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Should I get a PO from a Canadian agency?
Thread poster: Julie Roy

Julie Roy  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:56
French
+ ...
Aug 24, 2004

This is the first time I work for a translation agency in Canada--I prefer to work directly for clients and I'm lucky enough to have a few good ones.

I was wondering if they are supposed to send me a PO? I already did some work for an agency, and as soon as I send them the completed work and my bill they replied with "ooops, we forgot to send you these documents, could you do these as well?". I told them it would be an extra xxx words at xx/word.

Should I be worried? Is it a standard practice for translation agencies in Canada not to send a PO? We do have many e-mails that were exchanged showing what we agreed on. Is that enough?

Thank you.

Julie


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I don't think it's a Canadian practice Aug 24, 2004

not to send POs.
Unfortunately it's quite common and whenever there's an agency that sends a PO it really makes a difference.

I decided that to be able to claim in case of trouble it would be better to ask for POs almost systematically, above all for first time clients, agencies or not.
So I created a template and whenever the client doesn't send a PO, I send mine asking to fill the missing information, to sign and to send it back by fax.
I don't start translating before I receive that document (or at least I don't tell them).

Claudia


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nettranslatorde
Member
Russian to German
+ ...
Hi Julie, Aug 24, 2004

I work for some Canadian agencies, and they don't send out POs. They just send me the files and ask for confirmation, and they confirm, when they receive my translation and my invoice. That's all, and it works well.

I usually save this bit of conversation in order to have proof (in case I should need it), but until now everything worked just fine.

Of course I know who I work for (being informed through the BlueBoard as well as some payment practices lists).
Concerning additional work, yes, this happens quite often - no problem, they will receive an additional invoice for this.

Good luck!
Kerstin


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
I always accept a job with the following: Aug 24, 2004

OK, thanks Mr. X!
Please send me your PO number so I may begin the work.


I never, never start a job without a PO. Of course you can have a bunch of POs and still not get paid (as I am unfortunately discovering, another matter...) but at least you have some ammo if need be.

Normally, well-organised, well-established agencies furnish the PO wioth the job, so they can keep track at their end.

HTH!
Nancy


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 02:56
English to German
+ ...
ask for a PO to be on the safe side Aug 24, 2004

Julie Roy wrote:

This is the first time I work for a translation agency in Canada--I prefer to work directly for clients and I'm lucky enough to have a few good ones.

I was wondering if they are supposed to send me a PO? I already did some work for an agency, and as soon as I send them the completed work and my bill they replied with "ooops, we forgot to send you these documents, could you do these as well?". I told them it would be an extra xxx words at xx/word.

Should I be worried? Is it a standard practice for translation agencies in Canada not to send a PO? We do have many e-mails that were exchanged showing what we agreed on. Is that enough?

Thank you.

Julie
Hi Take a PO to be on the safe side. It reflects seriousness and you would have a document on hand in case of disputes. My experience with one Canadian Agency was that everything went well, and I got the PO, and they didn´t pay till today ( more than 9 weeks now) and do not react to reminders. Only once I had received various mails from various sources, not directly from this agency, that they do not care, about the blue board ratings of any kind, and that they warn me against any such or similar practices. That was the last of it.
Rgds,
Brandis


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 17:56
English to French
+ ...
it depends Aug 24, 2004

do you know them well?
do you trust them?
how big is the agency?
Occasionally, I work for agencies that are really a one-person concern, a translator outsourcing work s/he cannot handle and working as an agency for legal/tax purposes.
I do not always request a PO from this kind of agency if I know them well and I trust them. As an example, a couple prozians used to be my classmates, I worked conferences with another one, so on.
Basically, I approach this on a case-by-case basis.
Bonne chance avec les Anglais !
Sarah


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
What is a PO? Aug 24, 2004

This may be a dumb question but I've been working with Canadian agencies for a number of years and I've never even heard of a PO - what is it?

All I ever get is a fax or e-mail giving the details (word count if available, deadline, rate, etc.) of the job.


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
PO = Purchase Order Aug 24, 2004

It's an accounting term.
N.


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 17:56
English to French
+ ...
PO Aug 24, 2004

Tina,
the fax or email you receive with the details of the job is
known as a Purchase Order.


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Julie Roy  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:56
French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
From what I see... Aug 25, 2004

...it varies.

I do not know that agency well. In fact, a person working there contacted me through my proz.com profile. The agency is not listed on this site, but the person who contacted me does. The agency has a Web site and a 1-800 number. They are located in MTL.

I guess time will tell for this contract...
Next time I work for someone I don't know, I will ask for a PO. That's some good advice. Thanks everyone.

Julie


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
French to English
Never Aug 26, 2004

Hi Julie,

I've worked for numerous agencies across Canada, including in Montreal, and have never received a purchase order. Agencies tend to confirm the information about the job in the e-mail (no. of words, deadline, rate).

When I deliver a translation, I provide my reference number, the word count and the rate right at the top of the e-mail so the recipient can see it clearly.

I wouldn't worry too much about not receiving a PO.

HTH,

Erika


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