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Agency payment issues...
Thread poster: xxxsjmdcl

xxxsjmdcl
Local time: 08:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 13, 2015

OK. So, this agency promised to pay me today but nothing happened. The PM explained in a previous email that the end client had worldwide payment issues due to the implementation of a new accounting system. She told me that despite end client problems they would pay me today but I'm here still waiting... so... Do you think is OK to contact the end client about this matter? In the translation itself there are many names so I could easily do some research and find emails and so on...

 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:15
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Have you got the company's BB? Apr 13, 2015

If so, you can report non-payment issues/delays there.


Good luck!icon_smile.gif


 

xxxsjmdcl
Local time: 08:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No Blue Board Apr 13, 2015

Paulinho Fonseca wrote:

If so, you can report non-payment issues/delays there.


Good luck!icon_smile.gif



But I think since they depend on the end-client for payment it would be an option to contact them. It is a multinational so they have money.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Do not contact the end-client! Apr 13, 2015

You're in no relationship with the end-client. It is not their problem and they are not responsible for the agency’s actions. You have done business with the agency and it’s up to them to pay you. Anyway, if the agency promised to pay you today I would give them the benefit of the doubt and wait 2 or 3 days and then I would enforce collection through a lawyer or a debt-collecting agency...

 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:15
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Please create a Blue Board record Apr 14, 2015

If there is no Blue Board record, you can easily create one. And, once it has been vetted, make sure to make an entry regarding your experience with them.

=================

PS - I agree with everyone else: don't contact the end client. They're not the ones who owe you.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never! Apr 14, 2015

sjmdcl wrote:
OK. So, this agency promised to pay me today but nothing happened. The PM explained in a previous email that the end client had worldwide payment issues due to the implementation of a new accounting system. She told me that despite end client problems they would pay me today but I'm here still waiting... so... Do you think is OK to contact the end client about this matter? In the translation itself there are many names so I could easily do some research and find emails and so on...

It would be most unprofessional to contact the end client.

Your business relationship is with the agency, and the agency alone. This applies to payments as well: their dealings and circumstances with their end customers are none of your business and they have to pay you in time, no matter what.


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:15
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Wait for a couple of days Apr 14, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

Anyway, if the agency promised to pay you today I would give them the benefit of the doubt and wait 2 or 3 days...


+1

I don't think it is the PM who approves and (actually) makes payment in this agency. For instance, their accountant was instructed to process your payment but an unexpected personal or job-related crisis prevented him or her from making the payment.

[Edited at 2015-04-14 05:19 GMT]


 

Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Same day payment? Apr 14, 2015

I have family in Chile. Bank transfers regularly take over a week. A few years ago, it was more like a month.

This is what my bank says: "Up to 4 working days (outside the EEA) but this may take longer depending on the country the money is being sent to."

I would suggest waiting the standard period of time required for payment to be processed.


 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2014)
English to German
I agree Apr 14, 2015

Don't contact the end client and do wait a bit longer.

On the other hand, the accounting system of the end client is none of your concern either, your relationship is with the agency, they hired you and they are responsible to pay your invoice.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Agree Apr 14, 2015

Your business partner is the agency, not their end client. Not the end client owes you any money, but the agency. As our colleagues have stated, never contact the end client, that is, someone who is not your client.

You can create a BB record for your client (the agency).

Please consider a couple of things. How has your relationship with the agency been thus far? Is there a record of late payments? (If you've worked with them before.) When was payment due originally? If today, then you can/could contact them again and explain that they are the ones who have to pay you. Regardless of whether their client has paid them or not, they owe you the money.

Although it's not good having to wait for payment, I still agree with Gabriele to wait a couple of days. If need be, inform your client of the negative BB entry you are about to make. Sometimes this speeds things (payment) up a little.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Too soon for any last desperate acts Apr 14, 2015

The end client is not going to be in the slightest bit interested in your payment problems, although they will be very troubled by your contact. They would expect you to conduct business with your client and not involve them. The only time I can see any justification for contacting the end client is when you have proof that they have published your translation. There's a lot of ambiguity around copyright laws for translation, especially in the international scene, but it could well be that you retain the copyright until you have been paid for your work. In that case you could maybe warn them of your intention to sue. But you can never sue the end client for non-payment.

Neither should you be thinking of bringing in a debt-recovery company at this stage. They are going to want their profit, which means you will never stand to recover more than about 70% of the debt. That can be worthwhile if every other recovery channel is closed or fails, but it is a last resort.

I'm assuming you aren't now one day over the payment-due date; this is the latest of several payment dates to have gone by without payment. Is that correct? If so, you need to escalate your claim. Get official now. Stop writing to the PM but contact instead his/her boss, or the accounts department, or the CEO. Set out the details so far and remind them that the contract between you (whether or not you've signed one, there IS a contract) calls for payment within nn days, and is in no way connected to payment being received from their client. Payment is (over)due NOW and must be made by dd/mm/yy (just one week from now), with official notification being sent to your email address. Any bank nowadays should be able to provide notification.

