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Payment issues - is 90-day payment normal?
Thread poster: Débora D'Eramo

Débora D'Eramo
United States
Local time: 14:34
English to Spanish
Sep 6, 2005

Hi everybody!
I did a job for a certain agency and they told me they would pay me within 90 days. Is this normal? Jobs posted at proz usually issue payment 30 days after delivery.
Any help would be appreciated!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-09-06 22:57]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:34
English to German
+ ...
Which payment terms were agreed? Sep 6, 2005

Hi Débora,
Which terms were defined in the purchase order, and agreed upon when the job was placed?

Best regards,
Ralf


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:34
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Unfortunately, yes, it is. Sep 7, 2005

Hi there,
It depends on the country, what's normal there, and on the agency itself. Some agencies' payment terms *are* 90 days. A lot of agencies say 30 days; a couple of agencies say 45. It all depends. You need to decide for yourself if you want to work with an agency that has such a long (and in my opinion ridiculous) delay.
Best of luck,
LNS


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Ahmad Hassaballa  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:34
Member (2005)
German to Arabic
+ ...
Yes, normal Sep 7, 2005

Hello Debora,

Yes, it happens on condition that it's mentioned in the PO. Many agencies pay even after 60 days of receiving the invoice.

Kind regards,

Ahmad Hassaballa

[Edited at 2005-09-07 06:08]


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 20:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
normal for some agencies Sep 7, 2005

Even in Spain, where long payment terms are common, I have only run into 90-day terms with one agency. I was told that they worked almost exclusively with industry, and therefore had to adapt their terms to their clients' payment terms. There are other agencies whose terms are 60 days end-of-month, which means that you are really waiting about 90 days for payment if you do a job early in the month.

As LSabadosa said, you need to find out these terms in advance and decide whether you're willing to accept them. I have gradually "weeded out" my clients with the lowest rates and longest payment terms.


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Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 21:34
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Good Investment Sep 7, 2005

Personally, I'd refuse to work with an agency which pays me after 2 to 3 months (yes, it sounds even longer when expressed in months...).

The reason being that they are actually making money on your behalf - they may earn interest on *your* money, an interest you could have made yourself had you received payment in time.

Would a shop owner accept your payment for the goods you bought from them in three months time without some interest?

Doron


[Edited at 2005-09-07 06:47]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:34
German to English
+ ...
Good investment Sep 7, 2005

It depends on the price.

20 cents/word in three months' time is much better than 6 cents/word next week, interest or no interest.

Provided I'm confident that the customer will actually pay by the agreed deadline and won't have to be chased, I'm happy to accept a long payment deadline. But the price has to be right. If it is, then yes, I'd call it a "good investment".

Marc


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:34
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
90-day payment is almost normal Sep 7, 2005

Hi Débora,

Unfortunately, 90-day payment is perfectly normal. I am not aware of there being many agencies out there who actually admit to paying after 90 days - as you say, most claim to pay after 30 days.

Unfortunately, I have to inform you that an extremely large number of the agencies advertising on Proz that they pay after 30 days (or the slightly more honest ones sometimes say 60), actually, in real practice, never pay any bills of translators before an absolute minimum of 70 days has expired, and most of them try to drag it out to 90 days.

I would say that an agency that actually admits to paying after 90 days is one of those extremely rare agencies that is actually honest.

Astrid


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Dutch to English
+ ...
Completely different experience Sep 7, 2005

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Hi Débora,

Unfortunately, 90-day payment is perfectly normal. I am not aware of there being many agencies out there who actually admit to paying after 90 days - as you say, most claim to pay after 30 days.

Unfortunately, I have to inform you that an extremely large number of the agencies advertising on Proz that they pay after 30 days (or the slightly more honest ones sometimes say 60), actually, in real practice, never pay any bills of translators before an absolute minimum of 70 days has expired, and most of them try to drag it out to 90 days.

I would say that an agency that actually admits to paying after 90 days is one of those extremely rare agencies that is actually honest.

