I may have a payment problem, any suggestion will be appreciated.
Thread poster: Jun Ruan

Jun Ruan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:55
English to Chinese
+ ...
Dec 8, 2006

Hi all,

Last month, I finished a big project (60,000 words) for an overseas agency. It was the first job the agency gave me. I was tested and was asked to sign an service agreement before they handed out the assignment to me. The agreement, which says nothing about the job but the rate I charge, is more a rate agreement. Actually I don't think it is an effective one since they didn't sign it at all. This is tricky.

The PM was pleasant and supportive and quick-responding during the translating process, but he turned into sloppy in responding to my emails asking for payment after the job was done. Almost 3 weeks have past since I delivered the last piece of work, and he only responded once to my several mails. This is what he said in his last mail 6 days ago:"All the invoices are in process. I will check with accounting about the payment schedule.
Sorry for my delay in responding. It's been very hectic lately." Two days ago I wrote another mail to ask on what date I shall be paid, but no response so far.

I would like to know, is it normal for PMs to become sloppy after the job is done? I know there are still 10 days before the payment will be due, but I just don't feel good by being treated this way.

Does anybody have similar experience and how did (would) you handle it?

Thank you guys reading my first post.

John


[Edited at 2006-12-08 01:42]


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:55
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not "normal", but it does happen Dec 8, 2006

Hi John.

It is not necessarily "normal" for a PM to act in this way after delivery of a project, but it has been known to happen. Although it is not really a valid excuse, if their offices really have been "hectic" lately then your emails may have taken less priority than usual.

However, as the payment is not due yet I think you will have to just sit tight and wait for the due date to come around. Then you can start sending reminders and it really will be unacceptable not to receive any response.

Perhaps, in the future, you might consider asking for part payment in advance when you take on such a large project for a new customer. It would save you some unnecessary heartache and worry.

Good luck!

Becky.


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 23:55
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Be patient Dec 8, 2006

Hallo John,

You should be patient because it is not due yet.


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Natalya Zelikova  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:55
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
Patient Dec 8, 2006

In this case you really just have to be patient.

But to avoid such situations in future, try to ask for prepayment (some clients agree to pay in adavnce) if the project is large and you work for the client for the first time. Or even try to negotiate payment upon delivery of each batch of files.

The PM's behavious after the project is done is actually rather usual, though still unpleasant, but you shouldn't worry until the payment deadline is overdue.


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Xiangdong Zhuo
China
Local time: 00:55
English to Chinese
It is normal this way Dec 8, 2006

Just take it easy. You need to wait for the process as it going.

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chinesetrans
Netherlands
Local time: 18:55
English to Chinese
+ ...
wait a few more days Dec 8, 2006

Better to wait a few more days.

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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:55
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
It’s normal Dec 8, 2006

A 60,000 word translation is a challenge not only for the translator, but also for the PM, and often the PM's job continues for a week or two on that project after yours is over. Probably the PM is really too busy now. I don’t think you should worry.

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Manav Lubana
Italy
Local time: 18:55
Italian to Panjabi
+ ...
Do not trust anyone Dec 8, 2006

Hi John,
I am Manav Singh from India, translator and Interpreter for Italian, English, Punjabi and Hindi Languages.
I have many experiences when client had not paid me. And even nobody could told me what should I do?
I have worked for private person, agency and a reputed organisation in Italy. but till now even after one year i have not received my payment.
If there is any one could help me also to get my payment.


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Jun Ruan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:55
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
re Dec 9, 2006

Rebecca Hendry wrote:

Hi John.

It is not necessarily "normal" for a PM to act in this way after delivery of a project, but it has been known to happen. Although it is not really a valid excuse, if their offices really have been "hectic" lately then your emails may have taken less priority than usual.

However, as the payment is not due yet I think you will have to just sit tight and wait for the due date to come around. Then you can start sending reminders and it really will be unacceptable not to receive any response.

Perhaps, in the future, you might consider asking for part payment in advance when you take on such a large project for a new customer. It would save you some unnecessary heartache and worry.

Good luck!

Becky.


Becky, I think you are right, I should wait till due date and see what will happen. Asking for pre-pay is a good idea and necessary for big projects for new clients, I will take that too.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

John


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Jun Ruan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:55
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
re Dec 9, 2006

Hipyan, Natalya, Xiangdong, chinesetrans, Henrik, thank all of you for posting, and do make me feel better now. I will try to be patient and be smart next time when I accept a project that I should be thinking asking deposit to be paid.

Manavsingh, I think you will have to take some risk doing cross-border business online. I used to get paid on time everytime when I was translating for a domestic agency in China, but the rate was blood-sucking low, given my experience and service quality. That is why I try to explore the overseas market. There might indeed many untrustable, but I aslo think we need to learn to be smart to protect ourselves in this industry. I think this is a great place to learn and to make friends. Good luck to you.


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abufaraz
Pakistan
Local time: 21:55
English to Urdu
+ ...
Risk Dec 10, 2006

Natalya Zelikova wrote:


But to avoid such situations in future, try to ask for prepayment (some clients agree to pay in adavnce)



There is an equal chance of losing the job on expressing of this attitude of mistrust.

[Edited at 2006-12-10 13:01]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:55
English to German
+ ...
Trust vs. security Dec 10, 2006

Hi,

There is an equal chance of losing the job on expressing of this attitude of mistrust.


This is not about mistrust, IMO - just ask yourself this question:

You have just met someone over the internet.
The person you have just met asks you whether you're prepared to lend him/her money - say, 2,000 dollars.

Would you do it?

Well, by delivering a translation to an unknown customer without prepayment, staged partial payment, or other form of risk mitigation, you're doing just that: lending money to a stranger.

Best, Ralf


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