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Late delivery, no payment - feedback needed
Thread poster: Penelope Cumler

Penelope Cumler
Germany
Local time: 06:34
Member
German to English
Mar 22, 2012

Dear all,

I'm aware that I'm probably not going to like what I hear, but here is the situation.

I took on project that was far more time consuming than I anticipated and told the agency rather late that I would not be able to deliver on time and gave up much of the work to another translator. They readjusted the PO and accepted my work and I never heard from them again.

However, when I sent them my invoice again after no response they have now told me that they will not pay me anything, that the client complained and I damaged their reputation.

I wouldn't be so upset about this if it weren't for the amount I worked on it, and the payment, which should be approximately 1500 EUR. And I am confident that the quality of my work was not an issue.

Any suggestions of what to do now? They did send me the second purchase order so it seems to me that they should pay it and I have some legal standing.

Thanks,


 

Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:34
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Adjusted PO Mar 22, 2012

So what did the adjusted PO say as to the deadline? Were you able to keep the deadline of the adjusted PO? Any other terms on the PO as to late delivery?

Kathi


 

Penelope Cumler
Germany
Local time: 06:34
Member
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
no other references Mar 22, 2012

Thank you for a response.

The new PO had the original deadline, minus some files, which I then met. There were no other references to late deliveries on the PO or penalties.

I feel I do deserve something, especially as they agreed to it.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
it's a pity Mar 22, 2012

but it really depends on your contract, if any. I mean that you have signed anything relevant then your should comply with the conditions, as well as they. Just check for certain disclaimers or something between the lines.

But if you do have such a question then most probably you don't have a contract, nor other documents to prove your job done, let alone its quality. Yet even if this is the case then you should demand your part with some 'expired' fine, which couldn't be more than, say, 1/4 of the deal.
They SHOULD pay you at least something!

Remember that you have questions with COMPANY, not Client.
Therefore, you should settle it properly between you.

At first, politely demand what is yours and negotiate the sum (they've got your money afterall).
Your absolute bottom minimum may be what you had done before the deadline.


 

Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:34
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
So you met the deadline of the adjusted PO? Mar 22, 2012

Do I understand you correctly, you did meet the deadline of the adjusted PO? Then I really don't see where the problem is...and this certainly does not justify their non-payment. Maybe it is time to make an entry on the blue bord...usually that inspires company to hand over the money.

Kathi


 

Penelope Cumler
Germany
Local time: 06:34
Member
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
yes, I met the adjusted PO dealine... Mar 22, 2012

yes, I met the adjusted PO deadline... and am just sick about the amount of work I did and that I now have to spend time and energy going after them...

I would like to make a Blue Board entry, but as yet they have no negative entries and I am a bit suspicious as I think companies seem to be able to get rid of their negative comments...is that so or does .proz leave them?


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:34
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Unsubstantiated claim? Mar 22, 2012

Late delivery may indeed cause serious problems - but often there is some margin. The fact that an updated PO was issued is a strong indication that no irreparable harm was done: either there was a big enough safety margin or they could renegotiate a later delivery with the client. No need to find it out: the new PO supersedes the previous one - unless specified expressly otherwise. If you met the new deadline, there are no issues about missed deadlines.

Quality issues are a different matter. They should be substantiated in detail. Professional quality assessment involves marking the errors, and categorizing or annotating them. They may claim for example that you used incorrect terminology on several occasions, and cite a couple of examples.

So, ask for the edited copy and the reviser's assessment - and add that you can consider quality complaints only if these are presented within x (say, 8) days of delivering the project. Ask for confirmation of your mail.

If you don't receive anything, you should get back to them in x days, and claim that in the absence of substantiation of their claims, you cannot deal with them, and payment will be due in full on such and such date. Keep all correspondence.

If you receive a revised copy, take a look - your strategy depends on whether the findings are relevant.

Best,
Attila


 

Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:34
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Negative blue bord entry Mar 22, 2012

I totally agree with Attila's statement as the first steps of taking action.

