Agency not paying. No collection from client.
Thread poster: Karina Garcia Pedroche

Karina Garcia Pedroche  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 15, 2008

Hello! I was assigned a project some time ago by an agency. This agency is apparently having problems collecting the money from the client, and that is the reason why they claim my payment is delayed. I appreciate they keeping me posted on the ongoing issue. But as this is new to me, I'd like to know your opinion. Would you take the responsibility of paying your own team of translators, even if payment is delayed of if you don't get any payment? What do ou think is the most appropriate policy?

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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
Rubbish Jan 15, 2008

The fact that their client is not paying, is unpleasant for them, but it has no bearing on you. They have an agreement with you, and they should stick to it. Press them for immediate payment. If they don't comply, sue them. You don't need non-paying clients.
Why should you suffer the consequences of them not paying enough attention when acquiring clients?


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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
No way, Jose! You have done your work! Get your honoraries! Jan 15, 2008

Karina,

You have to get paid for your job, regarding any internal issues from the translation agency.
Which you can't and shouldn't have to know about.


And how do you know it is actually true?

Do you not pay the electricity, or the water bill, if one client of yours defaults payment?

It has nothing to do with you, and I positively wouldn't hesitate to claim my payment, even if it was true. In fact, I have done this, and this is what I generally do.

A serious agency should have enough credit capability, and cash available to pay its workers.


Otherwise, IT IS NOT PROFESSIONAL.

And what it may be worse, it may spread the word, specially in today's globalised world, and we'll all end up setting up charities and NGO's to live off the roots and fruits that grow naturally, or pouched to the neighbour's!

Don't give up! Fight for what is yours!

Ciao,

Alfredo


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:52
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Contractual relationships Jan 15, 2008

You have a contractual relationship with your client. They agreed to pay you a certain sum if you translated some text for them. You have apparently translated the text. They have an obligation to pay you unless they made payment contingent on getting money from their client and you agreed to that. I suspect that isn't the case, because if it were, you would not have written.

You also have a contractual relationship with the people on your "team of translators". Unless you explicitly made payment to them contingent on getting paid by your client, you owe them whatever you agreed to pay them.

The team could sue you for non-payment. You could sue your client. Whether that's a good idea for anyone, however, is another issue.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:52
English to German
+ ...
Irrelevant Jan 15, 2008

Hi Karina,
Would you take the responsibility of paying your own team of translators, even if payment is delayed of if you don't get any payment?

But of course!
That's exactly what we're doing right now - of course, this means having credit lines available if need be.

Best regards,
Ralf


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Can't pay or won't pay Jan 15, 2008

The real world doesn't work like that, Karina.

If it did, then you could send a copy of your email from the translation agency to your electricity company - and they would tell you not to pay your bill this month.

Unfortunately, you are dealing with a gang of 'chapuceros', or a gang of crooks, or just possibly a bankrupt business.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Sounds familiar... Jan 16, 2008

I had a situation like this, where a client used a lame excuse not to pay, and then the agency didn't want to pay me. I told them in no uncertain terms that they were responsible for paying me, whether the client paid or not...they paid me.


Amy


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ivo abdman
Indonesia
Local time: 17:52
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Depend on context :) Jan 16, 2008

It's depent your wisdom and condition.

Be yourself, you are the one who know you the best isn't it.
Be flexible is the best one. The management that has good survival endurance is the flexible one.

Depend on context such as when you were translating a document

"do not sbut tbe stahle door after borse bas bolted"

encode key: b --->h, h--->b



[Edited at 2008-01-16 02:15]


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jackylee  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
English to Chinese
get what you should get Jan 16, 2008

Amy Duncan wrote:

I had a situation like this, where a client used a lame excuse not to pay, and then the agency didn't want to pay me. I told them in no uncertain terms that they were responsible for paying me, whether the client paid or not...they paid me.


Amy





Amy is good example, you should be like her. Waiting for your good message.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:52
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Very common problem for freelance teachers Jan 16, 2008

It's a problem I run into all the time in my principal role of English trainer. The training is actually paid for by government funds, through organisations set up for that purpose. So the person needing English tuition gets in touch with an agency, who give me the contract, which I ensure states payment by monthly invoice. Unfortunately for the agency, payment from the govt. fund only arrives a long time after the end of the whole training period, which can extend over quite a few months.

Not surprisingly, they are always trying to put off my payment, because they get into cash-flow problems all the time. I got caught a few times at first into either waiting too long or losing my temper and a potentially useful client. Now I just stay calm but firm and I usually get paid in a semi-reasonable time.