If nothing is done by that date, send a final demand by registered post to the registered business address of the client - the one on the invoice - just to the company rather than to a named individual. Make sure you pay to receive the copy of the signature given for delivery as that is proof of knowledge of the debt. It should say much the same but be in legalese and quite curt (Google for 'final demand' if writing in English). Again, give a date for payment, this time for it to be actually received. Two weeks is normal if it's being sent by international post. Tell them that you will take legal advice if payment isn't received.

After that, you can get a lawyer to send another on very official paper with lots of stamps. It doesn't cost much but it shows you HAVE taken legal advice and will go to the bitter end. They will then wonder if they can afford NOT to pay you! A lawyer will also find out, if you can't yourself, whether the company is in serious financial difficulties. If they are, there are different ways to approach the problem as suing a bankrupt company simply isn't possible.

If they still don't pay, you have the choice of chasing them through the courts or using a debt recovery company.


 

xxxsjmdcl
Local time: 08:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Legal way works well in developed countries... Apr 14, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

The end client is not going to be in the slightest bit interested in your payment problems, although they will be very troubled by your contact. They would expect you to conduct business with your client and not involve them. The only time I can see any justification for contacting the end client is when you have proof that they have published your translation. There's a lot of ambiguity around copyright laws for translation, especially in the international scene, but it could well be that you retain the copyright until you have been paid for your work. In that case you could maybe warn them of your intention to sue. But you can never sue the end client for non-payment.

Neither should you be thinking of bringing in a debt-recovery company at this stage. They are going to want their profit, which means you will never stand to recover more than about 70% of the debt. That can be worthwhile if every other recovery channel is closed or fails, but it is a last resort.

I'm assuming you aren't now one day over the payment-due date; this is the latest of several payment dates to have gone by without payment. Is that correct? If so, you need to escalate your claim. Get official now. Stop writing to the PM but contact instead his/her boss, or the accounts department, or the CEO. Set out the details so far and remind them that the contract between you (whether or not you've signed one, there IS a contract) calls for payment within nn days, and is in no way connected to payment being received from their client. Payment is (over)due NOW and must be made by dd/mm/yy (just one week from now), with official notification being sent to your email address. Any bank nowadays should be able to provide notification.

If nothing is done by that date, send a final demand by registered post to the registered business address of the client - the one on the invoice - just to the company rather than to a named individual. Make sure you pay to receive the copy of the signature given for delivery as that is proof of knowledge of the debt. It should say much the same but be in legalese and quite curt (Google for 'final demand' if writing in English). Again, give a date for payment, this time for it to be actually received. Two weeks is normal if it's being sent by international post. Tell them that you will take legal advice if payment isn't received.

After that, you can get a lawyer to send another on very official paper with lots of stamps. It doesn't cost much but it shows you HAVE taken legal advice and will go to the bitter end. They will then wonder if they can afford NOT to pay you! A lawyer will also find out, if you can't yourself, whether the company is in serious financial difficulties. If they are, there are different ways to approach the problem as suing a bankrupt company simply isn't possible.

If they still don't pay, you have the choice of chasing them through the courts or using a debt recovery company.


...unfortunately, the agency is in Brazil. Here we aren't in the European Union. The first payment was due on March 30th. Then, it was changed to April 10th, then to April 13th...

This agency is small and they depend on the client 100%, in other words, they don't have money to pay because the end-client hasn't pay them.

[Edited at 2015-04-14 14:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-04-14 14:02 GMT]


 

Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:15
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
All your questions are rhetorical Apr 14, 2015

I see you are only seeking moral support. They are a small and probably/obviously insolvent agency and "depend on the end-client". And they are playing bo-peep. You were hoping your suspicions are unjustified and still decided to take chances? Sorry to know this happened to you but at least you have won by learning the lesson: failures add to experience.

 

xxxsjmdcl
Local time: 08:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Moral support... Apr 14, 2015

Radian Yazynin wrote:

I see you are only seeking moral support. They are a small and probably/obviously insolvent agency and "depend on the end-client". And they are playing bo-peep. You were hoping your suspicions are unjustified and still decided to take chances? Sorry to know this happened to you but at least you have won by learning the lesson: failures add to experience.


...and also some clues because it seems more than one translator took place in this project... thanks!


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:15
German to Swedish
+ ...
Very bad excuse Apr 14, 2015

sjmdcl wrote:

This agency is small and they depend on the client 100%, in other words, they don't have money to pay because the end-client hasn't pay them.


If they have cash flow problems, they can sell their receivables using debtor financing.
If nobody wants their receivables, their business is as good as dead.

The "we have cash flow problems" story, if genuine, is really a warning signal - the business doesn't have credit at the bank and might not be around much longer. Except in very special situations of longstanding mutual trust, you should go legal ASAP (small claims court or whatever the local enforcement procedure is).


 
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