Payment postponed by a MONTH
Thread poster: Pawel Gromek
Pawel Gromek  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:14
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Aug 16, 2005

I have recently worked for an agency from Israel. They contacted me directly as I had applied for one of their jobs through Proz few months before. I obviously verified the company with the Blue Board and found that they have a decent ranking (around 5.0). So there was nothing I should have been afraid of.
I completed the job by July 10., and was supposed to received the entire payment by August 15. (they said: "Invoices from June will be paid at August 15th Via bank transfer or www.paypal.com")
However, as I emailed them yesterday (as of August 15.), their response was the following: "Your invoice no xxx for the amount of xx.xx $ will be paid on September 15th via bank transfer". Now they say it's September 15th! I think that's pretty ridiculous to change the payment day by 30 DAYS just like that. I sent the follow-up to their message with regard to reasons of such delay. As for now, I have not received any response from them. What should I do in this case? Should I bother with a long-distance call and try to make them pay or at least substantiate the reason of such a delay, or rather wait for another month? Thank you in advance for your advice.


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 03:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
confusion with date? Aug 16, 2005

PawelG wrote:

I completed the job by July 10., and was supposed to received the entire payment by August 15. (they said: "Invoices from June will be paid at August 15th Via bank transfer or www.paypal.com")


If you completed the job in July, surely your invoice was dated July and not June...which would seem to indicate that a September 15 payment is logical.


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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:14
Russian to English
+ ...
Good Catch! Aug 16, 2005

Cindy Chadd wrote:

PawelG wrote:

I completed the job by July 10., and was supposed to received the entire payment by August 15. (they said: "Invoices from June will be paid at August 15th Via bank transfer or www.paypal.com")


If you completed the job in July, surely your invoice was dated July and not June...which would seem to indicate that a September 15 payment is logical.


Cindy, - excellent logic. I never would have seen it myself...with seeing so many invoices paid upon 30 days of completion...I'd have glossed over the "June" too.


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Pawel Gromek  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:14
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Aug 16, 2005

Cindy,

Thank you for your insight. That makes sense. However, why would this agency told me that, as they know the invoice was on July? The only point is that they were trying to confuse me. Oh well, I hope the payment will be on time, next month. Thank you!


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 03:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
maybe just an illustration Aug 16, 2005

Maybe the agency was only trying to illustrate how its payment terms work; I have seen similar examples to clarify something like "45 days end of month" (which is what this looks like).

In any case, if they have a good rating, it probably wasn't a deliberate attempt to confuse you, just a misunderstanding. I would give them the benefit of the doubt--at least until September 15.


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roguestate
Local time: 04:14
Swedish to English
+ ...
URGENT - but I'll pay you later! Aug 16, 2005

i've just seen a job posted where the outsourcer explained that the translation was urgent.
Further down, he explained that payment was to be made after 40 days of receipt thereof. I found this insulting, how do you feel about such terms?


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 21:14
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Benefit of the doubt, Pawel Aug 16, 2005

They likely made the same mistake a few of us did in this forum

It seems very likely you'll have your money on or about 15 September.

All the best,

Nancy


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Bianca Adriaensen  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
English to Dutch
+ ...
An agency's + freelancer's point of view Aug 16, 2005

roguestate wrote:

i've just seen a job posted where the outsourcer explained that the translation was urgent.
Further down, he explained that payment was to be made after 40 days of receipt thereof. I found this insulting, how do you feel about such terms?


I've had to post similar jobs as an agency. Sometimes it is just not possible to convince clients to pay up front. Some of them(mostly my locals) want "some breathing space" (read: payment space) for the sake of seeing if their investment in a translation did anything for their sales and revenues... Maybe they even want some time to check my current rates against the rates of my regional "competitors"... I don't care, just as long as I know up front.

I feel mentioning this issue "further down" in a job posting is not insulting for any translator as it is mentioned beforehand... It's up to the translator whether he/she accepts the fact and proceeds with the bidding process or not...

As a freelancer I would be pi**ed off when the issue would be mentioned during the translation process or right after delivery of the finished work....


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craigs
Local time: 21:14
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Stretching the definition of professional behviour indeed Aug 17, 2005

roguestate wrote:

i've just seen a job posted where the outsourcer explained that the translation was urgent.
Further down, he explained that payment was to be made after 40 days of receipt thereof. I found this insulting, how do you feel about such terms?


I agree with you that extended lapses in payment are discourteous to say the least, though I suppose some leeway could reasonably be given on projects totaling several hundred dollars/euros; however some advance or down payment would be nice.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Sounds like you will get your money on September 15, Pawel Aug 17, 2005

Hi!

