Non-paying outsourcer threatens legal action after negative comment
Thread poster: amigoro
amigoro  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Sinhala (Sinhalese) to English
+ ...
Nov 26, 2006

Dear friends,

I posted a negative comment on a certain distribution list about a certain outsourcer who failed to settle their dues , none of which I can name without breaking forum regulations.

Now, the outsourcer is threatening to take legal action against me for " spoiling our name unnecessary".

They are claiming that it is my fault that I didn't get paid because I didn't remind them a sufficient number of times.

If this is not a case of adding insult to injury, I don't know what is!

Ro


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 22:00
French to English
+ ...
As far as I know... Nov 26, 2006

If everything you've said is true, they can't sue you.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:00
Dutch to English
+ ...
Defence (in most legal systems): truth and in the public interest Nov 26, 2006

I wouldn't lose sleep over it, it's a standard ploy by agencies trying to use intimidation tactics.

That said, I haven't seen your comments so I'm assuming they are truthful and you've stuck to the facts.

If that assumption is correct (and you must make the judgment call here), I'd simply tell said agency that the comments you made were the truth, in the public interest and that you are under no obligation to remind them repeatedly about payment dates.

["Public interest" in this context would be construed with reference to the public likely to visit the site (i.e translators)]

Tell them you await payment within xxx number of working days (decide for yourself how long), that this reminder serves as a formal notice of default and that failing payment, you will institute action (whether you do so depends on the amount involved and on specific legal advice - I don't have all the facts) and that any action/counterclaim they try to institute will be vigorously (and successfully) defended.

Good luck
D

PS: They admit they haven't paid you even though their accountant has left - not that their accountant's state of employment is your concern, but if they can already see you haven't been paid it would indicate that he/she didn't leave things in such a mess, right? So, there is no excuse for not making immediate payment.

[Edited at 2006-11-26 15:44]


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amigoro  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Sinhala (Sinhalese) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
They admit they failed to pay me Nov 26, 2006

Timothy Barton wrote:

If everything you've said is true, they can't sue you.


They admit that they didn't pay me, but claim that it is my fault because I failed to send them reminders. This is a blatant lie. I did send them reminders, and I got no response to them. And their excuse for not paying me on time is: " because of changes in account division (main account person left the job)"

How many times have you head the excuse "our accountant left the job without settling your invoice." ?

[Edited at 2006-11-26 15:32]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:00
Member
English to Turkish
If this is their level of reasoning... Nov 26, 2006

If this is the sort of reasoning they will use to defend their case in the court, you have nothing to worry about:
They admit that they didn't pay me, but claim that it is my fault because I failed to send them reminders...


Reminds me of an old Ottoman proverb: the prince of the thieves confesses his crime as he boasts with his exploits.

[Edited at 2006-11-26 16:25]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 17:00
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I had a similar problem Nov 26, 2006

I had entered a comment in the Blue Board and my client said that as long as my comment would be there he wouldn't pay me. I asked Jobs mods to hide my comment until he paid, and he did (it took a longtime though).

If you can't do anything to hide the comments you made in the distribution list in which you entered your comment you can tell them that if they don't pay you you're going to publish the facts and their allegations in other payment practices lists and they will really have to worry about their reputation and you will sue them because they failed to pay. I'd say that all the chances are on your side.

Good luck

Claudia


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Olga Dubeshka  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:00
Russian to English
+ ...
some nerve Nov 26, 2006

Dear Ro,

I have been around legal system a while and can say this :
the invoice is considered past due after a stipulated time.
You have the right to collect, charge interest on each day the amount is past due and post your comments (provided they are truthful). Even if you did not send any reminders (and you did) you were not legally obligated to do so unless you signed a contract where it is clearly stated (and you have not, have you?).

Their inner problems with invoice lost/misplaced/forgotten
are their porblems. However, you need to have proof that they received all your invoices and your warning about past-due status (say, e-mail confirmations and responds).

Do you feel better now? I guess not untill they pay you!
When they do, you might want to write it in the comments.


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:00
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
Don’t worry Nov 26, 2006

Even if they take action against you (which is very unlikely), you can just ignore it. You always have an excuse, because they can never remind you about the trial the required number of times, and you may have fired your lawyer, who was supposed to respond to the case. If the court does not take your excuse seriously, then how can they take the outsourcer’s excuse seriously?

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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 15:00
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, don't worry Nov 26, 2006

I doubt that in the reverse situation an argument such as "I did not submit my translation on time because the client did not remind me of a due date sufficient number of times" would stand in any court. I also doubt that payment due date is missing in your invoice. Did they object?

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 22:00
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
..and they are still not paying... Nov 26, 2006

it can also be understood as a rough stick-and carrots-strategy of obfuscation. Maybe their thinking is: "cow them first and then pay (possibly, on removing the negative BB entry) and you keep a clean vest. Plus this way one can afford himself months overdue without any harm." Maybe their accountant got away with their piggy bank. Maybe they threw a big party, maybe their client is defaulting too ... A lot of maybes, but, h*l, it's none of your/our business.

I feel my bile coming up (I have a similar, although much more civilized case): you work like a horse, burn the midnight oil to keep the deadlines and they have the guts to go months overdue...

Fact is: they still owe you your honest and hard-earned money.

All the best

smo

[Edited at 2006-11-26 19:25]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:00
English to German
+ ...
On removing BB entries Nov 26, 2006

Hi all,
Slightly OT, but since the issue of removing BB entries in order to get paid was mentioned, I'd like to clarify a few things:

- If an outsourcer tries to force you to remove a BB entry by withholding payment, please contact a Jobs moderator - this is clearly against the rules.

- In my experience (having worked on the Blue Board since 2003), outsourcers who are unwilling or unable to pay are still unlikely to do so, even if you remove a BB entry.

- Having said that, if someone wishes to have an entry removed for this purpose, we will generally oblige.

Best regards,
Ralf


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 15:00
English to Russian
+ ...
An inspiring thought:-) Nov 26, 2006

Before you start shaking in your boots:-), ask yourself - how much money one can gain vs. lose suing somebody. Will this make you sleep better? I hope so. I also hope that you'll keep your entry, at least for a certain period of time. Let it sit in their credit history for a while:-) Don't we all suffer from late payments? Does anyone care about our troubles or fear any legal consequences for mistreatment of a good citizen with proven lack of harmful intent? On the contrary, it is quite legal to kill someone's life-long credit history with a single bullet. If your outsourcer is in the U.S., he should know that we are a Case Law country. Really, for how long outsourcers like that will stay comfortable stepping on us? Is it just because we bid, and they award? Well, I've changed my tactics - they bid, and I choose. Haven't been missing a payment for 8 years now.

BTW, are you talking about a local outsourcer?

Good luck,
Irene


[Edited at 2006-11-27 02:24]


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amigoro  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:00
Sinhala (Sinhalese) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Latest twist: (allegedly) returned check Nov 27, 2006

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I am not particularly worried about their threats of legal action. I think their promise to sue me is as valid as their promise to pay me

But....

They are now claiming that they sent me check three months after he invoice but the check returned. Their accounts department allegedly tried to email me about the returned check, but their was no response.

This company is known for back-dating checks and making them bounce as a way of delaying payment. Do you think this is a deliberate case of back-dating?

Cheers!
Ro


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 15:00
English to Russian
+ ...
Do they have a fax? Nov 27, 2006

amigoro wrote:
They are now claiming that they sent me check three months after he invoice but the check returned.Cheers!
Ro


Ask for a copy.


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