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Doesn't the agency need to pay to me?
Thread poster: reeishimi

reeishimi
Local time: 17:50
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jun 16, 2009

There is a translation agency (China) which I have worked for three years.

Recently, they offered me one project with 7 files on Wednesday and asked me if I could meet a deadline as Thursaday or Friday. I told them that I could finish by EOD (end of day) on Friday. I was so busy during translation and on Friday morning, I told them that I would not be able to finish 7 files but would be able to finish 6 files. And at the same time, they replied to me and they allocated one file to another translator.

By the end of day on Friday, I submitted 6 files to them. But after exchanging some correspondences, they told me they would not pay to me because I didn't finish all 7 files and violate a contract. However, there is no contract between the agency and me.

Now, one month has passed and they haven't paid. They don't even reply to my message. Since the invoice amount is US$120.00, it will not be a case to sue them. Please give me a good advice.


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Tatiana Lammers  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Blue Board Jun 16, 2009

Leave the comment about the agency there - other translators should be aware of this.

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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 11:50
German to English
+ ...
sue Jun 16, 2009

Your claim is not only $120. You have claims for misrepresentation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with contractual relations, theft of services, and other grounds. All worth talking with an attorney about.

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conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:50
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
They have to pay you Jun 16, 2009

大変ですね。That sounds pretty ridiculous. They never did anything like this before in the 3 years you worked with them?

They have to pay you for the 6 files. I would send them another email containing the previous emails where they said they were giving away the 1 file to another translator. And send them the invoice for the $120, saying they have to pay you for it... If they still don't pay, talk to a lawyer or post a bad rating on the blue board.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:50
English to French
+ ...
What violation? Jun 16, 2009

If there is no contract, there couldn't have been a violation, either.

In any case, they didn't mention any violation on Friday morning, when you told them that you could only provide the translation for six of the seven files. If they really felt you have violated anything, that would have been the right time for them to say so. They didn't. This fact alone means that they are reputed to have accepted that you only deliver six files (they even told you they were getting the seventh file translated by someone else, so the end client most likely got all seven files on time).

The amount due is insufficient for any legal action, as you say. Leave a BlueBoard rating instead. Simply state that you are leaving a rating of 1 for non payment. Who knows - they may prefer to pay after all rather than having a non payment rating on their BlueBoard (which you can have ProZ remove after they pay). If you choose this course of action, make sure to write a polite e-mail to the project manager to let him/her know that you will have the BlueBoard rating removed as soon as they pay. This may fix it.

Otherwise, write it off. And make sure next time you have a duly signed contract that clearly states that if you encounter difficulties in delivering on time (of which you will advise them promptly), you will still get paid for all work delivered on time. Steer clear of clients who are unwilling to sign a contract that contains such a clause.


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 11:50
German to English
+ ...
other grounds Jun 16, 2009

You can also discuss with your local prosecutor filing a private criminal complaint for fraud and/or conversion (again, theft of services).

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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:50
German to English
+ ...
Just a small "by the way"... Jun 16, 2009

Contracts do not need to be in writing or expressly declared.

If someone (you) offers to do some work and the other person (them) accepts that offer, you have a contract in most legal systems of the world.



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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:50
English to French
+ ...
True, but... Jun 16, 2009

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:

Contracts do not need to be in writing or expressly declared.

I was going to mention this as well, but I think it isn't really worth it. In theory, it makes sense, but in practice, it's a whole different story. How do you prove that said verbal contract exists? I would be really surprised if the client waved a tape recording in Rie's face...

I have tried to have verbal contracts respected a few times - it never led anywhere. Generally, those who are aware that verbal contracts have the same value in court as written ones also know that the fact that such a contract exists is practically impossible to prove.


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reeishimi
Local time: 17:50
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will leave all the histeric replies from the agency in Blue Board Jun 16, 2009

Tatiana Lammers wrote:

Leave the comment about the agency there - other translators should be aware of this.


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 11:50
German to English
+ ...
worth it or not ... Jun 16, 2009

It really depends on whether you want to allow a pattern and what boundaries you want to set.

Of course an attorney won't take the claim on a contingency. You would have to pay an attorney to write the letters and pursue the claim.

