Unable to fulfill last minute change in desired delivery format - whether to demand payment
Thread poster: Tatiana Ozerov

Tatiana Ozerov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:42
Swedish to English
+ ...
Jun 26, 2012

Hello all, I am still in the process of trying to establish myself as a freelancer and have found myself in a new situation with an outsourcer/client and am unsure of how to act. I was assigned a project by an agency, and after agreeing upon the rate and deadline and reviewing the document, I confirmed my acceptance of the project. The client did not send a PO. Two days before the agreed-upon deadline (I had nearly a week for the project) the client told me that they needed me to work in two ttx files and use a TMX that they had just sent me then. At that point, I was already close to finishing up the work. I work with Wordfast on a Mac and do not use TagEditor, so I told the client (apologetically, but reiterating that I received late notice to incorporate these changes) I was unable to work with the ttx files and would have to deliver in Word format. I was also unsuccessful importing the TMX into Wordfast, but then again, a TM isn’t very helpful when you’ve nearly finished your work. The client then stated that they would have to assign the project to another translator, and while they like my work (I’ve done one other project for them) and hope to use me again, they need to deliver to the client in ttx. There was no mention of whether they intended to pay for my work.

We did not explicitly agree in advance that delivery would be in Word format, but is it safe to assume that if not otherwise indicated, Word is the standard format of delivery? This is format I delivered my last translation for the client in and there was no problem. Do I have the right to demand payment for the work ordered (or at least the work I’ve completed to date)?

Thank you for reading, and any thoughts or advise you have on the following situation would be greatly appreciated!


[Edited at 2012-06-26 14:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-06-26 14:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-06-26 14:30 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What took them so long? Jun 26, 2012

Tatiana Ozerov wrote:
Two days before the agreed-upon deadline (I had nearly a week for the project) the client told me that they needed me to work in two ttx files and use a TMX that they had just sent me then.
...
The client then stated that they would have to assign the project to another translator, and while they like my work (I’ve done one other project for them) and hope to use me again, they need to deliver to the client in ttx. There was no mention of whether they intended to pay for my work.
...
Do I have the right to demand payment for the work ordered (or at least the work I’ve completed to date)?


Amazing! What were they thinking of? I'm sorry, if they can't manage their workflows then they can't expect to make a profit.

You don't say they're trying to wriggle out of paying you, and hopefully they won't. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you MUST be paid in full for what you have done. You would be quite within your rights to demand 100%, but that's negotiable, I imagine.

Sheila


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 20:42
German to English
+ ...
Word- absolutely Jun 26, 2012

Assuming you received the job in Word, (or pdf, which you can't output yourself), then I think you have every reason to think you should return the job in Word. Last minute unilateral changes by the cleint don't actually have any legal effect. The absence of a PO is irrelevant, since the exchange of emails makes it clear that a contract has been concluded between you and the agency, and unless the contrary is stated, you are to return the translation in Word..

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Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 20:42
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
It is necessary it specify in advance Jun 26, 2012

ANY software requirements to be applied to a specific job! Even the use of Word, as a translator can work in Open Office. Moreover, a serious agency ascertain software that translators uses as soon as in initial questionnaire.
So, if the agency changed conditions just before deadline (probably based on forgotten or new requirement given by their client), it is their responsibility to arrange for your text to be converted. You are entitled to be paid for entire translation, or at least for the part you have made before cancellation.

Small advice: WinAlign enables to create TM also from finished translations. The TM can be then applied to submitted ttx as full match (any changes would be caused by ttx tags). For anyone skilled in CAT it means a few hours of work. If the agency is not capable to do it by themselves, they should hire someone.



Tatiana Ozerov wrote:

Hello all, I am still in the process of trying to establish myself as a freelancer and have found myself in a new situation with an outsourcer/client and am unsure of how to act. I was assigned a project by an agency, and after agreeing upon the rate and deadline and reviewing the document, I confirmed my acceptance of the project. The client did not send a PO. Two days before the agreed-upon deadline (I had nearly a week for the project) the client told me that they needed me to work in two ttx files and use a TMX that they had just sent me then. At that point, I was already close to finishing up the work. I work with Wordfast on a Mac and do not use TextEditor, so I told the client (apologetically, but reiterating that I received late notice to incorporate these changes) I was unable to work with the ttx files and would have to deliver in Word format. I was also unsuccessful importing the TMX into Wordfast, but then again, a TM isn’t very helpful when you’ve nearly finished your work. The client then stated that they would have to assign the project to another translator, and while they like my work (I’ve done one other project for them) and hope to use me again, they need to deliver to the client in ttx. There was no mention of whether they intended to pay for my work.

We did not explicitly agree in advance that delivery would be in Word format, but is it safe to assume that if not otherwise indicated, Word is the standard format of delivery? This is format I delivered my last translation for the client in and there was no problem. Do I have the right to demand payment for the work ordered (or at least the work I’ve completed to date)?

Thank you for reading, and any thoughts or advise you have on the following situation would be greatly appreciated!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TTX is unfair for two reasons Jun 26, 2012

Tatiana Ozerov wrote:
Two days before the agreed-upon deadline (I had nearly a week for the project) the client told me that they needed me to work in two ttx files and use a TMX that they had just sent me then.


No, agree that this is not reasonable. If you did have Trados and you were able to do this, then it would not be unreasonable of them to request it (and then you could negotiate for it), but you never told them that you have Trados, and Trados is not something that all translators have, and besides, the TTX format isn't something you can simply convert a Word file into.

If not target format is specified, you can safely assume that any accessible format will do.


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Tatiana Ozerov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:42
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 26, 2012

Thank you to my ProZ colleagues for sharing your feedback! I'm glad I wasn't mistaken in my presumption that Word is an acceptable delivery format if not otherwise specified.

I responded to the client stating that I expected to be paid for my work, and it seems they are willing to concede.


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