Non-payment for an error without the chance to correct it
Thread poster: Sharon Sideris
Sharon Sideris  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:24
German to English
+ ...
Feb 7, 2008

I have had an issue with a client today and wanted to see if this has happened to anyone else and how they dealt with it.

I did a translation of about 200 words the other day and this morning I got an email saying I would not be paid for it because of 2 supposed "errors", the first was a missing word and the other was that they did not like the way I had translated another word, although it was not actually incorrect. The rest of the text was fine.

Any other time I have made a mistake I have been informed of it and had the chance to put it right, this time they just write to me and say we won't pay you. I think they think because it is such a small text I will just let it go and I probably will, but it hardly seems fair.

Is there some kind of general rule in business about being allowed to correct a mistake before being penalized financially for it?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

casey
United States
Local time: 23:24
Member
Japanese to English
Why go through an agency? Feb 8, 2008

Isn't it the job of the agency to catch mistakes like that? If the resources they had to put into correcting the mistakes outweighed the value provided by your translation, I could understand it, but to refuse to pay because of one or two small mistakes is kind of ridiculous. If they'll do that on a small job, they're sure to do it on a large job as well, so I'd stay away from that agency in the future if I were you.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

festinalente  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:54
English to Korean
+ ...
Agree. Feb 8, 2008

They are just trying to make an excuse and blame all of their unreasonable dealing on your small mistakes. Just ridiculous.

I had this similarly(in a broad sense) shifty incident with an agency not long ago. To make a long story short, I put my foot down and threatened them that I would report and refer to it around. As a result, I got paid 70% of the gross and still have 30 % of payment left from them, which is due very soon.

So, please have a hope and be aware of your right. Plus, stay away from the agency. By all means.



[Edited at 2008-02-08 04:12]

[Edited at 2008-02-08 11:30]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:24
English to German
+ ...
I absolutely agree with Casey Feb 8, 2008

Hello neighbor, BTW. (I am in PDX)

If you are interested, there is a local lawyer who is specializing in freelancer issues (designers, translators, all creative jobs) here in Portland. Please feel free to contact me via my profile page and I will be happy to provide the contact information. Costs $ 25.00 / 15 minutes phone call. His advice might prove better than any suggestions provided in this forum. Please keep us updated.

Best,

Nicole


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
How did they FIND the errors? Feb 8, 2008

If they found the errors, dislikes, whatever, it is safe to assume that someone checked your work thoroughly. It is equally safe to assume that this person got some money for doing it, even if it was the agency owner.

So, all they are trying to do is to rip you off, pinch some pennies from what they owe you.

I think it's a good reason to question that agency's attitude. It's like going to a restaurant, dropping a piece of cheese on the floor, and watching if a mouse will come to pick it up, so you can make a scene and leave without paying.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:24
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sure it's an agency? Feb 8, 2008

She said 'client' - why do y'all suppose it's an agency?

O, and yes, I do think there is a business rule about the right to make corrections etc. But I think it's EU-law - do you want me to try and find it for you?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

festinalente  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:54
English to Korean
+ ...
probably because Feb 8, 2008

Margreet Logmans wrote:

She said 'client' - why do y'all suppose it's an agency?

O, and yes, I do think there is a business rule about the right to make corrections etc. But I think it's EU-law - do you want me to try and find it for you?



She called this client 'they.' In fact, I hadn't noticed it till you pointed it out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:24
English to Dutch
+ ...
Off topic - on the use of 'they' Feb 8, 2008

From the website: http://english.unitecnology.ac.nz/resources/resources/exp_lang/pronouns.html

She or he, his or her?
In the past, the masculine pronoun was considered adequate for all situations where the gender of the person was not specified:
Every time a New Zealander pays his taxes, he helps his country.

Today, this usage is considered to be "sexist language". It can be avoided by using both pronouns:

Every time a New Zealander pays his or her taxes, he or she helps his or her country.

This construction can sound rather cumbersome. The problem can be avoided altogether by using the plural because this does not require any indication of gender:

Every time New Zealanders pay their taxes, they help their country.

Another option, used for centuries and now becoming acceptable again, is to use the plural they, their as the standard gender-neutral pronoun.

Someone has left his or her car lights on.
Someone has left their car lights on.
If any student wants to go to the football match, they should leave their name at the office.

This use of the plural pronoun has a very long history.


I'm assuming this is why 'they' was used to indicate the client....


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:24
Chinese to English
+ ...
Blue Board Feb 8, 2008

Sharon,

Don't forget you can always post something about them on the Blue Board (and also fill out an LWA for them). I hope you get some resolution on this though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Sharon Sideris  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:24
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all your input! Feb 9, 2008

Yep, this was an agency and here's the strange thing, these were not "errors" that they found themselves! When I scrolled down the email that I received, there was an email from the end client saying they noticed these two things. So either the agency did not proofread at all, or did not notice the one word missing when they proofread.

I often wonder to what extent agencies earn their money by proofreading, formatting or whatever, a lot of the time I think they just receive the text and send it out, maybe after glancing through once.

It makes me kind of mad because a friend of mine was asked at work to do some research on what a translation would cost and the agencies were quoting fees 4 times what I would charge! So it seems like their mark-up is pretty significant!

[Edited at 2008-02-09 18:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Non-payment for an error without the chance to correct it

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search