Advice regarding a translation agency based in Wales...
Thread poster: Chris Hall

Chris Hall
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 10, 2012

Dear fellow translators,

On 23 May, I completed a job for this agency in question (thankfully not a three-figure amount). On 6 June, two weeks later, it was banned from posting jobs on ProZ.

The company's payment terms are 60 days end of month from the date of the invoice - generous enough as it is. Now that the company has been banned from ProZ, what are the chances of me receiving my payment which is due on 3 August.

I have kept the name of the company confidential as per the rules of posting, but maybe some of you out there may well have an idea of which company I am referring to here.

Thank you in advance for your constructive comments and helpful advice.


Best wishes,


Chris John Hall.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Hebrew to English
Doesn't bode well....... Jun 11, 2012

Given that being banned from posting on ProZ is usually a result of a string of non-payments:

"1.7 - What does the message This outsourcer has been banned from posting jobs at ProZ.com mean? [Direct link]

As per ProZ.com termination policy, if a total of three non-payment complaints regarding a single outsourcer have been received from unrelated sources, the issue will be brought to ProZ.com staff for review. At its sole discretion, ProZ.com staff may then choose to suspend or revoke the outsourcer's right to use ProZ.com. This note refers to that suspension."
http://www.proz.com/faq/5372#5372
http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_job_systems/218177-reasons_for_being_banned.html

....and my God those are some pretty ridiculous payment terms (60 days end of month from the date of the invoice) - 3ish months after invoicing I'd have forgotten I ever did the translation in the first place

Nothing's certain, they might pay up, but it sure doesn't bode well.


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Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:42
Member
English to German
+ ...
I hope you will receive your payment, despite the fact that the company is no longer a ProZ member. Jun 11, 2012

Chris Hall wrote:

Now that the company has been banned from ProZ, what are the chances of me receiving my payment which is due on 3 August.


I hope you will receive your payment, despite the fact that the company is no longer a ProZ member.


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Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:42
Member
English to German
+ ...
I know these kind of payment terms from France. Jun 11, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

....and my God those are some pretty ridiculous payment terms (60 days end of month from the date of the invoice) - 3ish months after invoicing I'd have forgotten I ever did the translation in the first place


I know these kind of payment terms from France.
God has nothing to do with that...


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Fiona Gonçalves  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:42
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Standard in Portugal Jun 11, 2012

60 days end of month from the date of the invoice is pretty much standard practice for translation companies in Portugal. This is because the end customer has 30 days from date of invoice to pay for the translation and many pay late. Many translation companies simply don't have the financial capabilities to pay the translator without receiving payment from the client first so they establish a longer period for the translator's payment allowing for possible late payment by the client. It's a far from ideal situation but in the current economic climate there's not much that can be done about it. We just have to grin and bear it.

Hope you get your payment anyway.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Hebrew to English
It's a good argument for.... Jun 11, 2012

Freelancers setting their own payment terms.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do not agree Jun 11, 2012

Fiona Gonçalves wrote:
It's a far from ideal situation but in the current economic climate there's not much that can be done about it. We just have to grin and bear it.

I completely disagree with this attitude: if everyone started to pay 30 days net, the "current economic climate" would start to become a thing of the past. With the low interest rate given by banks these days, what benefit does it mean to a company to pay 60 days instead of 30 days? Nearly nothing. It makes no sense at all to pay any longer than 15-30 days.


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Fiona Gonçalves  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:42
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Different countries, different realities Jun 11, 2012

Tomás, I fully see and understand your point. I don't agree with the "30-day" rule either, and never have. I firmly believe that if you contract something and receive it as contracted and on time, you should reciprocate by paying the invoice immediately. Unfortunately, here in Portugal that's not the way it works, and while I freely admit to not knowing whether this is a legal requirement or has simply become an expected practice over time, an end customer normally has 30 days in which to pay an invoice (for any service, not just translation) and it's very rare for anyone to pay until that time is up. (I'm one of the few who do and, when my better half catches me at it, I usually get a telling off!) And this is not new; when I first moved to Portugal 26 years ago that was already the practice so the current climate has merely aggravated an already existing situation. It would take a massive change in collective mentality to put things the way they ideally ought to be. Maybe I'm a pessimist, maybe I'm a realist, but I don't see it happening any time soon, unfortunately.

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JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 23:42
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Be pleasantly surprised if you are paid Jun 11, 2012

You say that the amount involved is "not a three figure amount". I take that to mean that it's less than 100 quid, in which case I would be inclined to forget about it and be pleasantly surprised if you do receive payment, as you are now aware that this agency is probably a bad payer.

If it was a larger amount it would be worth taking a trip to Wales, as you are - relatively - not that far away.

I have never tried this myself, but I have heard that a visit to a non-paying agency's offices tends to work wonders for your cashflow. Although perhaps the translators that have been successful with this tactic have large Dobermans or enormous brothers to help with the persuasion?


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Chris Hall
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your helpful and constructive comments... Jun 11, 2012

Jane - your comment really made me smile. Sadly, I am an only child and do not possess a "scary" dog or any breed of dog for that matter.

The amount involved was in fact £55 GBP.


Thank you again,

Chris.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A phone call Jun 11, 2012

I am married to an economist who knows the jargon and can be persistently long-winded on the phone...
He keeps wittering on until they make a promise, and then he rings again after a few days if payment doesn't appear. He has only done it a few times, but it usually works. On one occasion the client had managed to be banned from this site, and I got paid, though others didn't.

If you have the nerve and the patience, you can be irritatingly polite on the phone - but it may be more profitable to cut your losses and get on with the next job, as others have suggested.

Best of luck!


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Chris Hall
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All's well that ends well - a happy ending for the translator... Jun 12, 2012

Following the e-mail which I sent to the company in question yesterday morning, payment was received in my account this morning. A happy ending, which I honestly did not think would happen in reality.

Here is the e-mail, folks, which seemed to do the trick:

Dear Sir / Madam,

It has come to my attention from fellow ProZ translators that your company has now been banned from placing translation jobs on ProZ.

Please be rest assured that I expect to receive my payment due no later than Friday 3 August, otherwise the appropriate steps to ensure that I receive my payment will be taken.

I look forward to receiving my payment on time and without any delay whatsoever.


Yours faithfully,

Chris Hall.


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