Client who hasn't paid and does not respond: How much time should I wait before thinking bad?
Thread poster: Joshua Pagliaricci

Joshua Pagliaricci
Local time: 01:50
English to Italian
+ ...
Nov 20, 2011

Hello everybody,

During last week a certain person from France sent me a message on which I cannot read, and then called me on my mobile, because he needed urgently a translation from Maltese into Italian.
I told him I was able to do that in 30 minutes, because the documents weren't so long, so this person sent me 2 pdf documents per email, which I translated and sent back, also in pdf format.
Before starting any translation process we reached an agreement about the price, and so on.
I asked this person which way was better for him to pay me, if on my bank account or on paypal. He said paypal was better, he also said he would pay the fee.
So I asked him if it's enough that I give him my paypal email address, but he never answered to my question, nor he ever payed me.
It's been now 4-5 days, and he doesn't answer me, and I don't see any money on my paypal account.
How longer should I wait, before I communicate this person's name on this forum, so that everybody here knows that it's better to avoid having business with this person.

I thank you for a reply, since I really don't know what to do.

Best regards,


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2011-11-21 19:42 GMT]


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
4 - 5 days Nov 21, 2011

Hi Joshua,

Based on the vivid conversation between you and the client before you sent him you paypal data, signs say that someone has most probably gotten himself a free translation.

If you have a billing address and/or possibly a ProZ account of this person, then you could try one more time to contact him.

Best of luck!


Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Member (2008)
German to English
Wrong forum Nov 22, 2011

JoshuaPagliaric wrote:
How longer should I wait, before I communicate this person's name on this forum

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but moderators will not let you communicate an outsourcer's name in a forum.

If this person/agency is listed on the Blue Board, you may be able to make an entry there. There are other "payment practices" websites and forums you can look into as well.

That being said, I would keep trying to reach the person by eMail/internet for at least another week. Payments sometimes materialize overnight, but it is rare. Most payments are made within 30 days, and in France I have heard that 60 days is becoming the norm. Did your "agreement about the price, and so on" specify exactly when you were to be paid?

If you cannot reach this party by the end of another week, it is also a possibility that this was a scam/case of identity theft, in which case there may not be much benefit to posting a bad rating somewhere. I wish you luck!


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:50
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I would suggest Nov 22, 2011

collecting at least 50% to 100% in advance before starting any work for new clients even if it is a rush project.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:50
English to German
+ ...
Have you sent your invoice yet? Nov 22, 2011

He is probably simply waiting for your invoice.


Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Member (2008)
German to English
Good point! Nov 22, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:
He is probably simply waiting for your invoice.


Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:50
Hebrew to English
What to do next..... Nov 22, 2011

According to his CV this guy has 2 MAs and extensive translation/interpreting experience, so I'd like to think he's already sent an invoice.

If not.... erm.......

Apart from that, I agree that the signs aren't good. The rushing, what appears to be insufficient communication and possibly blatently ignoring you.

I'd wait another 4-5 business days just to be sure, if nothing materializes by then, then you have waited long enough I think (especially without any communication).

It might still work out, and the money might just come. Some people do just lack good communication skills and common courtesy...but this is optimistic given the information I reckon.

Presuming it goes sour, write it off as a learning experience, others have mentioned you can't mention him in the forums, but....

Correct me if I'm wrong fellow Prozians and/or moderators/site staff

you should be able to create a blue board entry for this person if one doesn't already exist. I notice you aren't a paying member, so this might be might be able to use BrowniZ points to do this (as you can use them to access the blue board even as a non-paying member).


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Member (2007)
+ ...
What do you know about him? Nov 22, 2011


I'm not asking for those details, and as othgers have said you cannot name your client here. I am simply wondering if you have more than an email address and a phone number. If you have a paper address you could send him a letter the old-fashioned way. And if you want to know whether it is a valid address, you could send it by registered mail so someone has to sign for it.

Of course, without the full address, you can't send a correct invoice.



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