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Why are deadlines only for us, freelancers?
Thread poster: Piotr Wargan
Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:39
English to Polish
+ ...
Nov 9, 2006

Disclaimer: outsourcers who pay on time: please do not read any further as this is not about such companies as yours.


Apologies if I am beeing boring..
------
A freelance translator is expected to deliver the result of his/her work at (or before) the set deadline, and let's suppose that he does.

An outsourcer is expected to pay for the service at (by) the date agreed, and let's suppose he does not.

If we reverse the situation we know what happens: the translator does not deliver the work on time - then outsourcer has the right not to pay at all ....

My question is why I have to wait for my hard-earned money. Why do I have to be on time, and my work is not paid on time?

Is it this one of those "double standards" kind of thing?

Why are deadlines only for us?

All explanations are welcome.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Apples and oranges, credit and goods Nov 9, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:
My question is why I have to wait for my hard-earned money. Why do I have to be on time, and my work is not paid on time? ... Is it this one of those "double standards" kind of thing?


You provide the client with two things -- goods (the translation) and credit. In many walks of life, credit is interest-free for a certain period of time, but it doesn't have to be. You can charge interest from day 1 if you like to. But usually, credit is interest-free for 30 days (or for a period agreed to by both parties). After that, interest is charged. If you neglect to charge interest on late payment, then you only have yourself to blame.



[Edited at 2006-11-09 09:57]


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Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:39
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Samuel Nov 9, 2006

Hi,
I was not talking about charging or not charging interest for late payment.

Am I being too idealistic or what

There should be no such thing as the late payment, period.

That is all: person A has the deadline and keeps it; person B has his deadline too - so he should keep it too.


By the way why did you think there was something s***y in my post ?


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
That's not all Nov 9, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:
There should be no such thing as the late payment, period.

That is all: person A has the deadline and keeps it; person B has his deadline too - so he should keep it too.

Any rule for adults needs to specify what will happen if the rule is broken.

You described the possible consequences for the translator, already.

Consequences for the client may be:
- the translator would not accept future jobs from him,
- the translator would increase his rates for this client to compensate for any unusual trouble.

Although this may still look a bit idealistic, I think it is complete enough to be practicable.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Tired of late payments? Try late delivery! Nov 9, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:
That is all: person A has the deadline and keeps it; person B has his deadline too - so he should keep it too.


You complain about the client delaying payment, but it is you who sanction delayed payment in the first place by delivering the translation before the client pays.

Payment before delivery (or at the same time as delivery) is common practice in most economies for many types of deals, and nothing stops you from applying it to your translations too. Have you ever thought of trying it -- not delivering the translation until the client has paid? This is not so far-fetched -- I've had clients (private clients, who don't know any better) who had thought that they had to pay me before I start the translation.

It's not about deadlines.


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:39
German to French
+ ...
Late payment Nov 9, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:

Payment before delivery (or at the same time as delivery) is common practice in most economies for many types of deals, and nothing stops you from applying it to your translations too. Have you ever thought of trying it -- not delivering the translation until the client has paid? This is not so far-fetched -- I've had clients (private clients, who don't know any better) who had thought that they had to pay me before I start the translation.

It's not about deadlines.


I got lately got sick of running after clients from some countries (abroad) because of payment after the deadline as if the client was waiting for the reminder to pay (after a while).

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for payment upfront for a private client abroad. I got paid and only then I started to work on the translation (looked for a translator). He got his translation and seemed happy.

Some of my clients will loose their payment deadline if they wait for me to remind them (they pay late and come back later). I also am sick of another agency whose payment was due in August, still not paid, i got a collection company and the collection company got only promises to pay the amount in 4 installment and has not paid the 1st yet (a very good sign for a agency promising after being 2 months late to pay € 700 in 4 installments). The collection company is however only paid on success so I hope to get paid for christmas.

On the other side, the social security or the tax offices have late fees of 2% of the whole amount due even if you are 2 days late.

