How to deal with outsorcers that always pay late
Thread poster: Frederik Klingenschmid

Frederik Klingenschmid  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Mar 21

Hi guys,

I wanted to ask, how are dealing with outsorcers, that always pay late, but where everything else is fine. I work for this one outsorcer for moren than 1 year now, where the rate is fair, the work is real fun and where I even get many projects over the year. Problem is, that payments are always made 1 week late at least, usually more than that. At first they simply made their payments later than they were due. Now (probably after many complaints) their newest "trick" is, to simply hold back the PO, sometimes for 2 weeks, knowing that you need it to be able to invoice in the translation centre. Also one time, when they invoice could finally me created and uploaded, they simply claimed, there was a word count error. So they canceled the invoice more than 1 week after the upload, which makes you create a new invoice and that one of course then also has a later pay date.
So if you have any ideas, I'd be glad to hear about it. We all know, how some outsorcers play with us, knowing that if we'd complain too much, there are always other translators happy to do our job, and it sometimes might also be the clients fault, making the outsorcers wait for their money as well. There's always the option, of course, simply to find other employers, but since I really enjoy this kind of projects, I'd be interested more in things like, if you e.g. charge reminder fees or if you know about a certain law, that would require an outsorcer to always provide the PO instantly.
Thanks for your input and have a great week all of you!!!


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:21
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Outsourcers that always pay late Mar 22

"An outsourcer that always pays late, but everything else is fine". When an outsourcer always pays late, nothing is fine. Payment will be dragged out later and later. Drop them.

mariealpilles
Vadim Kadyrov
Philippe Etienne
Chris S
Morano El-Kholy
Thayenga
Vanda Nissen
 

Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 01:21
Member (2008)
Greek to English
Drop hard Mar 22

Michael Newton wrote:

"An outsourcer that always pays late, but everything else is fine". When an outsourcer always pays late, nothing is fine. Payment will be dragged out later and later. Drop them.


Drop them and explain clearly to them why you are dropping them. Tell them it's a pity their accounts department is letting them down in this way.


Vadim Kadyrov
Morano El-Kholy
Thayenga
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:21
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Hostage payment? Mar 22

I assume they use their due payments to lure you NOT to drop them for the next job, because there is still money in the pipeline for payment? Let cross-fade the situation by pretending that you are busy, on holiday etc. and then, when all invoices are paid, go over to demand payment in advance. They may then drop YOU instead, but at least there is no more due payment in their pipeline and a small, but still existing chance, that they do pay you in advance (this probably last time).

[Bearbeitet am 2019-03-22 07:40 GMT]


Bhaswar Lochan
 

Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 01:21
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Drop them. Period. Mar 22

I used the same tactics when I was a high-school student. You attend several lessons of, say, physics in a row, and then you miss two of them, and then you again attend 3-4 classes in a row, as if you were OK now. Just to make the teacher think that the last time was really the last one.

The teacher told me finally that "you have to choose your side now. You are either an absentee, or you are not" ))).

[Edited at 2019-03-22 07:49 GMT]


Bhaswar Lochan
Kuochoe Nikoi
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Just accept it Mar 22

Frederik Klingenschmid wrote:
I work for this one outsourcer for more than 1 year now, where the rate is fair, the work is real fun and where I even get many projects over the year. Problem is, that payments are always late...


There is nothing you can do. If the client is simply disorganised, no amount of late fees is going to make him organised. If the client uses a cumbersome accounting system which leads to these delays, no effort on your part will make them change their system (which would probably be very expensive for them to do). If the client is deliberately taking steps to delay payment for as long as possible, then he has a dishonest streak in him, and you won't beat that out of him with any sanctions. If you enjoy this client's work, and you have sufficient other work to maintain a semblance of a cash flow, then: just accept it.

As a freelance translator, you are in control of deciding whether or not you are going to work only with clients who always pay on time. You are not required by any law or moral principle, as a free freelance translator, to dump clients because they pay late. You can choose your own reasons for dumping clients, e.g. you dislike the work or you dislike the project manager or you dislike the invoice system, etc. You don't have to dump them for late payment, if you choose not to.


Frederik Klingenschmid
Angela Rimmer
Teresa Borges
IrinaN
Carolina Finley
Heinrich Pesch
Oriana Bonan
 

nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:21
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Time to increase your rate Mar 22

It is time to increase your rate with them and explain that this is to cover the administrative cost of late payment.
And then you suggest (partial) advance payment, at the normal rate.


Philippe Etienne
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 06:21
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Agree Mar 22

Samuel Murray wrote:

There is nothing you can do. If the client is simply disorganised, no amount of late fees is going to make him organised. If the client uses a cumbersome accounting system which leads to these delays, no effort on your part will make them change their system (which would probably be very expensive for them to do). If the client is deliberately taking steps to delay payment for as long as possible, then he has a dishonest streak in him, and you won't beat that out of him with any sanctions. If you enjoy this client's work, and you have sufficient other work to maintain a semblance of a cash flow, then: just accept it.


