Je m'excuse devant mais je vais poster en angalis car j'ai déjà ecrit ma poste dans un forum anglais de Proz. toutes mes excuses, mais en ce moment je n'ai pas le temps d'écrire toute la poste en français... j'ai plein de boulot ce matin, et le problème que je vous expliquerais ici est assez urgent pour moi. Merci mes amis:
Ce quej'avais erit en anglais:
I am writing to you to ask for your advice on how to handle with a problem I'm having with a French agency.
They contacted me in late October 05 offering me an urgent job, initial pay wasn't offered wasn't great but I managed to increase it a bit. I had initially three days to translate some 10000 words, but they delivered late, so time was reduced to two days (and one of these days was a public holiday).
I searched them on the BB, but unfortunately didn't find them (see below). My contact seemed nice and flexible, promised more future work if all went well. I was provided with a TM which turned out to be empty! So then client told the agnecy to tell the translator to "literally" translate the technical terminology, and they would corret it. Fine.
So they accepted (via email) my quote with my payment conditions of 30 days after invoice. I start the job as there's a rush but still without a PO, yet that's on the way, then a while later I'm emailed "would you mind waiting until next week for the PO as the person who does them is away". I started to have my doubts, but said ok, but I want you to return my email with my quote stating that you accept my offer.
Due to lack of time, I had to turn to two colleagues to help me, both proz.com members, and with year's of experience and I know their work is reliable. I contacted the agency about this to make sure they didn't mind if I outsourced part of the work due to time restrictions, and they said "wonderful, no prblem at all!".
Delivered job on time, yet had a problem when putting it all together and waisted 3 hours trying to reformat it... Advised them of this, I wasn't to worry, anyway, they're a serious agency and would check the work before delivering to the client, so I just did a quick spell-check and quick proofing, not as thorough as usual though due to the time restrictions, but I knew any serious agency with all their publicised quality guarantees would check the document before delivering to the client... which of course they didn't do!
Anyway, they seemed happy, and sent me two more jobs.
A few days later I contact them to get details for the invoice, and they tell me there's no rush as THEIR payment conditions are actually on the 5th of the month 60 days after the invoice which is only accepted on the last day of the month it is sent. So basically I was sending invoice on November 2nd or 3rd, but they wouldn't accept it until Nov. 30th. Well what could I do, but express that they were not my conditions, but I would make this one exception for them.
Then I had problems getting some of their details for my invoice, causing a further delay. When I finally had all their details, and without word from them regarding the translation delivered a month ago, 2 minutes after sending the invoice I get e-mailed saying their client was extremely unsatisfied with my work (for the large job of course, not the small ones). When did you find out I asked, surprised that I hadn't been informed. "Oh, just half an hour ago" and they've already sent it to a proofreader and they will discount the proofreading fees from my invoice. Finding all this a little strange, I demanded to be given the contact details of the proof-reader, which in fairness they finally gave. Made contact with her and have an excellent professional relationship with her now. She had actualy received the document a week earlier, and not that morning as I was told... why did they lie to me? She said the job was ok, but there were some errors (mainly typos and still some formatting problems) which she accepted were due to the rush job we had to do, the fact that 3 translators worked on it with too little time to properly coordinate the job and that the agency clearly doesn't check the work before sending to their clients, as they claim to do so.
So lots of discussions, in the end my client isn't happy, so I accept to discount proofreading fees. Got contacted in early January about the invoice (I though great, they're getting ready to pay) tobtell me I had made a mistake and it should actually be cheaper, it actually worked out great as I had made a mistake, but had undercharged them slightly, which they couldn't deny!
Pay date according to their terms was January 25th, nothing arrived...
My first remindr by email: response: we've forwarded your email to our accounts department (this in a company which I believe only has four employees!).
7 days pass without news, so i send a harsher email: no answer.
Following day sent a serious email: they apologies and tell me that now their director was planning on contacting all their freelancers the following day.
Following day comes and passes without word from their director.
Yesterday, 3 emails ignored. Sent a very harsh email giving a deadline for payment. My initial contact, the nicest of them, answers saying another person has taken over accounts and would contact within 24 hours probably.
Not happy I emailed all the addresses of the agency with a formal letter which I said was also being sent by registered post this morning. This is the response I got this morning (only in French, sorry, will translate later if any of you want to know):
Je reprends à ce jour le dossier du paiement des sous-traitants de la société X (the agency). Dorénavant, je serai votre unique contact à ce suet.
Je suis désolée pour le retard de paiement. En effet, nous avons par habitude de respecter nos délais de paiement, et de payer nos sous-traitants en une seule échéance.
Malheureusement, des contingences particulières ont engendré ces derniers temps des retards de paiement conséquents.
En effet, l'année 2005 a vu pour XXX(the agency) une chute du chiffre d'affaires, qui a engendré d'importantes restructurations au sein de la société. Le règlement de ces problèmes est en cours, et le début de l'année 2006 devrait voir une remontée de notre chiffre d'affaires, nous permettant dans les mois à venir d'honorer l'ensemble de nos dettes vis-à-vis de nos sous-traitants.
A ce jour, je ne suis pasz en mesure de vous donner une date de paiement précise pour la facture mentionnée. Vous me voyez désolée de ne pas pouvoir vous fournir une réponse plus précise.
Je ne manquerai pas de vous informer dès que notre trésorerie nous permettra d'honorer notre dette envers vous.
What do you think I should do. With the reduction I gave them, they still owe me some 700, without the reduction which I feel like cancelling as they haven't honoured any of their committments, would bring the amount to around 1100.
On a side note, I later found them on the BB. 6 posts (one is mine) 5 giving a LWA of 1 and one of 4, yet this person also criticises their payment. Fellow ProZ.com members post on the BB about their delayed or non-payment problems, some saying they are owed thousands of euros!
I've just become a daddy for the first time three weeks ago, and so all the money I can get is necessary, and this is turning into a matter of principle.
I would appreciate any suggestions on what to do. I've been in France for only 3 years and ahve never faced these problems. I did have similar problems in the past in Spain and know how to deal with it there, but not so sure about France.
[Edited at 2006-02-10 12:12]
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