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Poll: Do you request that clients acknowledge the receipt of your invoice?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:41
SITE STAFF
Oct 22, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you request that clients acknowledge the receipt of your invoice?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sergei V. Kasyanov. View the poll results »



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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:41
Member (2006)
German to English
No Oct 22, 2012

But I do appreciate it if they do...

Just remembered, I have the accept or decline E-mail function thing, so that they have to acknowledge receiving any mails from me

[Edited at 2012-10-22 15:01 GMT]


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Patricia Prevost  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Oct 22, 2012

What's really important to me is that they acknowledge that they have received the translations I send them.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never (say never) Oct 22, 2012

Almost never. After a few months without receiving payment I might ask for acknowledgement of receipt, as a "gentle reminder".

My usual policy is not to beat clients over the head with a stick about payment terms - I reserve that for my main concerns (acceptable rates, deadlines, formats, flexibility, proactivity...).


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:41
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No ... Oct 22, 2012

but many of my clients have automated systems which send automatic confirmation and I think in most cases those who don't still usually confirm anyway.
Due to some delayed payments in the past, nowadays I do usually ask clients (especially new clients or with invoices for multiple or complicated projects) that they check the contents of the invoice so we can sort out any omissions, mistakes, disrepancies, etc., right away.

I forgot: several of my clients require signed posted paper invoices which I always send by recorded delivery

[Edited at 2012-10-22 10:18 GMT]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 03:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
I hadn't up until now Oct 22, 2012

And to do so for the majority of my clients would be rather impertinent, I feel, since the only reason for doing so that I can see is to avoid that non-payment excuse "oh but we haven't received your invoice".

On consideration I suppose it would be a good idea with new clients until they are "tried and tested"


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:41
Hebrew to English
Didn't until.... Oct 22, 2012

I had a client pull the old "we haven't received your invoice" chestnut (despite the fact I still had the sent email in my sent box).

Once bitten....

So now I do find myself requesting acknowledgement of its receipt in a polite way. I don't see this as rude given that the vast majority of clients tend to constantly be asking for confirmation of receiving something or requesting read receipts. I also request confirmation of receiving the completed translation.

I just see it as due diligence, making sure documents are received when and where they are meant to.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:41
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
no Oct 22, 2012

When I send any email i send with an automatic confirm receipt. One of my clients has an automated invoice system. When I send the invoice i get an automated email thanking me and acknowledging receipt.

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Mariela Diaz-Butler
United States
Local time: 21:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, always. Oct 22, 2012

I usually send the invoice with the translation, and I always request acknowledgement of receipt of both (in bold and highlighted). That way, there's no confusion and no excuses.

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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:41
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
no Oct 22, 2012

My clients either use automated systems, which automatically generate a receipt email with a tracking number, or they tend to let me know anyway.

I've been working with some of them for years. It would simply be rude to start asking for confirmation when payment has never been late.

I have sent the gentle question asking about corrections to invoices if the occassional client is late, but those are few and far between these days. Best thing about ProZ is access to the Blueboard, so I only take clients with good payment histories.


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Sara Maghini  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:41
English to Italian
+ ...
Surprise surprise! Oct 22, 2012

I was very surprised to discover most of my colleagues do not ask for confirmation when they send an invoice. I send all of my invoices by email or through automated systems, no more paper. When I know I will not get an automatic confirmation (i.e. when I send the invoice to a PM, not via a dedicated system), I always use the polite formula "I would be very grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of my invoice, please" at the end of my email. I don't think this is in any way rude or disrespectful, in the same way as it is legitimate for a client to ask us to confirm safe receipt of files, or to acknowledge a deadline.
We have duties, but don't forget we also have rights in this job!
And yes, we work for passion because we love this job, but we also work to get paid at the end of the month and we should make sure this happens at all times


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Often but not always Oct 22, 2012

Patricia Prevost wrote:
What's really important to me is that they acknowledge that they have received the translations I send them.

Yes. That one gets chased until I get confirmation that they have received it. Only then can I put the job to one side in my head - it isn't until I receive their "Got it!" that I consider it correctly delivered.

But I often send the invoice in the same email, so in that case there's no way they can say they haven't received it. If I send the invoice separately, I don't ask for confirmation. It isn't that I don't want it, it's just that if I don't get it, what do I do next? Send a reminder? And if that doesn't receive a reply? I'd have to call on a specialised Reminders Company to deal with them all.

No, for me, chasing delivery and payments are obligatory, but that's all. My clients know damn well they should be expecting an invoice, and if they don't pay it on time, they'll get a second copy within minutes of claiming non-receipt, and the accompanying email will ask for immediate settlement.

I have to say that most of my clients are fair-minded, but the ones who constantly claim that there is some problem beyond their control when it comes to paying are simply cheats, and they deserve the same respect from me as they show to me.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Absolutely fundamental Oct 22, 2012

Not only that, but I state in bold lettering on the invoice that "payment is due on or before [agreed date]."

I'm also surprised by the rather blasé attitude reflected in many of the comments here. I think such acknowledgement of receipt is fundamentally important in order to avoid the later excuse of non-receipt. And I simply can't imagine not doing this with new clients.

Furthermore, in instances where agencies have told me, after I've not received payment on time, something to the effect that "this one fell through the cracks, so dreadfully sorry," I've requested acknowledgement for all jobs thereafter that the invoice has been forwarded for processing to their accounting department.

In my view, an agency/client's recognition of having received an invoice is as fundamental as a translator's acknowledgement of having received files to be translated, or of having accepted a work offer.

Insisting on something like this serves as a reminder that the relationship in question is commercial in nature. By letting such things slide on a regular basis, you send the message that "it really doesn't matter if you pay me on time."

I for one can't afford to send such a message.

[Edited at 2012-10-22 15:41 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Often but not always Oct 22, 2012

The international organizations for which I do 75% of my work have automated portals which show that the invoice has been received. When I send my invoice by e-mail, I do ask them to acknowledge receipt.

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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:41
German to English
I haven't found it necessary Oct 22, 2012

But then, most of the clients I work with are very long-term, meaning that trust has already been well established. For new ProZ clients I would always request a full purchase order at the outset with specific price agreement. But in general, I work on the basis of trusting everyone until proved wrong - fortunately that has not been often. I have had a number of late payments, but - touch wood - have not yet had a non-payer in 20 years.

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