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payment terms + blueboard
Thread poster: Ronald van der Linden

Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
Jul 17, 2013

Why do organizations on the blueboard have 5 star ratings when their payment terms are > 60 days net? What is acceptable for you? I think it should not be possible for companies that pay later than 30 days to have a rating of 5. Neither should those who only offer PayPal as a payment possibility.

I agree that each country has their standards, but EU just implemented a new regulation on this issue. Since colleagues only put "payment on time" and rate 5, I would like to see a better blueboard, and companies should list their payment terms and then I can value the input "payment on time" accordingly.

I think this change will benefit both agencies/companies as independent colleagues.

What do you think?


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wotswot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:06
Member (2011)
French to English
Blueboard woes Jul 17, 2013

I wholeheartedly agree, but we're tilting at windmills. What can we do? The agencies call the shots.

Richard


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
making blueboard a more efficient tool Jul 17, 2013

As paying members and users of the blueboard, I think this is a valid issue to discuss.

If you agree please mention your payment term ideas for which an organization should not be allowed to be rated with 5 stars.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Blueboard entries Jul 17, 2013

are made AFTER you knew the payment terms, so it is supposed you agreed to them.

The Blueboard's purpose is to rate whatever you could not know when you accepted the job, i.e. responsiveness of the agency, punctuality of the payment (within the agreed terms) and so on. You cannot complain about the payment terms nor the rates once you have accepted to do the translation. You can only report whether the payment has been made in time or not.


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:06
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
The BlueBoard only reflects payment issues Jul 17, 2013

The BB reflects the payment practices of a certain outsourcer, and represents the experiece of the transaltor who have worked with him, therefore agreed on terms that are acceptable on them.
The BB is not a ranking system for the "quality" or professionalism of an outsourcer . For example, and this happens in reality, if an outsourcer and a translator agree on terms, no mater how ridiculous or unacceptable others might find them, and then this outsourcer met their side of the deal and paid on the agreed date, as far as the BB is concerned, this outsourcer deserves a high rating.


What can we do? The agencies call the shots.

Not at all. You are the one choosing who to work with, and you don't have to work with those who don't share your professional and business values.


As paying members and users of the blueboard, I think this is a valid issue to discuss.

The BB system is flawed, even in its current limited designation. What you describe is indeed a valid issue, but currently the BB does not cover this (and other) issue.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What the BB says Jul 17, 2013

I can't remember the exact wording, but the entry you make refers to how willing you would be to work with the agency again, not whether they pay well, pay quickly, etc.

I wouldn't like to see rules as such brought in. I get heartily fed up with them everywhere nowadays, and some people could think a company is great to work for even though they pay at 90 days: let's face it, if they give lots of work every month and they stay solvent, you'll be getting paid just as frequently after the first few months (not that I'm condoning the practice). Even low rates won't put everyone off to the same degree - if you're living in India or some of the countries out that way, you'll be happy with a lot less than if you lived in Germany or Sweden.

However, people have proposed before (and I think I did once), a score that's broken down into various sub-criteria. So, give them a 5 for WWA if you like, but record also whether you rate them highly for rate, payment term, support, work offered, deadlines... A bit like Trip Advisor et al.

Personally speaking, I don't like working for agencies who dictate terms, full stop. I might, if their terms were better than mine, but I don't actually find that happens. It's the low+late payers who dictate; the ones I work with ask me for my terms. My rates are published here (and I stick to them, largely), and my payment terms are 30 days month end. That can mean up to 60 days of course, but I invoice all my regular clients monthly on the last day of the month. That's what I prefer, for ease of administration, and most of my clients prefer it too.


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
valid time saving information Jul 17, 2013

I disagree. The purpose of the blueboard is whether or not an organization is a 1 through 5 star organization. However, the blueboard is primarily used as a way to block organizations from posting new jobs because of late payments or because colleagues have not been paid yet.

My suggestion is that an organization cannot be a 5 star organization when they have payment terms > 30 days. This is valid information as I save time and money with not responding to job offers for companies with payment terms > 30 days.

Sometimes it has happened that there is an interesting job offer. I check the blueboard, there is a solid 5 and I apply, and only to discover that their payment terms are a lot different to my standards.

Some companies mention them in job offers, but I think it should be standard information and visible to paying members.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lower BB is for payment issues Jul 17, 2013

I think that agencies paying after 60 days net state that very clearly when you accept a job, so you cannot really complain that they are paying late. If you are not willing to be paid in 60 days, clearly you should not work for the agency, no matter their BB rating.

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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:06
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
ProZ's definition. Jul 17, 2013

Ronald van der Linden wrote:
The purpose of the blueboard is whether or not an organization is a 1 through 5 star organization.

This is indeed how many (mistakenly) interpret the rating, but it is not what the BB represents. According to ProZ.com its purpose is as follows:

What is the Blue Board?
It works like this: a ProZ.com user (a "service provider") can enter a number from 1 to 5 corresponding to his or her "likelihood of working again" with a given outsourcer (an "LWA", for short). By way of explanation, a line of text (a "comment") may be entered along with the number. An outsourcer may enter one line of text (a "reply") in response to entries.

Over time, a number of entries and replies may be collected for an outsourcer; together these are referred to as a "record". Blue board records are accessible via URLs of this form: http://www.proz.com/blueboard/#. Within each record, in addition to entries and replies, contact information for the outsourcer and the average LWA is also shown.

