Issue: deal with out of state, nonpaying customer.
Thread poster: doitinspa (X)

doitinspa (X)
English to Spanish
Aug 13, 2011

Dear all,

Im a freelance translator, and Ive engaged in a project during April that hasnt been paid for in full. There were 3 invoices for about 300 dollars, and two of them are still outstanding, after several months.
After insisting for a long time, I am about to lose hope in receiving these monies. The client is located out of state, so I could only file small claims in their state, which would not be worthy due to travel expenses.

I live in NYC, and the client is from Oklahoma City. What could I do? How can I sue this client without having to travel?

I have already sent them a certified mail letter stating that I was going to sue them.

Thanks for your help

Ariel


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:36
English to French
+ ...
Small claims Aug 14, 2011

I think you can file in small claims court, since your part of the business deal was performed in NY state. Not completely sure, though, so check first.

It may be worth it if you can, because a judgment against them will be entered and they would have great difficulties in obtaining loans and such in the future.


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:36
Member (2008)
English to French
Send the paperwork Aug 15, 2011

To a collection's agency.

You'll lose about 15% of the total but at least you'll get paid and it won't cost you a penny if they don't collect. The fun thing about collection agencies is that they (real ones - not your cousin's friend with the tattoosicon_razz.gif) can affect the debtor's credit score so they're a double whammy threat: 1) they just won't take no for an answer & call & call & call & call 2) they can ruin the agency's credit score which will preclude it from getting loans in the future or will raise interest rates.

You can have one last ditch attempt - ask to be paid by PayPal within 5 days (not by check - check is in the mail is an old excuse) or you will send the bill to collections and they will have to deal with them going forward.


 

doitinspa (X)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Aug 15, 2011

That´s an awesome idea. I totally forgot about that possibility.

Anybody could recommend me a reliable, hassle-free, collection agency?


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:36
Italian to English
Moderator's Note Aug 15, 2011

If anyone is in a position to make recommendations to Ariel, please do so privately through her profile, to avoid "advertising" agency names here.

Site rule: http://www.proz.com/siterules/general/3#3

Many thanks


 

r_cantillo (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
English to Italian
+ ...
unpaying client Sep 16, 2011

Hello,
i have a similar story - a client contacted me for a 50 odd pages long translation, initially saying they were willing to pay half the price befrehand in order for me to start translation work. I said my policy is I get paid once a job is complete, and started translating the document once they sent it to me. The client said they got my contact details from another source (I did ask how they'd got round to my email address). Once I completed the translation, I sent them emails and an invoice via paypal, charging roughly 8 pounds per a4 paper (10 euros a page). Not only have I not, to this day received any payment, I haven't even got a reply in confirmation of their receipt of the translated document. I really have no idea what to do. I know nothing about this client other than their email address. Any idea or comment is welcome, thank you, regards, Raffaella


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:36
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Raffaella, it seems you have fallen for a scam Sep 16, 2011

a client contacted me for a 50 odd pages long translation, initially saying they were willing to pay half the price befrehand in order for me to start translation work.


This is the initial outset of the typical "advance payment" scam.
Please check out the forum dedicated to discuss Scams.
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams-946.html

You will find methods to mitigate your own risk (including due diligence on the prospective client), ways to recognize scams, and announcements of ongoing scams.

I hope this helps.
Katalin


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:36
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Probably an advance payment scam... Sep 17, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

a client contacted me for a 50 odd pages long translation, initially saying they were willing to pay half the price befrehand in order for me to start translation work.


This is the initial outset of the typical "advance payment" scam.
Please check out the forum dedicated to discuss Scams.
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams-946.html

You will find methods to mitigate your own risk (including due diligence on the prospective client), ways to recognize scams, and announcements of ongoing scams.

I hope this helps.
Katalin


I also think it started out as an attempt at an advance payment scam.
However technically, Raffaella didn't fall for it - remember, she declined their offer of a 50% advance (which would probably have been made by fake check for a much larger amount, with a request to return it).
Unfortunately for her (or not - depending on what she would done, it might have worked out worse) the scammers, in a particularly cruel twist, simply disappeared instead of telling her not to bother with the translation.

OTOH, they might just have been run-of-the-mill translation scammers trying to get a translation for half of an already very low price, on the assumption that Raffaella would have declined to work for an unknown party without an advance. When she declined the offer (not sure why, but that's fodder for another thread) they received an unexpected bonus.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Scammed! Sep 17, 2011

r_cantillo wrote:
I know nothing about this client other than their email address. Any idea or comment is welcome, thank you, regards, Raffaella

Well, you answered yourself. You thought it was safe to work for an email address. Next time, be more proficient in checking whether the customer exists and the job is a legitimate business proposal. You can see some hints to protect yourself here and in particular here.

As for the job at hand... unfortunately you will never manage to get paid. Learn from the experience and be more careful next time!


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Issue: deal with out of state, nonpaying customer.

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search