To Middle East- based translators: Have you ever faced problems receiving checks from USA clients?
Thread poster: Waleed Mohamed

Waleed Mohamed  Identity Verified
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 02:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
Mar 25, 2006

To Middle East- based translators: Have you ever faced problems receiving checks from USA clients?
Hi All,

For more than once, I faced problem receiving checks from USA-based clients. A client sends me a check, more than two months pass and I don’t receive the same.
A friend says that USA postal authorities may prevent checks from receiving Middle East countries for security reasons. Also other say there are some restrictions on fund transfer to Middle East. The problem is that some clients say payment by checks is the only payment method available.

Did any one of you face such problem?
What can I do to guarantee to proper receiving of checks?

Thanks for your comments and advice!

Regards
Waleed


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:59
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Why would accept a check? Mar 25, 2006

Dear Walleed:

I do not know much about Arab banks, but I assume that they are like Israel banks, thieves with suits. If you accept a check directly to your account, you will pay service charges and a miserable exchange rate. Open an internet account, paypal or the other. You can either arrange a credit card that can be used to withdraw the money or use it for Internet related expenses, i.e. proz.com membership costs.

If they don't want to do that, check a bank transfer.

The client is pulling your leg.

Yours truly,

Stephen Rifkind


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 01:59
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
in fact I have no experience ... Mar 25, 2006

However, I have heard and read so many problems on this issue that I do not work for the US or Canada based agencies. I even do not accept bank transfers, because the system is different and I don't want to waste my time sending several e-mails to the agency which asks me to open a bank account "here" in the US.

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Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 01:59
Member (2005)
Arabic
+ ...
Other methods! Mar 25, 2006

Hi Waleed,

I understand that you have to accept checks from clients from one time to another, but if they can send you a check then they can also use other methods to pay. They go for checks as it takes longer moving out from their accounts, or because they just don't use online paying methods as PayPal or MoneyBookers.

You can ask them to wire transfer the cash instead, or use quick transfer services such as the MoneyGram, or Wetsren Union - These should cost higher fees, but they work perfectly and I prefer them when I pay for translators as they save me delays in submitting payments. When using MoneyGram for example, I take the payment I'm planning to send to their office in my bank, and call my colleague telling him/her to wait for it in their office in his country .... i.e. immediate transfer.

If your client doesn't mind sending you a check, then he/she shouldn't mind going through other banking services as the above mentioned. Try it, and you should get your cash faster.

Meanwhile, why don't you consider having a U.S. bank account that offers online services? It should help you getting your cash within a week maximum if received from another U.S. bank account, and mostly withint the same day if deposited in your account directly.

PayPal doesn't work in Egypt, and MoneyBookers isn't as familiar as PayPal with U.S. clients. So I don't really think that any of those options work for you.

Sometimes, the total payment of a job is too small to be wired or checked. After bank fees, you'll be ending up with few dollars that your ride to the bank in a cab may cost more. In similar cases, I offer my colleague translators doing jobs for me if they don't mind openning them a credit in which I keep a record of their projects and send them their payment once a considerable amount is there for them, and I do the same with some of my clients sending me small jobs from time to time. I ask them to keep the cash and I keep a record in which I follow-up until a considerable amount is there for me, then I send them asking to wire it or so on.

Try considering that too. It saves cash and time for both you and your client.

Hope that helps


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Waleed Mohamed  Identity Verified
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 02:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The problem is not in getting paid by a check, but in receiving the same! Mar 25, 2006

Thank you all for your useful comments!

It’s not a problem for me get paid by check, but the problem is that a check does not reach me. Does anyone know any specific reasons for such check delivery failure? What is the difference between a check and a normal letter? Are there any special postal procedures for check delivery? A normal letter takes 10 to 14 days to reach a Middle East country coming from USA.

Thank you very much for your help!

Regards,

Waleed


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:59
German to English
+ ...
Waleed, Mar 25, 2006

Do your clients send the checks in window envelopes (making the contents obvious)?

If so, ask them to please put the check inside a plain piece of paper and send it in a normal envelope, preferably not one with their company name on it.

You say you have no problems receiving regular letters, so this may be the solution.

Good luck!

Trudy


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Waleed Mohamed  Identity Verified
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 02:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's a very useful tip, Trudy! Mar 25, 2006

Trudy Peters wrote:

Do your clients send the checks in window envelopes (making the contents obvious)?

If so, ask them to please put the check inside a plain piece of paper and send it in a normal envelope, preferably not one with their company name on it.

You say you have no problems receiving regular letters, so this may be the solution.

Good luck!

Trudy


That's a very useful tip, Trudy!

Actually, I don't know whether my client sends me the checks in window envelopes, as I have not received checks before.

