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Payment after 90-120 (!) days...
Thread poster: flaviofbg

flaviofbg
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Jul 3, 2003

Dear colleagues,

just received a huge project from a Spanish agency. Their policy is... "payment after 90-120 days". Wow.

Now, I have emailed them because they want me to start INMEDIATELY but I am worried about the payment. I asked them to assure me that, at least, payment will be after 90 days. There is a HUGE gap between 90 and 120, isn't there?

Any similar experience? I still don't know what they will say, but the only thing I know is that I should start working RIGHT now because they want the whole thing soon.

I have got to pay taxes and everything for the semester, but if money arrives later... I have to take it from my pocket first!

Argh.

Flavio


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
BE CAREFUL... Jul 3, 2003

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:

Dear colleagues,

just received a huge project from a Spanish agency. Their policy is... "payment after 90-120 days". Wow.

Now, I have emailed them because they want me to start INMEDIATELY but I am worried about the payment. I asked them to assure me that, at least, payment will be after 90 days. There is a HUGE gap between 90 and 120, isn't there?

Any similar experience? I still don't know what they will say, but the only thing I know is that I should start working RIGHT now because they want the whole thing soon.

I have got to pay taxes and everything for the semester, but if money arrives later... I have to take it from my pocket first!

Argh.

Flavio
...thats's my experience with Spanish agencies...


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 13:05
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Ask for an advance! Jul 3, 2003

I'd do that in view of the fact that it's a 'huge' project.
If they do not have a very good explanation for not wanting to discuss an advance, I would hesitate indeed to take the risk with them.

BR

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:05
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
The more we accept, the more it becomes common Jul 3, 2003

I think it's a vicious circle. We could wait 30 days, then why not 60. We can wait 60, why not 90...

Where are we going? The same applies to rates going down.

But when I need to buy some bread or vegetables, because I need to eat "now!" "immediately", I don't ask the grocer to give them to me saying that I'm going to pay him when I get paid...

It requests all our attention, we must know where are the limits of what we can accept.


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
BE CAREFUL... Jul 3, 2003

alkvw wrote:

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:

Dear colleagues,

just received a huge project from a Spanish agency. Their policy is... "payment after 90-120 days". Wow.

Now, I have emailed them because they want me to start INMEDIATELY but I am worried about the payment. I asked them to assure me that, at least, payment will be after 90 days. There is a HUGE gap between 90 and 120, isn't there?

Any similar experience? I still don't know what they will say, but the only thing I know is that I should start working RIGHT now because they want the whole thing soon.

I have got to pay taxes and everything for the semester, but if money arrives later... I have to take it from my pocket first!

Argh.

Flavio
...thats's my experience with Spanish agencies...
I mean that is my experience with Spanish agencies but it is just an opinion...


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:05
French to Spanish
+ ...
¡Abusos, como siempre! Jul 3, 2003

Me parece francamente escandaloso... vaya, ni acá en México, país todavía considerado "en vías de desarrollo" o, más elegantemente, como "potencia emergente", se da este tipo de trato leonino. Un mes y medio para el pago es la media aceptada por todos. PERO, si ya aceptaste, no te queda más que bajar la cabeza y esperar que te paguen en 119 días, lo cual tendrás que agradecer ampliamente, claro. Hubieras negociado un menor plazo o un adelanto ya que, por lo visto, les urge que empieces a trabajar.

Acá en México, a esas tácticas dilatorias se les llama "jinetear el dinero", es decir, atrasar los más posible -y con el mayor descaro- los pagos a los proveedores para que el dinero "rinda" más en el banco.

Suerte.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:05
Flemish to English
+ ...
Their policy should be Jul 3, 2003

http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=es&numdoc=32000L0035&model=guichett
enacted into Spanish law. You could devide the "huge project" into parts. Ask upfront payment of a part and payment after delivery of each part of the translation.
If not, look for some other assignement.
Have gone through the 120 days and up experiences once with a stack of invoices waiting to be paid. I would not like to go through it twice.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:05
Italian to English
Lay down some ground rules Jul 3, 2003

Hi Flavio,

If you have already worked for this agency, then you will be able to make a judgement on its reliability.

If the agency is a new customer, then it is probably better to be very cautious indeed. Otherwise, you might end up wasting time chasing money you are unlikely to get.

It's not usually a good idea to accept a big job as a first contract with a new customer unless, as other correspondents have suggested, you negotiate part-payments and part-deliveries.

In any case, 90-120 days for payment is a very special condition in the EU, and I would expect an enhanced rate for conceding it. The customer would also have to have very good reasons for requiring such credit before I would agree to do the job.

