Should I claim payment in this particular case? (Problems with job delivery by e-mail)
Thread poster: orianne76

orianne76
France
Local time: 08:36
English to French
+ ...
Apr 28, 2008

Daer colleagues,

Last Friday, I applied for a small translation job posted on ProZ. My application was accepted and I soon received all the details regarding this job via email. I immediately confirmed agreement and started the translation which had to be delivered on the very same day. I sent back the translation in due time per email. Of course I requested a read notification but on the following morning, I still hadn't received any reply from the client. So I sent one more email to ask if she had received my translation. At first, she replied that she had not received anything from me and that she had thought that I was not interested in the job any longer. She also told me she had had to appoint someone else for the translation. Fifteen minutes later, she sent another message to tell me that she had just received my two messages (the first one confirming acceptance of the job and the second one with my translation) and that she often experienced email troubles, receiving some messages with much delay. Yet she acknowledged that I made the job and delivered it on time but never offered to pay me for this job.

Do you think it would be appropriate for me to claim payment in this context?

Thanks for your answers.

Orianne

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-04-28 13:19]


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:36
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, you should claim Apr 28, 2008

You shouldn't have started the translation before receiving her confirmation. Even if she had received your acceptance straightaway, she might still have already confirmed the job with another translator in the mean time (especially bearing in mind that this was an urgent job where time was of the essence - she probably contacted several translators). You should never start work before receiving confirmation, except with clients where the initial offer itself has the value of a confirmation.



Sorry, I'm editing because I see that your first sentence says "my application was accepted" - that counts as confirmation in my eyes. So as Taylor says, given that she knows she has a problem with incoming emails she should have contacted you (perhaps by phone) before offering the job to someone else.

I think you're perfectly entitled to claim, in these circumstances.

[Edited at 2008-04-28 13:44]


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Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:36
Portuguese to English
+ ...
You should be paid. Apr 28, 2008

Her email troubles are HER troubles. She admitted that her email does this, so you know it wasn't your fault.

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The Misha
Local time: 02:36
Russian to English
+ ...
w/MHH Apr 28, 2008

MHH is right: NEVER start a job without an explicit confirmation from the customer.

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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 01:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
I think you should... Apr 28, 2008

If they accepted your quote and sent you the job, that to me is confirmation. Since they know about their email problems, and you don't, they should have tried to call you if they needed confirmation that you had received the job. I agree with Maríe-Helene to wait for confirmation before you start to work but in this case I would have done the same as Orianne.

Best
Paty


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Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 16:36
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Absolutely Apr 28, 2008

orianne76 wrote:

Yet she acknowledged that I made the job and delivered it on time but never offered to pay me for this job.

Do you think it would be appropriate for me to claim payment in this context?


As others have already said: You should absolutely be paid. You delivered on time, this was acknowledged by the client, so why should you not be paid? The fact that they have email problems is their problem, and they even 'took the blame' by admitting the email problem was on their side, not yours. So I see no reason why you would even contemplate not invoicing them for the job.


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Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:36
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Why in the world... Apr 28, 2008

would this PM continue with that email account if she needs same-day jobs done anyway?

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casey
United States
Local time: 02:36
Member
Japanese to English
Yes, you should invoice... Apr 28, 2008

...and if they do not pay, you should make a BlueBoard entry to that effect.

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Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 08:36
German to English
Definitely Apr 28, 2008

They ordered - you delivered.

You might, however, want to think about calling clients to confirm delivery in future.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:36
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Email problems Apr 28, 2008

taylorreigne wrote:

Her email troubles are HER troubles. She admitted that her email does this, so you know it wasn't your fault.


Yes, I agree that you certainly should be paid. I too have found that a certain client's emails are often very slow to arrive, although I receive other messages normally from everyone else. This client doesn't seem willing to accept that the problem is at their end, but I think it must be. What can I do, other than keep pointing out their problem?
Best of luck,
Jenny


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You in her shoes Apr 28, 2008

orianne76 wrote:
Yet she acknowledged that I made the job and delivered it on time but never offered to pay me for this job.


If for some reason your mail server (or any mail server) held back a mail from a client to you, and this causes you to miss a deadline, would you offer compensation? I'm sure you wouldn't, because you'd feel that you missed the deadline for reasons beyond your control.

Remember, from her point of view you had simply disappeared off the face of the planet, and she had a deadline to meet, so she hired another translator. It is no-one's fault that your mail was held back, but who should suffer for it? E-mail is not 100% reliable yet you act as if it should be.

It sounds to me as if the client was waiting for just one final confirmation from you. You yourself say that you sent such a confirmation. Does this not mean that the job wasn't truly "accepted" at that stage?

In my opinion, urgent jobs should be confirmed by phone.


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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feeble excuses Apr 28, 2008

What a silly way of trying to get away from paying you!

According to your story, obviously enough, they sent you the text, and the confirmation

It's just too bad if now they don't want to pay you: they confirmed you, and sent you the text to be translated.

Otherwise, you know the way:
Go to Blue Board, explain all this, so this won't happen to someone else too.


Don't leave it: It's your time, your work, and they seem to be trying to con you.


Alfredo


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:36
French to English
Offer to pay? Apr 28, 2008

orianne76 wrote:
Yet she acknowledged that I made the job and delivered it on time but never offered to pay me for this job.


This could just be a language problem, but ... "offer to pay"??

None of my customers "offer to pay" me when I deliver. They expect to get an invoice at some point, which they duly do, and then they pay.
Likewise, when I outsource (which isn't that often), I don't "offer to pay" when I receive a delivery. I wait for an invoice, and when I'm sent it, I pay it.

All that said, on the face of it, it sounds to me as though you should get paid, assuming you send an invoice. The agreement was made and moreover delivery appears to have been accepted. It is not your concern whether she has ordered and received one translation, 2 translations or 450 translations of the same text. You did what was agreed. End of story. Good luck

Edit to add a sub-point to my original point:
Do you actually mean that "the client did not offer to pay", or do you mean (as so many here seem to have interpreted) that they actually explicitly stated that they would not pay)?
The distinction might save too much indignation !

[Edited at 2008-04-28 21:42]


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
English to Russian
+ ...
a question Apr 29, 2008

orianne76 wrote:

... My application WAS ACCEPTED and I soon received all the details regarding this job via email. I immediately confirmed agreement and started the translation which had to be delivered on the very same day.


Does it mean you received the purchase order among other files?


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 08:36
French to Dutch
+ ...
I think you cannot claim payment May 1, 2008

If you didn't receive a purchase order or a final confirmation per e-mail, you have no proof that your client ordered a translation. You translated supposing that she had ordered.
It is sad for you, of course.

P.S. agree with the above, a client is not "offering payment" and you are not a beglar but an independent service provider who invoices his/her services. A bit of self-esteem might help.


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