Impact of contacting final clients
Thread poster: xxxwonita
xxxwonita
China
Local time: 03:32
Mar 31, 2008

10 weeks have passed, since I made the delivery and invoiced the agency. Nothing happened to my bank account despite of the polite promise of an immediate payment on the phone 2 weeks ago.

Now I am pondering the next step: contacting the final client! Has any of you done it before? Would it push the agency to pay or not to pay?

Bin


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:32
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Final solution Mar 31, 2008

At this stage I would consider it to be too early for this. First I would remind the agency that I are in possesion of the copyright of my translation until i have been paid and set them a final date for the payment in writing.
Only after this date has passed without the payment being prosessed would I contact the end-client and tell them the same, i.e. that using my translation might infringe my copyright.

Regards
Heinrich


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:32
English to Polish
What for? Mar 31, 2008

What has the final client to do with it? The agreement was between you and the agency. I'd rather concentrate my actions on attempts of getting my money from the agency.

Anni


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:32
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
The final client has no relationship with you. Mar 31, 2008

Ms. Kandula is correct. The final client has no relationship with you. They have probably paid the agency (or won't pay them) and at any rate, they have no obligation to pay you.

That said, you can inform the agency about the copyright issue. You can also ask whether they consider it necessary for you to consult an attorney to determine whether it would be appropriate for you to sue the end client. (Such a question, though a veiled threat, does not create an obligation for you to do so.)

Of course, if you contact the end client or threaten to do so, be prepared to write the agency off as a client. Right now, point out to them that although payment was promised "immediately", it hasn't materialized after two weeks.


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
German to Italian
+ ...
No Mar 31, 2008

M. Anna Kańduła wrote:

What has the final client to do with it? The agreement was between you and the agency. I'd rather concentrate my actions on attempts of getting my money from the agency.

Anni


I couldn't agree more. The end client has nothing to do with you, and it's not their business if the agency pays you or not. On the other hand, for the same reason the agency should always pay you punctually, even if the end client hasn't paid them yet. That's business risk.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No, follow the correct procedure Mar 31, 2008

Bin Tiede wrote:
10 weeks have passed, since I made the delivery and invoiced the agency. Nothing happened to my bank account despite of the polite promise of an immediate payment on the phone 2 weeks ago. ... Now I am pondering the next step: contacting the final client!


No, contacting the end-client is not the "next step"... it is the "final step" (or one of them). Contacting the end-client is essentially a breach of the confidential relationship between you and your client and a breach of the non-poaching agreement (whether written or unspoken). So only contact the end-client when you've run out of other options or procedures.

I assume you've followed up two weeks and four weeks after the date of payment came and went, and that you've heard nothing from them. Perhaps the next step would be to send a final demand, with a note that unless payment is made within X number of days (allow a reasonable length of time), the account will be handed over to your debt collector.

After that comes a letter from the debt collector (and/or a phone call), and after that come threats of legal action, and after that comes legal action, and in the end... in the end comes contacting the end-client. Do not breach the sacred principles simply because it seems that the client might be trying to breach them first.

That is just my opinion.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
True, but... Mar 31, 2008

Paul Merriam wrote:
The final client has no relationship with you. They have probably paid the agency (or won't pay them) and at any rate, they have no obligation to pay you.


Contacting the end client is one avenue to putting pressure on the agency. The end-client has nothing to do with you, that's true, but the end-client does have a relationship with the agency and the end-client may be willing to put pressure on the agency, so to speak.

Copyright of the translation is another issue, yes, but would you really file a civil suit against the end-client for using your translation, and actually hope to win it?


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
I would be tempted too Apr 1, 2008

I would be really tempted to do so too. I totally understand your point of view. I would try to follow the correct procedure first though. I have only once tried to recover payment throught the Spanish courts but it all ended up being way too expensive. Next time round I think I will use a debt collection agency, but I am a little scared of retaliation. If I saw that an agency was not going to pay up, after a proper attempt at recovery, I would tell the agency that I was going to contact the end customer, and proceed to do so. Invent a subtle pretext. You could enquire as to whether the translation has been used for its designated purpose, this way you could assess your chances of recovering payment through the courts.

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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
English to Norwegian
Customer, agency, translator. Apr 1, 2008

Ms. Kandula is correct. The final client has no relationship with you. They have probably paid the agency (or won't pay them) and at any rate, they have no obligation to pay you.


But remember how often the agency uses the customer as an excuse to delay payment to you. There must be a hundred posts here at Proz, complaining that: “The agency says they cannot pay me before the customer has paid them." Of course it is totally irrelevant, but it gives you the right to use the customer as a wedge.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 03:32
TOPIC STARTER
Right to the pain point Apr 1, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
No, contacting the end-client is not the "next step"... it is the "final step" (or one of them). Contacting the end-client is essentially a breach of the confidential relationship between you and your client and a breach of the non-poaching agreement (whether written or unspoken). So only contact the end-client when you've run out of other options or procedures.


It saves your time, nerve and money!


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