NY Times article on collecting from slow payers
Thread poster: Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:11
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Apr 8, 2011


Other translators may find this article interesting - not because it offers any new ideas that haven't been discussed here before, but rather because of the very matter-of-fact attitude other small business owners take about slow payers. I've noticed that translators tend to take payment issues personally, while the business owners quoted in this article take the view that it's a fact of life and your best bet is to cut off credit before you get into trouble.

The article also gives links to new sites (new to me) where you can check a business' credit. Might be worth investigating.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Interesting article Apr 8, 2011

Thanks, Elizabeth. An interesting and encouraging article.
The main lesson for us, I think, is to remember that a company's "terms of payment" are not "carved in stone" and can be negotiated. For example, one could say "I'll take this job ONLY if you pay me within X days" and get the company's agreement IN WRITING. We should not let ourselves be so easily intimidated!
Best wishes,

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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:11
Member (2003)
German to English
Not "could", but must (!) Apr 8, 2011

Jenny Forbes wrote:

For example, one could say "I'll take this job ONLY if you pay me within X days" and get the company's agreement IN WRITING.

My word, what an understatement!

Every quote I issue has payment terms, and must be acknowledged before I write a word, excepting for long-standing clients. Among the European and North American companies and agencies for whom I tend work, no serious company ever balks at this. (They may want to negotiate on the terms themselves, but not the written confirmation of such).

TL;DR: Always include payment terms. If the client won't confirm them in writing, walk away fast.

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NY Times article on collecting from slow payers

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