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add to 'client who makes stories'- hopeless situation
Thread poster: Katarina Andersson

Katarina Andersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Italian to Swedish
+ ...
Apr 7, 2006

Hello to you all again,

sorry for bothering you with this matter again. This tiresome Italian agency continues to refuse to pay. My friend who's a lawyer adviced me to write them a email letter with the date specified, stating that if the payment would not arrive within 5 days, I will put a low vote on the Blueboard and thereafter claim 'interessi di mora' that is interest on the late payments. Then she adviced me to phone them after getting a reply to that.

Now they have answered being sorry for not having told me before that they since a while are in negotiation with the client who refuses to pay due to 'unacceptible' quality of my translation!!?? (They haven't showed any proof, they have not mentioned this before asking me to correct anything etc)

This major volume, 50 000 words, was translated in early october last year, I had given them a time frame of a month to complete the project. Then they phoned saying they needed it in 2 weeks, urgently, and I said that was not possible but that I would do what I could in 2 weeks. Thus they hired another translator too, probably a rather inexperienced one, and I agreed to proofread her translations before they submitted to the client. And I wanted to help them, the only thing is that they gave me 4 hours to proofread 2 files of 70-100pages all together which were of a horrible quality. And I told them I could only do my best, but not guaranteeing that much quality. They said that was allright.

Now after 5 months they have the nerve to tell me that my translation was the inacceptible one and that they will suspend all my other payments until further notice, as they had already paid me for this past troublesome job and thus cannot suspend that one.

What am I to do...as I can believe that the client was not satisfied, but then to come out with this now after 5 months. They must have known this before...

They ask me to further to be 'kind' and understanding and not make any low votes on the blueboards but think of our nice working relationship so far and trust they will solve the question sooner or later. However, she says that they are discussing this matter with the client since a while, but when I phoned 2 weeks ago she mentioned nothing about this saying they would probably pay me in the following week, i.e. 10 days ago...grrr.

Any Italian here who would know what I have the right to do? Probably, I will soon hand it over to my lawyer friend.

Thanks,

Katarina.


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Zsanett Rozendaal-Pandur  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 11:25
Dutch to Hungarian
+ ...
Blue Board Apr 7, 2006

lampedus wrote:
They ask me to further to be 'kind' and understanding and not make any low votes on the blueboards but think of our nice working relationship so far and trust they will solve the question sooner or later.


It's all very annoying by the sound of it. I can't advise you on how to handle it legally, but there must be ways if you have a contract/PO, and the like.

However, I think it's ridiculous that you should wait with putting a comment on BlueBoard. I understand of course why they would ask you to do that, but that's exactly why it is there: so that others will know that there are dangers when working with this agency. The BB reflects nothing more and nothing less than your opinion and willingness to work for them - it's only understandable that you don't feel very willing at the moment. And you have every right to express this, so they shouldn't try to put you under pressure.

If they decide to round things up and pay you as agreed, you can change your BB comment - perhaps you can tell them this, although I suspect they are fully aware.

I have posted negative BB evaluation before, and my very late payment suddenly arrived within a few days' time. There's no guarantee it'll work that efficiently for you, but the BB has been seen to have an effect on outsourcers' payment behaviour.

Anyhow, good luck with this!

[Edited at 2006-04-07 12:08]


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:25
Member
Italian to English
Be very careful Apr 7, 2006

Hi Katarina,
I would be very careful regarding the use of the Blue Board where Italian customers are concerned - see the following thread:

http://www.proz.com/topic/42707

I were you I would put everything in the hands of your lawyer friend - try to gather together all the evidence you can of your dealings with the agency regarding this translation - such as them confirming that it was ok for you to proofread such a high volume in such a short time etc. etc.
Maybe if the agency hears from a lawyer they will see you are serious about being paid and take the appropriate measures

Good luck!


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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
I'd put this in a lawyer's hands Apr 7, 2006

I agree with Fiona in using the lawyer.

Also, I'd love to know what agency that is. I'd appreciate it if you could tell via the BB (if you don't end up in prison for that, hee, hee) or privately.

Good luck,
Jero

[Edited at 2006-04-07 12:49]


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Katarina Andersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Italian to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks:-) Apr 7, 2006

Thanks all of you!

Well I just wrote them telling them that they after having proofread my texts they should have asked me to correct the text before sending it to the client. And also I commented on the fact about the other translators texts that I had to proofread etc. However, I suspect that they always give translations to new unexperienced translators, giving tight deadlines with no possibility to guarantee a high quality, low rates, etc...and they probably never proofread the texts before sending them off. So this must not be the first time that clients complain about them, and they seem to rather known in Italy for this.

So far they always paid me, even if I had to remind them several times first and so forth.

However, I have taken your advice and will hand this over to my lawyer friend hoping they will pay then.

Katarina.


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Katarina Andersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Italian to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
forgot Apr 7, 2006

Jeronimo,

I can tell you about the agency in private if you want to...
in Italy they seem to be quite well known, or rather badly known etc.

Katarina.


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:25
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Welcome to Italy Apr 7, 2006

lampedus wrote:

Any Italian here who would know what I have the right to do? Probably, I will soon hand it over to my lawyer friend.



Sorry to hear that, Kat. I posted a similar thread few months ago. My lawyer wrote them a letter which didn't work at all... these people knows very well how long it takes to get to court (and the costs involved as well). The lawyer himself told me that it would have been risky trying to take'em to court, because in the meantime the company could shut down, and I could be facing his expensive fees.

