UK agency payment
Thread poster: Srini Venkataraman

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 03:14
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
Feb 27

After waiting for so long, last week I had asked for a rate increase to UK agency. My rate is in GBP. I lost about 20% after brexit and USD to GBP came down from 1.65 to 1.40. Having worked for last 2 years, it is also time to raise rates. The agency declined. Have you raised rates within last 2 years to existing UK agencies, if so when did you implement and any other thoughts.Thanks in advance.

 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:14
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Brexit is a bad excuse Feb 27

I would avoid using Brexit as your excuse for raising rates; it is precisely because of Brexit that many British companies will be hard pressed to accept any price increases. We have no idea what our economy is going to look like in the coming years. So your reason for raising rates is actually also their reason for rejecting that proposal.

If you think it's time to increase your rates then do it and see what happens. You can only try. Of course existing clients might decline. In this case you can call their bluff, if you think they need you more than they need the lower rate, and wait to see if they come back to you anyway and ultimately accept your increased rate. Or if you think they don't need you that much, you can offer to compromise with a slightly lower rate that is still higher than your existing rate. So, if you work for 100 now but you want 120 and the client refuses, offer to meet in the middle at 110 and at least you still walk away with something extra.


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:14
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Title Feb 27

Hi Srini, the title is a bit misleading. You are not asking about an agency which has not paid but about how to go about telling an agency that you want to raise your rates due to Brexit or, rather if other translators raised their rates. I don't know if you can change or edit the title now. Bear in mind that the agency may find another translator-are you ready for that if that agency had been giving you a lot of work? You might still have to face the same rate issue with any other agency in the UK which might also be facing the same problems-i.e. loss of income due to Brexit- you are facing.

[Edited at 2018-02-27 15:24 GMT]


 

Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:14
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Consider charging in USD? Feb 27

You are not losing out because of Brexit but because of the unfavourable exchange rate and because you are charging in GBP. Brexit may well be the reason for the weak pound but it is not the reason why you are losing out. So don't use Brexit as an excuse, but I think you can very well use the exchange rate as a reason for a necessary rate increase. (Even though exchange rates fluctuate all the time and you probably have benefitted from a more favourable exchange rate in the past.)

Another idea, though: Why not move to charging and invoicing in USD (your home currency)? That way you'd no longer be affected by exchange rate fluctuations. Of course, not all clients like paying in foreign currency but it might be easier to sell than a GBP rate increase.


 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 03:14
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the input Feb 27

Thanks Josephine/Angela for your inputs.
Since GBP to USD conversion and the commission by paypal also takes away about 6-8%, I think I will walk away, since the raise has been declined.


 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 03:14
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Thomas Feb 27

That is a good work around. That way the rate will not be affected by paypal exchange rates.
Let me contact the agency. My rates were set in early 2006 and was reasonable at that time and not excessive.

[Edited at 2018-02-27 15:43 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:14
Member (2008)
French to English
Raising rates Feb 27

I have rarely had success in raising rates for an existing client. More successful has been finding new clients that pay more. A given client is working in a given economic context and most commonly is not in a position to accept higher rates.

However, clients are all over the map. There are low-rate clients and then there are high-end clients that expect to pay a high price (for top quality work, of course).


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:14
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It is always difficult to raise rates Feb 27

I have sometimes sent a mail telling a client that they are the lowest-paying among those I work for. (When it is true, of course.)

One or two have agreed to an increase, although one was expanding rapidly and soon introduced so many discounts, new PMs and tight deadlines that I dropped them for other reasons.

If you have not raised your rates since 2006, that might be a good argument. I have raised mine appreciably since then, especially in GBP, but as John Fossey says, it is easier to quote a higher rate to a new client than to raise it with an existing client.

Press the point that you deliver quality and value for money. I am afraid the British economy is going to be under pressure for a good few years to come, but if they want to trade with the world outside the EU, they need quality translations. Use that kind of reason, and good luck!


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:14
French to English
Working with clients outside of one's currecny zone Feb 27

Hello Srini,

You provide one example of the problems that can arise when working with clients outside of the currency zone where one is based. Exchange rates and events that neither party have any control over can turn what was an acceptable agreement into one which is no longer a good deal for one or other of the parties. There are often extra charges too, (PayPal, bank commission, transfer fees, etc.), again, something that neither party often has that much control over either.

If the tide has turned and the agreement is no longer that profitable for you, it may simply be time to let this particular client go.


 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 03:14
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Nikki Feb 28

Per Thomas's suggestion, I have mailed the company asking for payment in USD instead of GBP. Waiting for their reply.
I normally quote in USD, but some of the agencies go for GBP, Euro etc. As long as it does not hurt even after paying the paypal commission, I am ok. But in the above case, theirs was the lowest rate I was handling.

Of course, of late I am focusing on US based agencies, and trying for more work from canada/australia who pay me in USD thru paypal so exchange rate is not a factor.


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:14
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Rate raise Feb 28

I think you should have raised your rate for this agency long ago. You kept the same rate you started with in 2006-that does not give the right message to the agency concerned though they know your worth now so they are gambling you'll stick with the same rate. Besides, it is a bad time to raise your rates for them now, I expect, amidst this uncertainty.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Taking the mickey Feb 28

John Fossey wrote:
A given client is working in a given economic context and most commonly is not in a position to accept higher rates.


They might argue that but it cannot be true. Inflation wouldn't happen if it were.

Inflation is the reason why your prices go up and also the reason why they can still afford to pay you!


 


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