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About to work for a dubious client... too late or... ?
Thread poster: Philippe Noth

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bad advice Aug 8

Tom in London wrote:

Send this message:

"Dear XXXX

As agreed, please find the translation attached together with my invoice in the amount of XXXX. My full bank details are given on the invoice.

I note that according to the BlueBoard at Proz.com, you have a very poor record of not paying or paying very late.

Please be advised that unless I receive payment in full into my bank account within 30 calendar days from today's date, action may follow without further notice.

Regards

Philippe"

Then say nothing more. Do not reply to any emails they may send you. Keep absolutely quiet for 30 days. Complete silence on your part will convince the agency that they should pay. They will know perfectly well what *might* happen if they don't. And they won't get any notice of it!



We are talking about an agency that has already proved itself to be a serial violator of agreements it has entered into with its contractors. So I don't think that such an e-mail will scare them. Furthermore, if Philippe takes your advice, he will likely spend the next 30 days wondering if he will be paid, probably not get paid after the 30 days, and then end up dealing with the aggravation of having to write threatening letters that are likely to prove every bit as toothless as the original one you suggest above. All this for a "small job."

For similar reasons, I don't like the idea of proceeding with the translation and then sending it in a password-protected file.

Don't play games with such people. Just don't deal with them. Period.


Ricardo Suin
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:33
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Too late Aug 8

Robert Forstag wrote:

Don't play games with such people. Just don't deal with them. Period.


Too late. Philippe has already done the translation and as has been pointed out by Angus (a legal expert), has already entered into a contract. And what I am suggesting is not a game. It is a way of being sure that payment will be made.

[Edited at 2018-08-08 16:27 GMT]


Thao Tran
Josephine Cassar
 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:33
Serbian to English
+ ...
Wake up and land on Earth ... Aug 8

Angus Stewart wrote:

I am afraid that you are in a position whereby you have contractually agreed to deliver this translation, so to keep yourself on the right side of the law you should implement your contractual obligations. The fact that they do not appear to treat other translators well makes no difference in this regard. If you now refuse to deliver or attempt to add an extra contractual term unilaterally by insisting upon payment before delivery that is very unprofessional on your part and the agency concerned would be justified in giving you a bad review.


Try telling that to a bank that agreed to give you a loan, and then discovered your credit rating is not exactly the best one. "yes, sir three bags full, please come and take your loan" will certainly be their reaction?

Or a far less hypothetical example, if you discovered that the builder you contracted to renovate your house is in the habit of vanishing half-way through the job together with most of the advance, you would certainly follow your own advice to the letter and give him the agreed advance, no matter what he has already done to other clients?

No need to answer, it was just a rhetorical question.

That's exactly what crooks / cheats and other assorted "businessmen" count on. Rights exist only on their side, until they have to deal with someone "impolite" enough to remind them that it goes both ways ...

As for a bad review from an agency with such a low "credit rating", anyone with a half functioning brain cell would know what it's worth - to be taken with a shovelful of salt ....

[Edited at 2018-08-09 14:34 GMT]


 

Philippe Noth  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 15:33
Member (2015)
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Outcome: I played and lost (but it was close) Aug 10

It is interesting to read all the various opinions here. Most of your advice came after the story was over because my original idea was indeed to handle like Sheila wrote: deliver quickly and let them one working day for money matters.

It was like a poker game. I think I started with the best hand...

The translation took 2 hours. I did not deliver a password protected file but a JPG of the translated document, telling them about their repeated breaches of agreement re: payment terms. Since I delivered early morning, they had the whole day to organize a Paypal payment.

I say it was close because the (friendly) PM wrote back in the morning telling that they needed the text badly and they would make an exception. They would organize payment on the same day and she gave me access to the platform for invoicing.

Now comes the part where I played poorly: I needed sleep and did not react quickly enough to assist them with the payment issues.

At around noon, when they got my Paypal address, the PM wrote something confusing (lost in translation ?):

Since you delivered just a proof of translation, and not the translation itself, we are going to pay according to our terms. Despite the fact that we were ready to do you a favor and pay today. Our proofreader did all converting and formating.

A strange answer: if they give translators who did a good work for them so much trouble when paying, why would they pay me ? I don't expect to be paid at all, and she could have told me bluntly, I would have understood.

I wonder what they did in the end. Did someone really took the pain to transcribe text from the JPG ?

Anthony was right. We probably both lost here, the agency and me. So...
Robert Forstag wrote:
Don't play games with such people. Just don't deal with them. Period.


