American agency not paying for jobs.
Thread poster: Yasuyuki Arai

Yasuyuki Arai  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jan 11

Happy New Year,

But my New Year was not very happy because I had a non-payment from an American outsourcer.
Last October, I submitted some jobs via memoQ to their server (not via e-mail, which makes it difficult). And at the end of the same month, as I tried to send an invoice for the job, that I had to create and send on their translator's portal site, I found that all my job history was erased from theit portal.
I sent some e-mails to them for recovery of the data, they did not answer.
But a few days ago, almost 2 months after the delivery of the jobs, finally someone from them answered to my e-mail. But she said that the PM of that project "never heard from you and you never delivered the translation" and "we cannot approve any type of payment as the project was not completed in time".

But I did send the files. Even if the filed had not arrive them for some technical problem, the PM should have sent me a e-mail urging delivery after the due date was passed. But I did not receive any e-mail from the PM.

So I tried to file a LWA (Likelihood of Working Again) feedback entry on Blue Board with poor score, as many other unpaid translators did to make their outsourcers to pay. But Proz rejected my entry because my entry was not in line with a Blue Board rule - it must be for the work completed in full and delivered on time.

I guess Proz believed what the outsourcer said and rejected my entry.

As I did not submit the works via e-mail, I do not have any good evidence to prove that I completed the jobs and delivered them on time.
I tired to find any transmission log on memoQ, but the log folder of my memoQ was empty.

I am not located in U.S. so it is difficult to file a lawsuit against them.

Is there any good idea?


 

Thao Tran
Vietnam
Local time: 23:22
Member (2017)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
No worry Jan 11

Hi,

I faced a similar issue with an UK agency and their platform last year.

I simply said I would ask the UK Consulate in Vietnam as well as Vietnam Consulate in UK for their assistance on the matter.

Client paid in less than 24 hours.

No worry, you'll be paid EXACTLY for what you did.

All the best,
Thao


Joe Ly Sien
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Submission Jan 11

Happy New Year to you too, Yasuyuki.

These agency platform are sometimes quite tricky, so in case work, properly and on time submitted, disappears, the PM should have indeed contacted you for late delivery. To my knowledge all customers do.

In case this happens again, you can also send an email requesting the confirmation of the received file(s), but only if you think that something might have gone wrong, or when you see that your records have disappeared on their platform. Then you can always send them the files via email. Even if they don't reply, you have at least proof of submission. However, don't wait two months before you (re-)act.

I hope things will work out for your and you finally get paid for your work.

Best,
Thayenga


 

Yasuyuki Arai  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
US consulate Jan 11

Hi Thao,

Thank you so much for great advice.
I never thought that U.S. consulate would help.
Though I have asked Proz for further support to this matter, I would try U.S. consulate if Proz would not change their mind.


Thao Tran
 

Yasuyuki Arai  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 11

Hi Thayenga,

Thank you for your great advice.
It would help me when I have a new client.


 

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:22
French to English
+ ...
Japanese consulates in US Jan 11

Hi: Sorry for this problem. I assume you live in Japan. Here's a list of Japanese consulates in the U.S.

http://www.law.temple.edu/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Temple-Law-Japanese-Consulates-in-the-United-States.pdf

It's divided by region, with a particular Japanese consulate covering xxxx states, another covering xxxxx states, etc.

It doesn't seem to have emails, which may mean it's just dated a bit. I'd find which consulate you want to communicate with about the problem on the list and then find them on the Web, which probably has some email addresses.

Good luck.


 

Paweł Hamerski
Local time: 17:22
English to Polish
+ ...
US Consulate will not help but the threat Jan 11

may

Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
Kevin Fulton
 

Sarah Lewis-Morgan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:22
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Not helpful at the moment but... Jan 11

Erased because I realised I had duplicated Thayenga's suggestion.

[Edited at 2019-01-11 21:58 GMT]


 

Yasuyuki Arai  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Jan 12

For your warm supports.

 

Eva Stoppa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:22
Member
English to German
+ ...
Was there any error message? Jan 14

When you uploaded your translation to their system, there must have been some kind of confirmation, and if, as they claim, it didn't get through, then you would have gotten some kind of error message telling you that something went wrong. I assume there was no error message and nobody asked for the translation, so everything went smoothly. If they didn't get your translation, they weren't able to deliver to their client either. In such a case, they'd drfinitely contact you and be it just to make you pay for what the client would have paid if they had gotten their translation.

