
 
lingoage --
Local time: 20:19
Hindi to English
+ ...
Do not pay Nov 21, 2002

Dear Lisa,

We are in the business of translation and English editing and proofreading and have a strict policy of non-payment if deadlines are not met. It is quite surprising that she send you an invoice because we do not take payments if we falter on any of our commitments.( We have always met deadlines so far.)The clause is to build the confidence of our clients. Also I think you should name the agency so that atleast some other people do not fall victim to their false commitments.



Best Regards

Sharad Mittal


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:49
English to German
+ ...
Don't attempt to "name and shame" Nov 21, 2002

Sharad,

As much as I can understand one\'s frustration, the forum is not the appropriate medium to settle such disputes (among other aspects, the reason is that it\'s impossible to verify any claims made - such threads have a tendency to escalate...).



I agree with your other point, although complete non-payment might be subject to legal challenges.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LGeller
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not settling the dispute Nov 22, 2002

I didn\'t come to the forum to try to settle the dispute, the forum is to exchange opinions (i think) and I wanted to know the proffesional translators opinion, that\'s all!



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:49
English to German
+ ...
Not referring to you... Nov 23, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-22 22:33, JJA wrote:

I didn\'t come to the forum to try to settle the dispute, the forum is to exchange opinions (i think) and I wanted to know the proffesional translators opinion, that\'s all!





Fully understood - in fact, my posting referred to the preceding contribution by Sharad, who suggested to name the agency concerned. I couldn\'t use the \"quote\" function to make it more obvious since Sharad\'s profile appears to be pretty recent and hasn\'t been cleared yet.



Again, I don\'t have any problem with this thread.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What to do if a translator doesn\'t meet deadlines?

Advanced search


Translation news





Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs