Payment delay. What can be done?
Thread poster: almy

almy  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:53
English to Russian
+ ...
Sep 2, 2010

Well, I am in a new and embarassing situation for me. One vendor I have been working for all year long has some problem in paying me for my job (really good sum of money). Before they were paying not so punctually (spanish agency) but at least there was a contact and I never had any serious trouble with them. They were to pay me in July, but it is beginning of September now and still nothing...One mail of mine and silence...They answered my telephone call and told me to resend my pending invoices' numbers. I did it politely insisting to answer when I am supposed to be paid and again, silence...
Have you ever had such situations in your freelance experience and what can be done in this case? I read the article "How to limit the risk of not getting paid" but lets say, some of the things are not "applicable" to spanish agencies since they are very special (even well-known vendors).
It is really an unpleasant case.:-((


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Go see them Sep 2, 2010

I suspect that Spanish agencies are 'special' because too many Spanish translators are also 'special'. By being patient and understanding you are simply encouraging this sort of irresponsible behaviour.

Spain is not an especially large country. Go see these people and demand your money. If there is any negotiation to be done then do it face to face. If you feel intimidated - take a friend or two.


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almy  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:53
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course, I would do that but Sep 2, 2010

But I live within 700 km from their office and due to my personal reasons I cannot move for such a distance...
Thank you for your reply!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Entirely agree with John Sep 2, 2010

Indeed the best chances of being paid is going to see them and not leaving their office until you are paid at least half of it!

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Call them every single day... twice! Sep 2, 2010

Call them twice today, explaining that for every day without a solution you will add a call, so tomorrow you will call them three times, on Monday four times, on Tuesday five times, and so on until they pay you. If you know the name of the person you dealt with, try to find his/her home phone and repeat the experience.

Try to be always polite and express that you are sorry for being a nuisance, but that you must insist in the business problem to be resolved as agreed.

Tell them also that you are starting a «proceso monitorio» on Friday next week if you are not paid within 5 days, at least half of the sum, the rest negotiable. And do call them, and do file your «proceso monitorio» at court against them, or they will not take you seriously.


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almy  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:53
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry for my ignorance Sep 2, 2010

But what does "proceso monitorio" mean? I have never dealt with anything like this.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Standard escalation process in Spain? Sep 2, 2010

Is there no set procedure to follow in Spain?

In France, once you feel that you really aren't getting anywhere, you have to send a final demand before going to the courts. This has to be on paper, sent to their head office (which may not be the one you have been dealing with), and be signed for on delivery so that there is proof that they have received it. This final demand must remind them of the invoice number, date and amount and give them n (normally 15) days to pay before you take further steps to recover the debt.


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Standardised non-payment procedure Sep 2, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Is there no set procedure to follow in Spain?

In France, once you feel that you really aren't getting anywhere, you have to send a final demand before going to the courts. This has to be on paper, sent to their head office (which may not be the one you have been dealing with), and be signed for on delivery so that there is proof that they have received it. This final demand must remind them of the invoice number, date and amount and give them n (normally 15) days to pay before you take further steps to recover the debt.



I am unaware of any standard escalation process in Spain. However, there is a standardised non-payment procedure that can be summarised as:

1. Ignore all correspondence
2. Wait for knock on door
3. Pay.

In my experience, direct clients in Spain are excellent payers. But sadly, too many agencies see translators as easy meat - and they are often correct in their evaluation.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 04:53
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Freelance translator trade union? Sep 3, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:

In my experience, direct clients in Spain are excellent payers. But sadly, too many agencies see translators as easy meat - and they are often correct in their evaluation.

In labor markets, trade union or labor union strongly protects its member against payment fraud. Can we the translators organize an international trade union for our financial and social protection? I know that many international trade union federations can assist us on international liaison.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Proceso monitorio Sep 3, 2010

You will find plenty of information here. You don't need a lawyer for this stage of the claim, but you might want to consult one just in case. If despite the court's order to pay the customer does not pay in 30 days, you will have to "ejecutar" the monitorio and for that you will need "abogado y procurador".

In theory the monitorio takes 30 days, but you have to add, at a very minimum, the time taken by the court to accept your claim and issue the order to the non-payer, which can range from 30 to 90 days normally. That is why I think that calling, and adding one call each day, is more effective.


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almy  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:53
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for you help Sep 3, 2010

Dear colleagues, thank you very much for all the recommendations. Let's see how this case finishes. Really, the idea about translators' trade union sounds great!

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Payment delay. What can be done?

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