In this case, I think you are likely to get your money on exactly September 15, not a day earlier and not a day later. It looks like this agency has a very automated system and leaves one month inbetween the month of the translation and the month of payment.

The fact that you don't get further personal answers from this type of agency is not surprising. A very big agency, that works on such an automated system, is unlikely to reply personally. They obviously employ girls to do everything automatically, and such employees will have no interest in your personal situation.

What is much worse is those small agencies that agree to pay within 30 days (because you set those terms), but never do, because they actually pay you about 7 days after they have received the money in from their client. This means that payment is extremely erratic, and is most unsatisfactory.

Astrid


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree Aug 17, 2005

Bianca Adriaensen wrote:

I don't care, just as long as I know up front.

I feel mentioning this issue "further down" in a job posting is not insulting for any translator as it is mentioned beforehand... It's up to the translator whether he/she accepts the fact and proceeds with the bidding process or not...

As a freelancer I would be pi**ed off when the issue would be mentioned during the translation process or right after delivery of the finished work....




Yes!


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xxxsonja29
Spanish to English
+ ...
How do you think I feel? :) Aug 22, 2005

roguestate wrote:
i've just seen a job posted where the outsourcer explained that the translation was urgent.
Further down, he explained that payment was to be made after 40 days of receipt thereof. I found this insulting, how do you feel about such terms?


How do I feel? Not too good, but if I make the choice to work for such terms, I bite the bullet and hope for the best.

I recently had a disagreeable experience with an agency that changed its payment terms on me, which I found out by accident. My invoice is due in a week, so I sent a polite reminder of the fact, just to let them know that I exist... just in case my invoice had gone astray... They wrote back in "amazement", stating that payment was not due before another 3 weeks (!!), i.e. with what is actually a 15-day delay. I took a deep breath and wrote to say that the least they could have done would be to let me know.

Would they have notified me of this postponement if I had not asked first? Is it ethical to alter payment terms in retrospect?

I might sound grumpy and jaded, but I would not hesitate to answer "NO!" to both questions.

As far as the "my client was late paying me, so I cannot pay you yet" excuse, frankly, I do not give a damn! The agencies' contract with their client is one thing, my contract with them is another. If the client fails them, it should never become the translator's problem!

Oh well, I hope I get paid eventually, even with some delay. This is what freelancing translators can be reduced to... Being grateful for receiving remuneration for professional services.

I wonder if it would be tolerated for me to submit a project with several days' delay...:D:D Or if I could persuade my bank and other creditors to be as forbearing should my payment be a bit overdue...:D:D


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kimjasper  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:14
Member (2006)
English to Danish
+ ...
Sorry I did not meet your deadline, but.... Aug 22, 2005

[quote]sonja29 wrote:

As far as the "my client was late paying me, so I cannot pay you yet" excuse, frankly, I do not give a damn! The agencies' contract with their client is one thing, my contract with them is another. If the client fails them, it should never become the translator's problem!


I agree completely. What about you or I missing a deadline, and not informing the agency but just waiting until they call - and then replya: "I am sorry but my main raw material is TIME, and there has not been enough of it lately. Unfortunately my main suppliers of TIME (e.g. my family) have not supplied me with sufficient amounts recently, so unfortunately you will have to wait until they deliver the TIME I will need to complete your task...


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xxxsonja29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks for the humor! Aug 22, 2005

kimjasper wrote:

I agree completely. What about you or I missing a deadline, and not informing the agency but just waiting until they call - and then replya: "I am sorry but my main raw material is TIME, and there has not been enough of it lately. Unfortunately my main suppliers of TIME (e.g. my family) have not supplied me with sufficient amounts recently, so unfortunately you will have to wait until they deliver the TIME I will need to complete your task...


:D:D:D

Thanks for making me laugh, I have been feeling irritable all morning because of that agency... You see, it is not just the delay, it is the principle. If they had written first to say, "hey, you will be paid on x date instead of z date, sorry for the inconvenience", it would have been a nuisance, but at least decent professional demeanor. Instead, not only do they default on the payment agreement, but they seem to be counting on my igonrance (?) and/or forgetfulness (?) and present the new terms as if they had been in effect right from the start. This makes me lose faith in them and doubt their honesty.

It is a one-way street, it would seem... Agencies have the upper hand and they know it. They know it the moment they receive our work without having spent a penny. And we wait and hope to get paid.

When I undertook the project for which I will (let's hope) be paid with a 2-week delay, I specifically stated my deadline to them, not only to the day, but to the hour. Unlike them, I kept my word.


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