What do they think - If they not pay I am loosing money, because the tax office if not waiting for the payment of the VAT on this amount - do they really think I will play like that for long??

[Edited at 2006-11-09 12:10]

[Edited at 2006-11-09 12:11]

[Edited at 2006-11-09 12:13]


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Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:39
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Samuel: Have you ever bought anything via the Internet? Nov 9, 2006

I will use this clear example: buying via the Net.

More often than not, the client first pays the money and that receives the goods. I have never experienced any problems whatsoever, however I credited the shops obviously.


Could this be a clear example of what I mean?


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 00:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with you Nov 9, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:

I will use this clear example: buying via the Net.

More often than not, the client first pays the money and that receives the goods. I have never experienced any problems whatsoever, however I credited the shops obviously.


Could this be a clear example of what I mean?



Hi Piotr!

I always wonder the same you wonder in the thread title. We deliver on Monday 12, at 4.07 EST (or whatever).
Even in the case of clients who don't delay their payments very much (btw, what is VERY much, this depends on each individual situation, of course), we sometimes need to be 'reminding' them that hello! we are here.

Whenever I am assigned a job, I prefer not to be contacted by the client, unless necessary, of course. I never miss deadlines and this is not a selling motto.

But then comes the time to get the money for my job, and it may be my time to be in the position (uncomfortable, ridiculous as it may sound!) to ask about MY part of the exchange: my money.

As in most things in life , I truly believe that we can change the world and that we translators should start doing something to change things and not wait for 'justice fairies.'
I will consider the possibility mentioned by the colleague above: including some wording on my invoices with charges for late payment. With small 'messages' and a stricter attitude from our part, clients might start changing and complying with their part of the agreement (there is an agreement!) with the same approach we are requested, the "Monday 12, at 4.07 EST" approach.

Have a nice Thursday, everybody!

Au

[Editado a las 2006-11-09 13:16]


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Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:39
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Realists and idealists we are :-) Nov 9, 2006

Hello,

Thanks everyone for sharing your points - noting is general, nothing is only black&white (except for the kind of whiskey).

Lots of success and no stress to you all
Piotr


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:39
English to Polish
+ ...
Samuel, I did try - successfully!!! Nov 9, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:

Have you ever thought of trying it -- not delivering the translation until the client has paid?

Apart from end clients, I work for a few agencies on a more or less regular basis and invoice them monthly. One day I got fed up with constanly chasing two of those agencies and introduced an iron-clad rule - no money on payment deadline, no work. Whatever I am currently translating for them, a single-page transcript or a 30-page financial report, gets suspended in the afternoon of the expected payment day until my account is credited. What do I care about THEIR clients? It's THEM who haven't paid!
The tedious chasing got transformed into giving a single, polite hint while accepting another job shortly BEFORE their payment deadline. Miraculously, now it is THEM who are interested if I've received my money or not. Of course, the volume of their orders decreased - no cry, I have more time for the always-on-time payers!


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Shotguns and ducks Nov 10, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:
My question is why I have to wait for my hard-earned money. Why do I have to be on time, and my work is not paid on time?


Leverage (or rather, lack of).

In other words, [some] clients pay late, or sometimes not at all, because they can get away with it (either because there are no rules or regulations that apply to them, or if they exist, they are difficult to enforce). Forums like this or payment practices mailing lists help, but only to a certain degree.

A tough situation, no doubt.

--
Dyran


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MTG_tlumaczenia
Poland
Local time: 05:39
English to Polish
+ ...
I,ve got tired of reminding Nov 10, 2006

about late and still unpaid invoices, once. I took some time to think and I've come up with an idea like this: if any invoice due remains unpaid, and I have any other job from the same client (agency, or other) I deliver the translation (this is a basis for issuing the next invoice!) but in an edit-protected form (for example a pdf with all options locked and password protected). The client can't deny he/she has got the translation, and at the same time he/she can't do anything about it except retype it (and he/she has a deadline, so there is usually no time for that). I had to do that several times - but usually just once for each "lazy" client.

[Edited at 2006-11-10 16:44]


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