Non-payer based in Germany
Thread poster: Çağatay Onur Şengör
I was contacted by a translation agency based in Germany late November for a project. We agreed on a per unit price and completed two projects (one in late November and one in early December). I was then offered the translation of two files that had cross-file repetitions but were scanned files. We agreed on a source character count (80 thousand characters to be exact) and I completed and delivered the translation. I was also offered a follow up translation on the same project.
About a week after delivery I was contacted by their CEO (I had been communicating with another person from their company) who asked me not to charge for the repetitions. I declined and said that I would charge the originally agreed amount and I did not hear back from him.
In the mean time the payment for our work in November which was due December 31st was not paid.
I made out an invoice based on the originally agreed amount but this person accused me of trying to deceive them and being unprofessional.
On January 15 I made a BlueBoard entry and also left a feedback on their TCafe profile among other websites. After which he contacted me via e-mail and asked me to remove my negative feedback and when I refused he threatened to write false accusations about me.
This kept on until about 2 weeks ago when a site staff from TCafe asked them to respond to my complaint.
Both the person who I had communicated with regarding the projects and their CEO contacted me last week via e-mail asking me to remove my feedback to get paid. I refused to remove them but I told them I would edit my feedback to "we had a disagreement regarding payment but it was solved" and the CEO threatened to write false accusations once again.
On January 30, he replied to my complaint on TCafe stating that I was trying to damage their corporate image, that I was trying to get paid for "the parts I copy&pasted" and that I delivered poor quality. I flagged this reply but TCafe has yet to take action.
The payment for our works in December was due January 31 and I have not received any payment for either month.
While they do have an office in Turkey the contract that we agreed on specifies Berlin, Germany as the place of jurisdiction (in retrospect, I realize agreeing to this was a mistake on my part).
It seems like taking legal action is the only option that I have and I would appreciate any advice on how such matters are handled in Berlin, Germany.
I did not want to specify the name of the agency per the forum rules but I would be more than willing to share our correspondence and the links to their profiles, if anyone wanted to see them.
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| I think you need a solicitor || Feb 4, 2015 |
I'd say you need a solicitor, as it doesn't look like a trivial amount. If you are interested, I can recommend an English-speaking solicitor in Berlin who once did an excellent job for me in another area at a reasonable fee. Contact me via my profile in that case.
You could of course try a debt collection agency, but they have no more legal authority than you and I, and if the client behaves as you describe, they may well just ignore the debt collection agency.
If they slander you, a solicitor can also advise about legal action on that account.
Actually, it IS a trivial amount, which makes their attitude all the more ridiculous. I just do not want to let them get away with this even if I end up spending all of it on legal procedures. I sent you an e-mail regarding the subject, thank you for your time.
| | Sheila Wilson
Local time: 20:02
| They clearly care about their reputation || Feb 4, 2015 |
I hope you're keeping that portal up-to-date with all these threats; I would forward each one to them as they are bound to have similar rules to the ones in force here - clients are not allowed to threaten suppliers who leave factual feedback, nor are they legally entitled to withhold payment for any reason other than a totally unsuitable translation. It's a shame you didn't make things clearer between you and the client re repetitions etc., not that that is necessarily up to you when you've already charged for every word AND it's a scanned PDF. But it's always worth getting every last thing in black and white before starting work.
If it's for a small amount then I think you need to keep plugging away for your rights on the portal. I doubt that a recovery company would bother with a claim of less than a few hundred euros. There's also a translation "naming and shaming" group on LinkedIn where this outsourcer might prefer not to have his practices discussed. Come to think of it, how much does this client stand to "lose"? He's offered you the total less matches. I wonder why he's making such a fuss about paying a bit more, when he must be able to see that you've got at least a fair claim to the full amount. Weird way of doing business, IMO.
Don't give up until you've got what you're owed!
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Non-payer based in Germany
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