Bank and other Transfer Fees (e.g. PayPal)
Thread poster: Rolf Kern

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:34
English to German
+ ...
Aug 13, 2012

Some Agencies charge such fees according to their General Conditions, or suddenly when it comes to payment of your invoice. This is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to 100 percent of our calculated and/or agreed fees. The cost of fullfilling this obligation certainly has to be born by the Agency as part of their overhead cost, like office rent, salaries, advertising, IT costs etc. There are already a number of items included in our fees, like office rent, IT-cost, taxes, stationary, proofreading etc.
What do you think about this?
Best regards
Rolf Kern


 

Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 19:34
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
It is two-blade sword. Aug 13, 2012

Agencies could argue that we are the ones who should include the fee into overhead costs. After all, we do it in relation with direct clients (at least I do not bother direct clients with requests for reimbursement for bank fees).

Practically, fair (and quite common) arrangement is to divide the fee. Each party pays a fee charged by its bank. But it is all the matter of previous agreement.

Rolf Kern wrote:

Some Agencies charge such fees according to their General Conditions, or suddenly when it comes to payment of your invoice. This is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to 100 percent of our calculated and/or agreed fees. The cost of fullfilling this obligation certainly has to be born by the Agency as part of their overhead cost, like office rent, salaries, advertising, IT costs etc. There are already a number of items included in our fees, like office rent, IT-cost, taxes, stationary, proofreading etc.
What do you think about this?
Best regards
Rolf Kern


[Edited at 2012-08-13 20:51 GMT]


 

Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:34
German to English
Terms and conditions Aug 13, 2012

Before doing any work for any agent or individual, be sure that they understand and unequivocally agree to comply with your terms and conditions; both sides should publish conditions at the quote stage. You might choose to share or refuse to bear any charges or something else, but the fact remains T&Cs/AGB are not a one-way street. If there are any agents out there who happen to be reading this and disagree with this statement they will no doubt pipe up without delay.
(end of pompous)
As a practice I agree that slapping charges without prior agreement stinks
DB


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:34
English to German
+ ...
You didn't mention what countries this is about Aug 13, 2012

Rolf Kern wrote:

Some Agencies charge such fees according to their General Conditions, or suddenly when it comes to payment of your invoice. This is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to 100 percent of our calculated and/or agreed fees. The cost of fullfilling this obligation certainly has to be born by the Agency as part of their overhead cost, like office rent, salaries, advertising, IT costs etc. There are already a number of items included in our fees, like office rent, IT-cost, taxes, stationary, proofreading etc.
What do you think about this?
Best regards
Rolf Kern



I doubt that any Paypal payment fees are deducted in advance because sending payments via Paypal is free of cost for the sender. If a certain percentage of the total amount that you are entitled to is missing, blame Paypal. The foreign agency does not know in advance how much Paypal will deduct for currency exchange in your country.

If you are talking about bank / wire transfers from the US: The sender has to pay about $40.00 to send a bank transfer. The sender has neither control over, nor any knowledge of the amount that YOUR OWN bank will deduct.

None of this has anything to do with passing on overhead cost to the translator.

This prejudice that is chiefly based on lack of knowledge has been widely discussed in this forum for many years. Even the EU and their banking regulations have borders. To automatically assume that foreign agencies try to cheat you is not very fair.


 

Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:34
English to German
My experience Aug 14, 2012

I have made only positive experiences with customers outside the EU. They often ask before making the contract what way of payment I would prefer. If there are any extra charges involved for me, they ask me to include them in my per word calculation, because they cannot know how much I will be charged.

So, I recommend to include these considerations into your word price up front.

Annett


 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:34
Russian to English
+ ...
I had the same thing happen to me Aug 14, 2012

Rolf Kern wrote:

Some Agencies charge such fees according to their General Conditions, or suddenly when it comes to payment of your invoice. This is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to 100 percent of our calculated and/or agreed fees. The cost of fullfilling this obligation certainly has to be born by the Agency as part of their overhead cost, like office rent, salaries, advertising, IT costs etc. There are already a number of items included in our fees, like office rent, IT-cost, taxes, stationary, proofreading etc.
What do you think about this?
Best regards
Rolf Kern


Dear Rolf,

I also had the same thing happen to me. When paid by PayPal the agency just sent me the exact amount that they owed me and it was I who had to pay for PayPal's 3.9% + $0.30 transfer fee plus the exchange rate fee. So I ended up losing nearly 10% of the original value.

So then I asked them to send me a wire transfer instead. It was a surprise to me to find out that the wire transfer ended up costing over $50!icon_mad.gif It cost them $40 USD to send me the wire transfer (a cost which I had to bear) and then my bank charged me another $10 to receive the wire transfer, despite previously telling me that it was free to receive wire transfers?!

So at the moment I am in search of a better method of payment other than wire transfer or PayPal. Does anyone have any ideas for ways of payment?

Sarah


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:34
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Fees Aug 14, 2012

My clients and I usually split fees when it comes to wire transfers, each party bearing the costs at its end.

In regard to PayPal, some agencies accept 50% of the PayPal fees (usually 3.9%), others don't. But even the PayPal fees vary. The other day I received a small amount (in Euros) for a paid test translation through PayPal from a client in Australia, and was stunned to see the amount PayPal charged: 6.74% Admittedly, the costs of a wire transfer for both parties would have been much higher, but... 6.74%????


