What to do when client does not pay ?
Thread poster: Michel Archambeault
Michel Archambeault
Local time: 02:35
English to French
+ ...
Sep 13, 2003

I invoiced some international firm since the 21st of March 2003 and I cannot get paid. They say customer is late in paying them.
I did not take a contract with their customer.

[Edited at 2003-09-13 03:12]

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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Use the BB, and expect delays Sep 13, 2003

... at least you can use the Blue Board, to alert our colleagues.
According to the BB, that agency is a well known late payer... so, you might expect some delays.



[Edited at 2003-09-13 21:36]

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hello Michel Sep 13, 2003

Clarisa is right, please edit your post in order not to make public accusations in the forums.

In the Blue Board you can rate the agency because you have worked for them (it's free of charge).
It would have been a good idea to have a look at their rate before working for them.

I'm pasting here part of info about the Blue board taken from the FAQ

What are the conditions for entering a client review?

You may only enter reviews for clients with whom you have worked on a project. You may not enter reviews solely on the basis of negotations, testing, or other preliminary interactions.

If you have worked on a project with a client but were late or otherwise negligent in delivering work, you may not enter a review for that client.

How can I see the reviews for a particular client?

The link to the Blue Board in the old design is under 'Platinum Member Services' - 'Agency Blue Board'. In the new design, the Blue Board may be found in the Jobs section.

How much does it cost to use the Blue Board?

Platinum members have unlimited access to all data in the Blue Board. Guest members may access all the reviews of a single agency by making a one-time payment of either $0.50 or 50 browniz points.

I am not a Platinum Member...can I still see ratings?

Yes. Login and click on the name of the client you wish to review. You will be prompted to make a payment of browniz or cash.

If there are at least two translators who can proove that the agency didn't pay, the agency can be banned from posting jobs in ProZ.

[Edited at 2003-09-13 02:57]

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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:35
Stand firm - Reminders and collection agencies Sep 13, 2003

You should claim what's yours!
Contact a collection agency and make arrangements with them to take over the claim and send a final reminder to your client stating that the claim will be handed over to the collection agency in question if you don't get your money.
The blueboard is an appreciated facility, but it won't help you recover your money.
In general you should send out invoices promptly and start sending prompt reminders as soon as payment is overdue. Unfortunately many translators are too permissive, and therefore many clients think they can do as they please.
My advice: Stand firm... and sue their as*** off if you have to.

[Edited at 2003-09-13 08:50]

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Joanna Mimmack  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:35
German to English
legal means of pursuing payment Sep 13, 2003

I seem to remember correspondence in the forums giving an address for pursuing payment through the courts in France. I haven't time to check but try searching under 'non-payment'. In Germany it is possible to send a warning letter, followed by an enforcement order much cheaper (€32.50 I think)than through a lawyer.

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Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
There are similar postings on PROZ Sep 14, 2003


This is a subject already covered in other postings. However, here is my advice (I have done this myself and have always been paid afterwards):

1) Always be polite with your faulty client;
2) Send them a last reminder. Tell them you have already sent other reminders but that X sum is still outstanding.

3) Stress that you are positive (you aren't but you have to be nice all the time) this non-paying practice is not their usual method but that for some reason you are still waiting for the payment to be done and therefore that will be yours last reminder.

4) Inform them you will wait a further Y days to ensure they have plenty time to pay you the given amount and that after that period you will be informing your fellow translators about your experience with that specific agency to ensure this bad practice is acknowledged by others. If you are member of a translation institute/association or if that client knows you are a PROZ member that will certainly help. But there is no need to say where you will be posting that info.

I have done this a couple of times. I have been paid promptly afterwards and in two occasions I have never heard of them again. Well, that certainly doesn't bother me since I wouldn't work for them again either after all the stress needed to get my payment back, unless they pay me before hand.

Hope this is of help
Kind regards,
Mónica Machado (MIL)
English into European Portuguese Translator
Member of APT and IOL & Associate Member of ITI

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