Quoted from http://www.proz.com/blueboard/?sp_mode=faq


I complete agree with you that the BB (as well as several other sections of ProZ) is in dire need of an overhaul, but I wouldn't hold my breath in anticipation.


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
better explained Jul 17, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I think that agencies paying after 60 days net state that very clearly when you accept a job, so you cannot really complain that they are paying late. If you are not willing to be paid in 60 days, clearly you should not work for the agency, no matter their BB rating.


If an organization does NOT mention their payment terms, but is rated with a 5. I expect quicker payments than 60+. It saves me time and money not to reply to job offers when I know in ADVANCE what their payment terms are.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Here we go again Jul 17, 2013

I've posted the same response to this question several times, but basically my thinking is along the lines of "Who sets 30 days as the golden standard anyway?"

As long as the agency or client lets you know beforehand what their payment terms are, it's then up to you to accept it or not. I occasionally work with one agency whose payment terms are 90 days, although they usually pay sooner. I have also occasionally worked with clients who pay at 120 days. I work with them because I'm not in a hurry to get paid (I have other clients who pay faster) and because I wanted the job in question at the time. The way I look at it, when you put a due date on your invoice, it's really a sort of wishful thinking, not a contractual stipulation. I know other people have a different outlook on it, but that's the way I roll and it works for me.

PS: One of my regular clients of more than 10 years standing finally paid me last month for a bill I presented at the end of last year - I'd been waiting so long that I'd actually almost forgotten about it, so it was a pleasant surprise to find quite a bit more in my bank account than I'd expected. I wasn't worried because I knew all along they would pay up in the end...

[Edited at 2013-07-17 18:40 GMT]


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
establishing the basics = improves efficiency Jul 17, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Personally speaking, I don't like working for agencies who dictate terms, full stop. I might, if their terms were better than mine, but I don't actually find that happens. It's the low+late payers who dictate; the ones I work with ask me for my terms. My rates are published here (and I stick to them, largely), and my payment terms are 30 days month end. That can mean up to 60 days of course, but I invoice all my regular clients monthly on the last day of the month. That's what I prefer, for ease of administration, and most of my clients prefer it too.


If a possible client asks me my terms, and I say immediately upon delivery, they may or may not like my terms (example). Every company has established their terms, also those who are independents. It is only to the advantage of both parties to know basic terms ahead of entering a possible cooperation.

Yes, there is nothing against accepting any terms, as you are accepting them. My point of view is that there is a limit to acceptable payment terms and that in this global economy it cannot be an excuse to say that because fees are arguably low in country X or payment terms are nation specific, the blueboard system cannot be altered.

It is time to implement a standard where registered companies mention whether they pay prompt / 5-30 days / 30- 60 / 60 - 90 / 90+. It is a vital subject in whether or not to engage a cooperation with another company. And my half hour time on a quote is better spent when I know that the company's basics are compatible with my own.


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
initial questions Jul 17, 2013

My initial questions:

What payment terms are acceptable to you in general?

Do you or do you not agree that organizations beyond what you may find acceptable business practise should not be allowed to have 5 star ratings on the blueboard.

Note: it is not about what the purpose of the blueboard was, it is about whether you would like to change the blueboard system were payment terms play the role of not being able to get a 5 star rating.


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:06
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a more efficient Proz.com Jul 17, 2013

Proz.com is a market place. One of the benefits should be to offer clear information on basic terms without me needing to ask what their terms are and prepare a quote.

A quote should only be prepared when you already agree on basic terms and the blueboard helps as a guide to confirm that those basic terms are being met.

The issue here is that I do not know these basic terms and Proz.com is being highly inefficient in this area and counterproductive since it is after all a market place.

I am not talking about the end of a project. I'm trying to discuss the initial phase and make it more efficient by using a more efficient Proz.com.


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:06
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Couple of comments Jul 17, 2013

neilmac wrote:
I know other people have a different outlook on it, but that's the way I roll and it works for me.

PS: One of my regular clients of more than 10 years standing finally paid me last month for a bill I presented at the end of last year - I'd been waiting so long that I'd actually almost forgotten about it, so it was a pleasant surprise to find quite a bit more in my bank account than I'd expected. I wasn't worried because I knew all along they would pay up in the end...

It all comes down to running a business and managing that business's cash flow. If you are comfortable with certain payment terms, that is fine, but I would not go so far as to recommend the 'due date is a suggestion and the payments will come when they come' approach as a best business practice.

In the example you gave you actually lost money. The client payed you almost a year late, and by now due to inflation and all the money probably worth less than at the time of quote/invoice. Accepting a payment after X days is extending a line of credit to your client. Therefore, for longer payment periods the fee charged should include interest, otherwise, from a financial standpoint, you are actually offering a discount and lose money.


it is not about what the purpose of the blueboard was, it is about whether you would like to change the blueboard system...

For start you can suggest it via the 'Ideas' button (in the navigation menu), send a ticket with the suggestion to ProZ's staff, and/or continue with this discussion in which some will support your suggestion and others not. However, as I've said earlier, don't expect much for your efforts.
ProZ is not a "community" driven market-place or association, Proz is a for-profit organization that offers a service. I'm all for useful changes, and I support your suggestion, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

[Edited at 2013-07-17 19:58 GMT]


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