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:34
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Analogy Aug 14, 2012

Rolf Kern wrote:
Some Agencies charge such fees according to their General Conditions, or suddenly when it comes to payment of your invoice. This is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to 100 percent of our calculated and/or agreed fees. The cost of fullfilling this obligation certainly has to be born by the Agency as part of their overhead cost...


The agency has the right to reduce its overhead by using only payment methods that cost them very little money. If the translator insists on using a payment method that costs more money, then it is not unfair for the agency to expect that the translator pay for that preference.

Suppose you sell goods and offer free delivery (but you usually deliver by motorcycle), and a customer orders goods and requests that they be delivered by bicycle (or by car, or by horse, or on foot), because that would suit him better and will cost him less effort. Who should bear the extra cost of the delivery? You (the seller) or the customer? I think it would be fair for the seller to charge extra for the special delivery even when normal delivery would be free for the customer.

I also notice that many online stores offer free delivery only for local customers. If customers want to shop internationally, they will have to bear the costs. The same principle applies to payment charges -- if a service provider wants to work internationally, it would not be unfair to expect of him to bear the extra costs.


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 19:34
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 14, 2012

Thanks for your comments.

I do in fact not accept PayPal, just Bank Transfer. I live in Switzerland. My bank never charges any fees for incoming bank transfers, and it works fine time after time.

In general, in fact, my agency clients abroad (where I do not have any direct clients) always bear the wire transfer fees. It is self-understanding for them.

Some time ago, I had one case of an Irish Agency, that pretended to have borne the fee of their bank, but this was not true. When I informed them of this fact, they wrote back they will investicate this unbeleavable situation. But nothing happend. No refund.

Recently, I had one case of an Agency in California, USA. I did a very small very urgent job for them, then they sent me their General Conditions before they can pay my invoice, where it said the bank transfer fees are to be borne by the translator. I did not sign and told them to send the few Dollars to a Charity Organization. In the Blueboard they got an "1" from me.


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:34
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Correspondent bank fees? Aug 14, 2012

Sarah McDowell wrote:

So then I asked them to send me a wire transfer instead. It was a surprise to me to find out that the wire transfer ended up costing over $50!icon_mad.gif It cost them $40 USD to send me the wire transfer (a cost which I had to bear) and then my bank charged me another $10 to receive the wire transfer, despite previously telling me that it was free to receive wire transfers?!


Did the company state that they would deduct $40 if you request a wire transfer? I know it's dodgy, but some agencies do that, unfortunately. Otherwise, in all fairness to your client, this (or the 10$, for that matter) could also be a charge from an intermediary/correspondent bank processing the transfer, and the client would have no control over that. PayPal's fees are high, but, at least, they are predictable.

So at the moment I am in search of a better method of payment other than wire transfer or PayPal. Does anyone have any ideas for ways of payment?


Not really. The issue for us in North America is one of currencies, since foreign currency accounts basically don't exist in the US. My main use for my PP account is to receive Euro payments for those European clients who insist on paying in Euros. The problem is that those Euros in the PP account are essentially a financial fiction, and really only represent their countervalue in USD, which can only be accessed by converting the Euros at PP's lousy exchange rate (or spending them, but there's only so much I need or can buy in Euros that I can't more cheaply otherwise). I've been trying all summer to figure out a way to get the Euros out of PayPal without converting, and am hitting dead ends. The only way is to open a regular or non-resident bank account in a Euro-using country, open a PayPal account tied to that bank account (if you can, since you'll need an address in that country to register a local PP account), then do a personal transfer to yourself, and then withdraw the money to the bank account or debit card. That, or find someone you trust to do a swap...

I took out a PayPal debit card in anticipation of a European trip, thinking that I could draw on my Euro balance at ATMs. Nope - no matter how many Euros you might have, a US PP debit card will always draw only from your USD balance or US bank account, even if you're withdrawing Euros at a European ATM.

Talk about a ripoff!


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:34
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Incoming fees Aug 14, 2012

Rolf Kern wrote:
I live in Switzerland. My bank never charges any fees for incoming bank transfers, and it works fine time after time.


Do you mind telling me what bank you're with? My Dutch bank charges EUR 10.00 for incoming transfers from outside the euro zone. This is comparable to what my South African bank charged (roughly EUR 15.00).

In general, in fact, my agency clients abroad (where I do not have any direct clients) always bear the wire transfer fees. It is self-understanding for them.


Yes, but if your bank charges you money, then there is no way the sending party can know what that cost is going to be. And the only way for them to pay it would be to increase the amount of money that they send (they can't pay it separately).


 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:34
Russian to English
+ ...
no warning of deductions Aug 14, 2012

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:
Did the company state that they would deduct $40 if you request a wire transfer? I know it's dodgy, but some agencies do that, unfortunately. Otherwise, in all fairness to your client, this (or the 10$, for that matter) could also be a charge from an intermediary/correspondent bank processing the transfer, and the client would have no control over that. PayPal's fees are high, but, at least, they are predictable.


Hi Rudolf,

To answer your question, no they didn't state that they would deduct $40 for a wire transfer. I actually asked for a wire transfer because I thought it would cost less than the PayPal fees. I know it was $40 because I looked on the sending bank's website and read the information about fees and it said wire transfers cost $40 US to send. The only thing is that I should have looked up this information before asking them to send by wire transfer.

I thought that the agencies usually cover these fees. I guess this is not always the case.icon_frown.gif

I just wish they would have informed me that it was going to cost $40 before actually sending it to me. I would have picked another method of sending the money if I would have known this.

I guess we all live and learn with things like this.

Sarah


 


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