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Project still not approved, no payment
Thread poster: Hin und Wieder

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:58
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Apr 30, 2013

Dear all,

I did a review on a very very bad translation. Unfortunately I did not look at it at first and made a fixed price. Well, lesson learned!

But...now my payment is still not done, the agency keeps saying the project is not approved by their client. There are parts of the project that still have to be reviewed, but I am not available. The agency doesn´t want to pay me, the invoice is from the 26th of february, over 60 days.

I told the agency that it is not my concern they haven´t been payed yet. I think I have been patient enough.

What can I do? It's an Asian agency and I live in the Netherlands, can I use a Dutch collector?


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Do this first Apr 30, 2013

First - use the agency's Blue Board page to write a negative comment, as a warning to other translators. Take plenty of time and care over what you write. Without being offensive, describe what has happened. Write it in a way that prevents the agency from responding with a denial.

Then tell the agency what you have done.

If there is no BB entry for that agency, you can create one for them yourself.

With any luck they will pay you.

Important: if they do pay you, don't change your negative BB comment into a positive one; your warning to other translators should remain in place.

[Edited at 2013-04-30 08:47 GMT]


 

Nor Afizah Thalhan  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 10:58
Member (2013)
English to Malay
Agreed Apr 30, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

First - use the agency's Blue Board page to write a negative comment, as a warning to other translators. Take plenty of time and care over what you write. Without being offensive, describe what has happened. Write it in a way that prevents the agency from responding with a denial.

Then tell the agency what you have done.

If there is no BB entry for that agency, you can create one for them yourself.

With any luck they will pay you.

Important: if they do pay you, don't change your negative BB comment into a positive one; your warning to other translators should remain in place.

[Edited at 2013-04-30 08:47 GMT]


Couldn't agree more!


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:58
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well Apr 30, 2013

I made the entry, a big fat 1! I will search for the email in which they even asked me iff I got payed already....and asked me to do even more reviews, which I refused.

I did my work for the agency, so what the end client wants is not my problem.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Have you sent a final demand? Apr 30, 2013

You don't say what steps you've taken so far, Angelique.

Before you actually call in debt collectors, which is undoubtedly going to mean that you won't collect more than 70%, I advise you to escalate your demand as officially as possible. Often, agencies keep us independent translators hanging around waiting simply because we let them. The clearer you can make it that you are not prepared to wait, the more likely they are to pay up.

If you've done nothing much so far, I'd advise emails plus phone calls saying that you've waited long enough and you're now going to escalate the issue. Some people have said that calling/emailing very frequently does the trick, though I'm not sure whether that isn't harrassment. Make it clear that you know exactly what your rights are (as you clearly do). Whatever you do, make it last not more than a week.

Then, legal processes in Europe, and probably the world over, require that a final demand be sent. This is a formally-worded letter (you'll find examples on the web), on paper, sent to the company's registered address. It should be sent by registered mail and they should have to sign for it on delivery, and you should obtain some sort of proof of delivery. I don't know exactly what's available between the two countries, so I can't be more specific. Make sure the letter gives all the information, in summary form, including restating your payment details - make it easy for them to pay you! Don't use any threats, this is normal business practice. Just state that if you haven't received full payment by dd/mm/yy (give them 1-2 weeks to pay, maximum), you will be taking legal action to recover the money.

If you haven't received payment by that date, it's down to "Plan B". That depends on how much is involved, etc. But a second final demand, this time sent by a lawyer on his/her headed notepaper, can be a good idea and shouldn't normally be too expensive.

Good luck! And let us know how you get on, please.


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:58
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reminders Apr 30, 2013

I did email some reminders, very basic, through my invoicing software. I just found the emails in which there was this sentence: And hope , you have found all the payments of this project. ( I guess that means they thought they payed me??)
I also have an email in which one of their PM's stated that my three files, even named one by one, were approved by the end customer. I did send that to the agency and told them I had to mak a BB entry.
I will wait for the respons a couple of days and depending on the answer I will make a final demand.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Hebrew to English
I'm going to generalize, so shoot me.... Apr 30, 2013

I think where you really went wrong is in not only hastily accepting something you should have looked at in more detail (hey, we've all done it!icon_smile.gif ) but that given the country this agency is located in (India) it required even more scrutiny than usual.

I have a list of countries now where I really make myself think twice, thrice even, before accepting a project from them (for various reasons - Egypt for example because of restricted payment methods).

You can shoot me down in flames for generalizing, but reputations and generalizations exist for a reason, there's usually a kernel of truth in them.

Before going down the collection route, is the amount involved worth it, given how time-consuming and expensive it is.

