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Pay me on time orders: do you use them?
Thread poster: Jason Willis-Lee

Jason Willis-Lee  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 11, 2006

Hi there

Happy New Year to one and all!!!

I know, I know its post xmas and its time to get on the backs of clients who haven't paid their bills on time before the xmas holdays. Don't you think its funny how there are always excuses for paying late but never one for paying early or even on time?

Has anyone heard of or use a pay me on time order? Sure, I mean that, just as you sign off purchase orders for work, does anyone make clients sign a pay me on time order (30, 45, 60 days, whatever is stipulated).

I would be most interested to hear of any foolproof strategies to ensure customers pay their bills on time....

All the best.
Jason

PS: Please take the irony in this post with only half a dose of salt!


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:20
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Exactly the same feelings Jan 11, 2006

I started to chase them already before x-mas. One big UK agency that pays invoices once a month paid me only one of the two invoices in December. When I finally received answer from their project manager, I was told they know how much they have to pay and they will pay in the end of January as that is when they next make their payments.
As my poor little bank account has been feeling very hungover after the festive season, I wrote them back the first thing that crossed my mind - that as I always deliver all my translations in time, I thought they would have the decency to pay immediately when they realised they have not paid me. The project manager, who of course gets paid on time, said they will see what they can do.
In the meantime I have started to send reminders one week before the payment is due to some clients.
But then again I had a shock of my life today when an agency paid today - 3 days before the money was due. Speaking about the miracles!

Cheers,
Ines


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:20
English to Polish
+ ...
Superstitions ... Jan 11, 2006

In Poland (at least some regions) there is a superstition saying you must get clear of all debts before the Christmas Day, or else ... This year it worked miracles with my customers - they either paid the outstanding bills or sent me letters they'll do it right after Christmas (and they actually did!).
If you can find a way of spreading this nice custom ...


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:20
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Must be Eastern European custom Jan 12, 2006

Iza Szczypka wrote:

In Poland (at least some regions) there is a superstition saying you must get clear of all debts before the Christmas Day, or else ... This year it worked miracles with my customers - they either paid the outstanding bills or sent me letters they'll do it right after Christmas (and they actually did!).
If you can find a way of spreading this nice custom ...


Or at least the idea is similar - when I lived in Latvia I usually tried settling all bills before the new year.

However there is a small problem with spreading this custom - you would only get paid once a year.

[Edited at 2006-01-12 09:44]


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Adam Podstawczynski  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Polish to English
+ ...
Even further East :) Jan 12, 2006

As far as I know, the same superstition works in Japan. I bet the entire eastern hemisphere is covered.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What is a pay on time order? Jan 12, 2006

Jason Willis-Lee wrote:
Has anyone heard of or use a pay me on time order?


You speak of the "pay me on time order" as if it is some kind of official document or official line included in the invoice, with legal implications. What do you understand by a "pay me on time order"? Can you give us some examples?


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Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:20
Member (2004)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
sending reminders before the due date Jan 12, 2006

Burrell wrote:
In the meantime I have started to send reminders one week before the payment is due to some clients.


I've considered doing the same -- some clients do need it! -- but I'm not sure if it is polite, or common in business practice.

Is it?


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:20
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Preliminary reminders Jan 12, 2006

Roman Bulkiewicz wrote:

I've considered doing the same -- some clients do need it! -- but I'm not sure if it is polite, or common in business practice.

Is it?


I only do this to clients who are usually late (even if only for a few days). They are not worried if it is polite not to pay in time, why should I care? I fulfill my part of the deal when I deliver the job on time.


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Preliminary reminders Jan 12, 2006

Roman Bulkiewicz wrote:

Burrell wrote:
In the meantime I have started to send reminders one week before the payment is due to some clients.


I've considered doing the same -- some clients do need it! -- but I'm not sure if it is polite, or common in business practice.

Is it?


IMO collection policies and procedures don't have to be polite, they have to be effective, and this is measured by your uncollectibles by the end of the year.

I have applied this in the past and I would surely reapply it if I found it necessary.

At the moment, I find preemptive measures and systematic follow-up of payments more effective, and also one should never forget tolerance and negotiation(on a client-to-client basis).

Fred


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Jason Willis-Lee  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pay me on time orders: do you use them? Jan 12, 2006

Hi Samuel

Gotcha! you obviously took my post with no dose of salt at all, I did say it had some irony in it....of course there is no such thing as a pay me on time order. If there was, we would not be discussing this issue in a forum thread.

Seriously though, do any of you as suppliers use payment contracts or any type of document with payment deadlines established? Surely this should be used in all cases with an end client. Why not have a written record with agency clients who tend to pay late? Or would you simply not work with such a client again? My own experience tells me that the further away the client is from me, the more relaxed about payment deadlines but I hesitate to say that is an established pattern.

Jason.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Go back unless you consider yourself done in Jan 12, 2006

Jason Willis-Lee wrote:
Seriously though, do any of you as suppliers use payment contracts or any type of document with payment deadlines established?


I have seen translators' invoices state such limits, usually 30 days (which is hardly enforceable), 60 days (which is lenient) or 90 days (which is basically the same as "pay me whenever").

Surely this should be used in all cases with an end client.


Yes... but... I think some/many translators just assume that they will eventually get paid, and so they tend not to bother with late-payment terms and conditions. Besides, those of us in the international arena have very little we can do to enforce late-payment penalties, for example... so why rock the boat?

Why not have a written record with agency clients who tend to pay late? Or would you simply not work with such a client again?


Oh, by all means have a field in your client database saying "notorious late payer", because then it's up to you whether you want to accept the next job from them. A non-payer is a different horse altogether, though.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:20
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Due date Jan 12, 2006

Regarding the subject of early reminders, issued prior to the due date, I have discovered, in the course of daily business, that most self-employed people in other trades do not set a "due date", but write on the invoice that it is payable immediately. That way, they can send a reminder whenever they please, e.g. after a fortnight, without it being "too early".

Astrid


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