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Opinion needed: Job completed, but payment split in 2 instalments
Thread poster: ydepre
ydepre
Local time: 21:58
English to French
Sep 24, 2006

I'd be curious to have your opinion on the following:
Last June I completed a job for just over $750 for an agency. In July, I received a check for half the amount, with a note simply saying: "50% balance next month." There was no explanation, and there had been no prior discussion on a payment in 2 instalments. Further, my payment terms state clearly: Net 30.
The following month, no check. I sent a reminder email, & received a reply that a check was sent. A few weeks later, still no check. I sent another email. The man called me & during the conversation mentioned sending the check to an address where I haven't lived for 10 years. I restated my current address (where, incidentally, the first check was sent).
I finally received the check a few days ago, minus $11, with a note saying that the bank charged him for $22 to stop payment for the first check; therefore, he split the fee in two. Reason invoked: He did not know if he had mailed the first check to the wrong address or if my mailman did not deliver it.... He hoped this would not happen in the future.
I emailed him saying that in fact, he owed me money, as I did not charge him late fees for the unpaid portion, and that this situation would certainly not occur in the future, because I would no longer accept jobs from him.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
Is this guy for real? Sep 24, 2006

I am surprised he did not deduct the cost for the envelope and the stamp from what he owed you!

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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 07:58
Member (2004)
English to Greek
+ ...
I am curious... Sep 24, 2006

ydepre wrote:

I emailed him saying that in fact, he owed me money, as I did not charge him late fees for the unpaid portion, and that this situation would certainly not occur in the future, because I would no longer accept jobs from him.



What was his reply/reaction to this last mail?


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Ara Mkrtchyan  Identity Verified
Armenia
Local time: 08:58
English to Armenian
+ ...
Be prudent Sep 24, 2006

I am sorry to hear about such cases (delayed payment with certain loss, or no payment at all) more and more. I've never encountered your situation in my practice, but I would not like it either - that is simply not professional.
Though I am a freelancer, I believe this is how I would act if I were an outsourcer/mediator and my client delayed the payment: I would pay the translator, supposing the results were ok, from my own funds, and if later my client did not pay me, I would address this issue with him directly leaving the trasnslator out of this; if I act as a mediator, I must bear responsibility.

Rgrds,
Ara


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 06:58
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Every minute a sucker is born Sep 24, 2006

.. and every ten seconds a lemon.

The practical issue at this moment is, how to avoid stepping on this kind of banana peels in the future: checking the credentials of the possible business partner, making sure the job is not too big to break your neck if it sours on you etc etc.

There's not only freelancing translators, there's also freelancing agencies and agents, running on a shoestring budget , "a smile and a shoeshine". Your agent could very well fit this description...

And of course there's that SoB brand ...

regards

Vito

PS: see that 11$ plus late payment as a tuition fee. And don't ask , how much I spent on this kind of lessons (sg)...

[Edited at 2006-09-24 20:16]


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ydepre
Local time: 21:58
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
His reply Sep 25, 2006

Nadia Fahmi wrote:

ydepre wrote:

I emailed him saying that in fact, he owed me money, as I did not charge him late fees for the unpaid portion, and that this situation would certainly not occur in the future, because I would no longer accept jobs from him.



What was his reply/reaction to this last mail?


Among other things:
"Maybe I did mail 2nd check to correct location & mailman not dropped it off? [sic]. How do I know whose fault it was regarding the second check? Why should I then absorb the $22 stop payment fee? "
"Paying a translator in 2 instalments of 30/60 days is not a hardship."


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xxxAdrian MM.
Local time: 06:58
French to English
+ ...
Interest payable Sep 26, 2006

It is not for the translator to absorb the stopped cheque/ check charge, but to claim interest on the 30-day late instalment payment.

There are some agencies who issue cheques, then sit on them one month or more, earning interest at the payee's expense.


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Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 06:58
English to German
+ ...
Late agency payment again Oct 6, 2006

I have done several translations for this agency in the past.
My invoices state clearly payable within two weeks.

Last time they paid after 2 months: Following my
1st reminder they excused themselves that the guy from the accounts department had been on holidays.

I have done more translations for them in the meanwhile because they are ever so nice on the phone and manage to chase me up here in Morocco on my mobile...

An invoice dated July 3rd about some 30 Euro I also listed in connection with my last 1. reminder referring to another more recent invoice amounting to 400 Euros. In this instance, they are only two weeks late....but I am beginning to fear that I need to face this ordeal of writing future reminders with second and last reminders charging them late payment interest.

I am sick and tired of this game of having to write reminders ....surely they must know my payment conditions in their accounts department.

So what is the next step in this: Threatening with a money collecting agency or is it just being patient with the poor agency that is paying just peanuts anyway....

Admittedly, these were nice jobs they gave me, but is no fun to work with them...


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