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Overdue payment situation
Thread poster: Vanessa Rivera Rivier

Vanessa Rivera Rivier  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 20:26
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 21, 2006

Hello everyone!

I need some advice on a payment that was due on March 1st and I still haven't been paid for. The situation goes a little bit something like this:

On March 3rd I wrote the project manager about the overdue invoice: No response.

A couple of days later I decided to write again:

"XXXXX,


I sent you an email last week regarding a past due invoice and I was wondering if you had received it.


Regards,

Vanessa "


I received this message as a response:

"Hi Vanessa,

Sorry for my late response.
Yes, i received your invoice. Thanks."


NO MONEY

So I waited a couple of days and sent them again another notification of the overdue payment.

NO RESPONSE

On March 14 I received this message:

"Hi Vanessa,

I have attached 3 pages that need to be translated into Spanish.
Do you think you'll be available for this? Preferably they should be ready by
tomorrow around lunch time.

Have a nice day,
XXXXX

PS. As far as payment is concerned, would you like bank transfer or would paypal
be more convenient for you?"


Acting out of pure good faith I do the job for them and tell them that I would prefer Paypal.

Job completed. Still no money.

Finally last Friday I received the following message:

"They informed me from the accounts department that you will get paid next week.
Please remind me Monday or Tuesday so that i'll chase thinks up if the delay
more "

So today I wrote them.

NO RESPONSE. NO MONEY.

Should I be worried? If I don't get paid is there anything I can do other than badmouth the Agency on the Blueboard page?


Warm greetings from Puerto Rico,

Vanessa


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:26
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I would still wait Mar 21, 2006

Some small or big businesses pay only on one single day each month. If in 4 weaks nothing happens you should take it more seriously.
One colleague adviced in on thread to put a password on new translations, so the customer has to pay you first befor he gets the password.
Regards
Heinrich


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Natasa Grubor  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 02:26
Member
English to Serbian
+ ...
password Mar 21, 2006

It is brilliant... fantastic... I just love it!
Thank you!


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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:26
Member (2003)
English to German
Tell them you will contact their client(s) Mar 21, 2006

I would send them a message - preferably cc the boss - and tell them that you will not hesitate to tell their clients (you have worked for at least one and can maybe find more on their website) about their payment practice. This has worked wonders for me and I never had to contact any client. I would have, of course. And if you choose to work for them again, ask for advance payment via PayPal....

All the best
Marion


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Nicola Bigwood  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:26
German to English
+ ...
See this thread too Mar 21, 2006

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

One colleague adviced in on thread to put a password on new translations, so the customer has to pay you first befor he gets the password.




Hi Vanessa,

The thread Heinrich refers to is this one:

http://www.proz.com/topic/43890

where there's been quite a debate as to how to deal with late payments; you might find some of it interesting.

In any case, you're not alone where late payments are concerned! I take it that you now have 2 jobs which are overdue - try e-mailing again with "2 overdue payments" or similar in the subject line. I found that when I 'added up' late payments and emphasised that there was more than one payment overdue that I actually got a response (although this particular agency are still very slow).

Good luck!

Nicola.


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Veronika Hansova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:26
Member (2006)
English to Czech
+ ...
Payment for delay and threatening with court Mar 21, 2006

I had a terrible experience with one agency in the Czech Republic. 2 or 3 months after the due date were their standard. Fortunately I invoiced in small amounts, about CZK 5.000 (cca EUR 170). After discussing the matter with my friend who works in the court, I sent them 2 notices - first one very polite and more or less friendly, the other one still polite but very strict and detached saying that should they fail again to pay the outstanding amount on the invoices nos. XXX by ... (about two weeks period, meaning that by the certain date the money must be provably CREDITED to my account), I am determined to pass the matter to the court. I put my signature and stamp on it, made a copy for myself and sent it by registered mail. Immediately I received a nasty phone call from them, saying that they "had earned me money" and "supported me" during the last year... I was like a rock repeating the same thing: how can be possible that the agency did not have EUR 170 left on their account for more than 3 months!
I insisted on my next steps leading to the court (though deep inside I hope I would not have to do it, since the initial court charges are high here).
Since then I am not taking any commissions from them and I put a little note on my invoices saying that in case of delay in payment of the amount mentioned in the invoice, I will not hesitate charg them 0.5 % of the amount per every single day of the delay. Does not matter how small amount it is. This is according to the Czech law and discussed with my tax advisor. Try to discuss it with yours too...
Yes, of course there are cases when the client may not be ready to pay immediately. Then I discuss with him the best date. I would rather extend the maturity date than wait again in uncertainty.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:26
Flemish to English
+ ...
Fair deal Mar 21, 2006

Nataša Čubrilović wrote:

It is brilliant... fantastic... I just love it!
Thank you!



