Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Bad payment policies
Thread poster: Djana Surkovic

Djana Surkovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:51
Member
French to Bosnian
+ ...
Jun 21, 2013

Dear colleagues,

Today I have received an e-mail from one agency that goes like this:

"Dear Translator,
we hereby inform you that from July 2013 we’ll change all suppliers terms of payment to 60 + 10 days, instead of 30 + 10 days. We remind you that it is very important for us to receive the invoice by the 1st of the following month, in order to verify it and make payment on time.
If invoices are sent after the 3rd of the month, they’ll be paid on the following month.
For example:
If you send the invoice of July after the 3rd of August, the invoice will be paid on November.
Best regards"

What do you think about this payment policy? As all of you know, some agencies determine to us when to send an invoice and then they determine the due date to be after 2-3 months. Dont you think that someone (maybe me) should contact the ProZ staff and ask from them to pay more attention to the translator's rights and defend further posting jobs to the agencies like this?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:51
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Is this an agency you work with a lot? Jun 21, 2013

That's a bit worrying - them extending their payment terms implies to me that they've got a bit of a cash flow problem. If you can manage it, I'd probably try to work with them less in case they get to the stage where they have to default on payment altogether.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:51
English to Polish
+ ...
I agree with you Jun 21, 2013

Dear Djana, I agree with you. Due to the short time-window to avoid getting your invoice postponed for another month, those terms looks like an excuse to delay payment rather than the ordinary case of a long deadline which is just long and that's it.

While the length of the payment deadline per se is a business term, I'd appreciate if Proz staff could intervene in cases like that one you describe.

Still, I very much need to stress the importance of actually reading terms and conditions, and refusing to sign bad ones (i.e. zombie contracts).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Djana Surkovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:51
Member
French to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Answer Jun 21, 2013

Charlotte Farrell wrote:

That's a bit worrying - them extending their payment terms implies to me that they've got a bit of a cash flow problem. If you can manage it, I'd probably try to work with them less in case they get to the stage where they have to default on payment altogether.




Dear Charlotte,

We have done one project together, which was paid according to their previous conditions (30 + 10). Now I believe that this is too much...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:51
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Hmm Jun 21, 2013

In that case, unless you trust them and the job was fabulous and you are desperate to work with them again, I'd steer clear of them from now on. Apart from 70 days being a long time to wait for payment if they do pay, it doesn't bode well at all.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I've just had the same story from an agency I worked with Jun 21, 2013

Note the past tense!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

minaahmadi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:51
Member
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
stop working with them if you are not dependent on the company financially! Jun 21, 2013

I think we, translators, should dictate the way agencies behave us. If you are not dependent on the company financially stop working for them. Based on my experience, I think transaltors wouldn't have any future with such companies.

I worked with two companies with two different pament methods, the first one paid the money immediately after finishing the project, the other paid the money exactly like your company. I'm still working with the first one; although I tolerated the unbearable payment of the second, I didn't recieve any more project from them because they couldn't stay in the market.
I think we should learn to respect ourselves and show the others how to respect us.
Translation companies should know translators need their income, exactly like themselves.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:51
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
This kind of e-mail deserves an equal response Jun 21, 2013

Djana Surkovic wrote:

Dear colleagues,

Today I have received an e-mail from one agency that goes like this:

"Dear Translator,
we hereby inform you that from July 2013 we’ll change all suppliers terms of payment to 60 + 10 days, instead of 30 + 10 days. We remind you that it is very important for us to receive the invoice by the 1st of the following month, in order to verify it and make payment on time.
If invoices are sent after the 3rd of the month, they’ll be paid on the following month.
For example:
If you send the invoice of July after the 3rd of August, the invoice will be paid on November.
Best regards"

What do you think about this payment policy? As all of you know, some agencies determine to us when to send an invoice and then they determine the due date to be after 2-3 months. Dont you think that someone (maybe me) should contact the ProZ staff and ask from them to pay more attention to the translator's rights and defend further posting jobs to the agencies like this?


