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Translators owed money by a certain UK agency
Thread poster: Dr. Andrew Frankland

Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
May 5, 2008

Dear All,

And from what I can see from the Blue Board there are rather a lot of us out there, I am currently looking into the possibility of starting a small claims court action against this company for non-payment of several invoices. I have already been in contact with a couple of the people who have made BB entries and have now decided to start this thread to keep the rest of you who are having payment problems with this company up to date. The PM, who has the initials PH, has been putting me, and probably the rest of you, off for a few weeks now with excuses along the lines of "the accounts person only works part-time" or a "system crash". I've checked with Companies House in the UK and the company appears still to be solvent (I'll get their latest filed report later this afternoon) so there is no obvious reason why we haven't been paid.

UK Company law (Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998)

http://www.payontime.co.uk/legislation/legislation_main.html

states that an interest rate of 13.5% (currently) can be levied on overdue payments along with a debt recovery fee (currently 40 pounds for debts of up to 999 pounds). Apparently we have to send an amended invoice with these charges included (there is an interest rate calculator available at http://www.payontime.co.uk/calculator/statutory.html).

Claims in the county courts can be made online at (https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp), although it may well cost more than the debt (I haven't got as far as the fees yet).

I haven't been able to find out (yet) whether this company has any county court judgements against it, but I have found that another translation company (I suppose I'm not allowed to mention the name here), was registered at the same address on March 1st this year, which sounds very fishy to me.

Anyway, I'll post more here when I get more information and I'd appreciate it if those people who are also having payment problems would also post regarding their situation and any solutions they come across. Today is a Bank Holiday in the UK so I'm not expecting anything else until tomorrow at the earliest.

Hopefully we can get this sorted out asap.

Andy

PS I originally had the name of the agency in the header and got my wrist slapped. If anyone wants to know who they are they can contact me privately. I haven't made a BB entry yet as I still have a fairly large amount outstanding.

[Edited at 2008-05-05 13:43]


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Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Will wonders never cease.... May 5, 2008

My first, and largest, March invoice has just been paid, with a promise of more cash to come once this payment has cleared. Incredible. The contact on this email is another person with the initials PH, maybe it's a company requirement!!

Andy

[Edited at 2008-05-05 13:44]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
English to German
+ ...
Forum rule #8 May 5, 2008

Hi Andy,

PS I originally had the name of the agency in the header and got my wrist slapped.

You may want to take a moment to review the ProZ.com forum rules - in particular, rule no. 8. Thanks.

If anyone wants to know who they are they can contact me privately. I haven't made a BB entry yet as I still have a fairly large amount outstanding.

Which, to be honest, I don't understand at all.
Any outsourcer wishing to clear their name will endeavour to get things rectified - and those who might try to withhold payment because of a negative BB entry probably had no intention to pay in the first place.

The outsourcer in question has already been banned from posting jobs at ProZ.com, and I
have asked ProZ.com staff to remove their profile. For this purpose, a minimum number of two non-payment entries were necessary - therefore, we encourage those with overdue payment claims to come forward and post on the Blue Board.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
English to German
+ ...
Private forum May 5, 2008

and regarding your proposal regarding joint action:


Anyway, I'll post more here when I get more information and I'd appreciate it if those people who are also having payment problems would also post regarding their situation and any solutions they come across. Today is a Bank Holiday in the UK so I'm not expecting anything else until tomorrow at the earliest.

Hopefully we can get this sorted out asap.

What I would suggest is to contact those who posted Blue Board entries for this outsourcer, and to invite them to a private discussion forum. Simply submit a Support Request to site staff indicating the required forum name, and they'll set it up for you: once it's up, you can invite people to that forum.

Best regards,
Ralf


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PB Trans

Local time: 00:39
French to English
+ ...
County Court Claims May 6, 2008

Dr. Andrew Frankland wrote:

Claims in the county courts can be made online at (https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp), although it may well cost more than the debt (I haven't got as far as the fees yet).


The county court fee is determined by the amount claimed. However, you can add this fee to your claim and it will be reimbursed should your claim be successful.

Good luck!

More info here:
you will have to pay the court a fee for issuing the claim form and further fees will be payable if your claim is disputed. You will also have to pay fees if you need to enforce the judgment. If you obtain judgment, any fees you pay will usually be added to the debt owed.

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex350_0406.pdf




[Edited at 2008-05-06 09:51]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:39
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
What does it mean to "remove their profile"? May 6, 2008

Ralf Lemster wrote:

The outsourcer in question has already been banned from posting jobs at ProZ.com, and I
have asked ProZ.com staff to remove their profile.


