Purchase orders
Thread poster: Linda Brunet

Linda Brunet  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
Member (2009)
French to English
Jul 18, 2016

Hello, I recently had a purchase order from a reputable agency for a 3-day reread. I blocked my time well in advance.

In the end, the translator did not translate the document so the review did not materialize - is the company still obliged to pay me given I have a very clearly laid-out purchase order?

Thanks for any help.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 17:59
English to Croatian
+ ...
In theory, yes, it would be nice. Jul 18, 2016

However, I doubt they will pay you, because you never provided any work.

You may try though calling it up on the PO. It'd be nice if we were paid for booked time though (like in-house employees), but we are only paid for output/productivity/results.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What does the PO say? Jul 18, 2016

If it says you'll be paid in the event of a cancellation, then you're home and dry. If not, and if you didn't stipulate anything, then I'm afraid you can only suggest some sort of compensation, not demand it.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
It depends. Jul 18, 2016

I agree with Sheila, but it also depends whether

1. They're a regular client with whom you have a good relationship
2. You were out of work for three days, or you obtained other jobs
3. They apologised


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Frances Nichol  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:59
Member (2016)
Chinese to English
Worth a try Jul 18, 2016

First see what your agreement says. I doubt it would say anything though as normally an agency wouldn't produce a PO unless they are sure they will give you the work. A purchase order can be seen as a promise to buy and, when accepted, a promise to do the work. If either side reneges on them regularly, then they become worthless.

You set the time aside so presumably (or in principle) lost out on other work because of this. A cancelled order for services often has a cancellation fee because of this opportunity cost. So I think you should see if you can negotiate some sort of cancellation fee. It is only fair. It's a good principle to establish, for all of us.

In the future, perhaps you could state that if you receive a PO and the work is cancelled or reduced, you will charge a cancellation fee. I doubt an agency would accept that though and these things are normally managed by their contracts, so unless you insert this clause, would probably be impossible to ensure.

My takeaway is: if we have private clients and are using our own agreements to manage the relationship, we should definitely have this clause in there somewhere! Worth thinking about.

Good luck!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bird-in-the-hand approach is best Jul 18, 2016

In our industry there is hardly any planning and agencies sometimes reserve your time based on non-really-really-firm-but-awfully-likely jobs. Even if work finally happens, it could be days, weeks, or months later.

This same situation has happened to me often in the past, so I have learned to follow the bird-in-the-hand approach and, if all work materialises at the same time, I stretch as needed. I very rarely say no to work because of time reserved by another client. In my book, a PO with no translatables is not really a job.


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Linda Brunet  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
All good replies Jul 18, 2016

That was all good info and food for thought. Helped clarify a lot of things. Thanks to all.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
French to English
Interpreting missions Jul 18, 2016

I've got a number of interpreting missions lined up. I have obtained 30% upfront for all missions and have obtained agreement to a condition that if one of any of the half a dozen missions listed is cancelled, then 30% of the value of that job will be retained. In other words, if they cancel, it'll cost them 30%.

Interpreting means running up travel and accommodation expenses and I certainly cannot afford to lose money if the client cancels. Is some cases, you can negotiate a non-refundable deposit!


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 17:59
English to Croatian
+ ...
Travel and accommodation... Jul 18, 2016

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I've got a number of interpreting missions lined up. I have obtained 30% upfront for all missions and have obtained agreement to a condition that if one of any of the half a dozen missions listed is cancelled, then 30% of the value of that job will be retained. In other words, if they cancel, it'll cost them 30%.

Interpreting means running up travel and accommodation expenses and I certainly cannot afford to lose money if the client cancels. Is some cases, you can negotiate a non-refundable deposit!


In my experience, travel fare and accommodation costs would be booked and paid by the client upfront so in case of any cancellation (which never happened) they would have to deal with refunds etc.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
French to English
Interpreting - conditions vary from one client to another Jul 19, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I've got a number of interpreting missions lined up. I have obtained 30% upfront for all missions and have obtained agreement to a condition that if one of any of the half a dozen missions listed is cancelled, then 30% of the value of that job will be retained. In other words, if they cancel, it'll cost them 30%.

Interpreting means running up travel and accommodation expenses and I certainly cannot afford to lose money if the client cancels. Is some cases, you can negotiate a non-refundable deposit!


In my experience, travel fare and accommodation costs would be booked and paid by the client upfront so in case of any cancellation (which never happened) they would have to deal with refunds etc.


I have found that it varies. With this longstanding client, things work a litttle differently. In this particular instance, I have negotiated an all-in fee. It works out that in the event of a cancellation, I recover expenses plus part of the loss of earnings. Some of the missiosn are for two days or more, so for most of the missions, the travel applies just once for a couple of days' work.

In the 17 years I have been working for this particular client, there are changes going on in the background and I don't want to lose out in case they change their mind at the laset minute!


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