Delayed contract. Should I worry?
Thread poster: Tai Fu

Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Chinese to English
Jan 30, 2010

Hi

a few weeks ago I was given a job from a localization firm to translate an online game from Chinese to English. It's a big job so I am actually a part of a team of translators working on this. Initially I was told the standard payment term is 30 days after the completion of the job but for a discount I can opt to to collect the payment in advanced. Since I am new to the translation business I opted to collect payment since I don't really know if I will get paid or if it could be a scam or something. I was told that I'd get a contract sometimes before the last week of January but it got delayed until now and I emailed them asking what went wrong and the guy called me and told me that they had ended up writing the wrong contract and had to make one from scratch and was told that it will be ready on Sunday.

My question is that the contract had been delayed time and time again and every time I checked on the day he'd say it would be ready he said that it had been delayed due to some problem, should I even expect to have a contract anytime at all or is this a legitimate error the agency had? Since they are paying me in advanced a contract would be reasonable, and also I just want to know in writing what is expected of me incase they say that the quality of my work is not good enough. Since I am already on the job and has done about 20,000 characters so far I would hate for this to turn out to be just a ploy to get free translations and that it's not really a serious job at all.

Anything I should look out for when getting a job from an agency?


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 17:55
English to German
+ ...
PO is a formality.. Jan 30, 2010

Hi! Without a purchase order that clearly specifies what and how to be done and the contact information about your agency. Check for the reputation of the agency before saying an Ok of acceptance.

In your particular situation now, I would inform the agency that I am stopping with the project immediately unless I get a PO along with 25% retainer to be on the safe side. Remember all those delays lead to a legitimate argument to be on the safer shore. Brandis


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Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
I will wait and see Jan 30, 2010

Thanks for the advise. I was going to wait until Sunday and see if he actually comes through with the PO and stuff, because the delay isn't really that long (only a week) and the agency has been rather quick in replying and not being evasive or anything. Since this is my first time translating for money and I am getting more money than I am used to working (I worked mostly at supermarkets and other unskilled job that pays peanuts) I am happy to have this job since apart from the better pay I am adequately challenged with the skills I have.

However if they do not come through at the end of the day on Sunday then I will do what you suggested. I was even thinking of just terminating the work and bill them for what I have done if they just keep delaying with more lame excuses.

I have checked their reputation via the Blue board (I am not sure where else to check) and so far the LWA rating for this company is rather high and that they always pay on time (and are forthcoming when payments are delayed).

Sorry I can't say which company I am working for because I prefer not rocking the boat at the moment.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Italian to English
Sounds bona fide Jan 30, 2010

Since you are obviously not going to deliver your translation before receipt of the advance payment - and the agency must know that - there seems little likelihood that they are trying to cheat you.

Just to let you know, Tai Fu, it is not permitted to discuss outsourcers by name in the forums - site rule: http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/8#8 so thank you for not doing so.

Good luck.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 17:55
English to German
+ ...
I shall take a walk then... Jan 30, 2010

Tai Fu wrote:

Thanks for the advise. I was going to wait until Sunday and see if he actually comes through with the PO and stuff, because the delay isn't really that long (only a week) and the agency has been rather quick in replying and not being evasive or anything. Since this is my first time translating for money and I am getting more money than I am used to working (I worked mostly at supermarkets and other unskilled job that pays peanuts) I am happy to have this job since apart from the better pay I am adequately challenged with the skills I have.

However if they do not come through at the end of the day on Sunday then I will do what you suggested. I was even thinking of just terminating the work and bill them for what I have done if they just keep delaying with more lame excuses.

I have checked their reputation via the Blue board (I am not sure where else to check) and so far the LWA rating for this company is rather high and that they always pay on time (and are forthcoming when payments are delayed).

Sorry I can't say which company I am working for because I prefer not rocking the boat at the moment.
Hi! If I were you and of the LWA is positive, I would remind the PO and atleast a retainer, since it is my first project for the unknown agency, which had failed to generate a PO which is the minimal requirement and as you say the volume is big, I would just wait and take a walk and not get worked up. Alternatively I would also concentrate on other projects that may be smaller to keep me going. Brandis


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:55
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree Jan 30, 2010

Brandis wrote:
In your particular situation now, I would inform the agency that I am stopping with the project immediately unless I get a PO along with 25% retainer to be on the safe side. Remember all those delays lead to a legitimate argument to be on the safer shore. Brandis

After some bad experiences, I have to agree with this. Better safe than sorry. Stop working and report that to the firm, asking for at least a PO stating the wordcount, rate, total amount, their physical address and VAT code if they have one, and payment terms.

Without a PO I would simply not continue working in this situation, even if the company is very cooperative and responsive. They could very easily stop being that after you deliver your translation and you would have no proof that they hired you other than emails (which are pretty useless in court).


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