Inpersonal translation request : sign of troubles?
Thread poster: _TILLI

Local time: 01:16
English to Russian
+ ...
May 31, 2005

Dear colleagues,
I received an "inpersonal" translation request from a translation agency (the letter started with "Dear translators, you were selected to work on this project". The agency is listed in the Blue Board, but without entries. Call for entries gave no results as well. They state that this is a social project (and it is, according to google) and suggest paying 45 days after the project submission, "according to the agreement with the client". After a short conversation by email, I accepted the deadlines and started the translation. In the meantime, I asked several questions and requested a "personal" translation order on the official letter head. They answered my questions very selectively- but no reaction regarding the translation order. Should I stop loosing my time for the translation, the payment for which is doubtful? Or is it a normal practice and I am over-cautious? Thank you for your advice.

[Edited at 2005-05-31 08:49]


Levan Namoradze  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:16
Member (2005)
English to Georgian
+ ...
Who knows? May 31, 2005

Who knows Tilli? They may appear very nice and confused people. However, they may appear cheaters also. Unfortunately, perhaps, you will have act as the pioneer in respect of that company. If I were you, I would proceed with translation, but that is only my personal opinion. I got some clients that 'missed' sending POs but paid timely and to the full extent. So, up to you...


Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
I wouldn't like working like this... May 31, 2005


Either by email, fax or post, I always need a confirmation of the request for service and the terms agreed. I mean a personalised PO, including my details and all the details of the client/agency.
In fact, I always do this with small direct clients.
Even with regular trustworthy clients, after arranging by phone, either they send me or I send them an email, with what we agreed, so there are no misunderstandings.

If the client/agency doesn't send you a personalised PO, I'd send them one for them to sign and return.

Good luck!


Local time: 01:16
English to Russian
+ ...
Just a feeling... May 31, 2005

We did agree on the price and on the deadines. The only thing that remained doubtful was the way of payment and the PO. I asked them, if it is possible to pay by money transfer and send the bank details, they promised to "find out, if it is possible" - and nothing. My PO request is simply ignored twice.


Lingo Pros
United States
Local time: 19:16
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
PO first May 31, 2005

One of the conditions to start working on a project MUST be receiving the PO first to avoid any further problems, except in case of a regular client. Even having the POs, translators encounter agencies not eager to pay at all!

It's better to stop translating right now and send them a small reminder that as you've not received any PO from them, you won't continue translating untill you receive one. Accepting the job without the type and time of the payment confirmed by the client is asking for trouble.


Rosa Diez Tagarro  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
definitely May 31, 2005

PO first.

Better safe than sorry.

If they are not very responsive now, well, imagine how responsive they might be in case of trouble...

Good luck!



Lucinda Hollenberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Signed PO first, then translating May 31, 2005

I would definitely sent them a PO and ask them to return it signed to you as most of the other people suggested. Also let them know that you have this policy that you can only start a project with a signed PO, so that you have to stop work until you have received their signed PO.

I only work without PO for a few long-standing trusted clients and I must say that most of my clients immediately send a PO with any new job that they assign to me, even the ones I have worked with for a long time. I have one client I am working owith n a long-term basis and we signed one umbrella contract for the whole project (this project consists of several sub projects). Again there is paperwork to back up our working relationship. Payment is after a batch of work is delivered as per our agreement.

These clients may be perfectly honest people and prompt payers, but then you do not know that (correct?) and have to project yourself.

The choice whether to continue or not, of course is yours, but be very carefully. I am sorry, but I am getting kind of a funny feeling. As they say in Spanish: "Me da mala espina."

Good luck!


Local time: 01:16
English to Russian
+ ...
a signed PO - a guarantee? Jun 1, 2005

They seem to agree to provide a PO. Hope they'll do it today as promised. Here is another question: Is it really a guarantee? Everyone can draft a "corporate letter head" and put a non-existing name, address, bank details... Even if they are real- how can the PO serve in case of non-payment?


Christopher RH
Local time: 01:16
French to English
no guarantee against fraud - but a guarantee against "misunderstandings" Jun 2, 2005

Of course an order can be faked, but that is clear-cut fraud and, therefore, criminal.

However, without an order the client can simply feign ignorance or misunderstanding. You were never asked to do the work, they didn't need what you sent them, etc. etc.

Still, I never do any work on e-mail alone. If the client can't phone me and be phoned (on a land line), they don't "exist" as far as I'm concerned.


Burkhard Ziegler  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
Russian to German
+ ...
First PO, than translation; prepayment is better in case of doubtfull customers Jun 2, 2005

_TILLI wrote:

They seem to agree to provide a PO. Hope they'll do it today as promised. Here is another question: Is it really a guarantee? Everyone can draft a "corporate letter head" and put a non-existing name, address, bank details... Even if they are real- how can the PO serve in case of non-payment?


In fact, a signed PO is not guarantee to get paid for several reasons,
  • they might not want to pay at all
  • the PO bears falsified TAX ID (INN/UNN), Registered and/or office address (fakticheskij i juridicheskij adres), Names etc
  • they might fall into bankrupticy
  • they might tell you that you delivered a poor quality

But of course, a correctly signed (signature and full names of general director and chief accountant) and sealed (especially in the CIS) is a proof that there is a contract.

As you wrote that the company needs to consult if the can send you a payment by money order (nado uznat'...), I can't consider them as for serious. Even in a country with difficult bank and fiscal structures a company should know about the banking system.

How to solve this issue?

Prepare a contract (PO, what ever) on your discretion (but legal to Aljaksandr Hrihorevich) and ask the to sign and seal it and demand an irrevokable prepayment by money order, bankers draft, western union, cash. Don't accpet cheques (kross chek, raschjotnyj chek). A prepayment is a very secure proof of the seriousity...

If they disagree with a prepayment and/or with signing a contract/PO, don't work for them.

[Edited at 2005-06-02 08:55]


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