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Agency delaying payment - What can I do?
Thread poster: Sorana_M.

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 18:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jun 22, 2017

Hi, all.

I was looking forward to receiving an important payment by June 25th. The agency I have worked with has excellent reviews on the BlueBoard here. There is a formal agreement between me and them in force as well.

I had no reason to be concerned.

However, upon me informing them that my bank is not operational on Saturdays and Sundays, I got the following reply:

"Now we have some problems on Bank transfer from EU right now.

So the Payment will be delayed one or two weeks, please be patient for this month’s payment."

I panicked. I had scheduled several payments based on their payment and we lost one family member to cancer 11 days ago, which meant much higher expenses for me and my family.

I wrote them an urgent email, but I guess because of the time zone difference, I got no reply.

I really cannot wait, one of my scheduled payments is due tomorrow. It's a bank loan.

I am also really concerned whether what the agency says is a real problem or not. I tend to become suspicious when payments are delayed just short of being due.

So, apart from reminding me not to keep all of my eggs in the same basket, is there anything else I can do to get the payment on time?


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 16:03
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Go there personally? Jun 22, 2017

If the amount is large enough and the distance between your two countries is close enough to travel to without undue expense, how about going there personally to collect cash/a check? You'd have to clear this with the agency first, of course.

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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:03
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
delayed payment Jun 22, 2017

Unfortunately there is not much you can do. "one or two weeks" sounds like the runaround. "solid agencies" do not last forever. Owners/managers change overnight. Try to explain your situation to the bank and they may give you a grace period. You might try "selling" the loan to a factoring agency or going to a collection agency. Legal action will be time consuming. If you have payments due from other agencies you might try asking them for expedited payment. This is a risk to which all translators are exposed. In the "gig economy" nothing is certain.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Ask for PayPal to be used? Jun 22, 2017

Sorana_M. wrote:
However, upon me informing them that my bank is not operational on Saturdays and Sundays, I got the following reply:

"Now we have some problems on Bank transfer from EU right now.

So the Payment will be delayed one or two weeks, please be patient for this month’s payment."

From the EU? You're in the EU, aren't you? Anyway, that apart, as (if) they're only having problems with wire transfers, they can pay by some other method. PayPal is simple, available to most, and is amazingly fast. My current record between transmitting the invoice and receiving a payment confirmation from PayPal is exactly seven minutes! I know there's a cost involved, but maybe it would be worthwhile in this case. If they stall you, you'll know that the bank isn't the cause of the problem.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Where? Jun 22, 2017

It would be helpful to know where this agency is.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:03
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Just wondering Jun 22, 2017

I wonder why you told them your bank is not operational on weekends, thereby giving them a potential excuse to delay their payment. No bank is operational on weekends but transfers and other transactions go on behind the scenes and are waiting to show up on the next banking day or the next.

That apart, is there anyone within your circle of family and friends you could temporarily borrow money from? If not, you may have to renegotiate the payments you are expected to make or accept the interest you may have to pay due to the late or missed payment. Inform them of your dilemma and see what they say.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Unless Jun 22, 2017

Unless we know what country we're talking about, this is all speculation.

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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:03
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Phone them, pester them Jun 22, 2017

Have you tried phoning them and asking for your payment? I would pester them with emails-high priority-every day so they get tired, and, finally, there is the BB. Depending on the amount this agency owes you, you could suggest payment by PayPal as Sheila suggested but if the amount is significant, maybe you can afford to lose the difference. However, it would be better than the uncertainty, the complication with the bank or not being paid at all. Good luck and let us know. Sorry for your loss and afraid this complicates things

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Don't phone, don't pester Jun 22, 2017

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Have you tried phoning them and asking for your payment? I would pester them with emails-high priority-every day so they get tired, and, finally, there is the BB. Depending on the amount this agency owes you, you could suggest payment by PayPal as Sheila suggested but if the amount is significant, maybe you can afford to lose the difference. However, it would be better than the uncertainty, the complication with the bank or not being paid at all. Good luck and let us know. Sorry for your loss and afraid this complicates things


Over the years quite a few agencies and private clients have tried not to pay me. So far, none of them has succeeded.

Based on that experience, my advice (contrary to what Josephine suggests) is don't phone, don't pester.

Send them one final email and then terminate all contact with them - and never respond to any more emails you may receive from them.

Your final email should be very short and polite. It should say

"Dear Sirs,

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

As confirmed in our previous correspondence, you owe me the sum of €XXXX.XX.

Unless I receive payment in full of said amount, confirmed by my bank, within 7 (seven) calendar days from this message, further action may follow without notice.

Yours sincerely

Sorana M".

Then wait. NEVER send them any more emails. Don't call them. Let them think. They know what may happen if they don't pay.

While you're waiting use these forums to find a lawyer in the same city, or as close to it as possible, as the city where the agency is located. Make contact with this lawyer and discuss (initially, without making any committment) what action the lawyer would take to (a) recover the debt owed to you (b) obtain payment of additional damages for the trouble you have been caused (c) obtain reimbursement of all your legal costs.

If you don't receive the money within 7 days, instruct your lawyer to proceed.

DO NOT CONTACT THE AGENCY EVER AGAIN. If you do, you will be compromising your own position.



