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Thread poster: Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:46
Partial member (2004)
Italian to English
Apr 21, 2006

I just had to share this with my colleagues in the hope that I'm not alone-
You know when the agency calls with the urgent job and you bend over backwards to fit it in. All of your e-mails back and forth are immediately followed by the read receipt, and if you go offline for a moment, the cell phone probably rings. So you make the hellish deadline and hit the "Send" button, which is also promptly followed by the return receipt in your mailbox...
A month and a half later, you send the first "friendly" payment reminder for the past due invoice, and what happens? TOTAL SILENCE! You mean the same agency that was sending me read receipts left and right and calling me off the wall has relaxed so much in the past six weeks that they forget to send back the read receipt... Hmmm....
Oh, the joys of being self employed!

A little self indulgent venting on a Friday evening! A great weekend to all-
Jennifer


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Matt Baird
Germany
Local time: 00:46
German to English
A late payment should be consided like a missed deadline Apr 21, 2006

A colleague recently reminded me that when a client does not pay on time and/or does not respond promptly to friendly reminders, that they are not holding up there end of the contract. Just as the PO indicates a specific deadline, our invoice specifies a due date.

We should remind our clients that when they do not pay us on time, we feel precisely how they would feel if we did not meet their deadline, did not respond to their e-mails after the deadline has passed, etc. etc. etc.

In any case, I feel your pain....

Best,

Matt


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Magdalena Reyes  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Suggestion Apr 21, 2006

Hi Jennifer,

Yes... that is the part i do not enjoy from translations... money matters, especially with non-professional agencies that surely exist all over the world.

But maybe it could be helpfull to write some sort of "warning" on your invoice or any document you sent to the client: "Pending invoices will be 10% overcharged for every reminder" (or something alike)

It might help.

Good luck!! and keep the good work!!

Magdalena


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Mustafa Altinkaya
Local time: 02:46
English to Turkish
+ ...
You are not alone Apr 21, 2006

Hi Jennifer,
Unfortunately, you are not the only one who faces such problems.
It is a tough problem to deal with.

Have a nice and calm weekend,

Mustafa


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Hell pays well Apr 21, 2006

JL Baker wrote:
...You know when the agency calls with the urgent job and you bend over backwards to fit it in ... So you make the hellish deadline...

Just don't bend without rising your rates considerably. You will be amazed of the great silence particularly from those ones who won't pay as scheduled..

[Edited at 2006-04-21 21:41]


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Maaike van Vlijmen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:46
Member (2009)
Italian to Dutch
+ ...
Bye bye money... Apr 21, 2006

Well, I discovered today that I won't get my salary at all... When I paid a visit to the agency, wondering why my emails couldn't get delivered, why their phone number wasn't working anymore, and why they never replied to the letter of my lawyer, I found the mail in the garden, important letters, lying in the rain... They just took off, there hasn't been anyone in weeks, maybe months... And the money I worked so hard for, translating and giving lessons... I'm afraid I'll never get it.
Have a nice weekend!


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xxxAdrian MM.
Local time: 00:46
French to English
+ ...
C.O.D. Apr 21, 2006

Add a hint, at times of client stampede into translator's panic, that you expect payment as fast as you deliver the job.

Some translators ask for a deposit or money up front - strategically difficult with those irksome Friday night enquiries designed to ruin your Sabbath and/or weekend.

Others will not release a translation until payment is received. One I know tried to switch to C.O.D. - cash on delivery - but she went out of business soon thereafter.

[Edited at 2006-04-22 21:46]


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:46
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Books Apr 22, 2006

Herr Bornemann, wie geht's dir? Es ist schön hier dir zu lesen. Entschuldigung für mein shlecht Deutsch.

I agree with you.


Jennifer, yes, those are some turn-off's of this profession but in this site you'll find very good advises when browsing.

Some months ago I translated a few pages of a french book. It was about L'EJACULATION PRECOCE. He couldn't pay me because he didn't manage to open a Paypal account. Then, he tried to do the bank transfer but the commission was tto high. At the end of the tale, I chose some books I wanted to buy in a well-known e-bookstore.

I've got the books now and when I read the invoice, the shipment costs were higher than the books and....the commission. Poor guy! But it wasn't too hard to use Paypal.

nice weekend.


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:46
Partial member (2004)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Glad to know I'm not alone Apr 22, 2006

The truth of the matter is that I know I'll get paid in the end. What really irks me is the the fact that this runaround is the norm for some agencies. They just think it's normal business practice to lag behind on payments and force the translator to send repeated reminders. All of which I chalk up to experience and decline to work for that agency again.
So its not the money (this wasn't even a particularly big project- I have enough business now that I only take on big projects with a retainer), but the ATTITUDE that gets to me.
Do you, as a translator, ever have this kind of "I'll get around to it, let her wait" attitude when you have a deadline? I surely don't!
Blah blah blah... I know this is all just hot air, but I just finally got a bit ticked off and felt like ranting! I've seen the same situation a zillion times before, especially when I was starting out, but I've been sailing in relatively calm seas for a while. Thanks for listening!

Jennifer


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Leave this client Apr 22, 2006

JL Baker wrote:

The truth of the matter is that I know I'll get paid in the end. What really irks me is the the fact that this runaround is the norm for some agencies. They just think it's normal business practice to lag behind on payments and force the translator to send repeated reminders. All of which I chalk up to experience and decline to work for that agency again.
So its not the money (this wasn't even a particularly big project- I have enough business now that I only take on big projects with a retainer), but the ATTITUDE that gets to me.
Do you, as a translator, ever have this kind of "I'll get around to it, let her wait" attitude when you have a deadline? I surely don't!
Blah blah blah... I know this is all just hot air, but I just finally got a bit ticked off and felt like ranting! I've seen the same situation a zillion times before, especially when I was starting out, but I've been sailing in relatively calm seas for a while. Thanks for listening!

Jennifer


So why do you stay with this client? You're describing your trouble with getting your money from the client, and it all seems very familiar to me, but please explain to me why you're still working for this client.

I have had the same experience with several clients, and 2nd time they told me fairy tales about slow payment from end-client, or that the staff in charge for payment was on holiday or that the boss had to go to the vet's with his dog or God knows what - I officially closed the cooperation.

Just as somebody told here in the forum - delivery on time means payment on time. And hang on that phone, give them a call every other day until they will be happy to get rid of that "annoying" (as they often out it) translator and gladly pay your invoice

Erik

**********************************
Erik Hansson ( SFÖ )
Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Am Birkenwäldchen 38
D-01900 Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany
Phone +49 - 3 59 52 - 321 07
Fax +49 - 3 59 52 - 322 02
E-Mail info@hansson.de
Internet www.hansson.de
Internet www.technical-translators.net
Internet www.wintitus.de
ProZ profile http://www.proz.com/pro/21654
***********************************


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:46
Partial member (2004)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
This was a test run Apr 23, 2006

Hi Erik,
This was a first small job for a new agency, so I definitely won't be staying with this client! They have a high rating in the BB, too...
These just aren't the kind of time wasting business practices that I can accept, and I generally don't work for these types of agencies anymore after the first job.
In my my opinion, we shouldn't even have to send a payment reminder- do we receive deadline reminders? HA HA... What planet am I living on anyway!!
Off to work on a project before the kids awake! Happy Sunday to all!

Jennifer

[Edited at 2006-04-23 04:23]


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