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Poll: Have you ever had to give up chasing a payment?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:21
SITE STAFF
Apr 27, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever had to give up chasing a payment?".

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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:21
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Never happened yet. Apr 27, 2013

And hope it never will

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:21
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Never Apr 27, 2013

Thanks to a very persuasive lawyer

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:21
Turkish to English
+ ...
Once or twice Apr 27, 2013

If the amount owed is less than the cost of taking recovery action (especially where the debtor is in another country), then ultimately there is no other rational choice.

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Stuart Hoskins
Local time: 14:21
Czech to English
+ ...
manana, manana Apr 27, 2013

Yes, many thousands doing EU translations for a Greek agency. Hired a Greek lawyer and he did a runner too. The Commission promised to help, suspended payments to the agency relating to my last few translations, but then refused to pay the money directly to me as I wasn’t its contractual partner. In the end, my Cypriot neighbour told me I'd be throwing good money after bad (the Greek translators who got shafted won their court case, but as far as I know saw no money). I used to believe (with reason, for four or five years) that the "manana, manana" philosophy was simply a cultural quirk and that I would always be paid in the end. No longer. I’m now irrationally(?) wary of any agency south of Vienna.

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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:21
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Never Apr 27, 2013

Even if you owe me just 2 dollars and live on the other side of the planet, rest assured I'll knock on your door.

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macimovic
Netherlands
Local time: 14:21
English to Serbian
+ ...
Never Apr 27, 2013

And I hope I never will!

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Give up chasing, no. Give up on the payment, yes Apr 27, 2013

I've had two bankrupt clients in 15 years. I officially filed my claim in both cases but there was nothing left in the till for me once the "priority" creditors had had their pickings. I lost about 400€ each time.

But I've never given up fighting for payment when the client is still happily making money for himself or herself. I suppose there have to be limits, particularly in terms of how much money you spend chasing the debt, but to let them get away with it would do nobody any favours. I'm certainly prepared to discount my time from the equation. If I have to spend my day chasing a payment, I'll happily work through the evening to catch up.


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:21
English to Russian
+ ...
Several times Apr 27, 2013

I'm not very upset about it and view it as part of the job

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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once Apr 27, 2013

Yes I did once. It was one of the first translations I ever did, two books. I won the case against the agency but the judgment could not be enforced in the usual way. I would have had to prosecute to get the money. And because of the high standard of proof required, it would have been a difficult case to win and it would have cost more than the amount of the invoice in legal fees.

As a result of amendments introduced on the back of EU law, this situation has changed and it is now possible (but still very difficult) for creditors to force a company to declare itself bankrupt and hopefully to recover some if not all of the debt.

But I was really angry about it. In fact I was angry about if for about 10 months. I eventually got over it though.



[Editado a las 2013-04-27 14:45 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Once Apr 27, 2013

One former client deducted a percentage of the formerly and fully accepted invoice for no apparent reason. There were no complaints about the translation. I've tried for a little over a year, including the appropriate BB entry. Nothing but promises to check into the issue. So I just gave up.

However, that company keeps sending me work assignments, and even wanted me to sign a document that allows them to publicly display my CV as a reference on their website.

Well, there is nothing I can say about such a negative business conduct that would be permissible to be displayed here.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Repeat jobs for client in debt? Apr 27, 2013

Thayenga wrote:
However, that company keeps sending me work assignments, and even wanted me to sign a document that allows them to publicly display my CV as a reference on their website.

And you keep delivering work when they owe you money from over a year ago? Have you considered accepting a job and then telling them that you'll deliver it once your account is cleared?


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:21
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Only one Apr 28, 2013

that i gave up. There are a few I had to pursue because the client was disorganized and not used to working with translators.
the one I gave up on turned out to be a scammer who, it turns out, has scammed a number of people. Because I am overseas, it was hard for me to track this person down but I haven't completely given up.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:51
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Once or twice Apr 28, 2013

I can recall at least two instances where I was cheated out of my payment.

It was in the early phase of my career when I was also holding a full time job. The first instance involved my boss's son, so you can imagine my reluctance in pursuing matters too vigorously! The second instance involved a colleague and here again I was only half-hearted in my efforts at following up, for understandable reasons.

Fortunately, after I became a full-time freelancer, there have been no such cases, and I hope there won't be in the future too.

There have been many cases of inordinate delays with payments and in one or two cases unreasonable "adjustments" on the invoiced amounts, but the payment came through in the end, as they say it in Hindi, भगवान के घर देर है पर अँधेर नहीं, or, there is delay in God's order of things but not darkness!

[2013-04-28 01:57 GMT पर संपादन हुआ]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Delivery? Apr 28, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

And you keep delivering work when they owe you money from over a year ago?


Hi Sheila,

Of course not. I told them that they have to pay me first before I would even consider working for them again... which, of course, I will not. Ever again!

Sheila wrote:
Have you considered accepting a job and then telling them that you'll deliver it once your account is cleared?


Now, that's not a bad idea. On second thought, this company hasn't paid several of our colleagues, which is clearly reflected in their BB record... So I think I'll better pass on that agency.

[Edited at 2013-04-28 17:16 GMT]


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