My response would be:

"Dear Agency,

I hereby inform you that from July 2013 I will no longer be available for projects from you. Since you have changed the terms of the initial contract that we both agreed upon, I consider this to be a breach of contract and I thus terminate our collaboration effective July 2013. I will remind you that it's very important for me to work with companies who value my time and pay within an acceptable amount of time, which for me is no later than 30 days after receipt of my invoice.

Best regards,
S"


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Djana Surkovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:51
Member
French to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Answer Jun 21, 2013

Sarah McDowell wrote:

Djana Surkovic wrote:

Dear colleagues,

Today I have received an e-mail from one agency that goes like this:

"Dear Translator,
we hereby inform you that from July 2013 we’ll change all suppliers terms of payment to 60 + 10 days, instead of 30 + 10 days. We remind you that it is very important for us to receive the invoice by the 1st of the following month, in order to verify it and make payment on time.
If invoices are sent after the 3rd of the month, they’ll be paid on the following month.
For example:
If you send the invoice of July after the 3rd of August, the invoice will be paid on November.
Best regards"

What do you think about this payment policy? As all of you know, some agencies determine to us when to send an invoice and then they determine the due date to be after 2-3 months. Dont you think that someone (maybe me) should contact the ProZ staff and ask from them to pay more attention to the translator's rights and defend further posting jobs to the agencies like this?


My response would be:

"Dear Agency,

I hereby inform you that from July 2013 I will no longer be available for projects from you. Since you have changed the terms of the initial contract that we both agreed upon, I consider this to be a breach of contract and I thus terminate our collaboration effective July 2013. I will remind you that it's very important for me to work with companies who value my time and pay within an acceptable amount of time, which for me is no later than 30 days after receipt of my invoice.

Best regards,
S"


Very good answer!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:51
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Inventive Jun 22, 2013

Sounds more like the announcement of the agency's need/desire for more free loans for a longer period.

Three, perhaps only 2 days depending on the time zones you and the agency are located in, is indeed a very narrow "gap". Very inventive way of securing funds.



Sarah McDowell wrote:
My response would be:

"Dear Agency,

I hereby inform you that from July 2013 I will no longer be available for projects from you. Since you have changed the terms of the initial contract that we both agreed upon, I consider this to be a breach of contract and I thus terminate our collaboration effective July 2013. I will remind you that it's very important for me to work with companies who value my time and pay within an acceptable amount of time, which for me is no later than 30 days after receipt of my invoice.

Best regards,
S.


This is a very good way to inform that agency know that you are a translator and not a bank.

Apparently the "quote" doesn't seem to work in here.

[Edited at 2013-06-22 14:28 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 21:51
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rewrite your side of the contract Jun 22, 2013

As long as you can afford to part company with this client, as it would seem you may be able to, I would also recommend sending them the new terms of your side of the contract, but in this case I would suggest stating that your terms for 70 days are, naturally different, and that in order to extend credit for that long, your prices are correspondingly higher, unless they can provide some gurantee of payment.

A parallel example would be a wholesale book distributor who I was considering working with (for my bookselling business): I was told that terms were either COD, or that I would have to provide a bank guarantee up to the limit of credit that they would give me. In other words, if I wanted to buy 10,000 euros' worth of books and pay at 30 days, I would have to provide a bank guarantee, and I could never have more than that amount owing.

To keep the price from rising I therefore pay COD, although there are distributors who will offer me 30 days,

Also in parallel, does anyone have an idea of what is standard practice for payment terms between clients and agencies?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Djana Surkovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:51
Member
French to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Answer Jun 22, 2013

Noni Gilbert wrote:

As long as you can afford to part company with this client, as it would seem you may be able to, I would also recommend sending them the new terms of your side of the contract, but in this case I would suggest stating that your terms for 70 days are, naturally different, and that in order to extend credit for that long, your prices are correspondingly higher, unless they can provide some gurantee of payment.

