Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Payment: transaction fees from the agency
Thread poster: mathildaeleonor

mathildaeleonor
Germany
Local time: 01:22
French to Swedish
+ ...
Jun 26

Hello everyone,
I am quite new at this, started freelancing some months ago (based in Sweden).

I did some tests for an agency (a legit one) and they want to hire me. After finishing all of these tests and filling in a lot of papers, they sent me this:


"Default method of payment is by check. However, payment by PayPal or wire transfer can be requested via the Web Support System.
There is a $10 fee for payments received via PayPal and a $20 fee for payments received via wire transfer.
Please note that in the United States, CHECK is the only payment method.

To avoid unnecessary fees we offer the option of applying a minimum payment threshold. This means that we can release payment once you have earned a predetermined amount (e.g. $1,000) rather than for every job completed."


I think this is insane. How can they expect that I will agree to get 20 dollars less on my job just because I want a bank transfer?
Is there some way to get past this? I was thinking, is it legit to put on my invoice an "invoice fee" of 20 dollars?

Thank you so much in advance for help.

/Mathilda


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Transferwise Jun 26

They could use Transferwise. The fee is about 1%, and they can specify the exact amount you receive in your currency. In the US, they can pay a Transferwise transaction by direct debit at no cost.

Otherwise it's for you to add and agree payment fees with them, for example 6% for PayPal. Why on earth should you pay them fees to get paid?

Domestic bank transfers can be abusively expensive in the US. That's why many in the US still use Stone Age payment: cheque. Just like the Flintstones.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andriy Yasharov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:22
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
They will not agree Jun 26

I know the agency. They are not flexible in terms of payment options and fees.

If I were you I'd agree to PayPal. Generally, they deduct a fee from the total sum of your payment.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:22
English to Russian
+ ...
Paypal is not always better than bank transfer Jun 26

If I were you I'd agree to PayPal. Generally, they deduct a fee from the total sum of your payment.


Let's do a quick comparison of Paypal and bank transfers. Paypal imposes a 3.8% cross-border fee, and it only allows withdrawals in local currency, which occur at Paypal's own exchange rate, which is also worse than at most banks. Thus, while saving $10 (plus whatever your bank charges you for an incoming transfer) by choosing Paypal, you lose at least 5% of the total payment. Thus, Paypal is only advantageous for small payments, below $200-300.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
French to English
Take care! Jun 26

I recognise this and know the agency you are referring to. They recently advertised on ProZ.
I shall be sending you a private message.

You basically filled in between 20 and 30 pages of documents, all went well and then right before the final agreement, you discover you are expected to pay their costs of paying you! You should not forget that you may well have fees and charges with your own bank for receving payments from overseas too. Why on Earth should you cover their fees too?

When I arrived at this stage in the negotiations, I said that I was not prepared to pay any part of their bank charges. They suggested that we could agree to a limit and make one payment when that limit was reached. In other words, I could do up to USD 1000 of work for them and only when I reached that amount would payment be sent. I still refused, for two reasons:
- that means they can make my money work for them
- I am still having to pay to be paid.

Also, if you look on the PayPal site, considering the amount of business they put through PayPal, they should only be paying a few cents per transaction. Whay pay USD 10?

Beware of the cost of receivng cheques from overseas. They take time to arrive, can get lost in the post, can be notoriously long to process a once received and you will still have to pay commission for the currency conversion anyway. The other possibility is that the cheque is not honoured. That is a big risk if you then have to think about taking legal proceedings against a company overseas.

I declined and said that we would not be doing business together. No regrets.

My advice would be to go no further.





[Edited at 2017-06-26 19:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-06-26 19:41 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It must be borderline legal Jun 26

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
My advice would be to go no further

Unless you're going to fight their lawyers in court (and I sincerely wish someone would), all you can do is refuse to offer your services.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
It's not insane Jun 26

mathildaeleonor wrote:
I think this is insane. How can they expect that I will agree to get 20 dollars less on my job just because I want a bank transfer?


The agency wants to use the cheapest and most convenient money transfer method. You can't blame them for that. The cheapest and most convenient method for them is cheque. If you're happy to receive cheques, then there is no problem (...but if you're in Sweden, then I don't think you want to receive cheques). If you do not want them to use the cheapest and most convenient money transfer method, but instead you personally prefer them to use a more expensive, less convenient method (e.g. bank transfer or PayPal), then don't you agree that you should be willing to help pay for your preference?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
I recognise these terms too Jun 26

This agency might be one of the biggest in the world and the amount of work they can send you is infinite.

When you're being sent $4,000/month+ from them, let's see you complain about the $10 fee lol.

They justify this payment system in terms of extra workload for their accounting staff (who are dealing with thousands of payments daily). Wire transfers require lots of extra time, PayPal requires a bit of extra time. If you don't want to be charged, accept cheque!



[Edited at 2017-06-26 23:00 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:22
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
$10 for Paypal seems reasonable Jun 27

With most clients, I can negoatiate the best payment method and sometimes we split the costs. In your case, it might be best to go with the $10 Paypal fee and set the minimum limit at $300. Paypal normally charges about 4% for international payments.
If they have a business account and make "mass payments", it apparently costs them 2% per transaction with a maximum of $20, so it seems reasonable that they want to split the costs and make the fee $10 for the recipient.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_batch-payment-overview-outside

[Edited at 2017-06-27 03:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:22
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Payment transaction fees Jun 27

I know the agency. The translator pays his/her own fee for bank wire transfer (USD 20.00) . No is no reason why the agency should add on a second fee. Drop them.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
English to Japanese
+ ...
Add 10 USD to your invoice Jun 27

As some of the people pointed out, I too know this mega-agency.
When I work with them, I automatically add an extra 10 USD to my invoice to cover the Paypal charges they deduct from my payment. So far, this has worked, and all the PMs (different everytime) agreed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:22
Serbian to English
+ ...
Once again, in which team are you playing? Jun 27

Samuel Murray wrote:

mathildaeleonor wrote:
I think this is insane. How can they expect that I will agree to get 20 dollars less on my job just because I want a bank transfer?


