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Prompt payment
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:43
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Aug 26, 2013

In contrast to all the complaints about late payments, I'd like to mention what happened to me today.
Translation completed and sent off with invoice: 1432
Notified by PayPal that invoice had been paid: 1436

The four-minute payment. Is this a record? Has anyone had similar experiences?

(By the way, I need hardly add that this was not from a translation agency).

[Edited at 2013-08-26 14:54 GMT]


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Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
Impressive... Aug 26, 2013

Really impressive, I say. Never had such prompt payment before from end-clients using PayPal, although I can generally not complain. I usually get paid in 2-3 weeks' time.

[Edited at 2013-08-26 14:35 GMT]


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Sally Quinn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:43
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
FAST PAYMENT Aug 26, 2013

That's a record. I have just one client who pays within 24 hours.

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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 20:43
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Amazing Aug 26, 2013

I am amazed. This might very well be a record. I think we should continue to honor fast payment awards here at ProZ because they might encourage clients to pay on time. We tend to mention late payments, and skip fast payments altogether.

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Alexander Matsyuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:43
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
for the sake of fairness Aug 26, 2013

I had one local client who paid within 30 minutes in advance. Not an agency, a direct client. But I would not say that I felt good; I rather felt a lot of responsibility.

[Edited at 2013-08-26 15:18 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Very fast indeed Aug 26, 2013

Thank you, Jack, for having posted this pleasant "incident".

I once had one client who paid...yes, the moment I sent the completed translation.
And yes, without me having sent her an invoice. When I did get around to sending the invoice, about 5 minutes after receipt of payment, I had the first-time-ever (and thus far only time) pleasure of adding the note: Paid in full.

Yes, they are out there, these clients who pay promptly, even before payment it due (or an invoice could be send).

[Edited at 2013-08-26 14:52 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Quite common, fortunately Aug 26, 2013

While I try to dazzle my clients with my efficiency, some of them try to dazzle me with theirs, so I'll be available and willing on the next time they want to race against the clock again.

Others like to compete on who can withstand longer quibbling and stalling, however I've got rid of most of these.

This applies to agencies, direct clients, and individuals.


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Inna Borymova  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:43
Member (2013)
English to Russian
+ ...
I've had a client who paid even before I delivered the order. Aug 26, 2013

I was really surprised as we worked for the first time.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:43
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Congratulations, Jack! Aug 26, 2013

Jack Doughty wrote:
The four-minute payment. Is this a record? Has anyone had similar experiences?

Have I had faster? I'll have to check my records with one particular Dutch client. He runs a multilingual on-line property sales business so he isn't a normal translation agency, but neither is he really a direct client as his clients supply the texts - don't know quite how to class him. He (almost) always pays same day i.e. the last working day of the calendar month, usually well within the hour, and sometimes he does seem to be sitting waiting for my email to pop up. Still, four minutes IS fast! Perhaps I should sent him a challenge for this Friday. I'm sure he'd like to go for the record!

Payment in advance of the job, as requested formally, is fine. But I do hate it when clients take it into their heads to pay before they've received the invoice. On several occasions now they've made an error in their payment, too much or too little, or they've credited an account I've since closed, or they then realise there was something else they wanted me to do... A right nuisance it is to sort it all out.

These "instant payers" are just perfect. If only there were more of them!


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:43
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This should be more normal Aug 26, 2013

I typically receive such prompt payment only when I insist on it as a condition of taking on work (usually for small jobs for first-time and/or private clients), but I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago when I received payment for a substantial job within one day after I had requested payment within five days.

In practical terms, having to wait 30-45 days for payment is more than an inconvenience. This is why taking swift action even when payment is one day late is not only excusable, but necessary. It is also a reason why translators should consider refusing terms of more than 45 days in the absence of added compensation for the long wait for payment.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:43
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Can't beat 4 minutes Aug 26, 2013

I can't beat 4 minutes but I regularly get payment the same day from direct clients and a few have insisted on paying ahead of time. Prompt payments have increased markedly since I'm offering the option of making a so-called "Interac e-transfer". For clients who have online Banking (and more and more people do in Canada) it's just as easy as PayPal and I can download the money straight into my bank account without having to pay any fees. I wish this could be extended to international payments as well.

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:43
English to German
+ ...
Jack Aug 26, 2013

Worth an entry in the Guinness World Records, isn't it?

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Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:43
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Guiness maybe not but.. Aug 27, 2013

we are not allowed to state the name of bad payers. So be it. But are we allowed to publish the name of good ones?! We should, shouldn't we? There's nothing wrong with it...it's like when you go and make a transfer on somebody's account. They barely ask for your details cos' you're not taking but adding.... so can we? Proz? Youhou?

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to Japanese
+ ...
. Aug 27, 2013

Wish every client, end or agencies regardless, were like this.

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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:43
Danish to English
+ ...
Excellent Aug 27, 2013

Hi Jack

Thanks for posting this. I often wish there were sites with 'happy news' instead of so many complaints and bad stories. ProZ is no exception to the latter, and we do complain a lot about 'those difficult clients' of ours.

I had a similar experience last week, almost, as a new client (an agency in Norway) paid my invoice via PayPal within 24 minutes of my sending the invoice. This was not a huge sum, but in a sense that didn't matter, I was just so pleasantly surprised. I have had the odd client who has paid ahead of time, but that is really the exception. Similarly, I had to squabble with another new client (an agency in Canada) over a tiny amount recently, which they eventually paid three weeks late. In this case, the explanation seemed to be that they had missed a letter in my email address when they transferred the money via PayPal (also late, though).

The whole payment issue has taken me by surprise since I went self-employed, I must admit. I am one of those people who always, but always, pays my bills on time, if not a few days ahead of time, and I have found that in general, my Danish clients pay exactly on the last day possible, which means that funds are available to me one or two banking days later (unless they happen to use the same bank as me, in which case they become available instantly). Foreign clients, on the other hand, seem much more 'casual' in their payment policies, which sometimes irks me.

In my view, a deal is a deal: I deliver on time, you pay on time. I simply do not understand all the 'excuses' about late payments, it is just poor management and downright rude not to honour such basic business agreements. How would clients feel if we, as a rule, took the liberty of delivering our work late??

I sometimes negotiate my payment terms (which are 14 days after delivery / date of invoice), but I sincerely object to being TOLD what MY payment terms should be. I recently discussed a job with an agency, who said something along the lines of, "As this is a small job, we will pay at a flat rate of €10 or $10, 30 days net". I responded that I am the one who decides the value of my work (the 'generous' minimum fee was below my basic rate as counted per no. of words) and that my payment terms were 14 days net. I knew that would be the end of the story, but I just wanted to make my point. Never heard back from them...

Who in their right mind goes to the baker's and says: "I'll have three loaves of bread, and for that I will pay you xx when it suits me" and then even has the audacity to be late with their payment? It really is a weird world out there...


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