Payment refused without justification
Thread poster: Louis Mitler

Louis Mitler  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:16
English to Turkish
+ ...
Apr 20, 2011

An agency highly commended on the Blue Board refused any payment for a 22-page translation job stating merely that the "client was not happy." Although I delivered the job the evening before the deadline, the PM never gave me a chance to correct any alleged errors or contacted me until when she refused payment. After one month and numerous requests from me for substatiation of their problem, they sent me a file purporting to be their "corrected" version they had delivered to the client. This version was amazingly full of typos and anomalies in English and differed from my version only in a few vocabulary choices and English mistakes. The agency has consistently refused to provide either a corrected version of my translation showing my mistakes or any documentation that they delivered my version and that the client was dissatisfied with it. The only response from the agency CEO is that they hope I do not have a "reclamation" in the future.
This is a new twist for me and I welcome any comments or advice.


English to Arabic
+ ...
Blue Board Apr 21, 2011

This is really bad... I am new to the whole Proz thing and I've asked how can I trust a company, and the response was you can check the Blue Board.
Well you can:
- Make sure that you mention what you just wrote on the company's Blue Board.
- I would also search for the higher authority in that company and contact him/her, like the CEO or the owner of the company, and make yourself heard. I know, sometimes people would prefer to leave things as is and not waste more time on past mishappens, but it would be worth trying to reason with the real decision makers.
- Also, if that didn't work, I would consult a lawyer. Although there is no contract (I assume) between you and the company, I guess that these days the official e-mails are considered as legal documents (or have a certain legal value) enough to give that company hard time and make it learn that it cannot get away with fraud.


sylvie malich
Local time: 22:16
German to English
Unprofessional agency behaviour! Apr 21, 2011

Well, Louis, this is flat out unacceptable behaviour by the agency in question.

Make sure you report this on the Blue Board stating your case, mentioning you will update any changes in the situation. It may prompt the agency to respond in your favour.

For the sake of hiring a lawyer or notifying the BBB: Is the agency located in your country?



José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Bad reviewer? Apr 21, 2011

From the way you told it, it seems to me that this agency hired a bad reviewer / proofreader / editor, who simply botched up your work before it was delivered to the client, and now they are taking it on you. I'll assume the agency doesn't know squat about the target language, so maybe you should suggest they get some dependable third-party expert opinion on which translator can be relied on: you or the reviewer.

If you think you can stick to your guns, i.e. that your translation was really good, offer to pay some reasonable amount for that expert opinion, in case they consider your translation unacceptable to the extent of refusing payment. Otherwise, the agency should pay for it (and pay you too), as they will see that their own selection process failed in choosing a proper reviewer.


John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:16
Member (2008)
French to English
Contract Apr 21, 2011

Ritamar wrote:
Although there is no contract (I assume) between you and the company, I guess that these days the official e-mails are considered as legal documents (or have a certain legal value) enough to give that company hard time and make it learn that it cannot get away with fraud.

In the United States and many other countries, a contract does not require a signed document but merely a clear offer followed by a clear acceptance. If these two things exist, there is an enforceable contract.

If they are highly commended on the BB they likely value their rating with translators - you could point out that it will affect their rating.

If they have had a reviewer look at your document, you have just as much right to have your own reviewer look at it.


Sara Freitas
Local time: 22:16
French to English
I only have one thing to say... Apr 22, 2011

T&C, T&C, T&C...

Never do a job without the client signing YOUR quote and T&C.

That way YOU retain control over what happens during the entire work-delivery-acceptance-payment process.


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then maybe a Blueboard entry Apr 22, 2011

I think you should definitely add a LWA-1 entry to the Blueboard. At least it should serve as a red flag for other translators that this agency is not very keen on proving what went wrong with an unhappy end customer, which is critical for a healthy relationship between agency and freelancer. Probably more important than payment itself.


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Payment refused without justification

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