Eventually they "allowed" me to take some musical instruments from their factory, so I did. I got the stuff and I've sold it (either on e-bay or even door-to-door; imagine the time I've spent doing these things just to cash my bloody money, which MUST be paired with lack of income for not doing my job).

Now, from April the 1st the brand name has been handled to another company (a serious one), and I still have to get nearly a third of my original credit (which I believe is gone for good).

Needless to say that if I had my lawyer still on the case, now I would have to pay his fee and do nothing else but going bankrupt.

No surprise this country is sinking faster than Titanic.
Hugs
Gianni

[Edited at 2006-04-07 13:28]

[Edited at 2006-04-07 13:29]

[Edited at 2006-04-07 13:30]


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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Please do Apr 7, 2006

lampedus wrote:

Jeronimo,

I can tell you about the agency in private if you want to...
in Italy they seem to be quite well known, or rather badly known etc.

Katarina.


If you don't mind, I'd appreciate it if you can e-mail it to me via my profile.

By the way, I've noticed that you translate into Swedish??

Maybe I'm wrong, but I guess there are not a lot of translators with your language pairs out there. My advise is to market yourself far away from those cowboys you've been writing about. No matter if they pay you in full, I'd just take the money and never ever work for them again - think of the time you've wasted hassling- , then check if it's really illegal in Italy to put bad ratings on the BB and if not, give them a 1.

Good luck and thanks a lot.


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:25
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Well... Apr 7, 2006

Fiona Peterson wrote:


I would be very careful regarding the use of the Blue Board where Italian customers are concerned - see the following thread:

http://www.proz.com/topic/42707



.... as far as the Blue Board is concerned, I don't give a s..t if they sue me. If the justice run slowly when I need it, hopefully will go slowly for them as well.


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Katarina Andersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Italian to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Gianni Apr 7, 2006

Well I agree with you, the Blueboards is there to help others and if I give them 1 it is not that I will express my personal opinions of them there. And I think they deserve it really...and in the end they only owe me around 700 euros but of course I would like to get those 700 euros.

Katarina.


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Francesca Pesce  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Posting from the Titanic Apr 7, 2006

I really hope you manage to get your money!

My experience is that in Italy it is very difficult to obtain payment of credits. Once some newspaper calculated the minimum credit it was worthwhile "fighting" for through legal proceedings: if I'm not mistaken, it should be around EUR3,000.00.
Below that threshhold it is just a waste of money and time (so they say).

So I would ask your lawyer to send a letter (and if I were you I would stop unofficial communications with that agency) giving them a deadline, but then if they don't pay, talk it over with your lawyer. All the more since he/she is your friend.

The best of luck, anyway!

That is all the hope I can transmit from the Titanic, hoping that soon some of this water will start evaporating.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
With Fiona Apr 7, 2006

Hi,
What a messy situation!
First of all, print out all the emails from way back when saying "it's OK for you to proof 100 pages in 4 hours" (!) so you have all the proof you need. That's an absolutely ridiculous thing for them to expect.
As to the BB, however, I have to agree with Fiona. I followed that forum and it's the WAY you word your BB posting that's important. Otherwise, you might end up being liable for damages. Talk about adding insult to injury!
For example, last year I changed my rating of an agency that sounds suspiciously similar to yours (hmmmmm... in Italy too!!) simply to say "I no longer work for these people". That's enough to alert any colleague, and in fact people wrote to me PRIVATELY to ask if I'd be willing to tell them what the problem was (I was more than willing).
You would be legally liable here in Italy if you post publicly, which is evidently akin to slander, but private messages are another matter.
I certainly hope you get your money!
Catherine


[Edited at 2006-04-07 18:50]


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Tina Jylhä  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Maybe you could find others treated like this by the same company Apr 7, 2006

Dear Katarina,

Im so sorry to hear the latest news, I feel angry for you.
I agree that it would be good to make a statement on BB to warn others, but with care (but do really Italian laws apply on an international webpage?).

I would probably also deal with that nasty company only through a lawyer from now on, but perhaps you would be lucky to find others who are in the same situation with them and then you could plan to sue the company together. If they behave like this, Im sure you are not the only one they owe money to.

Have a lovely weekend

Tina


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Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 11:25
German to English
+ ...
I've no idea what the legal situation is like in Italy... Apr 8, 2006

In fact, I don't feel qualified to comment on the situation here in Germany, but what can be so risky about using the BB to post an honest, inoffensive remark such as "not willing to work for them again because I'm still awaiting payment for work completed x months ago"?

On the BB, the outsourcer also gets the opportunity to explain his side of the story, or so I've heard/read. (Open to correction.)

Fortunately we, as a translation office, have not been at the receiving end of such complaints, maybe because we were freelancers ourselves and realise just how important prompt payment is to freelancers. We pay up front (more or less on receipt, but NOT in advance).

Our deal with "our" translator is "our" concern only. Not dependent on whether our client pays. But if a client is reluctant to pay, we might later request a refund from the (already-paid) translator. From a freelancer perspective, that's a much better position to be in than having to press for payment from us.

I think it's fairer (and more amicable) that way.

I've been waffling again. (I'll get back to the Kaiser Chiefs now),
Cilian


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Katarina Andersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Italian to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clients who pay straight away... Apr 8, 2006

are of course the best agencies and luckily I work for such agencies too:-) However, in Italy that is a very rare thing to find, only some direct client and 2 agencies has paid me directly within 14 days here...

And Catherine, I think I know which agency you were talking about...they are rather horrible too. Luckily I only did 2 jobs for them, and managed to get paid after several reminders there too, since then I have refused everything from them.

Have a nice weekend.

Katarina.


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