Money-not sure what to do
Thread poster: Dimitris Papageorgiou

Dimitris Papageorgiou  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:33
English to Greek
Nov 30, 2010

Few weeks ago i did a job for a client i found here in Proz.com. It was my first job for a client here in proz.
He said me a PO for this job, so far nothing strange.
After that he asked me another job-it was only a sentence and i did not ask for any money for the sake of the cooperation, kind of a favor from me.

Next, he asks me to translate another 3 pages(about 200 words) and again he does not mention any about money or PO.

What should i do?

Should i ask for money in this 3rd time? For these 3 pages.
Or should i wait to see where this will go.

Certainly, the last 2 translation were very small but till what point according to your opinion someone must retreat from his "financial rights". It is the 1st customer i found here and i wish to handle this with care.
That is why i am asking your opinion also.

This client has a very good score in the blue board.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Handle it with care... Nov 30, 2010

...and charge for all your work. If the changes were something like one paragraph or a couple of sentences after a very large job, it would be kind of you not to charge for it. But if the first job was not 30.000 words... you should definitely charge for anything you do! You are not an NGO, right?

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Irene McClure
Local time: 18:33
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Insist on PO Nov 30, 2010

I agree with Tomas, and as a matter of course you should insist on a PO, clearly stating your rate and the number of words for every job.

If the client is, as you indicate, a professional client with a good reputation then he will be expecting your invoice for the work you have carried out. Either you invoice him immediately after every job, or if you are doing a series of smaller jobs you might want to invoice once a month, or once the total reaches a certain amount.

This is what your client would expect of a professional translator - not lots of freebies!

If you decide not to charge for e.g. the occasional sentence or paragraph for the sake of your business relationship, then I would still include this in the invoice (with 0.00 euros next to it), so there is a record of the work you have done.

Good luck!





[Edited at 2010-11-30 13:50 GMT]


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Livia D'Ettorre  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:33
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
As usual... Nov 30, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

...and charge for all your work. If the changes were something like one paragraph or a couple of sentences after a very large job, it would be kind of you not to charge for it. But if the first job was not 30.000 words... you should definitely charge for anything you do! You are not an NGO, right?


... I agree with Tomás. Most of us have a minimum tariff. You could decide not to apply it in this case, but working for free for the second time is a bit too generous.


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imatahan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:33
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It's becoming a habit! Nov 30, 2010

Ask him a P.O., for sure!

It's a question of imposing professional respect.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:33
Member (2008)
French to English
Agree with minimum charge Nov 30, 2010

You should definitely have a minimum charge. Then, when they ask for a one-liner that isn't worth charging for or that you want to do as a favour, you can say that you would usually charge your minimum charge but this time, as a special favour, you will not charge.

That way they will know the benefit they are receiving and not start expecting freebies.


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:33
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
200 words is not a favour Nov 30, 2010

It is a job.
I suppose it's possible that you have struck up an informal relationship with your client, so he/she doesn't think it's necessary to send a PO with every job.
I work with a couple of agencies on these terms, but it is the result of years of working together, so the mutual trust is there.

In your case, with a new client, you should clarify your terms and ask for a PO for every job.


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Horst2  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:33
English to German
+ ...
A good account is worth a lot Nov 30, 2010

I would hope your customer just forgot to send a PO.

Much more important than a PO for such a small amount is to figure out what that business relation could develop into: how many projects and what amount of work per project could you potentially get from this agency?

Maybe not pushing this invoice is at the end a good investment?

Good luck!


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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:33
English to German
+ ...
Principiis obsta! Nov 30, 2010

Horst2 wrote:
Much more important than a PO for such a small amount is to figure out what that business relation could develop into: how many projects and what amount of work per project could you potentially get from this agency?


You will get the big jobs - maybe, maybe not.
Why would you never ask a cab driver for a small free ride - just a few hundred meters, or so. Or a barber for a very quick haircut (maybe the haircut is cheaper than translating 200 words)? Because they wouldn't do it, not even for the big business you promise.

There is nothing like a free meal in this world, why then in the translation business?
By the way, I translate from time to time for zero for good customers - just because it's too much work to charge 5 Euro, issue an invoice, accounting etc. - the difference is that these customers already have given big orders and paid in time.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:33
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
1) agreement 2) translation Nov 30, 2010

Hans G. Liepert wrote:
By the way, I translate from time to time for zero for good customers - just because it's too much work to charge 5 Euro, issue an invoice, accounting etc. - the difference is that these customers already have given big orders and paid in time.


Another difference is that it was your choice and you (presumably) made it clear to the client what you were doing.

One thing I hear from the OP is that he's entering into business agreements and committing himself without really being sure of the terms of that agreement.

@ Dimitris:

That's got to be a bad idea! How can you hope to invoice and have those invoices paid if you don't know what was agreed?

I don't go along with this idea of POs for every job, but I do have a strict rule of exchanging emails before I start work, making sure that terms (word count, rate, delivery date/time, etc) are either stated clearly (and correctly) by the client or I state them myself and get their explicit acceptance before I start work.

You really need to take charge of your business. "He does not mention any about money or PO" is not an excuse. YOU need to mention it. State your terms. As someone has already said: demand professional respect.


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Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:33
German to Dutch
+ ...
simply ask for the PO Dec 1, 2010

As you mentioned your client had sent you a PO for your first assignment, then the obvious course of action is to simply ask for the PO. Or, reply with a standard minimum fee for smaller jobs if you have one and hadn't not informed them earlier, and then ask for the PO.

Good luck.
Ronald


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Dimitris Papageorgiou  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:33
English to Greek
TOPIC STARTER
I requested a PO after all Dec 1, 2010

Ronald van der Linden wrote:

As you mentioned your client had sent you a PO for your first assignment, then the obvious course of action is to simply ask for the PO. Or, reply with a standard minimum fee for smaller jobs if you have one and hadn't not informed them earlier, and then ask for the PO.

Good luck.
Ronald


You are saying standard min fee. I do not have one. I charge per word whatever the amount of the work.



I am just wondering if the client's point of view is not to issue POs for small jobs.
But that is something he has not made clear so far.

Anyway, i requested a PO after all.


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Irene McClure
Local time: 18:33
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
PO or email Dec 1, 2010

I should maybe clarify - as far as I am concerned an email exchange specifying word count, tariff and deadline is a PO- I don't specifically request a separate document with al that set out, although most of my bigger clients provide that automatically. For other clients, a simple exchange of emails suffices. But you need something!

Hope this works out alright for you.


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