Income loss due to change of mind
Thread poster: Matej OGRIZEK

Local time: 14:24
Slovenian to English
+ ...
Aug 22, 2007

Here's my situation - an agency contacted me last Wednesday (15th) and proposed 20.000 words for translation. On Friday (17th) I received another job proposal
from another agency, which I had to decline, since I was occupied with the first job. However, today they wrote me, that their client changed their mind, and only 8000 words needed to be translated. This is no problem, since I luckily
did not yet translate more than that. But can I do anything about the income I could have gotten, had I known that the first job is only 8000 words? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.


Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:24
English to Dutch
+ ...
Anything in writing? Aug 22, 2007

Was there anything that could be construed as a binding contract? If so, you might be able to legally demand that you receive the work that was agreed upon (and the payment). Hard stuff though.

In general, this is what is called in Dutch legalistic 'entrepeneureal risk' - as an entrepeneur, you run the risk of sometimes not getting what you would have liked to get. (In fact, Dutch law requires that you run risks if you want to be acknowledged as 'entrepeneur', which will entitle you to certain benefits, with the taxes e.g.)

It has happened so often to me too - a client announces a project, I turn down another client, then the first client regretfully withdraws the project. Nothing one can do about that.
Your situation might be a little different in the sense that your project DID go through, initially. So maybe you have some chances here.


Local time: 14:24
Slovenian to English
+ ...
E-mail Aug 22, 2007

Unfortunately I do not have a confrimed PO for the entire job, I do however, have complete e-mail correspondence with everything (order, files, deadline).


Narcis Lozano Drago  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:24
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Legally and practically Aug 22, 2007

Well, obviously it's the client fault and you legally you could ask for the full payment, but think it twice:

If you want to invoice for the whole 20 000 words they probably will ask you to translate them even if they don't need it. You will then spend a few days (and meanwhile you may have to turn down another interesting offer ) translating something that the client doesn't need and will not appreciate and you may need to take legal actions to get the money (and with only e-mails as evidence it's a pretty tough case).


[Edited at 2007-08-22 10:52]


Vito Smolej
Local time: 14:24
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
In case you're in the same bind ... Aug 22, 2007

... drop me a note. I can handle up to 4-5000 words / day - assuming we're not bidding on the same jobicon_wink.gif -

Lep pozdrav



John Farebrother  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
contribution Aug 22, 2007

I would advise them of the situation and ask them to make a contribution to your lost earnings. They may well have asked the client to do so anyway; penalties for last minute cancellations/reductions are common.
If they want to retain your services they should be prepared to act reasonably; if they can't pass it onto their own client maybe they're not a professional set-up in the first place.


Local time: 08:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Alert them but be open to concessions Aug 22, 2007

Most certainly let them know that you turned down a project because of their project. Let them know the amount of the other project. Explain that you realize clients change their minds, but ask for something agreeable to you both.

Afterall they value your service and time so "ideally" they would not want to lose you as a vendor. In all probability you will not get the amount for the entire project, but they may give you extra for being available.


Local time: 14:24
Slovenian to English
+ ...
Bad luck Aug 22, 2007

It's a big shame, because I don't exactly get offers like this every day. The cancellation itself was painful, but now this?

And Vito, if there ever is a next time, I'll definitely drop you a note.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2007-08-22 16:48]


MariusV  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:24
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
sitting on two chairs can be not so easy :) Aug 23, 2007

I had a very similar situation some time before. Made some "conclusions" for the future:

1) offers over 2000 words in volume (or daily capacity) - get a PO (esp. from new clients);

2) in a "prebooking situation" or a "big job situation" - PO again (PO=contract) and ask the client to make just a small thing - insert a short sentence into the PO that completion and payment for the job is a mutual agreement that shall be fulfilled till the end (you translate what is in the PO, and they pay what is in the PO) - that would mean that their "refusal" of the deal is not possible. And that will not waste the time of the client (max 1-2 minutes to insert that sentence). Otherwise, do not accept pre-bookings nor start working till you do not agree on the conditions that suit you. Better to be a little bit "brave" in a smart way (being not afraid to lose that client) instead of ending with a "scenario" trying to sit on two chairs at a go and then falling down in between of them - that from 2 jobs you will have none + time wasted, schedules re-scheduled and all things upside down.

[Edited at 2007-08-23 00:40]


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