Late payments
Thread poster: Gregory Lassale

Gregory Lassale  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
Member (2019)
English to French
Nov 28, 2018

Hello,

Wondering you all do when payments are late. Do you send your client(s) a reminder the very first day payment is late? Give it more time, and if so how lone? I've been working on a series of jobs for an agency. First payment was on time. Second time arrived 1-2 days after net 30 deadline. Another was due 2 days ago but I am still waiting. More are in the pipeline. I am not too worried because so far I've had a great relationship with this agency, but it made me wonder what ot
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Hello,

Wondering you all do when payments are late. Do you send your client(s) a reminder the very first day payment is late? Give it more time, and if so how lone? I've been working on a series of jobs for an agency. First payment was on time. Second time arrived 1-2 days after net 30 deadline. Another was due 2 days ago but I am still waiting. More are in the pipeline. I am not too worried because so far I've had a great relationship with this agency, but it made me wonder what other people's default process is in this type of situation.

Thanks for the input.

GL
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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:24
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
2 months Nov 28, 2018

In a nutshell, I start nagging after 2 months. First I send them a 'friendly' reminder (please pay within 5 working days), then I send them a 'less friendly' reminder (please pay asap) and as last resort I tell them that if the payment is not on my account the next day, I am forced to make use of the plattforms available to us translators (and there are quite a few of them).

PS) First reminder mostly works.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:24
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Reminders Nov 28, 2018

I send out reminders at the end of each month. However, if a client is less than 30 days from delivery I don't send a reminder. I find most clients pay at around the 45-50 day mark, regardless of terms. As long as they are fairly consistent I don't mind. It's when a client suddenly delays uncharacteristically that I start to worry.

Dan Lucas
Michele Fauble
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Gregory Nov 28, 2018

My behavior and my reaction depend on the client: if it is a long-standing customer who has been paying like clockwork I’ll do nothing if a payment is late just a few days and I’ll send a friendly reminder a week later; if it is a regular client who always needs a reminder (I have one of those, pays a high rate but is extremely disorganized) I’ll do it on the 1st day after the invoice is due…

Balvir Chand
Anastasia Kingsley Kinkusic
ahartje
Ricki Farn
Anna Augustin
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some freelancers are clearly very free with their credit Nov 28, 2018

I would never let things go for months, I must say.

For a new client or one with a poor payment record (who I haven't yet sacked), I'll send a first polite reminder within just a few days. A second, more formal one would follow a week or so later. After that I'd escalate to the final demand, sent by post. But I don't stick to a rigid pattern as it depends on client attitude, the amount due, etc.

My regular clients all pay regularly. I send them invoices on the last day
... See more
I would never let things go for months, I must say.

For a new client or one with a poor payment record (who I haven't yet sacked), I'll send a first polite reminder within just a few days. A second, more formal one would follow a week or so later. After that I'd escalate to the final demand, sent by post. But I don't stick to a rigid pattern as it depends on client attitude, the amount due, etc.

My regular clients all pay regularly. I send them invoices on the last day of the month, for payment during the following month. One or two clearly also do their admin on the last day - meaning that they only kick off payment then and it may take a day or two to get to me. But as long as it's only that, it's fine with me. Occasionally, one of my best clients and fast payers will stay silent. I tend to leave them another month and then mention it when I send the next invoice. That usually results in both invoices being paid immediately with apologies as it was just an oversight. I find my December invoices, sent 31/12 often get overlooked .
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Josephine Cassar
 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:24
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Friendly reminder - second firmer reminder - warning - final demand Nov 28, 2018

I generally send a friendly reminder when an invoice is 7-10 days overdue. Some clients have their own payment schedule that they run on. If they are regular payers, I allow them to pay on their own schedule. So if I have a client always pays me 10 days late (but always pays), I don't send any reminders until the 17th day comes. But I would never send a reminder as early as 1-3 days overdue.

Then I give it a week (so now we are at 15-17 days overdue), at which point if no payment ha
... See more
I generally send a friendly reminder when an invoice is 7-10 days overdue. Some clients have their own payment schedule that they run on. If they are regular payers, I allow them to pay on their own schedule. So if I have a client always pays me 10 days late (but always pays), I don't send any reminders until the 17th day comes. But I would never send a reminder as early as 1-3 days overdue.

Then I give it a week (so now we are at 15-17 days overdue), at which point if no payment has been received I send a second reminder that is a little more assertive in its wording. I request payment within seven days and encourage them to contact me by phone or email if there is a problem. I point out that any future project requests may have to be declined until the account is settled.

Around the 30 days overdue mark, I usually call the client and try to get them to give me a firm date as to when I can expect payment. If we agree on a date, I wait until that date, and then call them again the day after that if payment is not received.

If the phone calls are unsuccessful or I feel I'm being given the run-around, I send a warning. Now I request immediate payment and warn them that the next step will be legal action. I tell them that I won't be accepting any further project requests until the account is settled.

And finally, around the 45 days overdue mark, I send an official final demand notice by recorded delivery (registered post) and make it clear that the next step is a lawsuit and they will be liable for additional fees if that happens.

If nothing has happened by 60 days overdue, I file in small claims court. I've only ever had to do that once, and it worked a treat. The client settled their account really fast in an effort to get me to drop my claim.

That's generally my approach, and I've had success with it when dealing with difficult payers. I wouldn't describe a client who only pays a few days late as a "difficult payer" though!
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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:24
German to English
Varying payment schedules Nov 28, 2018

Mildred (or Fred) in the back office doesn't care what you specify on your invoice. Most agencies don't want to be sending payments all month, and have developed policies that make paying translators a manageable process. Some pay on or around the 15th of the month, others on or around the 30th, based on when the invoice is received. Sometimes this results in a net 45-day payment. Many US-based agencies still pay by check, and the Postal Service can contribute delayed payments, especially at thi... See more
Mildred (or Fred) in the back office doesn't care what you specify on your invoice. Most agencies don't want to be sending payments all month, and have developed policies that make paying translators a manageable process. Some pay on or around the 15th of the month, others on or around the 30th, based on when the invoice is received. Sometimes this results in a net 45-day payment. Many US-based agencies still pay by check, and the Postal Service can contribute delayed payments, especially at this time of the year. Figuring out the client's payment rhythm will contribute to your peace of mind.Collapse


 

Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 03:24
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
I do this Nov 29, 2018

on the very next day after the payment deadline indicated in an invoice. People had 15/30/etc. days to make the payment, why wait more?

Josephine Cassar
Anna Augustin
 


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