A parallel example would be a wholesale book distributor who I was considering working with (for my bookselling business): I was told that terms were either COD, or that I would have to provide a bank guarantee up to the limit of credit that they would give me. In other words, if I wanted to buy 10,000 euros' worth of books and pay at 30 days, I would have to provide a bank guarantee, and I could never have more than that amount owing.

To keep the price from rising I therefore pay COD, although there are distributors who will offer me 30 days,

Also in parallel, does anyone have an idea of what is standard practice for payment terms between clients and agencies?


Dear Noni, thank you for your answer. I do not know about the standard payment terms between clients and agencies but I can bet that it is not more than a week or so. Agencies keep our money for a month or more after that.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another answer Jun 23, 2013

Djana, I just checked this table, and discovered that you are in one of the few countries in the world that manage to have higher interest rates than where I am, Brazil. So my recipe might work for you.

I explain these long-payment-term clients that I have made a non-compete agreement with my bank here: As long as they don't offer translation services (and they don't, banking is much more profitable!), I won't lend money at interest rates lower that 2x theirs.

These clients must understand that those large, powerful commercial banks compete against each other on which one offers loans at the lowest interest rates. While I've been a professional translator for several decades, I'd still be a complete amateur in providing financial services.

Therefore my interest rates should be about 20% per month. Yours in Serbia may be even higher. So they want to pay 60 days after I deliver? Fine! In that case my rates will be 44% higher than what they are on account of the interest accrued.

And then there is the priority issue. I used to adopt rush surcharges. When one client decided to overbid another one's rush surcharges, I considered that it would be dishonest to waitlist a client who was already paying a rush bonus, just because another one would pay more. So I gave up completely on rush surcharges, as they caused havoc to my schedule anyway, and began serving my clients with shorter payment terms first.

Those clients demanding absolute priority should prepay the job upon ordering. There is no way any other might overturn them, because they can't go further back into the past, to pay me before the current #1 already did. Most clients get speedy service with COD. Those who are not in a rush may pay in 1-2 weeks. Those intending to pay in 30 days are not likely to get service from me in the foreseeable future. A client willing to pay 60 days after delivery will probably have to wait forever to get any service from me; I guess I'll be long gone when their turn comes.

I began doing this last January. It is working so well, that I wonder why I didn't think of it before.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:51
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
The term of payment of my best agency is long Jun 24, 2013

The issue is, don't you have savings in your bank account to support your monthly expenses? If so, what will be the difference between paying you 1 month or 2 months after the job is done?

When I started to work with my best agency a year ago, they set a payment term of 60 days. I didn't feel that happy at first but I eventually agreed.

If I refused to accept their payment term, my income in the past 12 months would have been about 20 thousand less.

Now I'm so busy with them that I don't even have the time to prepare invoices for jobs I did for them 3 months ago.

I'm glad I didn't care that much about their payment term in the beginning.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Djana Surkovic  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:51
Member
French to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Answer Jun 24, 2013

jyuan_us wrote:

The issue is, don't you have savings in your bank account to support your monthly expenses? If so, what will be the difference between paying you 1 month or 2 months after the job is done?

When I started to work with my best agency a year ago, they set a payment term of 60 days. I didn't feel that happy at first but I eventually agreed.

If I refused to accept their payment term, my income in the past 12 months would have been about 20 thousand less.

Now I'm so busy with them that I don't even have the time to prepare invoices for jobs I did for them 3 months ago.

I'm glad I didn't care that much about their payment term in the beginning.


Dear colleague,

Thank you for your answer. But I must tell you, that kind of policy says a lot about that agency. The agencies that have a lot of work, they pay right a way, and especially, they do not break the contract the way that those did. Anyways, do I have savings or not, it is not their business, it is up to them to pay no later than 30 days after the job is done.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Bad payment policies

Advanced search







LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search