However, if you decide to make a negative entry on the blue bord, it is my understanding that only you can either delete or edit that particular entry.

Good luck!

Kathi


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:34
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not really Mar 22, 2012

Kathi Stock wrote:

... if you decide to make a negative entry on the blue bord, it is my understanding that only you can either delete or edit that particular entry.

Kathi


Comments get vetted by moderators. There were many instances reported by translators here on ProZ where they were asked to edit their BB entries or where their negative comments do not even make it on the BB.

[Edited at 2012-03-22 14:56 GMT]


 

Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:34
Italian to English
+ ...
the other translator Mar 22, 2012

Could the other translator's work be the issue?
When you say you informed the agency "rather late" that you wouldn't be able to meet the deadline, how far in advance are we talking about? I'm just wondering if they had to scramble to find another translator, found a rather poor one who didn't do good work, and now the customer has complained.
If that's the case, I can sort of see the agency's point, but they should still pay you something. Refusing to pay you a penny doesn't sound very ethical to me.
Catherine


 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:34
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blue Board rules for entries Mar 22, 2012

LWA (Likelihood to Work Again) entries to an outsourcer's Blue Board record will only be approved if they meet the criteria spelled out in http://www.proz.com/?sp=siterules&mode=show&category=blue_board_bb_blueboard

No entry can be removed so long as that entry meets the criteria. If an outsourcer provides evidence proving that the LWA entry did not meet those criteria, it will be removed.


euroword wrote:

yes, I met the adjusted PO deadline... and am just sick about the amount of work I did and that I now have to spend time and energy going after them...

I would like to make a Blue Board entry, but as yet they have no negative entries and I am a bit suspicious as I think companies seem to be able to get rid of their negative comments...is that so or does .proz leave them?


 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:34
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
No right to refuse payment Mar 22, 2012

I agree with Attila and the others. As far as I can see, there can be no true "late delivery" issue here, because the agency in question accepted extending the deadline as you suggested (the adjusted PO serves as a proof). In case of late delivery there might be penalties depending on the contract, but I am sure that the agency has NO contractual right to withhold the payment completely in your case.

 

Penelope Cumler
Germany
Local time: 06:34
Member
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
so glad you are there! Mar 22, 2012

Wow, I feel so much better and have to simply "gush" that I am so happy you are all out there!

icon_rolleyes.gif

Most days I sit here and type all day like a fiend and think I am the only one who must make mistakes, ever,

...I guess I have to take part in the forums more often.

I'll let you know how it is going as I think "they" must be monitoring this and it does seem increasingly clear that they cannot simply not pay me, especially as they made NO complaints about my translation and it is over 60 days past and they had reissued 2nd PO.

(Now they say they decided not to pay me after they issued the 2nd PO but decided not to tell me! If they had, of course, I wouldn't have delivered anything!)

They have tried to say, for example, that I refused to repair "damaged" files as they could not change the TOC in Word and claimed I hadn't translated it, which I then kindly regenerated for them, and surprise, it was all in the English I had translated.

Anyway, thanks for the comments and I will keep you informed.


 

Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:34
Italian to English
+ ...
Say what?? Mar 22, 2012

euroword wrote:

Now they say they decided not to pay me after they issued the 2nd PO but decided not to tell me! If they had, of course, I wouldn't have delivered anything!



"Decided not to tell you?" Are they nuts? And what reason might they have to decide "not to tell you"? There are some crazy people out there ... icon_rolleyes.gif

Hang in there and keep fighting for what they owe you!
Catherine


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:34
Chinese to English
Definitely not alone... Mar 22, 2012

"Most days I sit here and type all day like a fiend and think I am the only one who must make mistakes, ever"

Agencies are the perfect counterpart, because they all seem to believe that they are the only ones who never make mistakes, ever...

Keep fighting the battle, and don't be too apologetic about getting the timing wrong. It happens to everyone.

That's a very handsome young man in your ID photo, by the wayicon_smile.gif


 
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