Customer refuses to accept invoice sent 2 months after delivery
Thread poster: trador
trador
English to French
+ ...
Oct 12, 2005

Actually one customer refuses to pay an invoice because it has been sent 2 months after the delivery of the translation. Is this legal that an invoice sent more than 30 days after delivery is not legal?
Thanks for the help

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-10-12 19:47]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:27
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
In Germany invoices have to be issued within 30 days Oct 12, 2005

I don't know if it is a rule all over the world, but in Germany an invoice has to be issued within 30 days of doing the work. I do not know if that would also be the case in Mexico.

Since people take long enough to pay invoices anyway, perhaps you should consider writing your invoices immediately in future!

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:27
English to German
+ ...
Legal rule or private agreement? Oct 12, 2005

Hi Astrid,
I don't know if it is a rule all over the world, but in Germany an invoice has to be issued within 30 days of doing the work.

Excuse my ignorance, but what's the legal basis for this?

Since people take long enough to pay invoices anyway, perhaps you should consider writing your invoices immediately in future!

Fully agreed.

Best regards,
Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:27
Member (2002)
English to German
30 days? Oct 12, 2005


I don't know if it is a rule all over the world, but in Germany an invoice has to be issued within 30 days of doing the work.


I've also never heard that. Astrid, are you sure that you don't mean § 286 (3) 1 BGB that simplifies the dunning process with a 30 day rule? Or just some terms and conditions of a certain agency?

Andy

www.interlations.com

[Edited at 2005-10-12 20:46]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:27
Spanish to English
Is your customer in Mexico? Oct 12, 2005

I see you are in Mexico, is your customer also in Mexico? Because I am always really slow to send out my invoices, I have never had any problem and I have never heard of any such law.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 01:27
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
What does the agreement say? Oct 13, 2005

trador wrote:

Actually one customer refuses to pay an invoice because it has been sent 2 months after the delivery of the translation. Is this legal that an invoice sent more than 30 days after delivery is not legal?
Thanks for the help

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-10-12 19:47]


If the co. has provided you with their terms and conditions, it should say somewhere in there that they must have the invoice for any job no later than 30 days after delivery.

If there is no such agreement or terms and conditions, they should have no legal right to withhold payment. (I am not really sure, however, whether they would have a legal right to not pay you if the invoice is late, even if they did state it in their terms and conditions.)

If your client still doesn't want to pay you, you should inform them that the translation is illegal to use for anyone other than yourself, as long as you haven't been paid. The translation is your intellectual property until paid.

If you know the end client (sometimes you can see this by looking at the properties for one of the documents), you should also inform your client that you may eventually contact the end client telling them that the translation is illegal for them to use, since you have not been paid.

I hope you get paid in the end.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
trador
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The customer in question is in France Oct 13, 2005

Lesley Clarke wrote:

I see you are in Mexico, is your customer also in Mexico? Because I am always really slow to send out my invoices, I have never had any problem and I have never heard of any such law.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:27
Member
English to French
A reason for not paying? Oct 13, 2005

I invoice some French agencies with sometimes far more delay than 2 months after job completion (for instance to make up a multiple-job invoice with a decent amount) and I have never heard that.
Could it be an excuse for not paying?
Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 01:27
French to English
Trador, this is nuts. Let me know if you need help. Oct 13, 2005

I can tell you about the collection procedure in France as I've done it successfully before. A registered letter is usually enough to get them to pay up without having to go through the whole process. I can also provide you with a template for the letter.

I have never heard of such nonsense before. Honest to God, what will they think of next!!

Contact me through my profile if you need help.

Cheers,

Sara


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paul VALET  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:27
English to French
+ ...
The French law Oct 13, 2005

trador wrote:

Actually one customer refuses to pay an invoice because it has been sent 2 months after the delivery of the translation. Is this legal that an invoice sent more than 30 days after delivery is not legal?


Allo,

According to the French "CODE DE COMMERCE"
(Partie Législative) Article L441-3:

"Tout achat de produits ou toute prestation de service pour une activité professionnelle doivent faire l'objet d'une facturation.
Le vendeur est tenu de délivrer la facture dès la réalisation de la vente ou la prestation du service. L'acheteur doit la réclamer."

