Two different calendars - deadline and payment term
Thread poster: José Henrique Lamensdorf

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Feb 28, 2012

There is a certain type of situation that seems on the rise in frequency. I'm not talking about one specific translation outsourcer, yet it seems that this occurrence is becoming gradually more common, even among all-5 LWA agencies.

The old system was used by agencies having an online project management system. Whenever a translator logged in there, a message would come up telling that "Your job #nnn is due in x hours, y minutes, and z seconds. If you have any reason to believe you won't be able to deliver it by then, please contact us immediately." In spite of all this accuracy, such agencies usually paid 1-3 days late, or immediately after a reminder by e-mail to the PM (when the system allowed it at all). Sometimes apologies were made.

The new system works like this...

Day 1 - Agreement on rates, payment term (30 days after delivery), and delivery date (Day 6). Job is assigned.

Day 2 - PM e-mails translator saying that the end-client is insisting on if it's at all possible to have delivery on Day 5 without incurring in any surcharge, giving reasons irrelevant here. Translator agrees.

Day 4 - Translator delivers completed job one day early (actually two, from the original agreement) still during the agency's regular business hours, and gets an acknowledgment.

Day 34 - Possible payday, as per agreement. No news.

Day 36 - First actually scheduled payday. No news.

Day 40 - Translator writes PM about payment. No reply.

Day 43 - Translator writes PM again about payment. PM replies apologetically, explaining something as lame as "Our accountant's stepsister-in-law had a baby yesterday, so we'll only be able to pay you some time next week. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Day 50 - Payment is made via eCheck on PayPal.

Day 54 - eCheck is cleared to the translator's PayPal account, 50 days after job delivery.


Has anyone else noticed this practice to become increasingly more common lately?


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Silvia Barra  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:39
English to Italian
+ ...
You're right! Feb 28, 2012

Oh yes, I've noticed it, especially among Italian customers, where the payment terms are already long.
A customer, after my remainder for the payment of an invoice, answered me that the invoice would be paid within WEEKS (!!!!) - and it was already late according the payment terms.
Of course, my translation had been delivered on time, maybe one or two days before the deadline.

Silvia


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
More common = inevitable Feb 28, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Has anyone else noticed this practice to become increasingly more common lately?


You mean there's another practice? No, to be fair some clients pay extremely fast. But the sort you're talking about, who see us as part of a production chain, virtually never pay without prompting.

Sheila


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:39
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My version Feb 28, 2012

Your version:

Day 43 - Translator writes PM again about payment. PM replies apologetically, explaining something as lame as "Our accountant's stepsister-in-law had a baby yesterday, so we'll only be able to pay you some time next week. Sorry for the inconvenience."


Mine:
Day 43 - Translator writes PM again about payment. PM replies that he/she has nothing to do with payments. Please contact the accounting department.


Day 44 - Translator writes the accounting department. No replyll.

Day 47 - Translator writes again about payment. Translator is replied that they will check what's going on.

Day 54 - The accounting boy/girl replies apologetically, explaining something as lame as "Our accountant's stepsister-in-law had a baby yesterday, so we'll only be able to pay you some time next week. Sorry for the inconvenience."



11 or more days are added to your payment schedule.

Regards

Clarisa

[Edited at 2012-02-28 15:58 GMT]


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MottoLab
United States
Local time: 03:39
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
Oh yes! Feb 28, 2012

Thank you for bringing this up, José. I was beginning to wonder if the due date on my invoice means anything to certain agencies. Some pms are wonderful to work with and everything runs smoothly - until after you deliver the invoice. Then you don't hear from them again. It's outrageous that some agencies feel they can pay you as and when they wish after you have delivered the end product on time.

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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:39
English to German
There are both types around Feb 28, 2012

I also know this practice. Some time ago, I delivered on time (one day earlier to be exact), but had to wait 2 complete weeks for the authorization to make out my invoice (via the agency's own system) - but only I reminded the PM about it. Then I waited a long time, politely asked the PM to check with their accountant about the settlement and was told that they had received my invoice only on day XX........

On the other hand, to be fair, there are clients who pay very punctually. But those are mostly not agencies, but direct clients.

It's simply not fair, but becomes more and more common practice

Annett


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Martin Damiano Alcorta  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
English to Spanish
The same! Feb 28, 2012

Clarisa Moraña wrote:

Your version:

Day 43 - Translator writes PM again about payment. PM replies apologetically, explaining something as lame as "Our accountant's stepsister-in-law had a baby yesterday, so we'll only be able to pay you some time next week. Sorry for the inconvenience."


Mine:
Day 43 - Translator writes PM again about payment. PM replies that he/she has nothing to do with payments. Please contact the accounting department.


Day 44 - Translator writes the accounting department. No replyll.

Day 47 - Translator writes again about payment. Translator is replied that they will check what's going on.

Day 54 - The accounting boy/girl replies apologetically, explaining something as lame as "Our accountant's stepsister-in-law had a baby yesterday, so we'll only be able to pay you some time next week. Sorry for the inconvenience."



11 or more days are added to your payment schedule.

Regards

Clarisa

[Edited at 2012-02-28 15:58 GMT]


In my case, let's say that the accounting department ALSO needed my signature in the invoice, but obviously they forgot to tell me that! What a pity! Don't worry, it's just 2-3 days more!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just two or three days? Feb 28, 2012

Martin Damiano Alcorta wrote:
In my case, let's say that the accounting department ALSO needed my signature in the invoice, but obviously they forgot to tell me that! What a pity! Don't worry, it's just 2-3 days more!


Most likely they'll tell you - after they get your signed invoice - that it has been included in their next 'payment cycle', so you should get paid on the last business day... of next month!

Now imagine if you tell the same outsourcer that their desperately urrrrgent job has been duly entered in your production schedule, delivery forecast at this time being three weeks later than the deadline they asked for.


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:39
English to German
True! Mar 16, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Martin Damiano Alcorta wrote:
In my case, let's say that the accounting department ALSO needed my signature in the invoice, but obviously they forgot to tell me that! What a pity! Don't worry, it's just 2-3 days more!


Most likely they'll tell you - after they get your signed invoice - that it has been included in their next 'payment cycle', so you should get paid on the last business day... of next month!

Now imagine if you tell the same outsourcer that their desperately urrrrgent job has been duly entered in your production schedule, delivery forecast at this time being three weeks later than the deadline they asked for.


That's just soooooooooooooooo good!
Annett


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