Client has two different terms of payment
Thread poster: Faustine Roux

Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
English to French
Jan 5, 2013

Hi all,
I registered, a long long time ago, to an online only agency (you receive an email saying that a job is available for you, you go on their platform, you accept and download the job and sen dit through the platform, without dealing with a PM or any kind of human being).

OK, so that was a mistake of mine, but again, that was a long time ago.

Well, in June, I was desperate and I accepted a little job from this « agency », worth 18 euros (the job, not the agency !). Then, I realised they had two different terms of payment.

Their FAQ states that they pay the translator 72 hours after the job was accepted by the client, but only if the amount exceeds 50 euros. Mmmh….

Then, their translator agreement states that the payment is done 72 hours after the client accepted the job, end of. No minimum amount.

Of course, after this little job, I never received any other email with new available project. So, I contacted the agency to tell them I wanted to be paid no matter what, and they said they would pay me, but by paypal only, since it was under 50 euros. Again, the agreement doesn’t state that they pay by paypal if the amount is under 50 euros. It just says that they can pay by check, bank transfer or paypal, depending on what the translator wants.

Now, my question is, is an FAQ a valid « contract » ? Or does the agreement prevail ? Can I demand to be paid by bank transfer for 18 euros, while their FAQ says I can’t but their agreement says otherwise ? And can I post a negative feedback on their blueboard if they never pay me ?

I’m hope I’m being clear enough and I thank you in advance for your help.


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Vladimír Hoffman  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 12:49
Member (2009)
English to Slovak
+ ...
My advice is Jan 5, 2013

that you should accept payment through PayPal (you will lose 60 eurocents in fees) and forget about the agency. Your time is your main asset and there are many profitable ways to use it. Don't lose your precious time and energy with something (and someone) that is simply not worth of the effort.


Faustine Roux wrote:

Hi all,
I registered, a long long time ago, to an online only agency (you receive an email saying that a job is available for you, you go on their platform, you accept and download the job and sen dit through the platform, without dealing with a PM or any kind of human being).

OK, so that was a mistake of mine, but again, that was a long time ago.

Well, in June, I was desperate and I accepted a little job from this « agency », worth 18 euros (the job, not the agency !). Then, I realised they had two different terms of payment.

Their FAQ states that they pay the translator 72 hours after the job was accepted by the client, but only if the amount exceeds 50 euros. Mmmh….

Then, their translator agreement states that the payment is done 72 hours after the client accepted the job, end of. No minimum amount.

Of course, after this little job, I never received any other email with new available project. So, I contacted the agency to tell them I wanted to be paid no matter what, and they said they would pay me, but by paypal only, since it was under 50 euros. Again, the agreement doesn’t state that they pay by paypal if the amount is under 50 euros. It just says that they can pay by check, bank transfer or paypal, depending on what the translator wants.

Now, my question is, is an FAQ a valid « contract » ? Or does the agreement prevail ? Can I demand to be paid by bank transfer for 18 euros, while their FAQ says I can’t but their agreement says otherwise ? And can I post a negative feedback on their blueboard if they never pay me ?

I’m hope I’m being clear enough and I thank you in advance for your help.


[Edited at 2013-01-05 12:33 GMT]


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Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Paypal Jan 5, 2013

I don't have paypal and will not set up an account for 18 euros... I'd rather give up, to be honest, I'm not desperate anymore.

I actually want to know whether a client can state two payment terms like that.


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xxxbobiysh
Local time: 13:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
2 terms of payment Jan 5, 2013

Hello,

I read about your problem and I think the best way is to accept a bank transfer from a bank who deals in cash money transfers like Western Union or moneygram. If their bank is an agent of these two cash transfer companies, you can ask the agency to transfer the money to your order and notify you about the transfer number to the city/country where you live, and then you collect from any Western Union/Money gram agent.
Moreover, if you do not have a bank account or their bank is not an agent of Western Union, you can ask the agency to issue a bank transfer to your order in your country via western union or money gram, and do not forget to ask them to notify you of the transfer number ( and answers to passwords if theagency set any).

Hope this will resolve your rightful pay. Good luck.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm not sure there's a "yes/no" answer Jan 5, 2013

Faustine Roux wrote:
I actually want to know whether a client can state two payment terms like that.

I bet you anything that lawyers would say "it depends on..."
AFAIK, FAQ as a general rule aren't contractual - but I don't know if that rule is contractual! Basically, the only safe thing to expect in circumstances like these is that they've given themselves 'wriggle-room' so that they can get out of doing anything at all unpleasant (like paying you for your work) unless or until they're taken to court. Are you likely to take them to court for 18 €?

If you really don't want to set up a PayPal account (which surprises me as they can be very useful things, for e-commerce purchases as well as receiving money), you're probably going to have to write it down to experience.

HOWEVER, from your first posting:
[/quote]can I post a negative feedback on their blueboard if they never pay me ?
You can certainly post a BB entry, even if there isn't currently a record for them. And you can do it whether or not they ever pay you. You worked for them; they're making things downright difficult if not impossible; you tell us all about it. It's precisely the sort of thing that new translators need to be warned about.


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Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
... Jan 5, 2013

Thank you Sheila, that was the kind of answer I was looking for.

As for Paypal, I might consider it if a reliable client needs it and the amount of money will be significant. For 18 euros, I don't want to set another account, I already have to many passwords to remember!


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 10:49
Japanese to English
Please don't Jan 5, 2013

Faustine Roux wrote:
And can I post a negative feedback on their blueboard if they never pay me ?

If they offer to pay and you refuse to accept it, you don't have a case. Let's not cheapen Blue Board postings any further.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Just my2c Jan 6, 2013

Faustine Roux wrote:
Their FAQ states that...
Their translator agreement states that...


I think that what the translator agreement says is what the agreement is. The FAQ help explain certain things but if there is a conflict with the translator agreement, then the translator agreement should apply.

I suggest you initiate the usual non-payment procedure. If at the end of that procedure (e.g. three months) they still refuse to pay, then post a negative BB entry.

I understand their "under EUR 50" principle, but the fact is that you have to get paid. Even if they don't want to pay immediately (in the hope that you would accept another job before they pay you), they really have to pay at the end of the month, in my opinion, regardless of what the size of the job is. If they don't want to pay less than EUR 50, then they can pay EUR 50, if they want.

I don't think a client can force you to into creating a PayPal account if they didn't say so in the first place. You may have very valid reasons to not wanting to open an account with PayPal (e.g. you don't agree with their terms of service, or it complicates your accounting, etc). The fact that a translator can easily get access to a certain payment service does not mean that the translator is being unreasonable if he refuses to do so.

Now, my question is, is an FAQ a valid « contract » ?


I don't think anything on a client's web site that does not state specifically that it is intended as an agreement can be taken as an agreement. Obviously if the web site contains deliberately deceitful information, then you can make a case for that, but a FAQ (and most of a web site) is purely for public information and may contain errors. I'm not a lawyer, but personally I think: unless the web site is a vehicle of commerce (i.e. if what you read on the web site forms part of a set of actions that in itself constitute a transaction) instead of just an informational service, I would not regard anything that the web site itself says as an agreement.


And can I post a negative feedback on their blueboard if they never pay me ?


Yes, of course. But you must have given the client sufficient reminders before you to (I would regard that as a general principle of the Blue Board, though I suspect that some translators post negative comments very soon after the slightest indication of possible non-payment).


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