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Italian agencies
Thread poster: Spencer Allman
Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
Finnish to English
Nov 8, 2006

I translate from Finnish to English so the agencies I deal with are mainly in the UK and the Nordic countries. The latter often practise a fast payment policy, one that seems not to be entertained elsewhere.

I have just been approached by an Italian agency who wants a job doing for tomorrow and expects to pay me 90 days from the end of this month.

I just told them that such a policy was ridicuous and that I was not prepared to wait four months to be paid.

Such a policy contravenes normal UK practice and, as far as I know, EU legisllation.

Any comments out of interest?


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Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:49
French to Italian
+ ...
90 days is too much Nov 8, 2006

but I am sometimes offered payment in 60 days, which means 3 months if you happen to work at the beginning of the current month, both in France and in Italy.
Anyway, when I am asked to do a job for the following day, I reply that it is not normal to wait 3 months to get paid!
It's up to you to negotiate, sometimes I got an immediate payment, sometimes I just declined the offer.


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
Italian to English
Italian payment terms Nov 8, 2006

Unfortunately payment terms of 60 or 90 days are commonplace in Italy. I only have one Italian client that pays within a reasonable period of time (5 days).

Due to my main language combination, I do most of my work for Italian agencies, but am now seriously thinking of focusing on building up contacts with agencies in other countries.


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:49
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Seems to be common practice in Italy Nov 8, 2006

Hi Spencer,

I have made exactly the same experience with an Italian agency. They also offered me payment terms of 90 days. I once heard that in Italy payment processes in general tend to be very long (for example from the end-client to the translation agency), that's why Italian agencies "need" to use these payment terms. I was able to bargain a little, and we agreed on 60 days that time.

Stefanie

[Bearbeitet am 2006-11-08 21:36]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
EU-guideline Nov 8, 2006

Spencer Allman wrote:

I translate from Finnish to English so the agencies I deal with are mainly in the UK and the Nordic countries. The latter often practise a fast payment policy, one that seems not to be entertained elsewhere.

I have just been approached by an Italian agency who wants a job doing for tomorrow and expects to pay me 90 days from the end of this month.

I just told them that such a policy was ridicuous and that I was not prepared to wait four months to be paid.

Such a policy contravenes normal UK practice and, as far as I know, EU legisllation.

Any comments out of interest?



http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/regulation/late_payments/index.htm
This guideline has been implemented into Italian law:
http://www.venetoappalti.it/normativa/norme_statali/2002_dlgs_231.htm
But in Italy, old payment habits never die. I worked for Italians once, never again.
Between ( ) : During a discussion with a young dentist, we told him this. You draw a tooth and you will get paid after 90 days. He could not believe his ears.

[Edited at 2006-11-08 12:46]


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Tacito  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:49
Member (2005)
German to Italian
+ ...
And are you sure that they will pay? Nov 8, 2006

I am Italian and I am allowed to say something more about my country.
I can tell you what happened to a friend of mine, an old retired Italian worker, living abroad.
On the 3rd November he opened his bank account, and he saw that only 40% of his miserable pension has been paid.
He called the Italian authority for pensions and they told him that this was a decision of the government of the 1st November, valid for all retired workers abroad. But hopefully they will pay the missing 60% in December.
The reason is very simple, the Italian Government wanted to show the European Commission, that they master the budget. So they did not pay the silent victims. And the European Commission was happy.
What do you expect from a country like that?
What do you expect from a country where the average declared yearly income of lawyers and doctors (for taxation purposes) is (according to governmental sources) 6500 € per year (yes, per year)?

Alberto Valle, translator.


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
Finnish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your comments Nov 8, 2006

Yeah I worked in Italy once myself ...........

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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 13:49
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
positive experience Nov 8, 2006

Seems to me Im one of the rare people who works with Italian agencies and has no problems with payment terms. Who knows - maybe Im just lucky to have found the right agencies - but I can definitely say these agencies are my very best clients.:)

Anyway, I think payment terms is not exclusively an Italian problem.

However to me its better to have longer payment terms than to work for miserable rates paid by outsorcers in some countries (especially in the field of film translations and subtitling), but thats another story in general.

Stella

~never ask permission to enjoy your creativity~


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Elena Simonelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:49
English to Italian
+ ...
60 days Nov 8, 2006

I am also Italian and work with Italian agencies.
I this it is quite common to pay after 30 or 60 days; 90 days is actually a bit too much in my opinion. On the other hand, I also have clients in Spain and Holland and they also pay after 2 months or so.
If you are not sure about the payment you can ask for an order letter and check the Blue Board, but generally speaking I don't see this policy as a sign they will not pay (Alberto, sorry, but is your story really relevant?)


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Alp Berker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:49
Turkish to English
+ ...
Common practice Nov 8, 2006

This is common in Italy. Hopefully the Italians will change this over time. I find it annoying, but generally the agencies are good about paying at the end of the 90 days based on my experience. If you can deal with the 90 days. it isn't a problem, but if you are needing payment sooner I would turn it down. Rule of thumb for me for large jobs I generally decline, but for smaller jobs it's doable.

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Sally Winch  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Common practice - not all bad Nov 8, 2006

I have worked with Italian agencies for 20 years, and this was always the case. The advantage is that you know how much money you have earned for the next 2-3 months / always useful in a 'dead' period.

I do apply the 30-60 day service (interpreting)-products (translations) rules to my own clients. Interpreting is a well-paid profession in Italy, and often I may translate a little for agencies who provide me with good interpreting work.

I would advice a combination of different payers - that way you have a nice constant flow of money coming in. Personally I have never not been paid by an Italian agency, though I may have to 'remind' them to pay me.

Best of luck,

Sally



[Edited at 2006-11-08 14:56]


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Vauwe
Local time: 12:49
English to German
+ ...
30 days Nov 8, 2006

I work for two Italian agencies and both pay within 30 days. Lucky me

[Bearbeitet am 2006-11-08 15:07]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:49
Member
English to French
And Sally's going... Nov 8, 2006

Sally Winch wrote:

I have worked with Italian agencies for 20 years, and this was always the case. The advantage is that you know how much money you have earned for the next 2-3 months / always useful in a 'dead' period.
...


WHAT? Do you seriously see ANY advantage in being paid 60/90 days instead of 30? You must be a compulsive spender

Cashflow considerations aside, the longer payment terms are, the more likely you are to lose massive amounts of money if ever the agency goes bankrupt. I know this for a fact.

The only Italian agency I worked with for 2.5 years used to pay 30 days end of month without any reminder. So Italian outsourcers are not all affected by the 60+day disease.

Kind regards,
Philippe





[Edited at 2006-11-08 17:23]


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Alina Barrow
France
Local time: 12:49
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Italian agency Nov 8, 2006

I worked just with one translation agency. Despite 30 days agreed condition for payment they paid in the 90 days. But it was a summer holidays period, what is the big thing in Italy, so I don't know what to think.

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Claire Titchmarsh  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Go with the flow Nov 8, 2006

As Sonia said, 90 days is completely normal in Italy, in any profession, not just in translation. But there's absolutely no reason to suggest they won't pay you at all, as a couple of other people have hinted. This has never been my experience, in fact the only real payment problems I've had have been with English agencies who promise 30 days that turns into 75.

If it's a small job then it shouldn't make that much difference. I normally set a 60-day limit, and they normally find that acceptable.


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