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What to do when you are not paid by the company after the translation?
Thread poster: amela interpret
amela interpret
Albania
Local time: 13:35
Albanian to English
+ ...
Sep 9, 2016

I am new in ProZ, but I wanted to take your opinions. In case you finish a translation and you are not paid for it, what happens? Can you complain somewhere?

Thanks for your time.
Amela


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You don't complain; you chase Sep 10, 2016

amela interpret wrote:
In case you finish a translation and you are not paid for it, what happens? Can you complain somewhere?

Normally there's a whole load of things that you can and should do. Your payment escalation procedures must kick in. You should have a whole series of measures to try to get the client to pay. Obviously sometimes you have to accept that it isn't going to happen - particularly if they company has ceased trading - but that should be extremely rare.

At some point in those escalation procedures, you should warn your peers that this company is not a good one to collaborate with, in your experience. The Blue Board here on ProZ.com is an ideal place for that, and there are some similar ones around the web.

Perhaps you could share some more information about your own particular case (without identifying the client)? Then we can give more specific information. Where are you in the process? Did they fail to respond after you sent the invoice? Are they saying they can't or they won't pay, or are they just silent? Do you know if they are still trading? Are they in your country? What sort of amount are we talking about - €1-100; 1001-500; 500+? How long ago was payment due? What were the agreed terms? All this and more is relevant.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:35
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My latest movements Sep 11, 2016

amela interpret wrote:

I am new in ProZ, but I wanted to take your opinions. In case you finish a translation and you are not paid for it, what happens? Can you complain somewhere?

Thanks for your time.
Amela


I chase based on ownership of copyrights wherein civil and criminal offense's legal enforcement is effective in most countries of the world.
Do not forget that freelancers are copyright holders of their jobs, either being paid or not.

Soonthon L.


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amela interpret
Albania
Local time: 13:35
Albanian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Details Sep 13, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

amela interpret wrote:
In case you finish a translation and you are not paid for it, what happens? Can you complain somewhere?

Normally there's a whole load of things that you can and should do. Your payment escalation procedures must kick in. You should have a whole series of measures to try to get the client to pay. Obviously sometimes you have to accept that it isn't going to happen - particularly if they company has ceased trading - but that should be extremely rare.

At some point in those escalation procedures, you should warn your peers that this company is not a good one to collaborate with, in your experience. The Blue Board here on ProZ.com is an ideal place for that, and there are some similar ones around the web.

Perhaps you could share some more information about your own particular case (without identifying the client)? Then we can give more specific information. Where are you in the process? Did they fail to respond after you sent the invoice? Are they saying they can't or they won't pay, or are they just silent? Do you know if they are still trading? Are they in your country? What sort of amount are we talking about - €1-100; 1001-500; 500+? How long ago was payment due? What were the agreed terms? All this and more is relevant.


Thank you for your help.
In fact I delivered the material and as I didn't get any feedback I asked for it and for the further proceeding. But I didn't get any answer. I sent even a reminder from Paypal, but nothing. The amount is very small, of course under €100 and we had not discussed about the payment terms except the price. The company is not from my Country, nor my continent.


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Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 13:35
English to Italian
+ ...
First lesson learned Sep 13, 2016

amela interpret wrote:

....... we had not discussed about the payment terms except the price. The company is not from my Country, nor my continent.


Hello Amela,
unfortunately, you had to learn the lesson in the hardest way. ALWAYS state your payments terms, NEVER be afraid to do that - you are a supplier, and as such you have to clearly express what are the conditions for purchasing your services.
Did you find anything about this company? Tried on Translator Scammers Directory?
If you need help please feel free to DM me:)

P.S.: try to check information about each potential customer, no matter if they write to you or you want to offer your services to them


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some next steps Sep 13, 2016

amela interpret wrote:
In fact I delivered the material and as I didn't get any feedback I asked for it and for the further proceeding. But I didn't get any answer. I sent even a reminder from Paypal, but nothing. The amount is very small, of course under €100 and we had not discussed about the payment terms except the price. The company is not from my Country, nor my continent.

As Serena has already noted, I'm sure you will always want to have the terms and conditions clearly stated in writing before you do any job in the future. I always state my own; some translators allow their client to dictate them. This always seems very odd to me - wherever else does the customer get to decide on when, how and how much to pay??? - but it's one way of doing business, I suppose.

So, the next question is whether you got any confirmation that they'd received your work. If you did, did they raise any complaint? It sounds as though you didn't, and I find it worrying that you say "for the further proceeding". Does that imply that you haven't actually sent an invoice? If that is the case, then you must send one straight away. Hopefully you know the company's registered address as this normally has to appear on the invoice even if you're sending it by email as most of us do. Without that address, I don't think you have any legal claim to payment, though if it was for a large sum then I'm sure lawyers could get things sorted.

Assuming they've received an invoice in due form and the payment deadline has passed (often presumed to be 30 days but sometimes as much as 90 days if you allow such ridiculous practices), I would advise you to take one or more of the following measures:
- Send a polite reminder to every email address you can find, especially to the directors if you can track them down on LinkedIn etc. Wait for a while to see if it was just perhaps a glitch in communication.
- Telephone them, Skype, send PMs, etc, etc.
- Send a formal final demand, on paper and by registered post to their registered address, paying the Post Office to receive their signature to say they've received it. That letter should be short and to the point - templates are available online. State that if payment is not received by XX/XX/XX (restate your bank/PayPal details as well as the payment amount) then you'll escalate the matter.
- Make a BB entry to inform your peers that this client is not a reliable business partner, and send an email to let the client know what you've done. This shouldn't be used as a threat - it's simply informative. They may pay simple to receive an amended comment from you, but PLEASE don't change your rating to a '5' and delete everything about non-payment.

However, there's no point wasting your time doing any of the above if they've filed for bankruptcy or called in the receivers. Perhaps their country has their register of companies online that you could access (for a small fee normally). Some links are listed on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_company_registers


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