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What can I do if the client does not pay?
Thread poster: Aida González del Álamo

Aida González del Álamo
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2004)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 5, 2004

Hello,

I have a bit of a conflict here, I did a translation in August, the agency placed an ad here in Proz and I did what they wanted, and they accepted the translation and said that they will pay me on the 1st of September, they seem real nice so I did not worry. But after the 1st of September when I e-mail them, they asked if it was okay if they pay me on the 15th, and I said yes.
Then they ignored all my mails, and finally yesterday, when I used a different e-mail address they answered me, but their answer was: "Please send the invoice again, we lost it", but they never confirm the receipt of the new invoice or said when they plan to pay me, or anything, as now they keep ignoring my mails....

I am very worried by now, I think they are not going to pay me, and it was a nice amount of money....Is there anything I can do? I would appreciate any idea, advise, etc.

Thanks a lot.

Aidagda


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Ivan Eikås Skjøstad  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 05:26
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Call them Oct 5, 2004

My experience is that the first thing you should do is to contact them by phone in cases like this. This may clear things, and you can tell them that if they do not pay you will have to inform others through the blue board. Hopefully this will speed things up.

If the amount is fairly big you might want to try a collection agency. Personally I have nevever tried one, but you might get a link to a professional one by searching the forums here on Proz.

Good luck!


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Aida González del Álamo
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2004)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks!! Oct 5, 2004

Ivan Eikås Skjøstad wrote:

My experience is that the first thing you should do is to contact them by phone in cases like this. This may clear things, and you can tell them that if they do not pay you will have to inform others through the blue board. Hopefully this will speed things up.

If the amount is fairly big you might want to try a collection agency. Personally I have nevever tried one, but you might get a link to a professional one by searching the forums here on Proz.

Good luck!



NO, the amount is not so big, but nice enough, I was planning to go on holidays and it would be nice to be paid and all.
I have tried calling them without success before but I will try a last time, maybe the idea of the blue board will work, thanks.


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Delinguaproz
Local time: 06:26
English to Finnish
+ ...
Not paying clients Oct 5, 2004

I really am worried about the rule of not paying in time among the agencies. I used to work more as an interpreter, but now that I'm translating more, I'm constantly bugged by translation agencies that do not pay. Where on earth is their morals on this? And it's not that one doesn't pay, it's like several of them.
I'm for the agencies to be banned from proz.com for having 3 negative Blue Board notes.

Katja


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Aida González del Álamo
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2004)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
totally agree Oct 5, 2004

Katja Virtanen wrote:

I really am worried about the rule of not paying in time among the agencies. I used to work more as an interpreter, but now that I'm translating more, I'm constantly bugged by translation agencies that do not pay. Where on earth is their morals on this? And it's not that one doesn't pay, it's like several of them.
I'm for the agencies to be banned from proz.com for having 3 negative Blue Board notes.

Katja



I do totally agree, worst of all it seems to me that translators have to be more and more accurate and fast and have low fares, but then, in return, we do not even get paid on time.

I work as a translator and depend on these payments to pay my bills and rent,on time.

I feel so bad, I did my job, and now I have to be begging to get paid, this is so unfair.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Grounds for suspension of posting rights Oct 5, 2004

Katja Virtanen wrote:
I'm for the agencies to be banned from proz.com for having 3 negative Blue Board notes.

Katja


2-3 documented cases of non-payment (Ralf can explain this better) OR a rating under "3". I think banning is still decided on a case-by-case basis, but a kind of "probation" exists.

For documenting cases, ProZ needs:

1. The Purchase Order (or a similar document stating the terms and conditions of translation, submission and payment).
2. Proof of compliance on the part of the translator/invoice.
3. Translator's statement that invoice has not been paid.

If the entry STILL does not exist on the Blue Board, it will be created. If there is a payment-pending case, the entry will contain a call for ratings. (Sometimes, this is enough to resolve the pending case).


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Delinguaproz
Local time: 06:26
English to Finnish
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Oct 5, 2004

OK, if for documenting cases, ProZ needs:

1. The Purchase Order (or a similar document stating the terms and conditions of translation, submission and payment).
2. Proof of compliance on the part of the translator/invoice.
3. Translator's statement that invoice has not been paid.

This sounds good -

1. Is an e-mail from the agency stating they agree with the payment terms enough? (Imagine, in one of my cases the agency itself told me their terms were 30 days net...)
2. A copy of my invoice I suppose
3. How do I prove this? Just stating it on paper...?

Maybe you can explain a bit more. Should I send these mentioned copies to you guys on paper?
I'm really sick and tired of this and the worst is that I see these "renowned" agencies offering jobs on this site all the time... - I likewise depend on these payments and can't understand why I should have financial problems for some agency's non-payment if I've done my part. There are also mental consequences: I feel myself underappreciated and as if I was doing the wrong job even though I like it!!

Well...thank God there are few prompt paying agencies, too



[Edited at 2004-10-05 11:43]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:26
English to German
+ ...
ProZ.com Termination Policy Oct 5, 2004

Hi Katja,
Our actions in this respect are governed by the ProZ.com Termination Policy (a link to which is contained in every BB entry).

You can contact me through my profile if you would like to file a non-payment complaint. For this purpose, we need you to confirm that:

- you worked for the outsourcer concerned;
- delivered the job on time, and in accordance with specifications;
- issued an invoice; and
- did not get paid.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some answers Oct 5, 2004

Katja Virtanen wrote:

1. Is an e-mail from the agency stating they agree with the payment terms enough? (Imagine, in one of my cases the agency itself told me their terms were 30 days net...)


