Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
What happens when your agency is not paid by their client?
Thread poster: Claudia Vale

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Aug 23, 2006

Hello,
I did some proofreading for a company recently. They claim their client has refused to pay them and therefore they will not be paying either myself or the translator. I am confident of the quality of the work I did and I do not see why I shouldn't be paid.
Has this happened to anyone else? If so, what did you do?

[Edited at 2006-08-23 15:48]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 00:16
Aug 23, 2006

When did they tell you this? When your invoice was due to be paid?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 02:16
English to Greek
+ ...
That's no excuse Aug 23, 2006

Whether the client paid the agency or not is not your problem (or the translator's).

Your direct client is the agency and you should be paid for your work, and they should find a way to get paid by their client. If they don't do anything about it and they are willing to accept the loss, that is not something they should roll over to you.

Of course, I don't know whether this is an agency you have worked with before or if it is a new client. But, something smells fishy here.

I've had cases where clients did not pay the agencies, but the agency paid me (either the whole amount, in the case of new collaborations, or an agreed percentage of that in the case of old and trusted clients).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I was due to be paid in the next day or so Aug 23, 2006

Orla Ryan wrote:

When did they tell you this? When your invoice was due to be paid?


They first starting talking about payment problems on 11th August.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Their Blueboard score was ok-ish Aug 23, 2006

Nadia Fahmi wrote:

Of course, I don't know whether this is an agency you have worked with before or if it is a new client. But, something smells fishy here.

This was a new agency for me. Their track record was mixed (3.8 on the Blueboard) but good enough for me to take a chance with them. Or so I thought.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:16
Flemish to English
+ ...
Ethics Aug 23, 2006

are a big word and negotiation jiu-jutsu a skill...
Your dealings are with them, not with the direct customer. They pass the translation on to you, not the direct customer.
In this business the 11th of August + 10 days is not very late.
Martial arts are one of those things, I don't find time to practise: Jiu-Jutsu is a skill to use the force of the opponent to your own advantage.
After some reminders, the argument that you will go directly to the final customer to ask for your money at the rate you charged them (=less than what (s)he owes to the agency and sollicit work from that customer, usually makes things moving. I know, like putting an encyrpted password on a text and only allow the customer to read the text and make remarks, not to change it, is not ethical, but at times efficient.

[Edited at 2006-08-23 16:34]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
They suggest I contact their client myself. Aug 23, 2006

I can't believe it! They have given me their client's details to get feedback as their client refuses to communicate with them. I imagine this is because the agency was late in delivering the work to them so maybe that's the reason. In any case, why should I contact their client? How absurd.

[Edited at 2006-08-23 17:00]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Don't let them fool you Aug 23, 2006

Nadia Fahmi wrote:

Whether the client paid the agency or not is not your problem (or the translator's).

Your direct client is the agency and you should be paid for your work, and they should find a way to get paid by their client. If they don't do anything about it and they are willing to accept the loss, that is not something they should roll over to you.



Exactly what I wanted to say. You're doing business with the agency only, and not with their client. What if that client has another client etc. who is not willing to pay. It's up to your agency to check up the client's payment attitude etc. before the project starts. Have the agency understand that *they* have to pay for it - after all they ordered the translation from you.

Erik


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxBrandis
Local time: 01:16
English to German
+ ...
currently I also have a couple of similar issues Aug 23, 2006

Hi! not that the agency will run away, but I feel that people should maintain strict policies, quality issues and time frames not only when it comes to translating but also while paying. That is when people back-off generally. That is real bad. If it is a small job, may be the moderators can help you, but the larger the jobs get the overall precision is also equally difficult to check. Surprisingly the proof-readers are getting very expensive these days, they cost almost 60% of the translation project, why I wonder!. As I see it your job is finished while delivering to the agency ( here the agency is is your end-customer and never the agency´s customer, may be you can ask them to reveal their customer I am sure they will never do this . Another wonder.Best Brandis

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Feedback is always helpful Aug 23, 2006

Claudia Vale wrote:
I can't believe it! They have given me their client's details to get feedback as their client refuses to communicate with them. I imagine this is because the agency was late in delivering the work to them so maybe that's the reason. In any case, why should I contact their client?

That's great! - Now you are entitled to ask the client for anything which could help you at court against the agency..

I had a similar case where the end client told me that he was angry because the translator obviously ignored the project documentation - but the agency had simply forgotten to pass it on to me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I hadn't thought of it that way Aug 23, 2006

Harry Bornemann wrote:

That's great! - Now you are entitled to ask the client for anything which could help you at court against the agency..


It's unlikely to reach court as it was a relatively small job. All the more reason for the agency to just pay up. I'm not making any headway with them so I suppose I will have to contact their client. Until I started working for myself I never realised how many unscrupulous people there are out there!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Vale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Aug 23, 2006

Once again, I feel very supported by the Proz member community and your advice and reassurance has been very helpful. Wish me luck!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:16
English to Czech
+ ...
What happens when your agency is not paid by their client? Aug 23, 2006

I'm not making any headway with them so I suppose I will have to contact their client.


I'm not sure it's a good idea to contact the end client. Your client is the agency and the rest is not your business. You did your job and you should be paid, period.

I would be firm and wouldn't accept any excuses. If the job was small, there's probably no point in involving a collection agency, but you should definitely report them to the Blue Board and the Payment Practices (or maybe tell them first you would do it if they don't pay in let's say 7 days and then do it).


Direct link Reply with quote
 
KLS
Local time: 00:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Time for some sabre-rattling Aug 23, 2006

Sorry to hear that you are having a spot of bother with this agency.

Just to reiterate what others have said, under English law the position is quite clear: your contract is with the agency and no-one else. You have agreed to do the work and the agency has agreed to pay you for it (the "consideration").

There is no reason for you to contact the agency's client direct. This seems rather like a ploy to evade their responsibility, especially as it seems that relations between the two have broken down.

The fact that the agency is allegedly having difficulties receiving payment from their client is out of your control and does not entitle the agency to withhold your payment. One of the reasons why agencies charge a mark-up on your fee is that they bear the risk of non-payment by their client.

The usual procedure in this country, as I am sure you are aware, is to threaten proceedings in the County Court for recovery of the money owed. The agency must then either admit liability and pay up or submit a defence (reasons why they claim you are not entitled to your fee). The fact that the amount is small need not deter you from issuing proceedings as there is a "small claims track" specifically for such cases.

Please keep us informed about how you get on.

Alan Thompson


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:16
English to German
+ ...
You may contact the client directly but they do not owe you money Aug 23, 2006

I agree with Harry:

that it may be helpful to contact the agency's client for exactly the reason he has given: To find out what really happened and perhaps use this knowledge in whatever helpful way.

But do not mix it up: The client does not owe you any money. You cannot ask them for this. They may or may not have to pay the agency and the agency has to pay you for the work you have done for the agency.

The agency has to pay you if you delivered the work they ordered. Whatever quarrel they have with their client is literally none of your business.

If they are bankrupt they have to state it and then other people will take over, but since it was a small job I guess that is not the case. If they do not pay you they have to give a reason that has something to do with your contract with them (quality, deadline etc.).

Their client's not paying them is no valid reason for them not paying you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

What happens when your agency is not paid by their client?

Advanced search







WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

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