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non-payment legal advice
Thread poster: Chris Dravers
Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:30
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 25, 2004

It seems I could have my first case of non payment. I did two small jobs (total 500€) for a French agency back in July. The payment deadline was three months from receipt of bill. This is what happened. Both jobs were for the web site of a market research company involving technical market research terms and an advertising-style language. After sending through the first job I was told there were corrections to be made sent back from the client and would I be willing to apply them to the translation? I said yes, though it seems to me the corrector did not have the original French at hand when making the corrections. I sent back the corrections to warm thanks on the part of the agency. The agency then asked me if I felt capable of doing the second part of the job. I said yes as I had no other work at the time. I sent the job through and asked for confirmation of receipt which I did not receive. I phoned the agency and they told me they were checking it through and that it seemed it was better this time. Two weeks later I received an email from them enquiring as to my holiday plans (ie. to offer me more work). When the bill did not arrive on time (ten or so days ago) I emailed the agency to enquire. Their reply went something like this: "As you are aware, your work was unfortunately not up to standard, etc. , what do we do with your invoice?". This immediately angered me as I had received no indication of this. During the telephone conversation I asked why this was? He replied to me that they had not received the invoice and had assumed (and this is unbelievable) that I had not sent one because the work was so "sub-standard". After putting the phone down I looked in my outlook express intray and found his confirmation of receipt of the invoice three months previously. I therefore wrote him an email saying that he was either lying or had lost his memory and he replied to me that the latter was the case, attaching the corrections sent back from the client for the second job (almost all to do with style) and asking me again what to do with the invoice. I replied "pay it and if I do not receive notification of payment or payment within a week I will proceed to take action". One week later I have received neither.
I am now thinking about what action to take. My questions are twofold. First, is there any legal deadline for notification of "substandard work", and second, apart from exposure on the net, what can I actually do legally, bearing in mind I am based in Spain, the agency is in France and I am in posession of the following "proof": Unsigned POs for the two jobs, my invoice, the emails exchanged, the jobs and the job itself?. I would really appreciate an answer from someone who knows about this.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
English to Tamil
+ ...
Go to blue board Oct 25, 2004

These blue beards deserve nothing else. With new clients I always insist on clearing the bills before proceeding further. Touchwood, I have not faced any defaulting clients and I pray to God to spare me the contacts with such scum.
Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 01:30
French to English
You can take legal action, IMO Oct 25, 2004

Chris Dravers wrote:

I am now thinking about what action to take. My questions are twofold. First, is there any legal deadline for notification of "substandard work", and second, apart from exposure on the net, what can I actually do legally, bearing in mind I am based in Spain, the agency is in France and I am in posession of the following "proof": Unsigned POs for the two jobs, my invoice, the emails exchanged, the jobs and the job itself?. I would really appreciate an answer from someone who knows about this.


Chris,

It seems to me that you have POs and e-mails proving that you did the work and that it was accepted, so I would do the following:

You can initiate legal proceedings at the commercial court of the city where the agency is registered.

http://www.finances.gouv.fr/DGCCRF/04_dossiers/consommation/ficonso/d04.htm?ru=04

Also, don't forget the Blue Board and other payment practices lists.

I would write the agency a registered letter with return receipt request stating that if they do not pay within one week, you will initiate legal proceedings.

If you would like a sample letter in French, contact me via my profile and I will send you one that you can modify for your own use.

Good luck!

Sara


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gnorth
French to English
Same agency/customer? Oct 26, 2004

Chris,

I wonder if we would get in contact via private e-mail to see whether we are dealing with the same agency/end customer - my problem is almost wholly identical, following the same time line: translated texts (into English) returned to French agency for French customer but no indication of any dissatisfaction at the time, only now, long after the event; customer said to be unhappy with the style but has applied poor changes to individual terms used in the translation; agency asking what we do about the invoice...

Please let me know.

Thanks and regards,
GN


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Chris Dravers  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:30
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
non-payment agency last october Jan 26, 2005

gnorth wrote:

Chris,

I wonder if we would get in contact via private e-mail to see whether we are dealing with the same agency/end customer - my problem is almost wholly identical, following the same time line: translated texts (into English) returned to French agency for French customer but no indication of any dissatisfaction at the time, only now, long after the event; customer said to be unhappy with the style but has applied poor changes to individual terms used in the translation; agency asking what we do about the invoice...

Please let me know.

Thanks and regards,
GN


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