In the absence of a PO, yes. But we still recommend a PO, especially for cases in which the principle of an invoice as a binding instrument may be fuzzy (outside the EU, for example...)


2. A copy of my invoice I suppose


I've been told by the Jobs coordinators that invoice numbers and dates are generally sufficient. You DO have to set forth the facts and circumstances for us to understand what we need in each case.


3. How do I prove this? Just stating it on paper...?


You're subject to tax records and registration, and, as I mentioned above, an invoice is generally a binding instrument.

Maybe you can explain a bit more. Should I send these mentioned copies to you guys on paper?


Why don't you inquire from Dr. Giuliana Buscaglione or Ralf Lemster? (No, we don't operate with paper. But I'd be hard-put to enumerate what the Jobs moderators would need in each case).

Oops, please ignore, Ralf got here already!!!

[Edited at 2004-10-05 12:07]


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khrispa
Local time: 05:26
Italian to English
+ ...
agencies which don't pay Oct 6, 2004

Hi,
I've had a few difficult clients which I had to pester but eventually they paid me. One in particular, a franchise, gave me a particularly hard time. I sent an e-mail to the parent company saying that if I didn't get paid I would announce the fact on the various translator websites and they paid me in a hurry!
best of luck,
khrispa


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Aida González del Álamo
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2004)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will do it Oct 6, 2004

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Katja,
Our actions in this respect are governed by the ProZ.com Termination Policy (a link to which is contained in every BB entry).

You can contact me through my profile if you would like to file a non-payment complaint. For this purpose, we need you to confirm that:

- you worked for the outsourcer concerned;
- delivered the job on time, and in accordance with specifications;
- issued an invoice; and
- did not get paid.

Best regards,
Ralf


Hello Ralf,

I did not know that this was an option, I contact this agency through proz, they placed a job offer, but I forgot to check the agency in the blue board, they already have 2 negative notes, I will still try to finally communicate with them, hoping this is nothing but a problem that can be solved, but if they keep ignoring my mails and not paying me I will send you all the emails with the jo offer, the acceptance and the invoice, because even if I never get paid I honestly do not want this to happen to some other translator.
How shall I send the mails? on paper, or by forward?
Thanks,


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:26
English to German
+ ...
Re-read my posting... *g* Oct 6, 2004

HI Aidagda,

I will still try to finally communicate with them, hoping this is nothing but a problem that can be solved, but if they keep ignoring my mails and not paying me I will send you all the emails with the jo offer, the acceptance and the invoice, because even if I never get paid I honestly do not want this to happen to some other translator.
How shall I send the mails? on paper, or by forward?
Thanks,

Please don't send all the documentation unless requested (except for your invoice). The first thing you will need to do is to enter a BlueBoard rating. Then, please respond to the query I outlined in my posting - if we need any additional material, we will ask for it.

The rationale of this procedure is that neither ProZ.com nor its moderators are parties to the business relationship concerned; also, we simply cannot get involved as far as judgements regarding quality etc. are concerned. This is why we will never get active on the basis of a single complaint - however, if two or three translators have experienced the same problem, we will start by contacting the outsourcer, asking for a comment, and take it from there.

Best regards, Ralf


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Talk to them directly Oct 6, 2004

Hi Aidagda. I don't think you are ready to get bent out of shape just yet. You need to talk directly with your client on the telephone, or even visit them. If you feel that they honestly are trying to pay then you might try some sort of payment plan such as installments. If you get lots of excuses then you might want to start getting tough. In any case, next time you must insist on up-front payment with them.

Ralph,

I just wanted to say that I greatly appreciate your managing of the blue board and your participation in the payment discussions. This is a great service to the translation community. Cheers.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:26
English to German
+ ...
Team of Jobs moderators Oct 6, 2004

Thanks, Edward - I very much appreciate your kind words.

I would like to stress that this is a team effort with Giuliana Buscaglione as joint coordinator and a dedicated team of ten Jobs moderators. This isn't a task that one person could (or indeed should) do alone.

Cheers, Ralf


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Aida González del Álamo
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2004)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, I understand Oct 6, 2004

Edward Potter wrote:

Hi Aidagda. I don't think you are ready to get bent out of shape just yet. You need to talk directly with your client on the telephone, or even visit them. If you feel that they honestly are trying to pay then you might try some sort of payment plan such as installments. If you get lots of excuses then you might want to start getting tough. In any case, next time you must insist on up-front payment with them.

Ralph,

I just wanted to say that I greatly appreciate your managing of the blue board and your participation in the payment discussions. This is a great service to the translation community. Cheers.


First, I will also like to thank Ralph for his great job and advise. And secondly, although I proably sound like Terminator, I am still trying to think positive in this matter. I just wanted to talk with other translators about it, as I was very confused. I have never had such a problem, some agencies have been late with the payments before, but they had usually explained it to me or at least they have answered my mails.
This agency is in Austria, I am in Spain, and they gave me excuses for the last month, then when I called them they said that they had lost the invoice, which could be true, but then, why didn´t they told me so before? and then I sent it again, thinking that it was all solved, but now they do not answer me at all, I do not know if they will pay me or not, or when...
I did my job, and I just wish that I could be paid without all this....I really do not like the situation, and I hope to solve it in the best way for all the parties....but I feel lost.


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