How to threat a non-paying agency?
Thread poster: Csaba Ban

Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:52
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jan 7, 2002

I am always paranoid when dealing with new clients. Are they ever going to pay for a translation duly delivered?

I know about the payment practices database of Karin Adamczyk, but even a clean record there is no guarantee for actual payment.

Now there is this French agency for whom I delivered a translation 75 days ago. (Around 1100 euros). Now I have sent my 3rd reminder to them.

Is there any strong argument that I can use? Writing to the chamber of commerce, or their client (the address was mentioned in the documents that I translated)? How can I best convince them that is also their interest to pay up?

Thank you for your ideas. I would mostly appreciate comments from people who successfully pursuaded a late paying agency to pay.


Alison Schwitzgebel
Local time: 03:52
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
HAve you tried checking the TCR Yahoogroups list? Jan 7, 2002

They have lots of good information on payment practices - there were a number of postings recently about how to get French agencies to pay up....

Can\'t remember the address off hand, but go to Yahoogroups and search for TCR - its about the 5th or 6th one that comes up on the results page.




Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English to Spanish
Use TCR Jan 7, 2002


Besides Karin\'s list, there\'s TCR (Translation Client Review), moderated by Laura Hastings (in case you want to subscribe and post your concern there, the address is

I strongly recommend this list. It is extremely well moderated but it\'s not as rigid as Karin\'s list seems to be (but I\'ve never been a subscriber to Karin\'s, so this is only what I heard). The great benefit of TCR\'s not being so rigid is that it doesn\'t only give you a \"clean record\" about agencies, subscribers are free to post tons more information you can find useful, such as the strategies you were asking about in the first place (and you can probably find some in the archives, but I guess it will take time to look through all the messages).




Patricia Lutteral  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Late payment in France" Jan 8, 2002

Try the TCR list and search for the \"Late payment in France\" thread.

I don\'t remember the details, but info was really good.

Best regards,



Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:52
French to English
How to get paid in France Jan 9, 2002


On 2002-01-08 22:03, p_lutteral wrote:

Try the TCR list and search for the \"Late payment in France\" thread.

I don\'t remember the details, but info was really good.

Best regards,


Yes, the info on the TCR list is good, but here is some practical advice about getting paid.

If you have gone through the first, second and third reminder with recorded delivery, something proving the agency has recived your invoice and reminders, you can start adding statutory interest to the amount outstanding. The last time I looked, this was 2% per month (on the TTC amount, tax inclusive total), if my memory serves me right.

I no longer work with French agencies, with the odd exception here and there. Payment terms are rotten in terms of rate and time.

Example : 60 jours fin de mois (60 days end of the month).

You do a job in January which you invoice at the end of the month.

The agent receives the invoice at the beginning of February.

Your 60 days start to run from the end of February.

You get paid in the beginning of April, for work done in January.

How to avoid this?

Send your bill as soon as you have done the work, sending it by a type of mail which enables you to confirm date of receipt, so they cannot lie about the date upon which time starts to run.

Avoid accepting work which you will bill only at the end of the month for this reason.

Agree a date upon which they will effect payment and get it in writing.

Involve \"huissiers de jusitce\" to get your money back. Sometimes just mentioning the word can get your money over to you.

However, recovering money is always costly. I\'ve got invoices for two pieces of work with debt collectors from 2001 and I have little hope of getting anything at all.


Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just an idea Jan 11, 2002

I once learnt of a translator in Australia who had done a big job for a German Agency and did not get paid. After 6 months, the translator hired an attorney in Germany. Everything was done over the internet. The australian translator never left Australia. The german attorney did a good job and after a while the translator received full payment.

The attorney\'s fees were also paid by the agency.

Best regards,



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