Client withholds payment for "I decide when, not you"!
Thread poster: Ala Rabie

Ala Rabie  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 08:07
Japanese to Arabic
+ ...
Jun 23, 2006

Throughout my 8 years of professional work, I have only met one non-paying client.

Who remembers my recent post will notice what I am talking about here--a too demanding, 24-hours-delivery-requiring, insulting-rates-offering client has simply decided not to pay me and ignore my emails, despite several promises to pay by May 23rd.

I have triggered my late-payment policy, sending reminders, then applying late fees, with a polite warning that I will be taking fraud-prevention measures if there was no response within XX days.

Now that the grace period is up, I have given her 1 LWA in the ProZ BB, blacklisted her on my website, as well as a group of 2000 relevant translators.

I made more search today, and to my surprise, she turned out to have a criminal record for fraud in her country!!

A while ago, I received an email from her.
Title: Cool
Eventhough I have not opened or read any of your messages so far, and I am not willing to do at all, and as I am a person who pays his dues only because it is not in my habit to take anybody's money, and if I am not like that nothing in the whole world can force my to do so, here I am informing you that you will get your money only by the end of July, why? simply because I have to pay you, but I decide when not you.


Should I hold any further steps regarding blacklisting her and wait to see if she will make the payment, or am I right when I think that a professional fraud should not be trusted? And that "I decide when not you" is as insulting as ever?

I have already written her payment off for experience after all.

~Ala
alamnesis.com



[Edited at 2006-06-23 16:36]


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PB Trans

Local time: 07:07
French to English
+ ...
Don't trust her Jun 23, 2006

This woman is just buying time. If I were you, I would not let it drop. I would pursue the matter, using lawyers, collection agencies... whatever means are available to you. People like this should not be allowed to get away with this kind of unprofessional (and possibly fraudulent) behaviour. Even if it's not a lot owed, you should still pursue it. It's not the money, it's the principle.

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xxxsarahl
Local time: 23:07
English to French
+ ...
Agree with Pina Jun 23, 2006

Actually, if she has a record, you can probably use that against her, all you have to do is report her to the relevant authorities and "they will decide of her fate, not her".

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Angel Biojo
United States
Local time: 23:07
English to Spanish
The client's name is missing Jun 23, 2006

Would you mind telling us again who this client is? Some of us simply did not get your first posting.

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:07
Member
English to Turkish
Please note that forum rules do not allow discussing clients by their name Jun 23, 2006

Angel Biojo wrote:

The client's name is missing

Would you mind telling us again who this client is? Some of us simply did not get your first posting.


Please see: http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/8#8

Thanks and regards,
Özden

[Edited at 2006-06-23 22:22]


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xxxMichaelRS
Local time: 08:07
Blood-pressure problems Jun 23, 2006

Don't contact her anymore, it will just give you blood-pressure problems.

Take whatever legal measures you can - if you decide that the amount is worth collecting - and otherwise write it off.

That effort is better served with marketing measures for new clients or writing translations for existing clients.

I've got a few of those people in my past, and maybe they even feed off the drama and conflict. For free, because they probably don't have the slightest intention of paying you.


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gad
United States
Local time: 02:07
Member
French to English
I agree with the others who've posted on this thread Jun 24, 2006

Don't trust someone like this. What kind of nerve is that? How incredibly unprofessional. Don't be intimidated.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:07
English to French
+ ...
Don't work yourself up Jun 24, 2006

I did, and it's not worth it. I would, however, damage that person's career by blacklisting them as much as I can. Not out of revenge, but to lower the percentage of scum like this who can keep offering jobs to unsuspecting translators, only to say "I decide when - or whether".

People like this don't deserve to be on the market and should be kicked out of it, by all means. Also, this person is clearly having fun laughing in your face. Don't react to it... Don't let her have her cake and eat it too!


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Ala Rabie  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 08:07
Japanese to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
One last chance Jun 24, 2006

I agree with Pina and all of you.

I sent her an email late last night telling her to abide to our agreement and send the payment by the end of tomorrow (today) if she really cares about being professional or at least honest.

I very much believe that she actually sent the message above as a result of the BB entry. She got scared, but decided to do it with, umm, pride?(!)

Apparently, blacklisting does work!

I am dead serious about either forcing my money out of her or making sure no one ever will be in the same situation again.

Little more steps to go..

