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how to get paid for interpreting from a direct client
Thread poster: Tetyana Lavrenchuk
Tetyana Lavrenchuk  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:27
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Aug 23, 2007

Dear collegues,

I need your advice. Recently I've been contacted by a direct client to do some interpreting ( a kind of escort interpreting, not the official one). I have made for him an agreement for interpreting services. The problem is that I've always worked for agencies and I don't know how to deal with direct clients ( when interpreting I mean ) what concerns money matters:
- should I be paid immediately when my contract ends
( in this case these are 4 days ) or give him a few days;
- should I ask him to pay in cash, bank transfer, postal order.

The problem is also that it's the first time I work with this client and I don't know him. I think that a contract will be quite a good guarantee for me to be paid for my services. What else can I do to avoid payment problems with direct clients? Thanks a lot for you advice.


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:27
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
It depends. Aug 23, 2007

If I work at trade fairs with foreign clients, so I demand, that the pay me immediately after the fair. I give them an invoice. If the client is from your country, so you can just send him an invoice and ask for a wire transfer. If you need some details, you can contact me personally.
Erika


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Giuliana d'Orazi Flavoni
Italy
Local time: 19:27
Italian to English
My 2 cents: Aug 23, 2007

Hello Tetyana,

this is what I would probably do if I were you:

1) Check out the client - is it a big company, is it a small company, what sort of products does it sell etc. and try and work out if you have any reason to be worried about them not paying you.

2) Prepare a small contract (or price estimate - "preventivo") listing exactly which services are being supplied, prices and conditions of payment and send it to the client by fax to be "signed and stamped" for acceptance and returned to you before you commit yourself. Make sure you include something about cancellation fees and charges as well just in case they change their mind at the last moment.

3) Ask for an advance, say 30% of the total.

As for payment itself, I personally avoid cheques, I know a few people who have had problems with them (!), any other method to me sounds good.

HIH!

Good luck,

Giuliana


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Tetyana Lavrenchuk  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:27
Italian to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How do you think? Aug 23, 2007

Giuliana d'Orazi Flavoni wrote:

Hello Tetyana,

this is what I would probably do if I were you:

1) Check out the client - is it a big company, is it a small company, what sort of products does it sell etc. and try and work out if you have any reason to be worried about them not paying you.

2) Prepare a small contract (or price estimate - "preventivo") listing exactly which services are being supplied, prices and conditions of payment and send it to the client by fax to be "signed and stamped" for acceptance and returned to you before you commit yourself. Make sure you include something about cancellation fees and charges as well just in case they change their mind at the last moment.

3) Ask for an advance, say 30% of the total.

As for payment itself, I personally avoid cheques, I know a few people who have had problems with them (!), any other method to me sounds good.

HIH!

Good luck,

Giuliana



Do you think it's worth asking an advance? But the client may think that I don't trust him. Moreover they don't know me either...


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Giuliana d'Orazi Flavoni
Italy
Local time: 19:27
Italian to English
It depends entirely on you... Aug 23, 2007

and what you are comfortable with or what you think is appropriate.

If you feel uncomfortable with asking for an advance, or if you don't think it is appropriate, then don't worry about it.

Every single case is unique as is every single client.

What I think is important is that everything should be done as clearly and politely as possible so that there is no room for missunderstandings.

Good luck
Giuliana


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 01:27
English to Indonesian
+ ...
paid immediately Aug 23, 2007

for direct clients, they usually pay me immediately after the event is finished. it also applies for events lasting for more than one day, i.e. seminar and training in my case. and they pay in cash.

[Edited at 2007-08-23 11:48]


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:27
English to Russian
+ ...
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Aug 23, 2007

Tatyana,

I have both positive (US direct client) and negative (Russian direct client in the US) experiences.

Yes, a small contact signed BEFORE you start is a must. Now, about my experience: in both cases both direct clients found me on the Internet. We exchanged emails where we confirmed the schedule, rate and payment. With direct interpreting clients there should not be 30 days wait to be paid.

Positive experience: As I worked for them for the first time, I billed them for each day, to avoid the gasps at the end of the project, and received prompt payment. As the new projects came and their payment history was good, I provided an invoice after the project was completed. Now we have been working together for over 2 years, and we also became good friends.

Negative experience: For the first time I worked with the them for just one day and there was no problem to get paid. However, there was a small red flag when they asked me to take them to the airport (in Houston this is a huge distance and taxi costs $60) - which I politely refused to do. Before the the second project started, they tried to negotiate a rate discount which I promised to do AFTER the second project was completed. Well, after almost a week of work I issued an invoice for the total and received gasps and loud demands (not requests) for a discount - they even deducted one hour of lunch with the client when "I did not have much to interpret"! I was lucky the whole scene happened in a hotel lobby and as I started a loud argument, they preferred not to attract attention and better pay and leave. Glad I never heard from them again. Cheap SOBs.

Good luck

[Edited at 2007-08-23 15:22]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:27
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
70% advance and 30% on last day Aug 23, 2007

I have a direct client for whom I work 5 days a month, every month. They pay me 70% advance on the first day of Interpretation and balance 30% on the last day.

I've been working with them for some time now. And no payment issues.


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