The agency wants to use the cheapest and most convenient money transfer method. You can't blame them for that. The cheapest and most convenient method for them is cheque. If you're happy to receive cheques, then there is no problem (...but if you're in Sweden, then I don't think you want to receive cheques). If you do not want them to use the cheapest and most convenient money transfer method, but instead you personally prefer them to use a more expensive, less convenient method (e.g. bank transfer or PayPal), then don't you agree that you should be willing to help pay for your preference?


"The agency wants to use the cheapest and most convenient money transfer method. You can't blame them for that."

Yes, you can. Unless you are playing in their team.

That shows their basic attitude to professionals without whom they wouldn't last a micro-second, the message being: "our interests come first, and who cares about you".

On top of that, the "convenience" argument is spurious.

The most efficient method of payment is by bank transfer (or any variant of electronic payment): apart from the time that is needed anyway whatever is the method of payment [thorough checking of the amount, payee, and cross referencing with invoices] all that is needed is the extremely time-consuming task of having to click "ENTER"!

Only in some kind of alternative post-logic having to print the physical cheque, to put it in a physical envelope, to print the address on the envelope, and finally having to physically deliver all the envelopes to a courier could be construed as "making savings in time and costs" [compared to having to click "ENTER"].

With US companies, it seems to be simply a case of inertia - just a habit. OTOH, the insistence on paying by cheques might be motivated by some very real "convenience" - for the one paying by cheque: the money won't be going out of the account after this "payment" for days, or even weeks if the cheque was sent abroad!

IOW to thank you for your services, they expect you to give them some more interest-free financing of their cash-flow!

Really the kind of people you would rush to do business with...




[Edited at 2017-06-27 09:35 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
French to English
I disagree Jun 27

Lianne van de Ven wrote:

With most clients, I can negoatiate the best payment method and sometimes we split the costs. In your case, it might be best to go with the $10 Paypal fee and set the minimum limit at $300. Paypal normally charges about 4% for international payments.
If they have a business account and make "mass payments", it apparently costs them 2% per transaction with a maximum of $20, so it seems reasonable that they want to split the costs and make the fee $10 for the recipient.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_batch-payment-overview-outside

[Edited at 2017-06-27 03:01 GMT]


The company concerned is one of the biggest translation agencies in the world. They have probably negotiated highly favorable terms with Paypal. If they haven't, why should a translator share the cost of payment methods? Paypal is not free for users and there are also bank charges and currency conversion fees to be taken into account.

Perhaps the solution is to say, "Yes, I'll cover half of your costs, if you cover half of mine". Work it out and you'll see that you'll be paying soem of theirs but they will not cover half of yours.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
French to English
Risky Jun 27

DJHartmann wrote:

This agency might be one of the biggest in the world and the amount of work they can send you is infinite.

When you're being sent $4,000/month+ from them, let's see you complain about the $10 fee lol.

They justify this payment system in terms of extra workload for their accounting staff (who are dealing with thousands of payments daily). Wire transfers require lots of extra time, PayPal requires a bit of extra time. If you don't want to be charged, accept cheque!



[Edited at 2017-06-26 23:00 GMT]



Their accounting staff are paid to take care of accounting. That's their problem, not the translator's. Processing a cheque takes time:
- it takes time to be received
- it can be lost in the post
- it can be rejected by the bank
- it generally costs quite a lot to process a foreign cheque (35 euros is not unusual in France, for example)
- currency conversion changes by the time you receive it

That means that the value of what is being erceived is unknown and that it might be "free" for the agency but it is highly punitive for the tanslator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:22
Member
English to French
Management fees for paying suppliers Jun 27

I don't think I know this agency, but I have usually stopped at the "lots-of-papers" or "free-test" step for similar juggernauts.

With the same reasoning, translators should set management fees for accepting work.

From what I understand, you will pay $10 of "management fees" plus 4% of Paypal fees (US>EU) plus exchange rate loss if currencies are converted.
Alternatively, bank transfers US>Europe are also notoriously expensive on both sides.
Accepting US cheques when you're in Europe is the worst option.
So doing business with the US when you're in Europe costs more money than doing business within Europe. I hope you reflected this in your rates, because you can expect up to $70 lost over the Atlantic on an average payment of a few hundreds/a thou by wire transfer or Paypal.

Their demands are simple: please let us keep our margins and have as many expenses as possible paid by you, dear vendor. I'd do exactly the same if I could find customers to accept it.
I suppose they also have an accounting/management platform that you fill in yourself so that they can save on that too, spending your own time instead of theirs.

When you don't have the means to go international and manage international suppliers, you stay local and pay by cheque, cash, or in kind, like a T-bone steak for a page. Within a 5km radius for instance, they could process payments by sending their own courier during lunch break.
There may be even a family of Scandinavian origin around to handle their jobs!

You don't like it, don't do it.
You bet on volume? Accept their requirements.
Oh, they also require discounts on volumes? Oh well, you can accept that too. After all it's only a few percents shaved off.
They pay after 60 days? No to worry, you can ask your bank a loan, just in case they're late in paying. Loans are cheap nowadays in Europe.

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Payment: transaction fees from the agency

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search