Collecting Payments
Thread poster: Akemi Yoshida

Akemi Yoshida  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:31
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
May 31, 2011

For the first time, I am having a difficult time collecting payments from one of the agencies I worked with in the past. After work was done, they were happy and promised the payment, but it has been several months since then. (This agency is not a Proz member but it seems to be Legitimate.)

Only thing I am doing now is to keep sending the reminders. Can someone give me some advices on this issue? In this forum, somebody was talking about engaging a collection agency, but I was no
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For the first time, I am having a difficult time collecting payments from one of the agencies I worked with in the past. After work was done, they were happy and promised the payment, but it has been several months since then. (This agency is not a Proz member but it seems to be Legitimate.)

Only thing I am doing now is to keep sending the reminders. Can someone give me some advices on this issue? In this forum, somebody was talking about engaging a collection agency, but I was not sure if it is the right thing to do since the payment is not a large amount.

I would appreciate any advices. Thanks.

Akemi
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:31
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There's some basic information that would help May 31, 2011

Hello Akemi,

Sorry to hear you're having problems. Would it be possible to provide a little more information, please?

Where are the two parties based? (looks like you are in the U.S.)
What sort of amount is involved? We don't need an exact amount, but $30, $300 and $3000 may call for different action. You say it isn't large, but it's all relative
What was agreed to in the way of payment terms?
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Hello Akemi,

Sorry to hear you're having problems. Would it be possible to provide a little more information, please?

Where are the two parties based? (looks like you are in the U.S.)
What sort of amount is involved? We don't need an exact amount, but $30, $300 and $3000 may call for different action. You say it isn't large, but it's all relative
What was agreed to in the way of payment terms?
How long ago was the invoice sent?
Is the company still communicating with you or is it now a case of one-way communication?
Have they given any reason for the dalay and/or any idea if/when they will pay?

Thanks,

Sheila
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Akemi Yoshida  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:31
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
TOPIC STARTER
More information May 31, 2011

Thank you so much for your reply, Sheila.

Both this company and I are based in the U.S. It was about 4 moths ago I worked with this agency (it was just a one time job), and fortunately the fee was under $100.00. We agreed that they would pay through Paypal after I completed the work. Since I have sent my first invoice as soon as I finished with the job, I kept sending the reminders every 15 days. When they received the second reminder, the project manager asked me to generate the
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Thank you so much for your reply, Sheila.

Both this company and I are based in the U.S. It was about 4 moths ago I worked with this agency (it was just a one time job), and fortunately the fee was under $100.00. We agreed that they would pay through Paypal after I completed the work. Since I have sent my first invoice as soon as I finished with the job, I kept sending the reminders every 15 days. When they received the second reminder, the project manager asked me to generate the payment request through Paypal, and I did. I have never heard from her again. I can’t think of any reason that they are delaying the payment. I did not receive any complaints and when she asked me to generate the payment request, she sounded like willing to pay.

I really appreciate your advice.

Akemi
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:31
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Strange - but not uncommon May 31, 2011

Hello,

Thanks for the further information, Akemi.

It's odd the way companies suddenly go quiet when everything seems fine, but it isn't time to despair yet. There's perhaps a chance that they aren't getting your emails for some reason or another. I once sent a final notice by old-fashioned letter post (as required in France) and the money, plus an extra 10€, appeared in my account like lightning - I do
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Hello,

Thanks for the further information, Akemi.

It's odd the way companies suddenly go quiet when everything seems fine, but it isn't time to despair yet. There's perhaps a chance that they aren't getting your emails for some reason or another. I once sent a final notice by old-fashioned letter post (as required in France) and the money, plus an extra 10€, appeared in my account like lightning - I don't know what had been going on but it all turned out OK in the end. Another payment got caught up in US sanctions of all things, although what either party had to do with international terrorism is beyond me.

I hope some US-based freelancers will be able to help you as I don't know how things work over there. You can't just sit back and wait for ever. I imagine the time has come to escalate things. Some possibilities would be:

- a registered letter to the head office
- emails or letters addressed to the boss of the person you have been dealing with
- telephone calls
- a personal visit (with or without "uncles")
- a letter from a lawyer

I'm very much against any kind of threat, personally, but you have to make it clear to them that you have a total right to be paid for your work and that you will not let the matter drop. As a matter of standard debt follow-up, you will need to escalate this - politely remind them that this could involve lawyers, courts, debt-recovery companies, adverse comments on websites (e.g. here), reports to translators' bodies (e.g. ATA). This could cause them a whole lot of unwanted aggro. - is it worth it for less than $100? You may well find they pay when they find you will not give up.

On the other hand, other translators here have said "Why spend time chasing a small sum? Forget it and move on". That's also a valid point of view.
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Akemi Yoshida  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:31
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for advices May 31, 2011

Dear Sheila,

Thank you so much for your advices.

I will try some of your advices. I will start with an old-fashioned letter post. You are right that someone might say that it may be a better idea to forget and move on. Certainly, I will not threat them, but I will try my best to collect this payment in proper way, and if I could not after I tried everything, then I probably am able to forget and move on.

I really appreciated your advice.

Ake
... See more
Dear Sheila,

Thank you so much for your advices.

I will try some of your advices. I will start with an old-fashioned letter post. You are right that someone might say that it may be a better idea to forget and move on. Certainly, I will not threat them, but I will try my best to collect this payment in proper way, and if I could not after I tried everything, then I probably am able to forget and move on.

I really appreciated your advice.

Akemi
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