legitimacy of the client
Thread poster: Mohammad Khan

Mohammad Khan
Local time: 20:54
English to Dari
+ ...
Sep 21, 2006

Hi everyone

I am newbie and I have already done some jobs. But I do not anything about how to make sure if someone will pay me or not. I had now problem with my clients for whom I already worked. But right now I have got I big project and want to know about finding the legitimacy of an agency. The agecny which has offered me this job has already paid me for another job I did for them. So my question is it OK to go with them or should I look for ways to find if they will pay me and what are those ways? Also I could not understand why someone is ready to pay me when he or she already have the translated file in his or her hands? Since the only proof I have is that I emailed them the file.


ÇAĞDAŞ MANDALI  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:24
English to Turkish
+ ...
no need to so much worry Sep 21, 2006

Hi, Kulal

In order to have information about the agency, you can search the BB records of the agency. There, you may find comments on both the payment reliability of the client and how professional it is.

As for your worries about "why shall they pay me?", I can without doubt say things don't go as you worry. You are a service provider for them, which shall be needed again, if they are content with your performance. Also, no agency or direct client likes records about itself accusing it of being a badpayer. That is the reason why they shall pay you.

However, there still are clients that may try to cheat the translators working for them. In such cases, you shall insist on your payment, and if you have to, you may take legal action against the client.

But, this type of clients constitute a small minority among so many reliable clients. Were they not, you would not see so many translators with experience of 8 - 10 - 15 -, indeed, 20 years of experience. They would have died of hungericon_smile.gif

And, there is also a step taken in proz for such an aim. It is premium job posting. you can have more information at http://www.proz.com/topic/55664.



Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:24
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
It is relatively unusual not be paid at all Sep 21, 2006

Hi kulal,

You just have to take the plunge and trust people. Only a very small percentage are crooks. Also make sure you write your invoices correctly and professionally. There is plenty of information on that if you search the forums.

As long as you print off and keep the e-mail sending the translation, as well as keeping another copy on your computer, that is enough proof that you delivered the work. You naturally print off the source document and your translation, too, and file everything. The standard practice these days is to send the invoice together with the translation in the same e-mail. If the agency acknowledges receipt of the translation (even by an automatic process), they are then at the same time acknowledging receipt of your invoice.

Keep an invoice file, and put all your invoices in it, one by one. That is not only proof that you did the work, but in due course becomes legal documentation of your business activities.

Many agencies (and also individual outsourcers) will agree to pay your invoice in 30 days, but it is fairly unusual that they actually do. On average, they at least wait until you send a reminder at 37 days. Then they make a bank transfer, after a couple more days, which reaches you after another few working days. Some stretch it out until 45 or 60 days. However, the only ones that do not pay at all, ever, are those that have gone bankrupt and then continued to trade - which is illegal, of course. They are a very small percentage.

You should not forget to write on your invoice that payment is due within 30 days. That helps your legal position.

Anyhow, most people have a conscience and therefore most people pay - whether sooner or later. There are not a lot of people around whose consciences will allow them not to pay at all - unless they have a serious dispute about the quality of the translation, which is another subject entirely.


[Edited at 2006-09-21 18:08]

[Edited at 2006-09-21 18:09]


Mohammad Khan
Local time: 20:54
English to Dari
+ ...
Thanks Sep 21, 2006

Thanks for the reply

It looks like I am on the write track. By the since they already paid me by check, how important is that for proving their legitimacy?


Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:24
Sep 21, 2006

What exactly do you mean here by legitimacy? Have you googled them, do you know where they are, who you're dealing with, do you have a good business relationship with them? Is that what you mean?

I really don't see the problem here, this client likes your work and has paid up for it and they have come back to you for more.icon_smile.gif

The main thing is you got paid, whether it is by cheque, bank transfer, giro. Many companies pay by cheque, it is a perfectly valid way of doing business.

If you have a suspicion about a company, then certainly you should check that out. To me, it just sounds like you need read up on your rights as a service provider in your juridiction. That should reassure you somewhat.



Mohammad Khan
Local time: 20:54
English to Dari
+ ...
looks fine Sep 21, 2006

I might be using a wrong terminology but what I mean is that, is this agency realy exist? if yes, then is it in the country for what they claim?
I searched its name in google and a clinical reaserch lab has given its exact name and address in the list of translation agencies. I also called the 1-800 number provided on the agecy's website and that works too. So I think it is all fine.

Thanks and Regards


[Edited at 2006-09-21 22:26]


Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:24
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Fortunately, there are only a few crooks Sep 22, 2006

Dear Kulal,

Fortunately only a small percentage of the people/agencies do not pay for the work done. Even though it is true that a few first pay a couple of times and then do not pay, this also does not happen often.

Next time when you accept a job (any job, but especially a large one):

It is a good idea to prepare a written contract (or have the agency give you one) where it is clearly stated what the work entails, delivery deadline(s), how much they are going to pay you and the payment terms. Then the agency signs it (most of the time you have to sign it too). Afterwards, the agency will scan the cntract and email it to you or even fax it.

If you wish to be extra sure, you can also have them send the original signed copy to you by regular mail. I am not a lawyer, but I believe that this document holds up in court.

IFinally, feel good about yourself. It is not easy to find these first jobs. Great!

Good luck with your next project!


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