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Has anyone done translation without a Purchase order?
Thread poster: PRAKAASH

PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 06:54
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Oct 22, 2009

Hi,

I recently applied for a freelance job wherein before starting for the job, I asked for P.O. The representative told me that they don't issue purchase order for something around say $50.
While checking blueboard, no entry is available!
What would you have done in such a condition? Let me know please. An earliest possible response will be appreciated.

Regards,

PRAKAASH


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:24
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
One answer Oct 22, 2009

PRAKAASH wrote:
The representative told me that they don't issue purchase order for something around say $50.


I have several clients who issue a formal purchase order only after the job is done. For example, in the case of editing, which is billed per hour, several clients wait until after the job when I can tell them how many hours I spent, so that they can include the number of hours on the purchase order. What is important is that there is confirmation that you had agreed to do the work and that the client is aware of it and has accepted it.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:24
Member
German to English
+ ...
Providing all information was available Oct 22, 2009

If I'd been given clear authorisation to proceed in writing, we'd agreed rates and I had all other information (billing address, VAT number where applicable), I'd take a risk on a small job.

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PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 06:54
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
if the client's country is not nearby, or you don't have anything in writing? Oct 22, 2009

Mary Worby wrote:

If I'd been given clear authorisation to proceed in writing, we'd agreed rates and I had all other information (billing address, VAT number where applicable), I'd take a risk on a small job.


Thanks for your reply firstly!
How about if your client's office is far from your native country? Please let me know.

Regards,
PRAKAASH


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 17:24
English to Russian
+ ...
You might choose to take the risk... Oct 22, 2009

PRAKAASH: I understand the uncertainty you are facing. I think the main problem here is not the lack of a PO (more than half of my clients never issue them at all), but the fact that they are outside of your home country. If they are not honest, to collect will be difficult indeed.

I'm in the US, and I never worked for the client outside of the US. Once in a blue moon foreign companies approach me, and I always feel uneasy about those offers. If they don't pay, what do I do? International lawsuits seem too complicated.

Luckily, in my 10 years of freelancing, there was only one non-payment, and the amount was $90. Ninety dollars in 10 years - I can certainly live with that. There were numerous cases of late payments, but eventually, I was paid.

On the other hand, if I were you, I might choose to take the risk. Providing, of course, that the company appears to be legitimate, has a professionally looking website with physical address and a phone number where you can actually call.

You might also want to go through "old" posts in "money matters" section of the forums, as the question "How to avoid a non-payment?" has been raised many times (in fact, I asked it once), and many good answers were given.

Good luck, and please let me know how it went!


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:24
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You are taking a business risk Oct 22, 2009

It is up to you to decide whether it is worth taking.

Some factors that can help you take your decision:

Can you verify the client's identity?
Check their contact details; if they provided a phone number, consider phoning them. Check their website, check whois.net, etc.

Do they use a company email or a free email account (gmail, hotmail, etc.)? The latter usually means higher risk for you.

No Blue Board entry also means that you take a higher risk than you would take if it were an agency that is reliable according to colleagues' feedback. Try to check other sources as well on the web – you may find positive or negative comments that will help you assess the risk you are about to take.

A far-away country may mean higher risk as well – chasing payment abroad and making recourse to the local legal remedies can, at least, take a lot of your time.

If you decide to refuse this assignment, you will certainly not be taken advantage of if the outsourcer turns out to be a frauder. However, look at the possible benefits as well: if you accept the offer, can it lead to a long-term cooperation with favorable conditions for you?

Evaluate also how much time you would need to invest into getting a potential outsourcer contact you.

Since the amount involved is relatively small, you do not risk too much. If you find it still high, consider asking more information about them, and accept the assignment if you are comfortable with taking the remaining risk.

Best regards,
Attila


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:24
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I never issue a PO to my vendors Oct 22, 2009

I just email them the specifications. This saves me a lot of manpower. If every job has to be processed as formally as generally expected, it would cost a staff member's full working time.

And my vendors never think this is a problem. The key is that I pay them all on time.

[Edited at 2009-10-22 16:10 GMT]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:24
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
All the time Oct 22, 2009

It's a matter of judgment, but seldom a problem here.

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Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:24
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
Non payment at all Oct 22, 2009

I know that I was a fool but I have accepted an assignment from a company. Before accepting the job I visited the website and it looked, still looks, great and professional. Since I have supplied the translation, I did not get any response from them. I have e-mailed them many times but they did not answer, I have called them many times and as the telephone rings nobody answers it. The funny thing is that I have spent 7 years living in the same town the company supposed to be there, but it looks like the company is just a trick.
I have visited the Companies House and the company is registered in Blackburn and still active, according to them.
so, being far or close is not the source of the problem, but the genuineness matters, as I have done assignments for agencies as far as Greece, Sweden and Finland and have no problem in payments.



[Edited at 2010-01-01 20:03 GMT]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 03:24
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 23, 2009

Frequently, yes.

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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Missing something important Oct 23, 2009

Hello Ata. You may have missed something very important when you visited their website. Namely, the absence of any information about the owners, staff, or address. Ignore the pretty graphics - any website that says nothing about the people and location of a business is likely to be fraudulent or simply an empty shell.



[Edited at 2010-01-03 09:28 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:24
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, but ... Oct 23, 2009

Yes, I have done work without a formal purchase order, but normally only for tried and trusted clients. I have one (good and regular) client in Hungary who refuses to issue purchase orders or even job numbers, but always pays on time. He says that the email confirming the order counts as a purchase order and the date of that email counts as the order number.
With a completely new client and no purchase order, I'd only accept the job if it was very small and I wasn't too busy. Then, before accepting further work, I'd wait until I'd been paid for the first one (having been "burnt" once a couple of years ago).
There's always a risk when working for someone new and unknown, but it might lead to lots of work in the future. Only you can judge.
Best of luck,
Jenny


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:24
Italian to English
No PO, no job Oct 23, 2009

Nearly all of my customers are direct. While there is usually a contract for big publishing projects and the like, a surprising number of reputable clients send jobs without so much as a phone call beforehand. I find it useful to email a quick quotation for the job with the basic details (keystrokes, rate, total fee, delivery date and the like) and insist on a reply to confirm or cancel the order before I start work.

When I used to do more work for agencies, the decent ones always issued a purchase order.

There will always be little emergencies, which can be dealt with on an ad hoc basis, but at the end of the day, if the customer hasn't got time to formalise the order, I haven't got time to do the job.

FWIW

Giles


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 03:24
Turkish to English
+ ...
Is a formal PO necessary? Oct 23, 2009

Surely as long as you have an e-mail from the client clearly instructing you to proceed under the terms agreed, this is all you need in the unfortunate event that you have to start recovery proceedings.

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:24
Italian to English
Patti chiari, amici cari Oct 23, 2009

Tim Drayton wrote:

Surely as long as you have an e-mail from the client clearly instructing you to proceed under the terms agreed, this is all you need in the unfortunate event that you have to start recovery proceedings.



A clear written agreement in some form or other is very much to be recommended, not so much in view of possible recovery proceedings as simply to preclude misunderstandings over fees, due dates and the like.

With a large company, which may send jobs from several departments, it's also a good idea to insist that all work should be channelled through a single interlocutor.

As the Italians say, if the agreement's clear, friends stay dear.

Giles


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