Remember that a "huge job" may look attractive, but it can also turn out to be a "huge problem".

In bocca al lupo,

Giles


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Irena Gintilas
Local time: 06:05
Lithuanian to English
+ ...
What can WE do? Jul 3, 2003

Of course, Flavio, there is a big difference between 90 and 120 days. But there is a bigger difference between IMMEDIATELY and 90 days!!! I ask my clients to pay me in 30 days. If the project is big (enough work for a month or a few months) you probably could negotiate either to split it into smaller segments or to pay a set percentage upfront. Few agencies might agree on that but you’d be amazed of the power of negotiation!
If that was me – in 120 days, FOUR MONTHS! – I might forget that someone owes me something...
Why do they implement those policies? Because we allow them to. If we would make it a standard to request the payment immediately, it would eventually become a norm. Hopefully...

Irena Gintilas


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
delayed payment/immediate commitment = beware Jul 3, 2003

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:
Now, I have emailed them because they want me to start INMEDIATELY but I am worried about the payment. I asked them to assure me that, at least, payment will be after 90 days. There is a HUGE gap between 90 and 120, isn't there?

Any similar experience? I still don't know what they will say, but the only thing I know is that I should start working RIGHT now because they want the whole thing soon.


I would be especially careful considering the combination "delayed payment/immediate commitment". Nothing like giving a sense of urgency to prevent you from considering your options sensibly.

I agree with others your best bet would be to re-negotiate periodic payments, if it is not too late. Otherwise, a good lesson for next time

Best luck to you,

Susana



[Edited at 2003-07-03 20:40]


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Silvana Parascandolo  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:05
English to Italian
+ ...
My positive experience. Jul 3, 2003

Dear Flavio,
a couple of years ago I've had exactly the same experience but with an Italian agency. The project was huge, and the payment was going to be 120 days later. The project was interesting and the payment was reasonable. I asked friends and colleagues for advice, and all the advice I got was negative. In spite of that, my feeling was that the project manager was serious and reliable, took a big gamble and decided to go for it. As it happens, the project manager was absolutely great, the project very interesting, I got paid on the exact date I was supposed to and after that, I was given another massive amount of work related to the same project, which got paid at an even better rate and in (only!)60 days. So, it is not always negative. My personal experience is that the few times when I've had difficulties getting paid has been with smaller kind of jobs, where the agency is hoping that one would just give up because it is not worth going to court about it.
Well, this is my experience. I hope you make the best choice!
Ciao


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 13:05
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I have good experiences with Spanish agencies, but... Jul 3, 2003

... 120 days is an awful lot: ask for an advance and have a very good look at the purchase order/ contract.

Mats Wiman wrote:

If they do not have a very good explanation for not wanting to discuss an advance, I would hesitate indeed to take the risk with them.


Personally, I don't think there is an explanation good enough in the case of a large job.

Also, if you sign a contract with the agency, you might try to add a penalty interest for late payment (after the 120th day): it proved once very helpful for me.



Sorry, I had no intention to post it in two copies - the previous one was just an "Enter", too early, and I don't know how to eliminate it.



[Edited at 2003-07-03 21:27]


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Jan Acx
Spain
Local time: 13:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
legal term for paying invoices is 30 days Jul 4, 2003

I am very familiar with this policy as I work mostly for agencies. Some of them pay after 4 weeks, some after 8 and a lot of them wait 3 months to pay. This in in fact illegal, as the EC states that payment for goods or services should be after a term of 30 days.
I recently did a translation where I found the following:
Corporate payment habits have significantly deteriorated across Europe, with German performance the worst for seven years, according to a recent study by D&B. Only the UK & France have shown any improvement. One in ten European companies now pays its suppliers more than 30 days beyond agreed credit terms - and the payment picture is getting worse.

As the situation is already deteriorating I would certainly hesitate to sign a similar document.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Careful Jul 4, 2003

My experience with Spanish companies is not so good. They all too often want "the moon on a stick". If your customer is solvent, they would have no problem giving you some of the payment up front, just to show you that they are trustworthy.

It definitely looks like you will only get paid if your customer gets paid. That's a common way of thinking in Spain.

So, if you are hungry and must do the work, make sure your written agreement states something to the effect that the deal is between you and your customer and that the end customer has nothing to do with payment conditions. Also, put in a clause or two about legal proceedings should you not get paid. So, if your customer insists on his payment terms, then get him to sign an agreement that has all of the rest of the terms in your favor. He should understand - they are only words, and not money, so he would sign. Do be careful.


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