Possible "class action" against a non-paying agency
Thread poster: Marta Brambilla

Marta Brambilla  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:33
German to Italian
+ ...
Apr 4, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

in the lasts months I've been facing a problem many of you probably already know very well.

There is one agency owing me a bit less than 1'800.- Euro for jobs I've done.
The jobs have been accomplished according to our agreement and I had no complains about them - never.

The problem is that the agency is based in Spain - Madrid - and a legal cause against them would cost me between 4 and 5'000.- Euro so definetly not worth doing for 1800.- of credit.

In the lasts weeks I've been in touch with a credit-collection office here in Switzerland and they are helping me with this issue. Even with the help of their laywer in Madrid, we did not manage to obtain nothing more than a vague answer.

So I'm playing my last card: I was wondering if I could find some colleagues with the same problem with the SAME client and try to make a joint action of some kind. This office helping me here in Switzerland suggest a "credit cession" (sorry, I don't know the exact term in E) - that is I will give them my credit and they become entitled to collect it. If then the cause is won (or the credit paid) I will then receive my money less their %.
In this way we could spread the costs and making it worth to invest 4-5000 euros and hoping to receive a payment.

I'll be happy to know what you think about this idea, and if you have anything else to share. You can also write me at marta.translations@gmail.com.

Kind Regards,
Marta B.


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:33
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Why Apr 4, 2013

not making an entry for them at the Blue Board, first of all?

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Marta Brambilla  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:33
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi there Apr 4, 2013

Natalie wrote:

not making an entry for them at the Blue Board, first of all?


Hello Nathalie,

thank you for your kind answer.
Actually, I just checked and the translation agency has already a lot of negative entries on the blue board, so I think is clear for everybody what its paying habbits are ...

The goal I have is to get my money, and I don't think and entry on the BB would help me in this.

Have a nice day,
Marta


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:33
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Make a Blueboard entry anyway Apr 4, 2013

Marta Brambilla wrote:

The goal I have is to get my money, and I don't think and entry on the BB would help me in this.



Please make a Blueboard entry anyway - it won't harm your cause. It would already have been done in the time you needed to post the sentence I quoted above.


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Elene P.  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 01:33
Member (2007)
Georgian to English
+ ...
they are not anymore on BB Apr 4, 2013

If that's the same agency that also owes me as well, they are not any more on BB. Otherwise if they were honest just lazy to pay that entry on BB would have helped. But following what I found on internet they owe a lot of translators a lot of money and are just ignoring the letters....

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Marta Brambilla  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 22:33
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
still on BB Apr 4, 2013

Elene P. wrote:

If that's the same agency that also owes me as well, they are not any more on BB. Otherwise if they were honest just lazy to pay that entry on BB would have helped. But following what I found on internet they owe a lot of translators a lot of money and are just ignoring the letters....


Hello Elene,

thank you for your message.
I checked and they still are on BB ... so we are not talking about the same agency.

Kind Regards,
Marta B.


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:33
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
An idea Apr 4, 2013

Hi Marta,

Is the company going into administration or does it just not take payments seriously do you know?

Your idea is a good one. Perhaps you could e-mail the other people on the blue board who have made negative comments and approach them direct.

I must say that more often than not, if I have payment problems, these are with Spanish companies so the likelihood is that they're just being slow on the uptake. I received a payment today from a Spanish agency I've been chasing for months for an invoice I issued six months ago!

Having lived in Spain for a number of years and having had other businesses there too, I would make one suggestion of something you could do before taking on a large investment trying to go through the courts, bearing in mind that the Spanish legal system is verrrrrrry slow.

1) Send an e-mail requesting payment before a certain date and expressing your intention to take the appropriate legal action if payment is not received. You can also mention that you have informed your colleagues of your payment issues and will update this when the situation changes. Then put a message on the blue board. As you say, the blue board doesn't help you much but it does help other translators and it does actually help you if you let the agency know what you're doing and it's concerned about image.

2) On the date you have mentioned, if you have not yet received payment, send a burofax. I can provide some text for that in Spanish if you e-mail me and if you're not sure about what to write. It is important that you write this in Spanish as what you have written will serve you in court if you end up going to court. The burofax is a mechanism similar to a telegram that registers what you have written, to whom, and when and is usually the precursor to legal action. If you appoint a solicitor, the first thing he/she does is send a burofax. Here, you would give them another deadline for payment.
This is the link: https://online.correos.es/contenidos/enviar/cartas_y_documentos/Burofax/inicial.asp
When a company receives a burofax, it tends to be taken seriously. I have often had reactions from companies only when I have sent a burofax.

3) If this still doesn't work, sell your debt to a debt collection agency.

I would put going through the Spanish courts in last place. As you say, it's expensive and it will take up a lot of your time too.

Good luck!


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:33
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, do make a BB entry Apr 5, 2013

efreitag wrote:

Marta Brambilla wrote:

The goal I have is to get my money, and I don't think and entry on the BB would help me in this.



Please make a Blueboard entry anyway - it won't harm your cause. It would already have been done in the time you needed to post the sentence I quoted above.


As efreitag stated, a BB entry won't harm your cause, but it will warn our colleagues.

I wish you much success!


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