Ralf, what does it mean to "remove their profile"?
Will their BB record stay in the system for everyone to see?
Will their profile have a note indicating that it was removed by staff?

Katalin


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
English to German
+ ...
Removing profile, not BB record May 6, 2008

Hi Katalin,


Ralf, what does it mean to "remove their profile"?

It means that their profile (which is already blocked) will be removed from the system.

Will their BB record stay in the system for everyone to see?

Of course.

Will their profile have a note indicating that it was removed by staff?

No, because the profile will no longer be visible - anyone trying to access the URL will see a message that "there is no longer a user in the database with that ID".

Best regards,
Ralf


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Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dodgier and dodgier... May 7, 2008

The two companies registered at the address of this agency have the same secretary and directors according to the papers filed at Companies House. I'm still waiting for the accounts to be delivered.

I've asked the site staff to set up the private discussion forum suggested by Ralf and will let all interested parties know when it is up and running.

Andy

[Edited at 2008-05-07 11:05]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
English to German
+ ...
Companies House WebCHeck May 7, 2008

Hi Andy,

The two companies registered at the address of this agency have the same secretary and directors according to the papers filed at Companies House. I'm still waiting for the accounts to be delivered.

Are you familiar with the CH online service? Right now, there appears to be a network problem at their end, but the service is very handy. You can download any recent documents submitted to Companies House, against a small fee.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am now!! May 7, 2008

Yes, that's where I got the info from. I have the Current Appointments Reports for both agencies and am waiting for the latest filed accounts for "my"agency, which haven't arrived yet due to their ongoing network problems.

I've also managed to find out that there are no County Court judgements against "my"agency, although as it's a fairly new company that's apparently not too suprising.

The director appears to be a former Harley Street dentist, or at least that's where the company was registered before moving to its current address, who has translated the odd dental text. He's now 64 and is not British. The company secretary and other director is a 51-year-old woman with a different surname, who may be his wife using her maiden name.

Andy


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AnitaQuiel
English to Danish
I''m also owed money by this company May 12, 2008

Hi Andy and Ralf

I've currently got four outstanding invoices with this company. Pretty much the same story: tried putting me off with excuses for ages and have now stopped replying to my e-mails. I'm considering making a claim through the small claims court if they don't pay me by the end of this week.

If you do set up a private discussion forum (or whatever - I'm not that familiar with Proz), I'd very much like to take part.

Anita


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Clément Defontaine  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
English to French
+ ...
I'm also owed money by this company May 12, 2008

Hello everybody, (And thanks for setting up this forum)

For a few days I have been in contact with Andy and have tried actively to be paid for a small translation project I did for this company in February.
Although I sent threats of legal action by e-mail on Friday morning I still haven't had any reply and when I try to call I always get the voice mail. I know they are receiving my e-mails because two translators were paid on Friday.

Today I sent an other e-mail adding that I would start the court process tomorrow if I didn't get a reply by tomorrow morning. And after more than 2 hours, I am still waiting... (The phone of course is useless)

I have read all the postings in the forum and went on the links. However I am still not sure how to proceed to start a claim and what my chances of "winning" the case are considering that I only had correspondence with a PM who know left the company (but I kept all of the e-mails). And if I lose will it cost me more money in the end? (They owe me a bit more than £40)

Or would it be possible to do a "group claim"?

So any information on claims would be very welcome.

Thanks a lot!

Clément.


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AnitaQuiel
English to Danish
Making a claim May 13, 2008

Hi Clement

I'll look into this towards the end of the week - when I have more time. I'll let you know if I find any information about making a joint claim or similar.

Anita


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AnitaQuiel
English to Danish
Making a claim May 25, 2008

Hi Clement
I've been looking into making a claim, and as far as I understand the claim has to be between one company and another, so I don't think making a joint claim is possible.

Anyway, I kept hassling them and have finally been paid, so if they still haven't paid you (or anyone else), my advice would be to just keep at them - they will pay eventually. I was really scared they'd never do so, or that they'd gone bankrupt or something, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Best of luck!
Anita


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Elodie Bonnafous  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:39
Member (2009)
German to French
+ ...
The same problem May 26, 2008

Hello,

I contacted Clément today for more information about his experience with this agency, and he kindly told me about this discussion. (Merci Clément!)

I have the same problem: they owe me € 520, and when PH finds it necessary to write back, which he actually hardly ever does, he regularly uses excuses like "accounting will get back to you". But nothing happens, nobody contacts nor pays me.

I threatened today with informing the client, and I will, if they don't pay in the next few weeks.

Anyway, I will inform you all in this forum if anything happens.

Elodie


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