Viktoria:
I did, and it's not worth it. I would, however, damage that person's career by blacklisting them as much as I can. Not out of revenge, but to lower the percentage of scum like this who can keep offering jobs to unsuspecting translators, only to say "I decide when - or whether".

Exactly!

People like this don't deserve to be on the market and should be kicked out of it, by all means. Also, this person is clearly having fun laughing in your face. Don't react to it... Don't let her have her cake and eat it too!

But of course. The only time she answered my phone (before she saves it for future rejects!) she told me somthing like, "I have 4 other translators. I do not have the time to pay for all of them!" At first I thought I missed a word or two that caused me to misunderstand this part, but now I know I did not!

I cannot believe that I actually saw the road, and yet walked in! Pity! I should be extremely cautious from now on when dealing with clients outside Japan and the EU.

~Ala
alamnesis.com

[Edited at 2006-06-24 16:50]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:07
English to French
+ ...
Does not have the time??? Jun 24, 2006

You should have told her that YOU already took YOUR time to complete the project. I think somebody in this contract is not respecting the most basic part of it: the translation is exchanged for an amount of money.

I am mad, even if it doesn't concern me directly. It just gives me goosebumps to see that there are such arrogant people in such a serious business - and I am now wondering how many more there are...

Sad, pathetic outsourcer... But put your effort in finding the ones that are worth it (and there are plenty of them) instead of investing your energies in this one. Don't take care of this situation, just leave negative feedback wherever you go. I would feel guilty for not warning others about people like this. I only left one negative feedback ever since I started out - turns out I was lucky - but I felt it was my duty to do so.

Try to get over it and do something constructive with your time. And don't be scared of North America. I have several clients who are agencies and they are the best, with good rates, interesting projects, great communication - and payment when appropriate.

Good luck!


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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Unscrupulous, Uncooperative, Unprofessional Agencies Jun 25, 2006

I am currently having problems with getting a couple of agencies to acknowledge that the the money was due a month and a half ago (I blacklisted them after no response to my e-mails) and, in the other case, will be due in less than 2 months. In this latter case, they harassed me with a barrage of e-mails until they finally admitted that they accept invoices just the way I had wanted to submit it. In the first case, they wanted my personal bank information, but, guess what? I don't trust them-imagine that! This one that I blacklisted sent me two e-mails the day after the blacklisting and they've actually had the nerve to offer me 3 assignments in the last week. No thanks till I see the money, and probably not even then! There are plenty of reputable agencies to work for.

I get the impression from these kind of unprofessional people that they think that translation is just some sort of hobby or something. It seems to be that they don't take into account all of our education, experience, and the pains we take to produce the most accurate work possible for them. They have to be aware of all of this which just makes them all the more of a #!%*!


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:07
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
To find out more... Jun 25, 2006

Check out the profile and you'll know the name

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 08:07
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
One last chance Jun 25, 2006

Maybe the best would be to sell the invoice to a collection agency at x cents to dollar. They have other instruments at hand - Email? LWA? Lady, we're in for money not for civilized communication. Maybe somebody with a whole-body tatoos and a few fingers missing...

Contact the other three of four possible victims so you pool your sources together - reminds me a little of seven samurais and that village making their stand (sg) -.


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 09:07
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
well,... Jun 26, 2006

If there was an agreement on the due date of payment, all the work was done in good quality, on time, and upon all the requirements agreed upon with the client, and the client is late, in my opinion, there is nothing "to decide" or discuss about - he/she HAS to pay and that is all.

I would suggest giving the client a reasonable time to settle (some 10-20 days), but sending not an email reminder or phoning many times to listen to some "fiction", but send a registered letter indicating a date when they payment had to be settled and the date for the final payment settlement + indicate what you'd do if this request to find an "amicable solution" is not fulfilled, i.e. add one sentence that you will undertake legal actions.

I think this could cause some reaction. If not, then take all these legal actions. I had one similar case - just one call from a debt collection agency requesting "the exact requisites of the company for preparation of the documents for the court of law" really worked

And I do not agree with people who say "do not waste time, work on finding new clients". Why? Why should one "finance" some swindlers? I would go even for a smaller amount - not for the money as such, but for the very principle. And will go till the end.

P.S. One think - if there is someone who "has a very urgent job "to be done by yesterday" + offers a slave rate, chances 9:1 that there will be payment (or other) problems with such "clients". Why work and have no money (+ have a headache) when you can do not work and have no money (+ have no headache)?


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