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Client sends cash in a letter
Thread poster: Christine Schmit
Christine Schmit  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
German to French
+ ...
Feb 8, 2007

I was quite surprised today when I received a letter from a new client for whom I had recently completed a small job. The letter contained a copy of the invoice I had send them plus the amount in cash! It was only a small amount (my minimum fee), but I really don't think sending cash in a letter is safe, and not very professional either, it was not even a registered letter. My invoice stated that I accept bank transfers and Moneybookers, the client had not informed me before that they intended to send the money by post.
I don't really mind, as long as I get my money, I'm just really surprised. The client is located in the EU, in the Euro zone, so a bank transfer would not have cost them much and would have been much safer.
So, I'm just curious to know if someone has had the same experience and I would like to know what you think about this "business practice".

Christine

[Edited at 2007-02-08 22:23]


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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm Glad To Get The Cash, But... Feb 8, 2007

There have been 3 instances this year when private clients I did translations for sent me cash in the mail. While it's always very pleasant to see the cash for work well done and the fact that I won't have to be bothered with going to the bank, the real drawback to this procedure is that if it gets lost in the mail you have no way of proving that you really didn't receive it. After all, since this kind of situation usually involves private clients, the person who gave you the assignment might, in all likelihood, never contact you to do work for them again because they have no need for further translation services. The client doesn't know you, so why would they necessarily have a basis for trusting you when you say it must have gotten "lost in the mail?"

[Edited at 2007-02-08 22:56]

[Edited at 2007-02-08 23:03]


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 01:09
German
+ ...
It's the other way around... Feb 9, 2007

femme wrote:

...if it gets lost in the mail you have no way of proving that you really didn't receive it.

But then again, you don't have to.

The client doesn't know you, so why would they necessarily have a basis for trusting you when you say it must have gotten "lost in the mail?"

Oh, but there is a basis, and it's called "the law".

See, the client is legally obliged to ensure you get your payment. And until that payment reaches you, it's the client's risk. (in German this is called Bringschuld, which is roughly translated as "debt to be discharged at creditor's domicile").

Therefore, it is the client who has to make sure the money raches you, e.g. by sending it via registered mail. And if it doesn't reach you, the client is still in debt with you.

You can easily turn that argument about trust around, by the way - haven't we all heard the phrase "the check is in the mail" before?

All this being said, I agree that sending the money via electronic bank transfer would have been the best thing to do.

Best regards,
Benjamin


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