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Poll: Have you ever hired a debt collection agency?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:23
SITE STAFF
Apr 9, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever hired a debt collection agency?".

This poll was originally submitted by Eva Straus

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Are they dodgy? Apr 9, 2008

I'd really like to hear people's experiences too, are they dodgy? I know they work on the basis of bailif law. In Spain, as in the rest of Europe, we have the "proceso monitorio", which I imagine the bailif would have to use in order to get the ruling, or at least a parallel procedure. So it would have to be a undisputed debt, I imagine. But they do have a reputation for being forceful, which is why I have never used a debt collection agency for fear that there would be some come back.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:23
French to English
Other Apr 9, 2008

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".

I mean, it's not exactly "no and I never will", 'cos I might; and it's not "no, but I'm thinking about it", 'cos I am not actually considering it yet, but I would.

Maybe I'm just being picky again...

[Edited at 2008-04-09 18:17]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, but I have taken someone to court. Apr 9, 2008

And won...so don't mess with me, boys and girls!

[Edited at 2008-04-09 18:28]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
Might come in handy Apr 9, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".

I mean, it's not exactly "no and I never will", 'cos I might; and it's not "no, but I'm thinking about it", 'cos I am not actually considering it yet, but I would.

Maybe I'm just being picky again...

[Edited at 2008-04-09 18:17]


I feel the same way, but I chose 'No, I'm thinking about it', because I'd like to know which one to use in case I ever need to. In other words, do my research before the need arises.

So far, I've considered using the services of a collection agency only once, but in the end I did not need to.


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I must be lucky Apr 9, 2008

... because all my clients pay up. The only thing is some pay more promptly than others. The Administrations tend to be late payers because of their funding structure.
The thought has never crossed my mind - I'd be more likely to exact retribution of a more primitive kind if anyone tried to welsh on a payment ...


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:23
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Twice Apr 9, 2008

I've contacted 2 debt collection for an amount of money a ex-client owes me since 2004 and I didn't have any chance with them.

As for the first one, when I contacted them after a while to know if they had any news, they had lost all the documents I had sent them.

As for the second one I even signed a one-year contract, after which they would stop trying to collect the debt, I made several calls for the USA and never heard from them again. I also write several e-mails and never got an answer.

So, I've got a bad experience with debt collect agencies and I doubt I'll ever get the money for the job I did.


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 9, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".

I mean, it's not exactly "no and I never will", 'cos I might; and it's not "no, but I'm thinking about it", 'cos I am not actually considering it yet, but I would.

Maybe I'm just being picky again...


Guess that makes two of us.


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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:23
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Charlie is right Apr 9, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".

I mean, it's not exactly "no and I never will", 'cos I might; and it's not "no, but I'm thinking about it", 'cos I am not actually considering it yet, but I would.

Maybe I'm just being picky again...

[Edited at 2008-04-09 18:17]


Felt the same way.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 23:23
English to Spanish
How about, simply "no"? Apr 9, 2008

Cindy Chadd wrote:

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".

I mean, it's not exactly "no and I never will", 'cos I might; and it's not "no, but I'm thinking about it", 'cos I am not actually considering it yet, but I would.

Maybe I'm just being picky again...


Guess that makes two of us.



Four (including Cecilia)


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 20:23
German to English
Wanted that option too! Apr 9, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".



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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 03:23
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Not sure... Apr 9, 2008

So far my clients have paid up.
Most clients give me small jobs at first. That is good. They see the kind of work I do, I get a look at their payment practices.
I don't think I'd let anyone run up a huge unpaid bill with me before I stopped taking on work for them.
So a collection agency might just not be worth the effort. I think I'd just make a sour comment on the Blue Board and move on.
But I too would, if I thought it appropriate.


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 18:23
English to Russian
+ ...
Everything bill collectors do, I can do myself better Apr 10, 2008

What bill collectors do as to call the debtor every day, and they are really mean and intimidating on the phone. I know it because I used to work as a bookkeeper for a company that had serious financial problems - and I had to answer bill collectors calls several times a day!

As a bookkeeper for the same company, I also did collection calls myself. I learned that being polite and pleasant and firm in the same time (but not intimidating or threatening) works way better than professional bill collectors methods. I really don't know what makes them think that being mean helps! It doesn't.

If it's been 30 days and an invoice wasn't paid, I call and remind the client about it. Then I wait 3 or 4 days, and call the client again. If the client says "the check is in the mail", I ask for the check number. Then I call in two or three days and say "Check should have arrived by now - can you please check what went wrong?"

In most cases, this is enough. If it isn't, I write a letter. I always start by saying that I value this particular client and would like to continue working with them in the future, but that I simply cannot afford to wait forever for my payments. In a few cases, I have to send two or three letters.

In case the client has a genuine money problem, I say I understand and wait a little longer (as long as they don't do it all the time). They usually appreciate my understanding, and in the future I'm on the top of their list to call when they have something in my language combinations.

There was only one occasion (in nine years) when I wasn't paid at all. The agency in question has severe financial difficulties and went out of business. I don't think that the collection agency would have helped me in that case - when the money simply isn't there, there is nothing a bill collector can do.


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Fortunately, so far ......... Apr 10, 2008

Alexandra Goldburt wrote:

when the money simply isn't there, there is nothing a bill collector can do.


Yep, you cannot squeeze the blood out of stone.
Unfortunately I've never come across such situation myself. Neither have I met a deadbeat, except one, but there is the story behind it.

I did not get paid for a Power Point presentation I thought I sent via my normal email application -- Outlook Express.
As you know Power Point files are byte-guzzlers, and alas what was unbeknownst to me was it was too much for my Outlook.
Since it said it was "Sent", I thought everything went well, business as usual.

In a nutshell the client did not receive the file, and after many emails and phones later, decided not to pay me. A loss of $450.00 moneywise.
I did not call debt-collector on this.





[Edited at 2008-04-10 04:02]


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LittleBalu
Germany
Local time: 03:23
English to German
+ ...
Same here :-) Apr 10, 2008

Hilary Davies wrote:

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Didn't really see an option equivalent to "no, not yet, but I will if it ever seems appropriate".




Didn't see an option saying something like "No, because I never needed to, but will if necessary".


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