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Not paid, now what?
Thread poster: claudia estanislau

claudia estanislau
Local time: 19:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Apr 10, 2007

Hello, all. I am perfectly aware that there is problably not much I can do about this, but I still wanted to run it by you. I have initiated the translation of a tourism website from english to portuguese. Payment was to initiate 30 days after the beginning of the translation, which started in February. At the end of February they claimed to have problems with Paypal and told us all payments were delayed (there are around 14 translators involved in this). By the middle of March they then send another mail saying that they would have to do payments via bank transfer and requested the details, which i then sent them. It is now th 10th of April ( 2 months after) and no payment has been done. I have stopped all work, but to my luck i have done the bulk of the work already in the first month.
My question is, what can I do get them to pay me? Any ideas of how I can achieve this? i have no sent any intimidating e-mails because I do not want to risk not being paid although i am resigning to the fact that I am not going to be paid anyway.
and sooo many hours i spent at it.


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Saskia Steur  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
How about an international debt collector? Apr 10, 2007

Many of the larger debt collectors also offer an international service. Is this an option for you?

I wish you all the best, it´s horrible when you don´t get paid...

Best regards,
Saskia


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:48
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Send reminder(s) Apr 10, 2007

No use to be shy. If payment is delayed you are obliged to send reminders before you can do anything else.
Have you looked into BlueBoard (Proz) and payment practise lists on Yahoo?
Regards
Heinrich


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:48
English to German
+ ...
Post on the Blue Board, together with a non-payment complaint Apr 10, 2007

Hi Claudia,
The first thing I would suggest is to post an entry on the ProZ.com Blue Board - if you post with an LWA level of 1 or 2 (=negative), the system will prompt you whether you wish to also submit a non-payment complaint. If you use this function, you will save Jobs/BB moderators a lot of work...

Collection procedures depend on the jurisdiction(s) involved - can you indicate the country(ies)? Someone may have been in the same situation.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Arturo Delgado  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:48
English to Spanish
Use Due Date Apr 10, 2007

Use the translation delivery due date to try to put some pressure on them (if they established such due date).
Let them know you have stopped working, that the people that work with you won't continue working without being paid and that if you have to work alone you won't meet the due date. Don't tell them you are almost done or done with the translation.
Good luck,
Arturo


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Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve
Colombia
Local time: 13:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Persists a couple of weeks more... Apr 10, 2007

[quote]Heinrich Pesch wrote:

No use to be shy. If payment is delayed you are obliged to send reminders before you can do anything else.


It's Ok if you send them more e-mails (kindly) asking for payment or kind of remainders. I would advise you not to post an entry on the ProZ.com Blue Board yet.


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voravadee31
Local time: 01:48
English to Thai
+ ...
I am suffering the same problem Apr 10, 2007

I am currently sharing the same problem with you. I have done a translation for one customer since November and until now I have not yet been paid. They owed me about 2K USD. I have sent them emails to follow up my payment many times also ask them when I met them online on msn. They confirm me they will pay me but the customer has not paid them yet so they ask me to wait and thanks for my patient. Until 2 weeks ago I asked them again and they said the cheque from the client already reached them and they need 20 days for cheque clearing. However, until now they still have not yet paid me. I sent them an email again 2 days ago to ask about my payment status but until now I have not yet gotten any reply from them back......(T-T) ...It is already more than 5 months that I have been waiting for the pay. ...not sure how long do I need to wait.....

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Of course you must send reminders Apr 10, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

No use to be shy. If payment is delayed you are obliged to send reminders before you can do anything else.
Have you looked into BlueBoard (Proz) and payment practise lists on Yahoo?
Regards
Heinrich


I agree with Heinrich. Of course you must send reminders - there's no reason to feel embarrassed about it - this is/was a business relationship, nothing more. If they intend to evade their obligation to you, you don't want to work for them again anyway, surely?
Send them a reminder by email, and also by registered letter with slip for acknowledgement of receipt enclosing copies of purchase order, invoice, etc. That's what a collection agency will want you to do, too.
I wish you luck.
Jenny.


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:48
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
Get ready to fight Apr 10, 2007

If you still hope that they may pay, and you don’t want to spoil your relations with them, maybe it’s a good idea to wait a little more or to send them polite reminders. But I think you should get ready to fight. If the other translators involved in this project are having the same problem, I think the first thing to do is to contact them and try to coordinate your actions. Try to get as much information about your client as possible, their address, owner or CEO, partners and clients, etc. It will also be helpful to learn more about the end client, since you may need to contact them directly. You may also need to contact the taxing authority of your client’s country, so you should know the best way to contact them. When you feel it’s time to act, you’ll just try these steps one by one. If 14 translators take well-organized and coordinated actions, there is good chance for success. But even if you fail, at least you’ll know that you have done your best to get paid, and you can use this experience in future.

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Rosa Diez Tagarro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do as Ralf says Apr 10, 2007

about the BB entry, please share valuable information.

And keep sending them reminders asking for payment. They are the ones at fault, not you. Don't feel bad about it.

If they don't intend to pay, they won't do anyway. If there is a chance may pay you (say they are honest but in trouble), some pressure may do the trick.

Do you know about other payment lists (info. about agencies)? If you don't, you may contact me privately and I'll give you a hand.

And please tell us the country the agency is located in. Somebody may be able to volunteer more specific information.

Good luck!

Rosa


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claudia estanislau
Local time: 19:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Apr 10, 2007

Thank you all for your answers, there is some good sound advice given.
I'll give some extra information about the situation:

Company based in USA

I am based in UK, have a UK back account and paypal account set up

I know that none of the other translators have been paid yet. One other translator have complained to them but I am still in touch with her to know about the outcome.

The translation was online which means that everytime I translated something was automatically put online and taken off the system.

I cannot access the system anymore, password and username invalid since last week.

It does not sound good does it?


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:48
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
The copyright remains with you Apr 10, 2007

as long as you are not paid. So if you know who was the endclient for whom the job was done you could inform them about the situation. They probably have paid the agency but the agency took the money and ran. Hope you can still establish contact with the responsible persons involved.
If you know the other translators you should unite your efforts and seek legal advice.

Good luck!
Heinrich


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Heinrich is right.. Apr 10, 2007

... plus, if 14 of you add BB entries regarding that "agency", they may be suddenly interested in listening to you all.

A couple of additional points.

1. If you have not been paid, at least in Spain (it may be a UE rule), you have your right to request your payment from the final customer, no matter if the customer paid or not. It is quite unlikely that you get paid from that part in the end, but it is an additional way to put pressure on the so-called "agency".

2. Moreover, if this final customer is using your translation, they are infringing the copyright, even if they paid the agency for it. They would have simply paid for something the agency did not own, as if you decide to purchase the Big Ben to your neighbour. This would add a fraud charge on the agency... do you think all this stuff would hurt enough?

Go ahead and best luck, I'm eager to read that agency name on the BB!!

Ruth @ MW

[Edited at 2007-04-10 20:33]


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claudia estanislau
Local time: 19:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
end client Apr 10, 2007

maybe i didn't explain myself correctly but this is the end client i'm dealing with at the moment. I was in fact hired by the company itself....

Is this a big no no?


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:48
English to German
+ ...
Why a "no no"? Apr 10, 2007

Hi again, Claudia,

maybe i didn't explain myself correctly but this is the end client i'm dealing with at the moment. I was in fact hired by the company itself....

Is this a big no no?


Why should it be?
Quite a few translators work for end clients - that doesn't change their payment obligation.

Or is there something I misunderstood?

Best, Ralf


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