24 hour cancelation policy
Thread poster: Misae Lucasey

Misae Lucasey
United States
Local time: 10:42
Member (2012)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jan 16, 2014

Hello. An over-the-phone interpretation job was booked 7 hours prior to the start time and then cancelled 3 hours after it was confirmed. It was explained to the agent that there was a 24 hour cancellation policy that applied to the appointment if it was to be cancelled, and she agreed with my terms and fees in our chain email before the booking. However, after the cancellation, she said this policy would not logically apply to this case because the booking and appointment time were less than 24 hours apart. Can the agent book, confirm, and cancel an appointment on the same day without any consequences? I thought I was I entitled to get my minimum hourly fee for the cancellation. Have any other interpreters encountered the same problems?

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Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:42
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
24-hour cancelation policy Jan 16, 2014

Misae Lucasey wrote:

It was explained to the agent that there was a 24 hour cancellation policy that applied to the appointment if it was to be cancelled


If you apply a 24-hour cancelation policy, it logically means that an appointment can only be canceled free of charge 24 or more hours in advance, right? If your time slot was booked just 7 hours ahead, there is logically no way to cancel the reservation free of charge.

It is you who sets the terms and conditions (unless you have accepted theirs), so once your client has accepted them, they should abide by them.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
T&C versus client relations Jan 16, 2014

I would say that, legally speaking, if your T&C say that a minimum of 1 hour will be billed in this case, then you have a right to that payment. But then there's the fact that you want to keep good clients, and you want to be fair. I can see a few reasons for possibly waiving the fee:
- the end client really had a believable unexpected problem at their end (force majeure)
- your client has given a lot of work in the past and is a good future prospect
- the job wasn't expected to take very long anyway so you had expected to be able to take on other work that morning/afternoon (of course, there are no travelling costs/time involved here)
- you were able to use the time to do other paid work, or even much-needed admin
- the T&C were agreed to implicitly (eg the client was given a link to them which they may or may not have followed up), rather than explicitly.

OTOH, if the client had already used up your patience (i.e. you'd already waived some fee or been fair in some other way), or if it's a first contact with this client and you suspect it will be a one-off anyway, then why not insist? You have every right to.


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Misae Lucasey
United States
Local time: 10:42
Member (2012)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Follow ups... Feb 26, 2014

Hi Sheila and Daniel,

Thank you for your help and sorry for my late reply. I waited for a response from the PM since she said she would bring this issue to her team, however, I did not hear anything from her. I contacted the actual job poster on ProZ, who is the owner of the agency. The owner said I work "for" them so I should not have pursued the payment if I would like to keep a good relationship with his agency. (I never worked "with" them before. A very new agency.) In short, I got paid and he "terminated" our "relationship".

Misae


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