Legal Action against Non Paying Client
Thread poster: jelly_gill

jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:40
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Dec 23, 2009

Hi all !! I am here to get some advice from all of you.

An Ilford (UK) based translator cum out sourcer, who is proz.com certified translator, contacted me about 3 month ago for a transcription cum translation project via my proz.com page.

Since the project was tedious and was taking much more time than I expected, I asked for increase in deadline and he gave me. After completion of the project, I sent him my invoice and he replied that all was well and my invoice was passed to accounts department for payment. It was nearly 60 days ago.

When I didn't get any payment within 60 days, I wrote him 02 emails, through his free email account and also through his proz.com page. He did not care to reply any of my emails.

Can I get some legal help in this regard in UK? Can you suggest me some lawyer (in or around Ilford) who will agree to take up my case? Amount involved is: USD 1608.

Thanks for your suggestions in advance.


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jaymin
Canada
Local time: 03:10
Member (2009)
German to Korean
+ ...
delay? Dec 23, 2009

Thanks for sharing your unpleasant experience.
Based on my past experience, some companies are not organized well, so taking so long for the fee processing. Mostly likely, the payment process is being delayed. Since 60 days already passed, I would suggest sending out a serious email concerning the unprofessional matter.

Online communities like Proz.com won't let this happen. And they know!!

Cheers,


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jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:40
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
but at least they can reply. Isn't it? Dec 23, 2009

I agree with you on it. Payment may be delayed due to many reasons but since they are not replying at all, it means they have no intention to pay.

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 09:10
German to English
+ ...
Emails can be ignored, phone calls perhaps less so Dec 23, 2009

Ring them up!

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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:10
French to English
+ ...
Confirmation the work's OK; Blue Board; allow them to pay by CC Dec 23, 2009

I'd recommend the following:

- try and get a confirmation from them that the actual work is OK
- write a polite but insistent e-mail asking for payment and reminding them what your late payment interest policy is if appropriate (if you were in the EU, you're entitled to charge statutory interest whether or not you've said you will-- though with current interest rates, it's kind of not worth bothering)
- give them a specific deadline after which you will pass the case on to a debt collection agency (again, under EU law, you're generally entitled to pass the cost of this on to the late payer-- I'm not sure how the details of this would work with you not being in the EU, and whether it would apply because they are)
- leave a Blue Board comment if you have confirmation that there isn't a problem with the actual work
- if it's available in your country, use Paypal to construct a link by which they can pay by credit card and include this link in the e-mail (if it's just a cash flow problem, this can work).

Good luck!

[Edited at 2009-12-23 06:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-12-23 06:46 GMT]


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xxxEllen-Rose
Netherlands
Local time: 09:10
English to Dutch
call them! Dec 23, 2009

I agree with David Wright, you should try to call them first.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:10
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Cum and all that Dec 23, 2009

jelly_gill wrote:
An Ilford (UK) based translator cum out sourcer ... contacted me about 3 month ago for a transcription cum translation project.

I wrote him 02 emails, through his free email account and also through his proz.com page. He did not care to reply any of my emails.


If you had used the word "cum", could it be possible that his spam filter picked it up and incorrectly identified your e-mail as spam, trying to sell potency pills or something? I remember I once submitted my résumé somewhere (stating that I had passed my exam "cum laude") and got an angry letter from the server admonishing me for sending pornographic content.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Much too early to panic Dec 23, 2009

You are going to take legal action only 60 days after sending the invoice? I would rethink that. There is much you could and should do before doing that:

1. CALL him up.
2. Depending on the result of the call, give him a bit more time.
3. If he doesn't perform after talking to him, threaten a negative Blue Board rating.
3. Hire a collections agency in the U.K.
4. If the collections agency doesn't get anything from him, then you might want to threaten legal action and find a lawyer in the U.K. This will be a big bother to you, but it MIGHT scare him enough to pay.

That said, the free email address doesn't inspire much confidence. What does his Blue Board rating look like?


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Mohd shadab  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:40
Hindi to English
+ ...
Too early to decide Dec 23, 2009

I agree with Edward, that is too early to decide to take legal action against your client,

Try to know what exactly they want and then accordingly do the things, its better to get your money without using any legal actions, its disturb both.

Regards
Shadab


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 00:10
English to Russian
+ ...
There is still hope to resolve this without legal action. Dec 23, 2009

Even though, I must say, not to respond to your e-mails is simply rude. (Unless, of course, an overzealous spam-fighter has swallowed your e-mails - but then, how come it did not swallow them while the work was still in progress?)

But you might have to be diplomatic here - i.e., DON'T tell that person "you are being rude by not answering my e-mails". This will not help.

What you can do instead: e-mail again and ask whom you should contact in the accounting department. If it's a large company, a person who contracted you is NOT the person who issues the payment (which, again, does not justify ignoring you). I worked in accounting in the past, and, based on my experience, this is how it works in many big companies: a person who contracted you issues a payment request. This request must go through an approval process, which means: several people have to look at the payment request and stamp it "approved". Since any one of these people can be out sick, or on vacation, or have a huge pile of papers on his/her desk and no time to go through it, it is very possible that the payment request is sitting on somebody's desk, buried under tons of paperwork, and nobody pays any attention to it.

Again: I'm not making up excuses for your client, just explaining how the process works in large companies. And it is frequently the case that the larger the company, the slower the payment.

Bottom line: contact accounts payable department. Specifically, you need to speak to a person in charge of accounts payable. If the person who originally contacted you is not helpful, call the company (hopefully, you can find their number) and ask to speak to accounts payable. When you get to accounts payable person, state politely that you've done the work more than 60 days ago, and ask him or her what is the status of your payment. At this stage, don't threaten with a legal action yet. Save it as a last resort. Hopefully, you'll be able to resolve it without hiring a lawyer or a collection agency.

Best of luck to you!


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jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:40
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks to all of you Dec 23, 2009

Thank You all. Based upon your advice, I tried calling his number 3 times. Though he didn't pick it up, he replied my email and he said he will send my payment ASAP.

I got the payment within 3 hrs via Paypal.

Probably he too might have read this forum post. Ha Ha Ha.

Thanks a lot once again.


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 00:10
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm happy it got resolved for you. Dec 23, 2009

jelly_gill wrote:
Probably he too might have read this forum post. Ha Ha Ha.
- I bet he did!


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Legal Action against Non Paying Client

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