You are welcome.... It could result in immediate payment.
I wonder why we don't ask payment upon delivery.
Method:
You lock the translation with a password.
Customer goes to his/her online banking programme/paypal, moneybookers and transfers the money, not forgetting IBAN/BIC
It appears on your account.
Everybody happy.. The translators gets his/her money, the outsourcer his/her translation. Fair deal.
It would weed out those without cash-flow and live from the credit given by a number of translators...

However, a password, how unethical....

Legal procedures sometimes can take years...


[Edited at 2006-03-21 12:06]


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:26
French to English
Payment terms? Mar 21, 2006

Hi Vanessa,

Did you ask the agency what their payment terms are? If they're different from yours, that's probably why you haven't been paid yet.

This happened to me with a client. My terms are 30 days, and I kept getting paid a month late. I found out from my client that their terms are 60 days, so once I knew, all their payments were on time and even early.

I wouldn't jump the gum and badmouth the agency just yet. I think you should clarify things first. And I definitely don't agree with putting a password on the translation. To me, that's fighting dirty when there may be no need to.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2006-03-21 16:16]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:26
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No password Mar 21, 2006

I don't think it's a good idea to use a password. First, it assumes bad faith on the part of the client - that does not make for a good working relationship. Second, it takes one or more days for a payment to go through and therefore it wouldn't work for rush jobs. Third, I think the client should have the right to see the "merchandise" before paying. I never expect payment from clients untill they have had a chance to look at the translation, suggest any changes they might want, and are completely satisfied.

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Wen Jiang
Local time: 20:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
payment problem Mar 29, 2006

Dear colleagues:

Please help me with your advice.

Recently, I have been dealing with this agency in NE (USA) regarding the payment. I did an interpreting job 3 months ago and invoiced the agency immediately.

So far, I have not received any payment from the agency. I emailed, called, sent the third invoice with late charge. I even talked to the VP of the agency about the situation but nothing is happening. Now, the accounting person is trying to avoid my phone call.

What can I do?

The money involed is not big. But I feel so bad about the agency's practice.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

Wen Jiang


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Sandra Petch
Local time: 02:26
French to English
+ ...
Payment times can be slow Mar 30, 2006

I agree with Tina and Erika. You should try and settle this amicably. Perhaps your intermediary hasn't been paid? Calling rather than e-mail could produce better results; it's also more personal.

As an aside, payment times in France can be very slow. Many companies here pay on a given date (often the 5th) 3 months from the end of the month they receive your invoice. So if you bill them on Jan 2nd you'll be paid May 5th. Imagine!
Very large companies are often much slower at paying than smaller ones. I'm currently chasing up an international company for a bill from mid-October 2005...

Good luck getting your dues !

[Edited at 2006-03-30 11:43]


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Vanessa Rivera Rivier  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 20:26
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Update Mar 30, 2006

Another 2 weeks have gone by and still no payment. Last week they assured me I would be paid this week and the week before that they had assured me I would be paid last week. Plus it is written on the contract I signed that payment would be made 30 days after receipt of Invoice. I sent them my invoice on Jan. 29 so payment is about one month late. The agency is British so if anybody knows how they TRULY work I would really appreciate it.


I have also been thinking about sending this letter to them:

Dear (non-paying agency):


Over the past weeks I've tried to contact you about my overdue payment situation. I have received little or no answer with regards to this matter. Since payment is as of today 1 month late, I have decided to report this situation to the following organizations:

-Proz.com
-XXXXXXX
-XXXXXXX
-XXXXX

etc.


XOXOXO

Vanessa


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Wen Jiang
Local time: 20:26
Chinese to English
+ ...
your letter Mar 30, 2006

Hi, Vanessa:

I am thinking about the same thing for my own situation. However, I don't know how effective it will be, since organizations like Proz.com has no regulation power over them and they don't even care if the words got spread out about their unprofessional practice since there are people looking for jobs and neglect to check their reputation.

Wen Jiang


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Sandra Petch
Local time: 02:26
French to English
+ ...
Try the UK Office of Fair Trading Mar 31, 2006

Vanessa Rivera Rivier wrote:

The agency is British so if anybody knows how they TRULY work



Hi Vanessa

Possibly you could find information via the UK Office of Fair Trading. http://www.oft.gov.uk/default.htm

Good luck!
Sandra


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