Thus, it does not seem very legal to wait such a long time as two months.

But you have to examine two points:
- Which was the law of the contract? If nothing was precised, it would usually be the law of the supplier that applies; the Mexican law if you reside in Mexico.
- As "L'acheteur doit la réclamer.", by law, if he didn't ask for it in time, his position is not very legal either.

Regards,

Paul


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 01:27
French to English
Thanks, Paul. Oct 13, 2005

Good to have the legal text to back us up!

Sara


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxsarahl
Local time: 16:27
English to French
+ ...
That's a new one on me! Oct 13, 2005

And I thought I'd heard it all...

It looks like they're stalling, they really have no legal grounds imo. Bad news either way, sounds like they have no money and they're trying to buy themselves a little time -with your money, as it happens. I agree with Sara that you should send them a lettre recommandée with AR so they know you mean business.

Best of luck.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Charlotte Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:27
French to English
I have also had slight problems with French agencies when invoices... Oct 14, 2005

...have been sent more than a month later than the work was done. HOWEVER, they explained that their problem was only with the date on the invoice - i.e. for some reason, it was necessary for the invoice to be dated in the same month as the work was done. So, in both cases, I re-printed the invoice dated with the month when I completed the work, which was fine.

What I would recommend that you do is to make a fresh invoice dated within a few days of the work's completion and send it to them by recommended letter.

I would also quote the article of the Code de Commerce that has been cited above and point out that if their policy is not to pay invoices that arrive later than a certain date, then (a) it is their responsibility to request an invoice before that date is reached and (b) they should make their policy absolutely clear to their freelancers.

And if that doesn't work, you can tell them that I'll be round to their offices later with a big stick...I think their excuse is just pitiful!

Keep us informed how you get on.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paul VALET  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:27
English to French
+ ...
Wrong and right? Oct 15, 2005

Philippe Etienne wrote:

I invoice some French agencies with sometimes far more delay than 2 months after job completion (for instance to make up a multiple-job invoice with a decent amount) and I have never heard that.


You are wrong doing so. "Nul n'est sensé ignorer la loi"! (même si elle change tout le temps).


Could it be an excuse for not paying?
Philippe


I am not sure, but I think it should not be an excuse for not paying it in many cases, since the job has been done and accepted.

There are some cases where it would be an excellent reason for not paying it; in the case of bankruptcy of the client occuring after you sent the job done, for instance.

In other situations, I think it could be only a reason for not respecting various conditions of the invoice/contract : date of payment previously agreed, penalties for late payment, and so on.

Don't forget that the French law (and the European one) has changed in recent years, in order to prevent the firms from bankruptcy. In the same way, the normal time for payment has been settled at 30 days after the date of invoice. Everything must be done more quickly.

The way by which some translation agencies have recently increased their time for payment, in their PO, seems to move backward, in the scope of that new law.

This law has not been done against the small companies, but for their sake.

After all, you work a little for being paid, no? To prepare one's invoice before the translation is ended would not be a bad solution.

Regards,

Paul

[Edited at 2005-10-15 14:54]

[Edited at 2005-10-15 14:57]

[Edited at 2005-10-15 14:58]

[Edited at 2005-10-15 15:00]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:27
Member
English to French
To Paul: convenience for small amounts Dec 30, 2005

It all depends on the relations you have with your customer. I sure wouldn't invoice late for a customer I don't know for long, even for a small amount.
For established customers whom I trust, I really can't imagine them arguing about my having sent an invoice late. It would initiate a pointless dispute that would compromise the relationship and be detrimental to both sides (I would lose my money, and the customer would both lose me and gain free advertising). If both parties are reasonable and fair, such arguments shouldn't happen.
Besides, if I invoiced 50 euros to a customer every month, a significant part of it would be wiped off by bank fees when paid every month (all of my non-local customers pay by international wire transfer).
As far as I am concerned, consolidating small jobs into a proper invoice amount saves me time and money. I don't feel I am at risk by doing so. However, at the end of each FY, I do invoice all jobs, regardless of the consolidated amount.

Last but not least, issuing 2-digit invoices makes me depressed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Customer refuses to accept invoice sent 2 months after delivery

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search