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Notice: Vacation until New Year, all payments delayed
Thread poster: sylvie malich

sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 06:55
German to English
Dec 16, 2005

Dear Colleagues,
Yesterday I got this email from one of the few agencies I have as a regular client:

Dear Colleagues,

We kindly inform that our office will be closed from 24 December 2005 until 1 January 2006.

[...]
Merry Christmas and a prosperous, successful New Year.

This agency has a payment policy of paying, when invoices get in before the 25th of the month, by the 30th of the next month. If you happen to get a job on the 26th and bill them on the 27th you will have to wait until the end of the following month, that is about an 8 week wait.
So, being as their holidays just happen to fall within their payment period I wrote them an email asking if their invoices will be paid BEFORE they go on holiday.

The reply, as can be expected, was that all invoices will then be paid during the first week of January.

Now, you may think that just one more week of wait after waiting already 8 weeks is not going to hurt, but I think it is unfair. My payment term is stated on each invoice is 30 days from receipt of invoice, I have been tolerating their terms for about 2 years, but this last half year their payments have come regularly a week later than their stated payment policy.

I have a mind to call them on this unfairness.

This is a German agency: a 30-day payment policy is the norm. (Notice they say prosperous new year and not prosperous christmas...:)

Comments?


[Edited at 2005-12-16 10:57]


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:55
Member (2003)
German to English
There's an old story Dec 16, 2005

There's an old story about a veteran salesman from a company in the American south (where it's warm in winter) being instructed to make an unusual, one-time December visit to a company in Northern Minnesota (where it's so cold that time stops.)

Upon returning from the trip, an accountant called the salesman into his office and said,

"Can you explain this item, please?" There on the expense report was the cost of a winter jacket.

"We can't pay for that!" the accountant said.

"I wouldn't have bought the coat had I not been sent there for business reasons!" the salesman protested.

"Redo and resubmit this expense report, and I don't want to see that jacket on there!" the accountant growled, and the salesman stalked off with the papers.

They met again a few days later by chance in the cafeteria. The accountant, making small talk, said to him, "I was pleased not to see that coat on the expense form you resubmitted."

The veteran salesman smiled at him. "No problem. It's still there mind you, but you told me you didn't want to see it."

====

Companies that pull silly tricks that cost me money always end up paying for it long run, usually because I simply charge them a few times for the freebies (i.e. the one liners that they sometimes send over that I usually do free for good clients), or because I play hardball with payment terms when they're on a hard schedule, etc. No need to take it personal, no need to be malicious, just determine what your added costs are from their behavior, and cut the freebies back accordingly.

[Edited at 2005-12-16 09:58]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 06:55
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
hmmmm, Dec 16, 2005

Thanks for your input, Steven.


BTW, I just sent them an email asking them why they can't make an automated payment by the 31st of Dec.

syl

[Edited at 2005-12-16 17:44]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:55
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
No agencies will pay this month Dec 16, 2005

I have noticed that no agencies will pay any invoices this month, simply because it's December. I wonder if they will be able to stretch out payment for the November translations until early March, like they did last year?

Astrid


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Anne Grimes
United States
Local time: 00:55
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
december payments Dec 16, 2005

Hello everyone,
I had no problem receiving payments in December for invoices from November...the agency has a 30 day payment period, and i just received the payment this week right on time. This is a US agency that i have been working for; I have had problems with receiving payments from European agencies before.
Anne


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:55
Dutch to English
+ ...
The opposite attitude Dec 17, 2005

One of my favourite agencies in the Netherlands has paid my invoice for November (I always invoice at the end of the month) on the 15th December. Thier policy is 30 days but I think they just assumed we would like to be paid before the holiday period instead of afterwards. So, they are not all rogues!

I know this is cold comfort for those of you who are experiencing payment delays but I thought I'd mention it anyway to show that not all agencies try to take advantage.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:55
English to German
+ ...
Not a general policy, methinks Dec 17, 2005

Hi all,
I don't work for agencies myself, but I don't see a general trend here - a responsible outsourcer should make arrangements to ensure timely payment, regardless of absence.

I see an opposite trend with end clients, who need to get invoices processed in the 'old year' and therefore not only expedite payment, but urge you to issue invoices as quickly as possible.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:55
French to German
+ ...
Too late this time Dec 17, 2005

sylvie malich wrote:
I have been tolerating their terms for about 2 years, but this last half year their payments have come regularly a week later than their stated payment policy. I have a mind to call them on this unfairness.


They seem to have ignored your payment terms for two years, and now they've tacked on an additional week to their payment period. I don't think they will react to your gentle reprovements they have evidently ignored for a very long time.

So what do you plan to do? Drive over to their office and shout at them? If you can't afford to cut them off, they are evidently in the stronger position.

If you can, I'd suggest politely turning down work offered to you between the 1st and the 22nd of each month, explaining that their payment policy would result in a payment delay well in excess of the terms you offer. You can add that you would be pleased, however, to do jobs for them that end in the third week of each calender month (excluding december).

For this job, this is a little too late. The've already shelved you for two months. Any bother you might be able to kick up will take at least one week, after which they will pay you anyway.

P.

[Edited at 2005-12-17 11:22]

[Edited at 2005-12-17 11:26]


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 06:55
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Peter Dec 17, 2005

Peter Bouillon wrote:
They seem to have ignored your payment terms for two years, and now they've tacked on an additional week to their payment period. I don't think they will react to your gentle reprovements they have evidently ignored for a very long time.


Peter, this is one of those agencies that tells YOU when they're going to pay. I never liked their attitude and there was a good 2 years when I refused to work for them, then they hired a PM who I could reason with (pricewise) and I've only accepted jobs from him since. When he leaves the company, that's all folks.


If you can, I'd suggest politely turning down work offered to you between the 1st and the 22nd of each month, explaining that their payment policy would result in a payment delay well in excess of the terms you offer.


That's exactly what I planned to do before you wrote it.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 06:55
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
UPDATE: Gloreeee HALLELUJA!!!! Dec 21, 2005

Praise the holy goddess! Guess what showed up in my account today (Dec. 21) ? The payment! They never answered my angry email and I thought the case was closed.

Howdayalikethat?

Either they don't want to lose me, or that was the last I'll ever hear from them...

I'm still in shock.


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