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Client pays for something you would have done for free/less
Thread poster: Marion Rooijmans

Marion Rooijmans
Netherlands
Local time: 02:27
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sep 5, 2007

Following a topic on whether or not to charge minimum fees for small jobs and doing a couple of words for free...

What do you do when a client pays you for something you would have done for less or maybe even for free?

I once attended a two-day course for a fairly new client with a huge project. After the course, the client wanted to pay me EUR 250 to cover for my travel and lodging expenses. I invoiced only EUR 200, as I had not spent more during those two days.

Another client sent me a PO with a minimum fee, although I would have used a flat rate for that specific job as I had to invoice more jobs for them at the end of the month. In the end, I used the minimum fee.

I've had one case where a client sent me a PO for something I would not have charged for at all. I accepted the PO and thanked them.

So in these cases, the client had already stated the amount of money they would pay before I could let them know I would invoice less. What's the best thing to do? Be honest and let them know you weren't going to invoice that much, or accept the money and keep quiet?


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Rodrigo Mencía  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
If they are honest... Sep 5, 2007

If they are honest with you, I would be honest with them. I work with several agencies on a regular basis and I can tell you that if you're honest with them, they will always come back to you and show gratitude for your work.


R.


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I suspect the 250 Euro was their flat rate Sep 5, 2007

I don't think you did anything wrong accepting the 250 Euros. I suspect that was what they budgeted for the conference expenses. And not even gave it a second thought.

As for the other ones, you were obviously not trying to cheat anyone, consider it a "tip". Has a waitress/waiter ever given you back a tip and said "Hey, I was just doing my job, and you folks are sooo nice. Please take your money back."

I have a client who sends me fine chocolates after a job (as well as paying within a week!).

I suspect they appreciate you!!!

Best regards
Linda


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:27
Italian to English
+ ...
Agree with Rodrigo Sep 5, 2007

I don't think you did anything wrong by accepting the money, but offering the occasional freebie to valuable clients or pointing out that the offered reimbursement is more than you actually spent is good business sense - it can only boost your reputation.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some jobs on Proz Sep 5, 2007

Now and then I see a job posted on Proz, like this:

I need this phrase - [a two-liner] - translated into [my working language] ASAP.

Qualifications required, ATA or similar membership, must have a degree in translation, Trados Certification, 24/7 broadband web connection, Intel processor, etc. etc.

Please send your BEST rates, together with CV, and no less than three verifiable references to [hotmail address].


Reading all this and complying with all their demands always take longer than simply translating the phrase, which I do for free in lieu of my bid, just as I'd give directions to anyone on the street who asked me.

Some of them were quite thankful, and promised to call me first on the next job they have for my language pair. This is still to happen, if it ever will.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:27
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
New client accidentally paid me twice Sep 5, 2007

Rodrigo Mencía wrote:

If they are honest with you, I would be honest with them. I work with several agencies on a regular basis and I can tell you that if you're honest with them, they will always come back to you and show gratitude for your work.


R.


I acquired a new client in April and when the time came they accidentally paid me twice. As soon as I realised what had happened I rang them and repaid the overpayment. They seemed to have no idea about the double payment. I sort of hoped they would appreciate my honesty and send me further work (not that I desperately need more work!). They cashed my cheque but have never contacted me since.
I still think honesty is the best policy.
Kind regards,
Jenny.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 21:27
Well-balanced Sep 5, 2007

Of course there are other cases in which you are paid less than you actually deserve. Do you always argue till you get the amount of fee you are justified to receive?

It is a good balance, isn't it?


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 01:27
;-) Sep 5, 2007

Linda Bolzern wrote:
I have a client who sends me fine chocolates after a job (as well as paying within a week!).


Will this client need Irish Gaelic translations? *Ahem*


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