However, your advice may help solve this problem, so I will discuss this issue with my client. I will ask them the same question you asked me.

But let me understand, why do you prefer that an envelope should not have the company name on it? Could you please explain this?

Thank you very much!

Waleed


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Nizamettin Yigit  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:59
Dutch to Turkish
+ ...
checks from US to other countries Mar 25, 2006

Hi Waleed,

This is a long time ago experience. I had sent a US check to overseas and they could not cash it due to the check was not a certified check. So it may be same or not. You want to make sure it is so. Otherwise it is either not cashable or has higher fees.

The second thing you may be facing some kind of fraud. Than you should communicate that with the agency. ask If the check is cashed and who has received the money. They should be able to find out that. If a check that is payable to mr X is endorsed to Mr Y than Mr Y could deposit that to his bank account. So if someone has access to the mailed check and does that he/she can receive the money.

If someone has cashed, they should know that fi that is deducted from their account or not, than you go back to the people who wrote that check and inform them upon their "check was cashed warning" and let them know that you have not received and there may be a fraud. They can get that money back. They just need to inform their bank about that fraud. It involves some fees to get that money back. Whoever has done that is liable because it is a crime.

Every personal or business check has an expiration date. If it has not been cashed (you can find that out by just communicating with check holder), than party who wrote check may legally wait until the expiration date of that previously written check. If not chased, than that check goes not-payable/not cashable. Than they write another check.

But this is a long process. It may be 6 months or 1 year.
You may do a quick search to find out the length of that period.

One of the best solution is to open a bank account in the US. But there is another difficulty. How you do that? You need to be there to open a bank account.
But There are cyber banks that only does banking via internet. It may be possible for you to open a bank account from one of these banks. Than it becomes more managable. You can get any check "small or large" from any clients who are banking with US banks.

If it reaches certain amount than you can transfer from that bank account to anywhere. It is your own account. But make sure that you do a search which one is reasonable, which one has better deals in terms of banking.

These are a few tips that I can give.

good luck

Nizam




[Edited at 2006-03-25 23:54]

[Edited at 2006-03-26 02:58]

[Edited at 2006-03-26 03:01]


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:59
German to English
+ ...
Waleed, Mar 26, 2006

>>But let me understand, why do you prefer that an envelope should not have the company name on it? Could you please explain this?

Thank you very much!

Waleed
[/quote]


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
Western Union Money Order Mar 26, 2006

Greetings... ahalan wa sahalan...

The good suggestions by previous respondents of methods for your receiving payment have their relative factors, as they mentioned.

May I suggest that you consider first using one of those previous recommendations and ask your clients for payment transmitted electronically via Western Union Money Order or alternatively, via American Express.

While the first such payment transaction via those methods may include deduction of a chunk of service charges for such international processing and currency conversion [ from, for example, Euros or USD$ into Egyptian LE ], those costs will enable you to factor those additional expenses and add them to the amount of your quote and your total billing fee.

Those two approaches for transmittal of payment should also simplify your estimate of WHEN and WHERE payment should arrive, versus your waiting on delivery by apparently-unsecure or unreliable postal mail.

Hope this helps. Khair, in shaa' Alalh.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
English Arabic,
Kurdish and Persian
San Pedro, California, USA


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liora  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:59
English to Hebrew
+ ...
check does not reach me Mar 26, 2006

Shalom Waleed,

I wish I had more checks from abroad. All those that I contracted did arrive to Israel, in around 7-10 days.
The last time I did not receive a mailed check was in Israel itself, lately, when it would seem the postal agents were on some sort of a strike and dumped the envelope sacks in front of the postal authorities.

At any rate, I dont know about your country, but it should not take more than 10 days. You should check the mailperson at your place.

My bank charges 6 and a half us$ for each deposited check, minimum. Yes. And when a check is wired they would charge much more.
I would open a paypal account or similar and get the small sums deposited there, see how it works.

regards

Liora


uote]Waleed Mohamed wrote:


Thank you all for your useful comments!

It’s not a problem for me get paid by check, but the problem is that a check does not reach me. Does anyone know any specific reasons for such check delivery failure? What is the difference between a check and a normal letter? Are there any special postal procedures for check delivery? A normal letter takes 10 to 14 days to reach a Middle East country coming from USA.

Thank you very much for your help!

Regards,

Waleed
[/quote]


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Imad Almaghary
Local time: 01:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
No problem at all Mar 27, 2006

Good morning

Actually, I had no problems in receiving Checks from clients or companies from USA. The problem is with the credibility or what you deal with this is because I received it quickly and without any problematic areas at all.

Try to call that client again.

Thanks


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