Astrid


80% of the agencies I work for pay after 30 days (between 30 and 35 days). 3 agencies pay within 21 days and I have been working for them for more than 2 years (I invoice at the end of the month). Only 2 agencies pay after 45 days and this is clearly stated in their terms and conditions. I do not work for any agencies that pay after 90 days. Astrid, you must have been very unlucky! My conclusion is that payment after 90 days is not normal. I have a feeling that it will depend on the country where the agency is registered. My customers are based in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Spain, Germany, the USA and Greece.


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Latvian to English
+ ...
All depends on the PO Sep 7, 2005

"Unfortunately, I have to inform you that an extremely large number of the agencies advertising on Proz that they pay after 30 days (or the slightly more honest ones sometimes say 60), actually, in real practice, never pay any bills of translators before an absolute minimum of 70 days has expired, and most of them try to drag it out to 90 days."






Sorry, Astrid - but on what do you base this generalisation?

In my experience, the majority of agencies that have contacted me/offered jobs via proz.com have paid within 30 to 45 days - and these are both European & US agencies. As Ralf pointed out, a lot depends on the terms stated in the PO. I have really only experienced payment delays when I've been stupid enough to take on jobs without a PO.



[Edited at 2005-09-07 08:01]

[Edited at 2005-09-07 08:03]


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Poll results say 90 days is not normal Sep 7, 2005

According to the July 6/7 poll: "What is your most common payment period?", only 3.5% of us voted 90 days, with more than 90 days obtaining the lowest result of all, 0.4%. By far the most common period, with 68.2%, is 30 days.

http://www.proz.com/?sp=polls&sp_mode=past&action=results&poll_id=52

One of my customers (an agency) is currently taking longer than 90 days to pay on an increasingly regular basis (up to 105 days, and as I bill at the end of the month, that means that some jobs are being paid for 4 months after being handed in), and I'm afraid the best advice is Cindy's "weed them out". Despite always being paid, I'm no longer prepared to accept being taken for a ride and will look elsewhere for work.


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
It depends on what you mean by normal Sep 7, 2005

If you mean "legitimate, lawful, acceptable," then that would depend on the terms of your contract with them and the applicable laws.

If you mean "common, widespread, majority practice" then it is not so in my experience. The majority of my work involves 30-day terms, almost always stretched a week or two beyond the term. A couple of agencies I work for stipulate 60 days, but they always honor their terms. On the other hand, I also work for some agencies and direct clients that pay immediately upon receipt of work or shortly thereafter (2 weeks maximum). Since I left my full time job in 2002, I have had only one case of non-payment (company went belly up), one company that tried to play nasty until I played nastier, and one company that has been a pain in the neck for two and a half-years. I am waiting for the contract to expire to dictate new terms or opt out.

The rest all pay without trouble, although I have rarely worked for an agency to which I did not need to send a reminder or two every once in a while.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:34
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
It is not normal and we should not accept it as normal Sep 7, 2005

I agree with Fuad's definitions: Does it happen? Maybe. Should it happen? No way.

You'd be surprised (I was surprised) to see that clients (big companies but not translation agencies) whose terms were 90 days changed them into 30 because they needed the translation urgently, and they paid on time. It's a matter to be discussed, not blindly accepted.
If their client pays late, they have to discuss the matter with their client.
If nobody complains, and everybody accepts, and think that it's normal, then... why changing?

Claudia

[Edited at 2005-09-07 12:46]


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Daniele Martoglio  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:34
Polish to Italian
+ ...
In Poland it's NORMAL 14 days. Sep 7, 2005

And when i write my invoices, UP is date of invoice i.e. 1/09/2005 and DOWN, near the account number is i.e. 15/09/2005.

Most of the agency pay regularly. One agency pay LATER, but everytime they excuse for late.

I'm agree with Fuad Yahya: "NORMAL, is what u PERMIT that is normal".
If you permit that someone SH** on your head, it becomes NORMAL.

Daniele

[Edited at 2005-09-07 14:00]


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Débora D'Eramo
United States
Local time: 14:34
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everybody Sep 7, 2005

I want to thank everybody for their contributions and also make clear that I'm happy with the agency and the jobs, it's just that I wanted to know if this was normal.
Thanks everybody again!


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