In addition to the claims I mentioned, you also have a claim for lost opportunity. But for the enticement to do the work, and your reliance on the company / agent, you would have (could have) taken on other work. You lost opportunity. That too has a certain value.

If you are certain that this company could come back at you and do the same thing to you, or if you are worried about your reputation for simply giving work for free, or if you are concerned about harassment in any way, then it is well worth whatever it would cost you to retain counsel and pursue your claim.

More sayeth deponent not.


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reeishimi
Local time: 17:50
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I would not mind if they won't give me any jobs in the future. Jun 16, 2009

Peter (Dutz) Manda wrote:

It really depends on whether you want to allow a pattern and what boundaries you want to set.

Of course an attorney won't take the claim on a contingency. You would have to pay an attorney to write the letters and pursue the claim.

In addition to the claims I mentioned, you also have a claim for lost opportunity. But for the enticement to do the work, and your reliance on the company / agent, you would have (could have) taken on other work. You lost opportunity. That too has a certain value.

If you are certain that this company could come back at you and do the same thing to you, or if you are worried about your reputation for simply giving work for free, or if you are concerned about harassment in any way, then it is well worth whatever it would cost you to retain counsel and pursue your claim.

More sayeth deponent not.


Thank you for your advice. When I submitted 6 files by EOD on Friday (as they requested), they replied to me that they wouldn't give me any jobs in the future if I delay submitting a document (I was not late. I could not finish all 6 files by due date, but I mentioned them early enough that I would not be able to finish all 7 files so that they could allocate one file to another translator. And they did.) But their replies were so nasty and histeric and it hurt me a lot. People cannot imagine how a displeasing feeling their e-mail gave to me. Therefore, I would not mind if they won't give me any jobs in the future because I don't want to work for them anymore. I really trusted this agency and I worked at the cheaper rate for projects. And what they gave me was irritation. I have never contacted an attorney for the claim. Currently, I live in Europe. In this case, should I contact an attorney in the country I live? If possible, I prefer to use one in Japan. If you know about it, could you tell me?
Thank you.


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:50
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Rie Jun 16, 2009

The Blue Board is not about posting any correspondence with outsourcers; you can enter there a number from 1 to 5 corresponding to your likelihood of working again (LWA) with the outsourcer and optionally place a short comment. Comments should be limited in scope to explanation for the LWA; they may not include general statements concerning an outsourcer.

Please refer to the site FAQ:
http://www.proz.com/faq/blue_board_outsourcer_database_.html




[Edited at 2009-06-16 22:29 GMT]


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reeishimi
Local time: 17:50
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Would there be an oral contract even if I have never talked with them even on the phone? Jun 16, 2009

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:

Contracts do not need to be in writing or expressly declared.

If someone (you) offers to do some work and the other person (them) accepts that offer, you have a contract in most legal systems of the world.



Would there be an oral contract even if I have never talked with them even on the phone? If you say that a contract automatically exists if I take their job, I wonder how I am supposed to know the contents in their contract. After sending an invoice, they suddenly told me that they could not pay to me because I didn't finish all 7 files by the due date and violated a contract. But isn't that unfair that they tell me their contract include the content that they cannot pay to a translator if s/he cannot finish all files by a due date with any circumstances (even if the agency allocate one document to another and submit all the 7 files from me and another translator to their client)?


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reeishimi
Local time: 17:50
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Any functions in Proz Jun 16, 2009

Natalie wrote:

The Blue Board is not about posting any correspondence with outsourcers; you can enter there a number from 1 to 5 corresponding to your likelihood of working again (LWA) with the outsourcer and optionally place a short comment. Comments should be limited in scope to explanation for the LWA; they may not include general statements concerning an outsourcer.

Please refer to the site FAQ:
http://www.proz.com/faq/blue_board_outsourcer_database_.html




[Edited at 2009-06-16 22:29 GMT]


Thank you for your advice about Blue Board. I just wonder if there is no functions that an outsourcer can rate a translator. If there is something like that, they might also give me a bad rating in my record of Proz. They become really nasty and they would be as much nasty as they want to be.


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