[Edited at 2018-08-10 03:57 GMT]


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:33
Spanish to French
+ ...
So in a nutshell... Aug 17

you wasted a lot of people's time...

Lucky you, you don't have a Blueboard!!


Tom in London
Richard Purdom
 

Philippe Noth  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 15:33
Member (2015)
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the nice words Aug 17

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

you wasted a lot of people's time...

Lucky you, you don't have a Blueboard!!

I am sorry to have made you spend your precious time. Did you contribute to this thread ? Ah no, I see you did not.

If you have rates for forum reading, please send me your invoice.

I have met a lot of wonderful and helpful people here and in real life among translators. But I guess, like in every community, there are exceptions.

Philippe (saddened)


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
experts Aug 17

Philippe Noth wrote:

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

you wasted a lot of people's time...

Lucky you, you don't have a Blueboard!!


If you have rates for forum reading, please send me your invoice.


Philippe (saddened)


Yes, there are experts here, and their fee is 180 euros/hour.
So beware! But I guess that in Switzerland it's a very small sum of money

[Modifié le 2018-08-17 13:12 GMT]

[Modifié le 2018-08-17 13:22 GMT]

[Modifié le 2018-08-17 13:23 GMT]


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:33
Serbian to English
+ ...
They didn't need ... Aug 18

Philippe Noth wrote:

Did someone really took the pain to transcribe text from the JPG ?



Probably not, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is getting better and better - they probably used the picture as input for some decent OCR software that converted it into a text file in few minutes, if not seconds.


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:33
Serbian to English
+ ...
Really? Aug 19

Christophe Delaunay wrote:

you wasted a lot of people's time...

Lucky you, you don't have a Blueboard!!


If you don't mind, I'm the one deciding if my time was wasted or not - speak for yourself.


 

SafeTex
France
Local time: 15:33
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
You apply your terms Sep 14

Hello Philippe

You said the agreement was very informal by email

In that case, there is no legal or moral obligation that stops you from applying your terms which are "payment before delivery for clients with low BlueBoard ratings".


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:33
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
cliffhanger! Sep 15

Philippe Noth wrote:

At around noon, when they got my Paypal address, the PM wrote something confusing (lost in translation ?):

Since you delivered just a proof of translation, and not the translation itself, we are going to pay according to our terms. Despite the fact that we were ready to do you a favor and pay today. Our proofreader did all converting and formating.



If the agency has a reputation for messing good translators around that means that's precisely what they're going to do to you.
So when is payment due?


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:33
French to English
Time limit for payment once overdue. Sep 15

Tom in London wrote:

Send this message:

"Dear XXXX

As agreed, please find the translation attached together with my invoice in the amount of XXXX. My full bank details are given on the invoice.

I note that according to the BlueBoard at Proz.com, you have a very poor record of not paying or paying very late.

Please be advised that unless I receive payment in full into my bank account within 30 calendar days from today's date, action may follow without further notice.

Regards

Philippe"

Then say nothing more. Do not reply to any emails they may send you. Keep absolutely quiet for 30 days. Complete silence on your part will convince the agency that they should pay. They will know perfectly well what *might* happen if they don't. And they won't get any notice of it!



I agree with the principle of being minimalist. However, I give much shorter time limits, no more than 10 days (for the sum to appear as a credit entry on my account). I also avoid using terms such as "may" here and prefer "will". And then I take the action, here via the appropriate small claims procedure. It would be an efficient use of time. If the company is actually unable to pay, I don't want to wait 30 days before springing into action. I want to know ASAP, in order to decide whether to formalise the claim (in some vain hope of being able to recover something in the event of a liquidation) or to set it aside.

I did once receive a couple of hundred euros after my client had gone bankrupt. It was a percentage of what I was owed, but it was better than nothing.

This is just for general info as I see the situation has been sorted out.icon_wink.gif

P.S. I love the idea that a client does one a "favour" by paying its supplier. LOL.

[Edited at 2018-09-15 10:00 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:33
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Favours Sep 15

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I love the idea that a client does one a "favour" by paying its supplier. LOL.

TBF, the favour is paying ahead of delivery for this particular translator.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:33
Member (2008)
French to English
You're not finished with them Sep 15

You still have one ace up your sleeve - your copyright.

Why not let the matter sit until 30 days or so have passed, then, if they don't pay, inform them that since they haven't paid you retain the copyright to the translation and neither they nor their client have the right to use it. The copyright applies to the work, not the format (text vs. image).

Also, any NDA you signed (or that might be understood) is in breach of contract if the translation has not been paid for, and therefore no longer applies.


 
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