Hopefully the bad BB rating will shake them into action though and it won't be necessary.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Don't tempt me... Apr 30, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:

You can shoot me down in flames for generalizing, but reputations and generalizations exist for a reason, there's usually a kernel of truth in them.



Oh - you mean "all communists eat babies" or "all Muslims are terrorists" etc. etc. - all contain a grain of truth? Is there one that says "all translation agencies in India fail to pay the people who work for them"?

Actually of the several agencies with whom I've had trouble getting paid, none of them were Indian.

I don't think these generalisations help the OP with the specific problem under discussion here.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Hebrew to English
Tempt you to do what? Apr 30, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

You can shoot me down in flames for generalizing, but reputations and generalizations exist for a reason, there's usually a kernel of truth in them.



Oh - you mean "all communists eat babies" or "all Muslims are terrorists" etc. etc. - all contain a grain of truth? Is there one that says "all translation agencies in India fail to pay the people who work for them"?

Actually of the several agencies with whom I've had trouble getting paid, none of them were Indian.

I don't think these generalisations help the OP with the specific problem under discussion here.


I don't know about eating babies....but I am entitled to my opinionicon_smile.gif

You will notice though that I wasn't speaking in absolutes. I hedged (i.e. "usually").


 

Navy Huang
China
Local time: 10:58
English to Chinese
+ ...
Be more careful; Don't generalize Apr 30, 2013

Angelique Blommaert wrote:

Dear all,

I did a review on a very very bad translation. Unfortunately I did not look at it at first and made a fixed price. Well, lesson learned!

But...now my payment is still not done, the agency keeps saying the project is not approved by their client. There are parts of the project that still have to be reviewed, but I am not available. The agency doesn´t want to pay me, the invoice is from the 26th of february, over 60 days.

I told the agency that it is not my concern they haven´t been payed yet. I think I have been patient enough.

What can I do? It's an Asian agency and I live in the Netherlands, can I use a Dutch collector?


I think there are some general characteristics about bad payers and translators who have been in this industry for long enough should be able to tell. One biggest characteristic is that bad payers are often doing irrational things, say, they would assign an extremely rush job to you, offer a very low rate or an abnormally high rate, ask you to do disaster check (proofread translations that actually need to be retranslated), etc. We need to say no to all agencies that bear these characteristics, so as to protect ourselves.

Please do not generalize that Indian or Asian agencies are not good. This is a rather biased opinion that has to be rooted out long time ago. We have bad payers everywhere, and we have good payers everywhere too.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Hebrew to English
By the way.... Apr 30, 2013

Tom in London wrote:
Oh - you mean "all communists eat babies" or "all Muslims are terrorists" etc. etc. - all contain a grain of truth? Is there one that says "all translation agencies in India fail to pay the people who work for them"?


These aren't generalizations.

generalization:
an idea or conclusion having general application (i.e. not universal application)

Saying that some Indian agencies have a bad rep is not the same as saying that all do.

A generalization doesn't necessarily entail: "all...".


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Italian to English
Moderator's note Apr 30, 2013

I think we're in danger of straying off-topic here folks.

I'm not sure where a discussion on Generalisations belongs but I don't think it's here!

Many thanks.


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:58
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No answer yet Apr 30, 2013

I still do not have a reply on my " proof " . Hopefully they are not asuming that I do not work today because of our new King.

It was not my intention to start the Asian discussion again.
What I do want to know is the worldwide depthcollecting, as it is a non-European country.
The amount is not worth the process...$150.00. Coming friday I will send my final demand and giving them 2 weeks. (I will be on holiday)

Enough time spend. Duty calls...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
More suggestions Apr 30, 2013

Angelique Blommaert wrote:

I still do not have a reply on my " proof " . Hopefully they are not asuming that I do not work today because of our new King.

It was not my intention to start the Asian discussion again.
What I do want to know is the worldwide depthcollecting, as it is a non-European country.
The amount is not worth the process...$150.00. Coming friday I will send my final demand and giving them 2 weeks. (I will be on holiday)

Enough time spend. Duty calls...


I find it also helps if you tell them that

(a) you have given them a bad BlueBoard rating (give them a link to it!)
(b) you are currently considering your options in discussion with colleagues
(c) further action to obtain payment may follow without prior notice.


I know the amount is small but that's precisely why you mustn't let them get away with it! Be decisive in your own mind that you DO intend to get paid.

[Edited at 2013-04-30 17:57 GMT]


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:58
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why did we get the entry? May 1, 2013

Well, I've received an answer. Why did they get the entry? I replied with the emails and send my invoice again etc.

My compliments to the site staff. The entry must have been read, the agency got a Non-payment report. With three unsolved strikes they might be out!

I hope my money will be on my Paypal account today. It only takes a minute...


 
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