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Late payment - first steps
Thread poster: Elin Davies

Elin Davies  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
English to Welsh
+ ...
Jan 7, 2008

Hello all

I've been pretty lucky with clients paying on time, but have a couple of new clients who are a few weeks behind with payment at the moment, and one coming up to a month late. I state on my invoices that payment should be made within 30 days of receipt, and usually hope to get it within six weeks.

I've been holding back on contacting them to give them some time due to the holidays, but would be grateful for any advice with regard to how to gently prod them into payment (I don't want to get nasty yet!). Do you re-send invoices, but change to a reminder or use a friendly but to the point email?

Thanks in advance
Elin


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:43
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
First - a friendly reminder by email Jan 7, 2008

I usually send a friendly reminder offering to send again the invoice if necessary.

Or I send again the invoice but with a red "duplicate" mention on it (easy to do with Word, use background).

To this day it has proved to be enough. I am lucky ! But I must say that i am very cautious before accepting a job from a new client, I check BB, payment practice lists and sometimes get direct information from other translators.

You could have a look at this article from the Knowledge base :
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/328/1/-Collection


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:43
English to Dutch
+ ...
Resend + comment Jan 7, 2008

I usually resend the invoice as an attachment to an e-mail with in the body text the comment:

Dear sir/madam,
according to my records, this invoice has not been paid yet. It was due on xxxx. Can you look into this, please?

Regards, etc.

Works well most of the time. I do opt for an automated confirmation of receipt in Outlook/Thunderbird in a case like this, so I know it's been received even if they don't respond personally.


Good luck!
Margreet


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CFK TRAD  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:43
English to French
+ ...
Same thing Jan 7, 2008

Hi and first of all, Happy New Year !!

I guess we all do more or less the same thing when it's the first reminder.

I usually send an email with "unpaid invoice #xxx" in the subject matter of the email, and a high priority. I also systematically attach the invoice, with the mention" REMINDER".

I point out what job (project references, PM...), when it was completed, and when the due date was. The more information you give the better it is for you AND for the client if he/she is honest (they may have forgotten or lost the invoice, they also may have sent you the payment which was lost).
I then stress the fact that, maybe, they sent the payment which was lost (especially in the same country, when paid by check, it happened to me recently), so I need to have the details of the payment and, if the payment has not been sent yet, that I'd be grateful if they could send it right now.

Most of the times it works, when it doesn't, getting nasty has been proven efficient.

Good luck,

CFK


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Elin Davies  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
English to Welsh
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 7, 2008

Happy New Tear to you too!

Thanks to the three of you - as I said, I've been very lucky so far and haven't had the need to remind clients of payment, but with three bigish invoices unpaid (most of my income for November) I thought I'd give my diplomacy skills a go.

Thanks again - this is really helpful.

Elin


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