It all looks to me like an attempt not to pay. So don't give up and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!


Yasuyuki Arai
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Yasuyuki Jan 14

Yasuyuki Arai wrote:
So I tried to file a LWA (Likelihood of Working Again) feedback entry on Blue Board with poor score ... but Proz rejected my entry because ... it must be for the work completed "in full and delivered on time". I guess Proz believed what the outsourcer said and rejected my entry.


Yes, ProZ.com errs on the side of caution when it comes to the Blue Board.

You can post your review to some of the other blacklisting groups:
* http://www.paymentpractices.net (register for the 7-day free trial to post your review)
* https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/wppf/info

I did send the files. Even if the files had not arrived for some technical reason, the PM should have sent me a e-mail urging delivery after the due date had passed.


I agree that the PM should have done that, but not all PMs do. Some PMs have such great faith in their computer systems that if files do not arrive, they simply assume the translator is unreliable, and they move on without reaching out. I've experienced this before, which is why I always reach out to the PM for confirmation of receipt, if I don't get any response within a day or two after delivery.

It is possible that they did not receive your files and therefore removed your job from their server. And you can't expect a PM who works with hundreds of translators to remember an individual translator. However, I can't believe that they would remove your profile from their server, even if you did not deliver (how else would they keep track of translators to avoid?). Based on your description of what had happened, something feels fishy about them.

It also sometimes happens that a single job is sent to multiple translators, and if you continue with the job without explicit confirmation, you may be doing a job that has already been accepted (in their system) by other translators. However, in this case, we're dealing with a project that is checked out via the MemoQ server, and I don't believe it's possible to check out files unless you have been assigned to them. (That said, l have one client who sends me MemoQ jobs under his own login name, which means that all translators in all languages have access to everyone else's files, since we're all logging in under the PM's own name.) Also, there is a small chance that this PM simply assigns files to all translators to "save time" but that would be extremely bad practice (I have one client who also does that... i.e. I can check out files on their system (not MemoQ) under my own login name even if I'm not the translator who finally gets the job).

[Edited at 2019-01-14 10:26 GMT]


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:22
Member (2008)
English to French
Won't help now... Jan 14

But I always "download as package" for my records, even if I end up working in the 'checked-out' version.

Also for some reason I can only create a .tmx from the TM in the downloaded version and when the project is longer I prefer to just go offline and work in Trados since it's my preferred tool.

For completely online portals (v. rare - there's usually an export option and I tend to push the PMs until I get the format I prefer, I don't mind an extra conversion task if it means I have my TMs, glossaries and grammar checker) - I still create a folder per project on my computer and take a screen shot to document completion and email the PM to confirm the project is finished. I consider it part of my due diligence and it creates a paper trail.


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:22
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
American agency not paying for jobs Jan 15

People should beware of the mammoth "global" translation agencies. One "American" agency I worked for has operations spread over Galway, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mumbai. The PMs do not communicate with one another. One PM in Mumbai told me he had not received a translation which I had uploaded three days previous. I told him to check with Hong Kong as that was the destination of the file. I was told: "That's not my job". When I contacted one PM in New York for some vital information, I was told: "I'm busy now, don't bother me". Some global agencies have day shift people, night shift people and weekend people and some don't. The various time zones can make communication a nightmare. I tried to reach one agency over a weekend and it turned out that they had no weekend coverage. Editors often include non-native speakers of English whose editing skills are less than satisfactory. After handing in one translation, the PM in Hong Kong told me: "Oh, I forgot to tell you, the client canceled". USD 1500 and three days of my time down the drain. It took four months to receive payment for another job due to problems with their invoicing system. Globalization of agencies may sound efficient but there are more negatives than positives. I worked for this American agency before it went global. Things went perfectly. There were plenty of jobs and I was paid on time. Then they went "global". After these experiences, I placed a LWA1 on the Blue Board. They keep trying to make me delete the entry. In your dreams.

Kevin Fulton
Thao Tran
 

Eva Stoppa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:22
Member
English to German
+ ...
What makes me wonder here Jan 15

is the following: If they didn't get the Translation, they couldn't serve their Client. Usually, they would ask the translator to pay them what their Client would be supposed to pay as it was the translator's fault. What about that?

 


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