Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Agency refusing to pay for old jobs
Thread poster: Yaroslav Melnitski

Yaroslav Melnitski  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:45
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
Dec 21, 2011

A Dutch agency just informed me that they will not pay my jobs from 2010, as they have already closed their records for that year. Would that be legal?

They claim that is indeed according to "Dutch tax and accounting rules", which sounds like a complete nonsense to me, but then I know nothing about Dutch legislation, of course.

Obviously, I should have invoiced them before (and so they say, too), but they seemed such a nice people, and I worked with them for many years, and I was really very busy, including projects from this agency, and even now I have two projects from them. I did not invoice them for a little more than one year now. Yes, I am very wrong.

Can they really do it and just get away with that, or is it just an angry talk of someone who is not happy with delay in my invoicing? They seem to be serious.

It seems I have exhausted all chances to resolve it peacefully. What would be the best thing to do in such situation? The money is quite big for me. Should I try and seek advice from a Dutch lawyer, or something?

Any help, advice or recommendation would be appreciated.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
How much money? Dec 21, 2011

What kind of money are we talking about?

Probably it is not a big amount of money, if you did not care enough as to issue invoices for jobs done over a year ago.

I think that indeed you should have sent them the invoices for the jobs in due time. If they wanted to, they could probably accept an invoice with a date on January 1st 2011 for all the 2010 work, but that might also depend on whether they have an ISO 9001 quality system in place, which could require them to have their supplier's invoice within a reasonable time.

If the amount is under, let's say, 300 euros, I would forget about those jobs and would go on with the business relationship with the customer. Life is very long!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:45
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
5 years min Dec 21, 2011

I just did a quick search, and you should be able to send and claim payment of an invoice as much as five years late, as far as I can see.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yaroslav Melnitski  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:45
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How much money? -- A lot, really... Dec 21, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
What kind of money are we talking about?
If the amount is under, let's say, 300 euros, I would forget about those jobs and would go on with the business relationship with the customer.

The amount for the old jobs that they refuse to pay is a couple of thousand Euro. I would not kill or steal for this money, but I would not treasure business relationship with that customer so much as to forget about that. Also, in my coordinates refusing to pay for what you have ordered is something like stealing, and I do not think I am going to work with this agency anyway, if they really rob me like that. I am not starving, thankfully.
I think that indeed you should have sent them the invoices for the jobs in due time.

Yes, I know. Just, you see, for me this is something of different magnitude, regardless of what it is legally. Bad accounting and untimely invoices is one thing, but
refusing to pay for one's work is just disgustful. I realise, of course, that things may be viewed differently by the law, that's why I am asking for an advice here.
If they wanted to, they could probably accept an invoice with a date on January 1st 2011 for all the 2010 work, but that might also depend on whether they have an ISO 9001 quality system in place, which could require them to have their supplier's invoice within a reasonable time.

I think they have that system. And no, I do not see any good will there. Does this mean that I should forget about my money?

Thank you for the advice.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yaroslav Melnitski  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:45
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
5 years -- thank you, this sounds inspiring Dec 21, 2011

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
I just did a quick search, and you should be able to send and claim payment of an invoice as much as five years late, as far as I can see.


Thank you, I hope you are right. I will research more.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:45
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Post your question on the Dutch pages Dec 21, 2011

http://www.proz.com/forum/dutch-36.html

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me on these matters will help.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:45
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
in Germany Dec 21, 2011

and I dont think it is very different from Holland you can invoice up to 2 years, and as I far as I know they extended it to 3 years.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:45
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Invoicing Dec 21, 2011

I always send the invoice in the same e-mail and/or envelope as the translation and that way this never happens.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:45
English to Dutch
+ ...
The law is on your side Dec 21, 2011

First, I don't think it's very smart to invoice 2010 jobs in 2011. It's asking for trouble. That said (and I'm from Holland), Dutch laws state that invoices may only be defaulted if they are older than 5 years. That is clearly not the case here, so you can send a debt collection agency to them.

Most Dutch agencies do not default and debt collection agencies have quite some power here (go for a so-called gerechtsdeurwaarder, which is a bailiff with legal authority). You will get your money. It's just going to take a while (months, not years).

You seem to be dealing with someone from the accounting department who is following internal procedures. Someone who clearly has no clue about the actual law, else this person would have noticed the company's internal procedures are illegal.

Here's a Dutch link you may want to send them before waging war:
http://financieel.infonu.nl/geld/18416-de-verjaringstermijnen-voor-uw-vorderingen-en-schulden.html

You want to point them to the paragraph called "Verjaringstermijn voor contractuele vorderingen" (statute of limitations on contractual debts).

If you want, I can ask my debt collection agency whether they have any contacts in the Ukraine, as I doubt they'll take any direct assignments from outside The Netherlands. But as most debt collection agencies have international networks, they will probably have another agency acting as an agent in the Ukraine.

P.S. I'd be interested in the name of this translation agency. You can always PM me.

[Edited at 2011-12-21 15:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aftewards Dec 21, 2011

After you solve this, which I hope you do, you need to seriously rethink your invoicing policy, sending invoices after a year is asking for trouble and if you do have to battle it out with them it will cost you money.

Saying you don't have time is no excuse, preparing an invoice and sending it takes less than a minute if you use invoicing software and less than 2 minutes if you have to do it with Word.

Sloppy accounting is one thing but sloppy invoicing is very unprofessional in my opinion.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:45
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not quite true Dec 21, 2011

Alex Lago wrote:
Saying you don't have time is no excuse, preparing an invoice and sending it takes less than a minute if you use invoicing software and less than 2 minutes if you have to do it with Word.


I use invoicing software, which is rather effective, but for some clients it still takes me about 3-4 minutes per job (on average). I need to enter information such dates, job #, job name, and what is especially time-consuming - CAT analysis. That is why I wait until enough jobs accumulate and take care of it in batches. This also helps me avoid sending 50-70 invoices per year to this customer, which would be very hard to keep track of both for them and for me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
More questions Dec 21, 2011

Loek van Kooten wrote:
That said (and I'm from Holland), Dutch laws state that invoices may only be defaulted if they are older than 5 years. That is clearly not the case here, so you can send a debt collection agency to them.

The problem here is that the invoices were never written.

To the original poster: do you have a framework agreement with this company which requires you to invoice within a given timeframe or the payment is canceled (I have one customer like that)? Do you have proper purchase orders from the customer, and do these POs state that you have to invoice within a certain timeframe?

On the accounting/official side of things, clearly you cannot send them an invoice with a 2010 date since their fiscal year is closed already and they cannot add/change anything in their accounts for 2010, but 2011 is clearly open and the invoice (and not their orders to you) is the only document that affects their accountancy. There is no reason why you should not be able to invoice them for this work now (with a date in December 2011 of course).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:45
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Last year invoices Dec 21, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
On the accounting/official side of things, clearly you cannot send them an invoice with a 2010 date since their fiscal year is closed already and they cannot add/change anything in their accounts for 2010


Well, sure, I've done that before. Not for a European customer though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:45
English to Dutch
+ ...
Doesn't matter Dec 21, 2011

Tomás, sorry, you can read "invoices" as "debts". It doesn't matter: even if an invoice has not been written yet, the debts can still be claimed.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Business relationship Dec 21, 2011

If I were the company I would be dismayed that it took so long for the invoice to arrive. I would ask the translator to be more punctual, then pay. If the translator still refuses to send timely invoices, I would consider dropping him.

That said, the company surely cannot be serious about not paying you because of some real or imagined regulation. Bad business.

Please warn the rest of us with a posting on the Blue Board.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Agency refusing to pay for old jobs

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search