Delays in payment...
Thread poster: Karolina Blachucka

Karolina Blachucka  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
Spanish to Polish
+ ...
Jul 5, 2011

I´m writing simply to share with you my annoyance. I don´t know if it´s really usual but at least it happened to me now. I worked for some agency and issued various invoices. We agreed with PM that the payment would be made in 45 days after the invoice is handed in. When there was some delay in payment I contacted him/her and he/she sent my email forward to the accounts of his company. They made the payment of the first invoice. Then other delay came. Once again I wrote the email reminding of the payment ( but I was already a bit annoyed by the situation because I needed that money). The accountant contacted with me and sent me contract to sign it in order to process my other payments! It resulted a bit odd to sign a contract after the job was done. Anyway, I read it and it said that the payment is made in 70-90 days!!!!! It´s not what I was said by PM. I asked the accountant to change that ( I told her/him that PM told me that the payment would be made in 45 days). She said that it is impossible to change the contract and I shouldn´t be worried because they use to pay in 60-70 days. Now I wait already 75 days for the payment of one of my invoices and I think that probably they will pay me in 90 days. I´m really annoyed how they treat this kind of situations.
Anyway, I only wanted to share it with you and to know if something similar happened to you..
One good thing is that the part of my invoices was paid and hope that the rest will be paid as well...



Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A bad mark in the Blueboard Jul 5, 2011

It is immediately apparent that they are not a reliable business partner. Put a bad score in their Blueboard. No need for a note. A score of 1 is more than enough for the rest of the translator community to understand.

[Edited at 2011-07-05 19:36 GMT]


Stéphanie Denton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:36
French to English
+ ...
Similar situation Jul 5, 2011

I am in a similar situation myself.

A payment was due yesterday, nothing came so I sent an e-mail, the PM forwarded it to accounts who requested a contract to be signed. There are no payment terms on the contract though, I should (in theory) get paid as soon as I send the documents back. Although a PayPal payment was agreed upon, and now they want my bank details...Why didn't I sign this contract before I started the job?

Why do lots of agencies insist on paying late...? I feel like my main job is chasing payments, not translating. OK, slight over-exaggeration there, but I have a small agency myself, and I've never paid late, never needed to be reminded that a payment is due. In fact, to date, I've always paid early. I also send out a general terms and conditions form, to be signed and returned to me by the translator before commencing the job. The lack of organisation from agencies is incredible.

Maybe we should all get together, line the "bad" agencies up in a row and give them a good kick up the backsides...?


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:36
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not bad agencies, bad habits Jul 5, 2011

This is part of a rather long article I was drafting today for my web site ("10 ways to get cheaper translations"), haven't finished/published yet:

Would you hire a bank to do your translation work? I hope not. Even if they agreed to do your translation work, they would be amateurs in this trade, as they specialize in financial services. So what would justify securing loans from translators? They should be amateurs in money lending.

A bank offers good (i.e. low) interest rates on loans because that’s their core business. A translator doing it would be outside their turf, so they should charge bad (i.e. outrageously high) interest rates. Yet several countries have grown a culture of paying translators in 45, 60, or more days after delivery. Why? Because they rely on the translators’ ignorance in finance; after all, they are linguists, men of letters, not numbers.

Do a reality check... verify the rates of a top flight translator specialized in finance, who supposedly understands how mankind deals with money. Outrageously high? Certainly! And why? Because most of their clients think it’s normal, or usual to pay a translator at least 30 days after delivery of the services. Ask that finance-specialized translator for a discount in exchange for COD payment, and it’s likely that you’ll get it.

As long as translators agree to be paid only when their clients feel they have money to cast to the wind, this situation will prevail. If one day all good translators decided that they must be paid within two weeks from delivery, otherwise a, say, 20% penalty surcharge would apply, the situation would change overnight.

As long as agencies and direct clients feel secure that they will get zero-interest loans from translators, they'll continue doing it. Anyone would do it!


Nani Delgado  Identity Verified
Member (2010)
German to Spanish
I also had a similar situation Jul 6, 2011

I did my job, it was a rush one, and then I sent an invoice to this particular spanish agency (I only accept bank transfers within 30 days, and I state it very clear on my invoices). One day later I received an e-mail from their accountant saying that my invoice had been properly received and booked. 30 days passed and I gave them one week more to see if the money arrives, and then I began to ask them (first with e-mails, later I gave them some phone calls) and after 45 days the accountant sent me - like you - a document with their own terms, which state payments by check (what?) after 60 days on the following 25th of the month (ehmm... pardon?). I got really angry because nobody told me anything of this up-front and they accepted my invoice without any objections.

Like you, I opened an own topic to vent my anger (but in the spanish forum, I don´t like it very much writing in english). At the end I got fully paid by bank transfer but before that happened, the "funny" ideas of this agency didn´t seem to have an end: after I told them that I only accept bank transfers, they told me they could only agree to this if they discount their transfer fees from the money they owed me, which got me even more angry at them. I will certainly never work with them again.

And I learnt something very important: now I always ask for every single detail and also make my conditions very clear bevor I start working with a new client. A pity when one has to act that wary: I was lucky not to have had any troubles with clients accepting my terms after invoicing until this situation arised.

By the way, this agency seems to be collecting more 1s on the BlueBoard after mine.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2011-07-06 06:47 GMT]


Local time: 17:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
I totally agree with Tomas! Jul 21, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

It is immediately apparent that they are not a reliable business partner. Put a bad score in their Blueboard. No need for a note. A score of 1 is more than enough for the rest of the translator community to understand.

[Edited at 2011-07-05 19:36 GMT]

Better said, impossible


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