How to ask for my payment if a US translation company does not pay after four months ?
Thread poster: cn ztqk

cn ztqk
China
New user
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jun 6

Help is needed, for a US translation company refuses to pay me total amount of $655, and since the beginning of my trial translation to formal projects, the company did not pay even one penny to me.

Among the total amount of $655, first part ($550 of invoice No. 2018020801) includes payment for all projects (from December, 2016 till February 2018) that I have on-time delivered which is for some other clients (not the angry client as later mentioned) and of which the invoice has been submitted for four months;

second part ($105 of invoice No. 2018031801), which is the resulted amount after deduction of translation fee of a 2.5-day late delivered file from an original amount of $372, and of which the invoice has been submitted for almost three months. This part is job for another client, who was angry with the 2.5-day late delivery as the translation company said.

Both parts do not have translation quality problems.

Now the translation company refuses to pay the total amount of $655, and their excuse is that the angry client didn't pay the company either.

I think the excuse is unfair and unreasonable, and at least they should pay me the first part as it is payment for my on-time delivered job for other clients than the angry client.

The translation company is not in the directories of Proz. Is there any effective way to require the company to pay me as soon as possible? I have emails, delivered files and submitted invoices as evidence.

Any suggestion will be appreciated.

[Edited at 2018-06-07 04:36 GMT]


 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:24
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Create Blue Board record and then submit LWA Jun 7

Create a Blue Board record and then submit an LWA (Likelihood to Work Again). Make sure you include a (brief) explanation of the issues in your LWA.

Here is the link for creating a BB record: https://www.proz.com/blueboard/?sp_mode=add


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
French to English
Suggestions Jun 7

Instead of thinking ins terms of "asking" for payment, at this stage you should be "demanding payment".

Quality problems or not, you were asked to do a job, the company received the job they ordered. Furthermore, the translation company is responsible to the end client, so they are responsible for making sure that the final version sent to the client is of good quality. translation companies are not just "translator-end client" dating agencies; they have a responsibility which is why they take their percentage. if they do not make sufficient quality checks before forwarding the work, it's their problem. If they are not competent to make sufficient checks in a particular language, a risk that some agencies do take, then if that backfires, it is also their problem.

Refer back to my first paragraph and then consider this : your contract is with the agency. They ordered a job, you completed the job. You must be paid for it upon the terms agreed. If they do not pay you, the agency is in breach of contract.

(There may be other responsibilities, in tort for example, but the basic contractual idea is as stated).

However, from a practical level, you may need to seek legal help, but the cost of recovering your due may exceed the cost of what you are owed. It is one of the reasons why I avoid working with clients outside of Europe, where I am based. Cost of recovering sums due is inevitably more expensive when the defaulter is not in the same country / jurisdiction. It's no longer a risk I am prepared to take.

[Edited at 2018-06-07 15:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-06-07 15:44 GMT]


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
+ with Nikky Jun 7

I agree with all Nicky said. I add that the translation agency should have checked your work and asked you to amend if there were mistakes. Don't accept less. it's their responsibility if they did not have proper working practices in place and they should not penalise you for that. a good translation agency will not penalise but will expect you to make the necessary changes even at short notice but you are still entitled to payment without deduction.Create a BB entry to warn others.

 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:24
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Payment from US translation company Jun 8

The translation business can be cruel. However, you have delivered two translations each two-and-one-half days late. I am not surprised that the end-client is angry and declines to pay. There are some clients (such as law firms) who would bring legal action against the agency for such lateness. Realistically, all you can claim is the USD 550.00 for the translations "on-time delivered". That said, I think that the agency's overall attitude towards you has been poisoned by your lateness and they are not inclined to pay even the USD 550.00. Were you located in the US, you could take the agency to Small Claims Court. Unfortunately you do not have this option given your location on the other side of the Pacific. It's best to start out with other new clients and deliver on time. Lateness is faute grave in the translation industry and agencies are unforgiving.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
When in Rome... Jun 8

This page should give you an idea of what it could cost you to collect in the American way:
https://stevensricci.com/fee-schedule/

The remainder of their site has other solutions, including a DIY kit:
https://stevensricci.com/business-collection-tips/

For the record, I don't know them, never contacted them, never used their services, and don't know anyone who has. I just found some good ideas on their web site. This is NOT advertising.


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:24
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
always check payment record of an agency Jun 9

cn ztqk wrote:

The translation company is not in the directories of Proz.


You should never agree to a job (without prepayment) for a company that has no record of payment either on Proz's Blue Board or some equivalent site or listserv. When I occasionally do so, I ask for full or partial payment in advance. You should also google the name of the company and see if complaints like this one come up.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:24
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
As Michael reminds us ... Jun 11

... and the OP admits, the translation was delivered late. While I don't think this deserves no payment at all, a deal is a deal. If it was for a big event or whatever, it could well have put a spanner in the works. Then again, maybe it wasn't urgent at all, but end customer is trying to pull a fast one.

 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:24
Member (2004)
English to Italian
yes and no... Jun 11

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... and the OP admits, the translation was delivered late. While I don't think this deserves no payment at all, a deal is a deal. If it was for a big event or whatever, it could well have put a spanner in the works. Then again, maybe it wasn't urgent at all, but end customer is trying to pull a fast one.


One translation out of several was delivered late and a penalty was imposed (amount x deducted from invoice due to late delivery)... the agency is refusing to pay now, and it has no reason since the penalty has already been deducted and there are no quality complaints...


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
French to English
On the subject of late delivery Jun 11

I had overlooked the fact that you delivered late on one of the jobs. Late delivery can be extremely complicated for the agency to handle. A decent contract with a decent agency will provide for that situation. Note that good agencies will allow for late delivery, unless the job is urgent.

Your contract should state :
- that if you are likely to deliver late, you must contact them immediately
- that there may be financial penalties if you do not deliver on time
- those penalties should be detailed

Delivering two and a half days late means that you have breached a fundamental term of the contract. You were to be paid for delivering a particular translation by a particular time and you did not deliver according to the terms of the agreement. However, if the agency accepted the translation and passed it onto their client, the client cannot use it unless it is paid for. As the agency passed it on to the client, it means that they (the agency) at least, accepted it, so they should pay you, whether or not the client pays. Nevertheless, it would make sense to accept a reduced amount as you delivered very late. If a penalty has been applied, then the amount remaining due should be paid. After all, the agency did use the work. They may just have to absorb the loss, but that's their problem.

P.S. I don't think they'll contact you for work again and I also think it may be complicated getting your money and it may simply be prohibitively expensive to do so.

[Edited at 2018-06-11 11:50 GMT]


 


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


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

How to ask for my payment if a US translation company does not pay after four months ?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



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