[Edited at 2017-06-22 16:11 GMT]


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Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member
German to English
+ ...
I agree with Tom Jun 22, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Have you tried phoning them and asking for your payment? I would pester them with emails-high priority-every day so they get tired, and, finally, there is the BB. Depending on the amount this agency owes you, you could suggest payment by PayPal as Sheila suggested but if the amount is significant, maybe you can afford to lose the difference. However, it would be better than the uncertainty, the complication with the bank or not being paid at all. Good luck and let us know. Sorry for your loss and afraid this complicates things


Over the years quite a few agencies and private clients have tried not to pay me. So far, none of them has succeeded.

Based on that experience, my advice (contrary to what Josephine suggests) is don't phone, don't pester.

Send them one final email and then terminate all contact with them - and never respond to any more emails you may receive from them.

Your final email should be very short and polite. It should say

"Dear Sirs,

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

As confirmed in our previous correspondence, you owe me the sum of €XXXX.XX.

Unless I receive payment in full of said amount, confirmed by my bank, within 7 (seven) calendar days from this message, further action may follow without notice.

Yours sincerely

Sorana M".

Then wait. NEVER send them any more emails. Don't call them. Let them think. They know what may happen if they don't pay.

While you're waiting use these forums to find a lawyer in the same city, or as close to it as possible, as the city where the agency is located. Make contact with this lawyer and discuss (initially, without making any committment) what action the lawyer would take to (a) recover the debt owed to you (b) obtain payment of additional damages for the trouble you have been caused (c) obtain reimbursement of all your legal costs.

If you don't receive the money within 7 days, instruct your lawyer to proceed.

DO NOT CONTACT THE AGENCY EVER AGAIN. If you do, you will be compromising your own position.



[Edited at 2017-06-22 16:11 GMT]


only, before the final message, I would offer them the possibility to pay via PayPal. If they reject your offer, then send the final message described by Tom.
Your present situation is unenviable. Try to negotiate with your bank and show them your agreement with the client as a proof that you will be able to cover the debt in the future. I don't see anything else you can do:(


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Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 17:03
Member (2016)
English to German
Go to your bank Jun 22, 2017

I think you have two problems here.

One, you fear (with good reason) that you will not be paid soon and you fear (with probably not so good reason) that you will be not be paid at all.

Two, you have payments scheduled with you bank for tomorrow that you cannot make if you do not receive the money of the agency tomorrow.

I think you have to deal with both problems separately. Whatever you do with problem one, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to sort it out with the agency so quickly that problem two goes away. At least there is no advice we can give you here to make your agency pay so fast now; the question if your agency will pay at all is an entirely different one and could be sorted out later.

Therefore, you have to deal with problem two in a different way. The only thing you can do is go to your bank and either have the payments postponed or get some short-term credit to meet these payments. That's what banks are for. If you can prove your outstanding payment, this might convince the bank already. Talk to your bank. Ask them what you can do.

There might be lots of useful advice for later, how to avoid situations like these in the future, but right now you need an ad hoc solution.


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 18:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
China Jun 22, 2017

The agency is located in China. I live in Romania.

I have already asked for the use of PayPal. They use PayPal for small amounts and direct bank transfer for larger amounts.

I didn't receive any reply to my payment-related emails.

What I did receive was a small file containing comments related to one of my previous jobs, which I have to approve/reject by tonight.

I'm terribly upset and sad, I can't focus on anything else but what to do with those scheduled payments of mine.


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 18:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My bank Jun 22, 2017

I will go to my bank tomorrow morning and see what I can do there.

I cannot help wonder whether they would have informed me at all if I hadn't contacted them first concerning the payment matter.

On June 14th they confirmed they would pay on time. Today they said they wouldn't, because of the bank transfer issue.

I cannot phone them anyway, my mobile phone subscription plan does not include calls outside of the EU.

Like I said, I have already asked them to use PayPal. No reply so far. With PayPal, I lose money every time I receive and withdraw money from my PayPal account to my card. But that's not important right now. I really need them to pay me.

[Edited at 2017-06-22 19:33 GMT]


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 18:03
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I told them that... Jun 22, 2017

For the time being, I have informed them I will not accept any other jobs, unless the matter is solved immediately.

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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:03
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Sad Story Jun 22, 2017

Sorana_M. wrote:

Hi, all.

I was looking forward to receiving an important payment by June 25th. The agency I have worked with has excellent reviews on the BlueBoard here. There is a formal agreement between me and them in force as well.

I had no reason to be concerned.

However, upon me informing them that my bank is not operational on Saturdays and Sundays, I got the following reply:

"Now we have some problems on Bank transfer from EU right now.

So the Payment will be delayed one or two weeks, please be patient for this month’s payment."

I panicked. I had scheduled several payments based on their payment and we lost one family member to cancer 11 days ago, which meant much higher expenses for me and my family.

I wrote them an urgent email, but I guess because of the time zone difference, I got no reply.

I really cannot wait, one of my scheduled payments is due tomorrow. It's a bank loan.

I am also really concerned whether what the agency says is a real problem or not. I tend to become suspicious when payments are delayed just short of being due.

So, apart from reminding me not to keep all of my eggs in the same basket, is there anything else I can do to get the payment on time?


Please don't take this the wrong way, but after reading your sad story (condolences by the way), I think you haven't got your affairs in order when you can't wait for another 2 weeks, especially when everyting depends on just one payment. You should have built in some kind of buffer. Sorry to put it so bluntly. But your question was: 'What can I do?' Waiting!



[Edited at 2017-06-22 22:49 GMT]


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