One thing to be careful of is to read the contract carefully - I didn't always do that to begin with, and of course, once agreed to there's nothing you can do about it.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Swedish to English
+ ...
Don't lock the stable door after the horse has bolted Jan 16, 2008

ivo abdman wrote:

It's depent your wisdom and condition.

Be yourself, you are the one who know you the best isn't it.
Be flexible is the best one. The management that has good survival endurance is the flexible one.

Depend on context such as when you were translating a document

"do not sbut tbe stahle door after borse bas bolted"

encode key: b --->h, h--->b



[Edited at 2008-01-16 02:15]


This proverb refers to things you can do nothing about after the fact. NOT when you CAN do something, like chasing the agency for payment which has already been agreed according to certain payment terms (i.e. you have already "locked" the stable door by entering into a contract with them).

Karina's contract was with the agency, not the client, and it, presumably, included information about payment terms. These terms, which within the EU are a standard 30 days, apply, no matter whatever hard luck stories the agency tells.


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ARG Translations
Argentina
Local time: 07:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Strictness flavoured with malleabillity Jan 17, 2008

Your opinions have been very useful to me. I agree that we should stick to contractual terms. However, in most cases there are no contracts but just emails. Neither has every company made me sign a contract. Unless you consider emails a kind of contract.

You are right, Madelaine, we can chase them via email, but they also have the power not to answer those emails.

Ivo has a point when referring to flexibility. May be strictness flavoured with some malleability, adjusting yourserf to each case, would be the perfect formula.

Fortunatelly, I've been able to pay my contractors on time even though there's have been delay from my clients. I think this is the way the business works, and I've confirmed it thanks to you


Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

ivo abdman wrote:

It's depent your wisdom and condition.

Be yourself, you are the one who know you the best isn't it.
Be flexible is the best one. The management that has good survival endurance is the flexible one.

Depend on context such as when you were translating a document

"do not sbut tbe stahle door after borse bas bolted"

encode key: b --->h, h--->b



[Edited at 2008-01-16 02:15]


This proverb refers to things you can do nothing about after the fact. NOT when you CAN do something, like chasing the agency for payment which has already been agreed according to certain payment terms (i.e. you have already "locked" the stable door by entering into a contract with them).

Karina's contract was with the agency, not the client, and it, presumably, included information about payment terms. These terms, which within the EU are a standard 30 days, apply, no matter whatever hard luck stories the agency tells.


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ARG Translations
Argentina
Local time: 07:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Strictness flavoured with malleabillity Jan 17, 2008

Your opinions have been very useful to me. I agree that we should stick to contractual terms. However, in most cases there are no contracts but just emails. Neither has every company made me sign a contract. Unless you consider emails a kind of contract.

You are right, Madelaine, we can chase them via email, but they also have the power not to answer those emails.

Ivo has a point when referring to flexibility. May be strictness flavoured with some malleability, adjusting yourserf to each case, would be the perfect formula.

Fortunatelly, I've been able to pay my contractors on time even though there's have been delay from my clients. I think this is the way the business works, and I've confirmed it thanks to you


Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

ivo abdman wrote:

It's depent your wisdom and condition.

Be yourself, you are the one who know you the best isn't it.
Be flexible is the best one. The management that has good survival endurance is the flexible one.

Depend on context such as when you were translating a document

"do not sbut tbe stahle door after borse bas bolted"

encode key: b --->h, h--->b



[Edited at 2008-01-16 02:15]


This proverb refers to things you can do nothing about after the fact. NOT when you CAN do something, like chasing the agency for payment which has already been agreed according to certain payment terms (i.e. you have already "locked" the stable door by entering into a contract with them).

Karina's contract was with the agency, not the client, and it, presumably, included information about payment terms. These terms, which within the EU are a standard 30 days, apply, no matter whatever hard luck stories the agency tells.


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
In that case the email IS THE contract... Jan 18, 2008

Let's be clear, if you agree over the phone to undertake work, and have discussed price, deadlines, etc., then THAT CALL constitutes the contract - the fact that it isn't written is neither here nor there...it only becomes relevant when there is a dispute (i.e., where is your evidence?). Similarly, if a company (or person) sends you an email with a job proposal which you then undertake, then THAT ALSO constitutes the contract...it DOES NOT have to be signed, sealed and delivered by a lawyer to be legally binding, you know.

My point is this: whatever you agree with the client, either verbally or in writing, these are your contract terms. It is easier to prove who agreed to what (and who didn't) if the terms are evidenced in writing, in case of a future dispute...or perhaps you recorded the phone call (again, for evidential purposes).

If in any doubt, always get the agreement in writing.


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