Company is refusing to honor large work order, no explanation given.
Thread poster: Joan Berglund

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
French to English
Apr 22, 2010

I recently sent a reminder notice to an agency that was late with several payments. They have informed me that they do not intend to honor the largest one, for around $1800. They say it is not associated with a work order. Well it certainly is, and was shown as such in their system up until I sent the reminder notice. Since then, it has disappeared. Naturally, I do have a copy. I have never dealt with anything like this before. The company is reputable, as far as I know, although their background is more in publishing than translation. I gave them until noon tomorrow before I filed a blueboard complaint. Is this too generous? I really don't know what they are up to.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:57
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Please notice... Apr 22, 2010

...that the rules governing the Blueboard do not allow the board to be used to threaten customers into paying you.

As for the matter at hand, if you have a copy of the work order and have done your part, you should demand payment or warn them that you will sue them about it.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:27
English to Tamil
+ ...
Non payment is being reported in the BB, what is the objection? Apr 22, 2010

After all that is what blue board is for. The translator indicates the willingness or otherwise for the concerned Outsourcer.

Or have things changed of late?

Regards,
N. Raghavan

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

...that the rules governing the Blueboard do not allow the board to be used to threaten customers into paying you.

As for the matter at hand, if you have a copy of the work order and have done your part, you should demand payment or warn them that you will sue them about it.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:57
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Empty threat? Apr 22, 2010

Joan Berglund wrote:
The company is reputable, as far as I know, although their background is more in publishing than translation. I gave them until noon tomorrow before I filed a blueboard complaint.


If they have little call for translators, maybe they won't be quaking in their shoes at the thought of a negative BB comment on ProZ.

I would have thought that normal escalation procedures apply here ie stay polite but firm, send them a copy of all the documentation plus invoice by email and ask for payment within a certain time-frame (2 weeks?). I favour sending a hardcopy to their postal address, by registered post. That avoids all possibility of "Oh, we never received it" claims. If they don't pay, you need to decide what to do next. That depends very much on where you and your client reside.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Sheila


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:57
Member
Italian to English
What a terrible situation for you Apr 22, 2010

What a terrible situation, but from reading the forum, one (non-payment) which seems to be becoming more and more common. I would contact them by telephone and tell them you will contact a lawyer if they do not intend to pay. Often receipt of a letter from a lawyer is enough to let a company know you are serious about recovering your money.

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:57
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
What country is the client in? Apr 22, 2010

If they are in the US, it may be well worth trying the approach recommended by José Henrique in this forum post. The idea is quite interesting: OK, keep your money, and handle the looming threat of an IRS audit.

Best of luck!
Attila

[Edited at 2010-04-22 11:27 GMT]


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
multinational company Apr 22, 2010

They have offices everywhere, I am not sure where they are actually registered, probably some off-shore tax free set up. I looked at the links Attila, and like the idea in theory, but I am not sure I want to invoke you-know-who even if they have jurisdiction, which they probably don't.
They actually have a substantial need for translators at the moment, they have a very large new client, who btw is reporting record profits, which is not improving my mood any. So they may care about a negative blueboard review. I probably will ask one of my attorney cousins to write a letter if it is not resolved. I would actually be happy to give them the usual attorney's cut if they collect successfully. At the moment, the PM is promising to take care of it "right away", so we will see. But I will file that IRS link away for future reference.


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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
English to German
which office did you invoice? Apr 22, 2010

Joan Berglund wrote:

They have offices everywhere, I am not sure where they are actually registered, probably some off-shore tax free set up. I looked at the links Attila, and like the idea in theory, but I am not sure I want to invoke you-know-who even if they have jurisdiction, which they probably don't.
They actually have a substantial need for translators at the moment, they have a very large new client, who btw is reporting record profits, which is not improving my mood any. So they may care about a negative blueboard review. I probably will ask one of my attorney cousins to write a letter if it is not resolved. I would actually be happy to give them the usual attorney's cut if they collect successfully. At the moment, the PM is promising to take care of it "right away", so we will see. But I will file that IRS link away for future reference.


That's the country you need to deal with, IMO.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
update - interesting IRS angle Apr 22, 2010

Well they claim to be working on the problem, so I have not filed a complaint yet. In truth, the payment is not all that late, only a couple weeks. However, the disappearing work order is a real concern, I can't think of any way to spin it to make that OK. But I will see what happens in the next couple days. I actually did a little more research on the bad debt reporting thing. As I suspected, it is not only an option, it is actually an actual legal obligation to file a 1099 with the IRS if the amount of bad debt exceeds $600. I assume this applies only if debtor and creditor are US taxpayers. This is mostly coming up lately with people defaulting on credit cards, but it applies to all bad debt. I just thought this was interesting to know. I am not sure what this company's US tax status is, but come to think of it, I did get a 1099 from them, so they have some US tax obligation anyway.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Get the right idea Apr 23, 2010

There isn't much to gain in waving good-bye to your money so they'll have their books audited. This is a lose-lose solution. You lose your money, they'll probably have some additional 'forgotten' taxes to pay. You both lose, Uncle Sam wins.

Neither of you wants that. However this is just to show them that if they were trying to pull a win-lose (they win, you lose) stunt, you have - and know you have - the tools to make it a lose-lose.


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