I agree. I should say that the first two I can live with, but the alarm bells start going off if I sense any bad faith. I'm not the most organized person myself, and I recently paid someone two weeks late because of a problem with my bank, so I have some sympathy for such matters.

One of my biggest clients pays regularly on a monthly basis, but their project management is something of a mess so orders fall through the cracks from time to time. I make an effort to keep track of the major orders and follow up on them if I don't see a PO after a certain time. You know what, when you do four-figure business with me every month and sometimes five-figures, you get some leeway in terms of what I'm willing to put up with.

The bottom line is that they must respond promptly when I follow up. "Not taking new projects until outstanding bills paid" usually gets people's attention. And do keep close track of your stuff; people tend to be lax when they deal with people they perceive to be lax.


Angela Rimmer
Frederik Klingenschmid
Morano El-Kholy
Thayenga
 

Frederik Klingenschmid  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks a lot Mar 22

for all the input, guys. I really appreciate it. So there are also other outsourcers, that send their POs late as well? All other companies I work for, provide the PO at the beginning so I can invoice right after completing a task. there was one who also used POs for delay, they’d always wait for the beginning of next month to send it, because the terms of payment were “End of month 1 month after invoice” and these ones I really dropped after being fed up. At first I had also thought, my current outsourcer just has organisation problems, but since they pay via eWallet, there’s no excuse really, and forgetting to pay in time on a regular basis of course usually means they do that on purpose. what’s the difference really? if you’re too disorganized to pay on time or if you juggle your employees’ money, or if it’s a mixture of both, it’s all really annoying and very unprofessional as well, especially in our line of work, where - from the employers perspective - deadlines mean everything. thanks to all of you again

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:21
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Frederik Mar 23

I had a similar experience with a British agency for a while. POs were supposed to be provided at the end of the month and were always late and quite often incorrect, so the whole process (invoicing and payment) was also late. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, assuming that they had bit off a little more than they could chew, because I had been working with them occasionally for some time with no problems, their projects were interesting (transcreation), very regular (each week) and well paid. After one year with almost no change, just when I decided that enough was enough, the account was sold to another agency and… everything has been fine since. My patience paid off.

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:21
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Totally agree with you Mar 24

Samuel Murray wrote:

Frederik Klingenschmid wrote:
I work for this one outsourcer for more than 1 year now, where the rate is fair, the work is real fun and where I even get many projects over the year. Problem is, that payments are always late...


There is nothing you can do. If the client is simply disorganised, no amount of late fees is going to make him organised. If the client uses a cumbersome accounting system which leads to these delays, no effort on your part will make them change their system (which would probably be very expensive for them to do). If the client is deliberately taking steps to delay payment for as long as possible, then he has a dishonest streak in him, and you won't beat that out of him with any sanctions. If you enjoy this client's work, and you have sufficient other work to maintain a semblance of a cash flow, then: just accept it.

As a freelance translator, you are in control of deciding whether or not you are going to work only with clients who always pay on time. You are not required by any law or moral principle, as a free freelance translator, to dump clients because they pay late. You can choose your own reasons for dumping clients, e.g. you dislike the work or you dislike the project manager or you dislike the invoice system, etc. You don't have to dump them for late payment, if you choose not to.


It is not necessarily a good idea to drop them all without distinguishing them. Some of them actually pay higher rates. With the higher rates, your time spent in sending them payment reminders may mean nothing.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:21
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Don't worry too much Mar 24

If its a matter of weeks I would not even complain about it, as long as the payment arrives finally. On my invoice there is a late interest of 12 percent per year, but I never get around to apply it. Of course if you work hard for a long time for this customer and have no other income, it is not fair on their behalf.

Frederik Klingenschmid
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Amateurishly Mar 24

What if...
- a doctor always comes late;
- a driver always stops late; or
- a translator always delivers the job late?
The morning always came too late...

If you can do nothing about your biz, then it's not your business--or you do it badly; no trust.
It definitely has little to do with organizing or workflow, but rather lack of both--respect and professionalism.

If the parties have agreed the payment is due a week after the delivery, yet the translator is "happy" to wait two-four weeks more, then soon he will surely be glad to wait much longer.

Shortly, why not specify a month after the delivery--or treat them the same (e.g. pay by installments)? As for me, after the first unreasonably overdue payment, such a client would be a poor late client for me. That's it--my zero tolerance lifestyle and I take it seriously.

[Edited at 2019-03-24 11:27 GMT]


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Are you serious? Mar 24

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If its a matter of weeks I would not even complain about it, as long as the payment arrives finally.


Maybe only if I were a millionaire (but I am not) I would not care. What if your customers (or some of them) read this and take you at your word? I guess you would soon change idea - unless of course you happen to work as a pastimeicon_smile.gif


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:21
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Could be an unique characteristique ... Mar 24

... in one´s freelance profile, to attract (agency) customers (at all):

- late payers preferred!


Christel Zipfel
 


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