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Advice needed on recovering fees
Thread poster: Burrell

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Oct 9, 2006

I couple of weeks ago I posted a thread on my misfortunes with a UK agency who did not want to pay me my fees covering up with the end clients refusal to pay them due to some quality issues. However I only found out about "quality issues" when I enquired about the money that should have been in my account so a good 50 days after delivery of the project.
I have since recovered half of my fees. During phone conversation with the representative from the agency I had the feeling they expected me to ask for more money and that they probably would pay me a bit more. However I am not exactly happy with it and am considering further action.
I have two options - get as much as I can form the agency without going to court. The agency said they will get paid half of the fees as well but they do not want to loose any money on this project. Does anybody know how much per word is an agency supposed to pocket (%). If I know they get at least 50% more than I do, then I know that by asking 90% they will not be out of pocket and will be tempted to settle this out of court.
Second option is small claims court where I would have to proove that they had to present any quality related issues within reasonable time after I delivered the project. Now, what would be considered reasonable time and does anybody knows of any official, legal text (in Internet) which I could use as an argument in court to point out that even if there were quality issues, they had to present me with a list and let me correct the mistakes should there be any or inform me of this problem well before my fees were due.
Any advice would be greatly apprciated. If I have made a mess of explaining the situation, let me know and I will fill the gaps.

Ines

[Edited at 2006-10-09 11:38]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
dates Oct 9, 2006

Burrell wrote:

I couple of weeks ago I posted a thread on my misfortunes with a UK agency who did not want to pay me my fees covering up with the end clients refusal to pay them due to some quality issues. However I only found out about "quality issues" when I enquired about the money that should have been in my account so a good 50 days after delivery of the project.
I have since recovered half of my fees. During phone conversation with the representative from the agency I had the feeling they expected me to ask for more money and that they probably would pay me a bit more. However I am not exactly happy with it and am considering further action.
I have two options - get as much as I can form the agency without going to court. The agency said they will get paid half of the fees as well but they do not want to loose any money on this project. Does anybody know how much per word is an agency supposed to pocket (%). If I know they get at least 50% more than I do, then I know that by asking 90% they will not be out of pocket and will be tempted to settle this out of court.
Second option is small claims court where I would have to proove that they had to present any quality related issues within reasonable time after I delivered the project. Now, what would be considered reasonable time and does anybody knows of any official, legal text (in Internet) which I could use as an argument in court to point out that even if there were quality issues, they had to present me with a list and let me correct the mistakes should there be any or inform me of this problem well before my fees were due.
Any advice would be greatly apprciated. If I have made a mess of explaining the situation, let me know and I will fill the gaps.

Ines

[Edited at 2006-10-09 11:38]


Hi Ines

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Need to confirm some facts.

When did they commission

When did you deliver

Did you deliver on time

What was the agreed payment term (immediately, 30 days, etc)

How late were they (if they were)

When did you send the first reminder (if you did)

When (exactly) did you hear about the quality problem

If you map the whole situation out in terms of dates (they can be fictitious, but the elapsed number of days/weeks should be exact), then we should be able to advise you:-)


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dates Oct 9, 2006

Right, I was givven the job mid June, delivered mid July, payment terms were 30 days from the end of invoicing month. Delivered without delay whereas they did sent me files for translation late aftert the deadline was set.
When the money did not arrive on August 31, I sent reminders a few days after that. Still nothing. I think around 1.5 till 2 weeks later I called them and only then was told their client had quality issues and they were just finding out the details. When I pointed out that is it a bit late to cover up with the quality excuse they said there is nothing much they could do as the end client was EU and they were away on holidays entire August. However I delivered the job mid July which would have left plenty of time still in July to notify me of any problems.
To be honest, I have this sneaking suspicion (and I have seen it discussed elswhere) that in my language pair there are some overzealous editors sitting in this EU body as even my client admitted that all their Latvian translations have had "quality issues" and they were not done by me. I have no doubts over my translation, but we all know it is possible to proofread in a way that casts a shdow over translator.
In any case, quality here is not essential because the deadline for the quality argument has long since gone. Now it only looks like excuse.


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 01:16
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Latvian editors Oct 9, 2006



To be honest, I have this sneaking suspicion (and I have seen it discussed elswhere) that in my language pair there are some overzealous editors sitting in this EU body as even my client admitted that all their Latvian translations have had "quality issues" and they were not done by me. I have no doubts over my translation, but we all know it is possible to proofread in a way that casts a shdow over translator.



God save me from Latvian editors... If the one working for the final recipient is at least a tiny bit like the one I had at my previous in-house work, it doesnt surprise me every single Latvian translator has the so called "quality issues". Anyway, thats another subject.

I sincerely hope you wont have to go to court to solve this case. Fingers crossed for you Ines!

Stella


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Kristina Wolf  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 08:16
Member (2004)
Spanish to German
+ ...
ITI might be able to help Oct 11, 2006

ARe you a member of ITI in the UK or associate member? They have a legal helpline which can advise you on exactly this issues. I vaguely remember that in their last or last but one edition of the bulletin they had an article about exactly that type of problem. I am sure you can order copies of it via the website

KRistina


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ITI Oct 11, 2006

Kristina wrote:

ARe you a member of ITI in the UK or associate member? They have a legal helpline which can advise you on exactly this issues. I vaguely remember that in their last or last but one edition of the bulletin they had an article about exactly that type of problem. I am sure you can order copies of it via the website

KRistina


That's great advice, Kristina, thanx! Unfortunately I am not a member and it seems the quickest I could join would be in 3-4 weeks from the moment I have sent in all the paperwork so really we are talking more than a month here by which time it will be too late for me.
But I might join anyhow as this kind of situation can arise again (hope not, but have to be prepared).


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