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Poll: In your opinion, which party should pay the transaction fees when a client makes payment?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:40
SITE STAFF
May 23, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In your opinion, which party should pay the transaction fees when a client makes payment?".

This poll was originally submitted by Vítor Cortes. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Client, but it also depends May 23, 2013

I expect to receive the "net" sum that appears on my invoice.
Having said that, whenever I make a payment to collaborating colleagues, I pay the commission myself, but I see it a gesture, sort of like tipping a waiter, rather than an obligation.


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dasein_wm  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:40
Member (2009)
Italian to English
+ ...
Client May 23, 2013

but, like, that's just my opinion, man.

Love questions that start with 'In your opinion...', the information after these words is hardly ever relevant to proving a point. That's another opinion, of course.

(Oh, and I'm only being this facetious because were talking about money - as if the client/bank/PayPal, etc. cares what my opinion is when charging me for payments).

[Edited at 2013-05-23 08:49 GMT]


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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 06:40
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
It depends May 23, 2013

My bank always takes the 6.50 EUR fee for incoming foreign currency and I cannot avoid it (although I also pay the monthly fee for account maintenance).
Once a client paid me 0.35 EUR to my bank acccount although I told him to wait until it adds up, but he didn't listen and I had to pay additional 6.15 EUR for the fees out of my pocket.
And this is why I have a minimum fee.
But sometimes the clients split the cost, which leads to the fee of up to 20.00 EUR.
If the client's bank uses intermediary bank, it means more fees, so it can lead up to 50.00 EUR in fees on my side. And although my bank is the member of a major bank group, whenever I work with Greek clients (several agencies, several invoices), I always receive 20.00 - 50.00 EUR less than I'm supposed to, I don't know why. They say it was due to intermediary bank fees.
When I pay my utilities, I don't ask the utility company to split the fee with me.
But I believe that the real problem are *the banks* with their high international payment fees.
If we had to pay only a couple of EUR/USD/GBP, I don't think anyone would mind.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:40
Member (2006)
German to English
Customer May 23, 2013

but on the other hand, this does not apply in Europe fortunately. What I dislike though is that PayPal gets your money from you when payments are made to them within Europe and you transfer the money from them to your account. Did not realise that and it will only happen once.

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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:40
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
The bank charges its customer May 23, 2013

As far as I am concerned this depends on which end the amount is being charged. If my bank charges me for receiving money then that's between me and my bank and has nothing to do with my client. Likewise, if the client's bank charges the client for making a payment then that's between my client and their bank and has nothing to do with me.

Of course, there are always exceptions. For instance, if one of the parties insists on a payment method which incurrs high fees even though other payment methods might be cheaper then it's only fair for the insisting party to cover those fees or at least part of them. Of course that would have to be agreed between both parties from the outset.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:40
Danish to English
+ ...
I voted 'The translator', but agree with Thomas May 23, 2013

It didn't even occur to me that clients would also have expenses in relation to the transfer of money to somebody else's (foreign) account, because that is really not my problem. Just as I don't see it as my clients' problem whether I am charged any fees at the receiving end.

The simple thing, I presume, is to set our fees so that they cover any expenses we incur when receiving payment from our clients. Issue solved.


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:40
French to German
+ ...
The customer May 23, 2013

In my opinion, the customer should cover any charges, especially when using Paypal. But to be quite honest, in my experience this has only ever happened once.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Obviously the client May 23, 2013

If you charge $100 and you receive $95 then the client owes you $5

When making a transfer, the client has the choice whether to pay all fees or not

Those who choose not to pay all fees will simply be charged a higher rate next time


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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:40
English to Czech
+ ...
I agree... May 23, 2013

neilmac wrote:

I expect to receive the "net" sum that appears on my invoice.



But it rarely happens that a client pays or suggests to pay more to cover transaction fees (especially when it comes to Paypal - it has actually happened once and the suggestion was made by a fellow translator & outsourcer).
Now my new hobby is to persuade my EU-based clients to transfer SEPA payments (faster & cheaper) instead of making SWIFT/foreign exchange transfers (involving an unnecessary 2 EUR fee in my bank)...

[Edited at 2013-05-23 10:36 GMT]


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:40
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
The client May 23, 2013

Chris S wrote:

If you charge $100 and you receive $95 then the client owes you $5

When making a transfer, the client has the choice whether to pay all fees or not

Those who choose not to pay all fees will simply be charged a higher rate next time


Exactly. All my good clients make sure I receive what I am owed. Clients who insist on me paying the transaction fees are charged at a higher rate so I still receive what I originally intended to charge.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:10
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
The client, of course! May 23, 2013

The reason, is while fixing my rates, I take into account only factors directly related to the translation - such as level of difficulty, research needed, volume of work, expertise level, etc. I do not factor in external factors like money transfer charges, interest accumulating on delayed payments, etc.

So it is natural for me to expect the client to bear these charges. He/she should factor these business expenses while quoting for his job to his client (if he/she is an agency) or while allocating funds for the job (if he/she is the end user of the translation).

But in practice, few clients actually bear the money transfer expenses. Even when they do, my bank ends up deducting money for receiving my payments. I therefore rarely see the whole of my hard-earned money.

Many clients paying by bank transfer say they are bearing the bank transfer expense, but when the money actually reaches my account it is less than the invoiced amount. This has always been a mystery to me, more so because, some clients do manage to reach the whole amount to me too.

Why all cannot manage likewise, beats me.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:40
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other May 23, 2013

In my opinion the client. It is to be said that some banks simply do not allow to charge their client fully and offer only 2 options, share the cost or translator (receiver) pays all.
In this case, and in case of payment with paypal/moneybookers (paypal charges when you receive money and moneybookers when you withdraw money), translators should make clear that their rate includes also that cost.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The client! May 23, 2013

They always have the option of buying an air ticket to Sao Paulo, then getting a cab at the airport, and bringing me gold bullion, the acknowledged universal currency from ancient times. Depending on the quantity, customs might take their share, so they'd better bring some extra for that.

Then, it will be my problem (i.e. cost) to convert that gold into cash, local currency that I can use to pay my bills.

Of course, nowadays they can use more modern, faster and cheaper methods, yet they should pay whatever it costs to make the funds get to my reach. I cannot negotiate on wire transfer fees with their bank. On my side, I have negotiated with my bank (something they can't) to lower my fees on processing a received wire transfer, lowering them from BRL 105 to BRL 40.

Xoom is cheap, only USD 4.99 per transfer up to USD 3K from the USA to any from a list of 30 countries. However it is strictly P2P. So the detour is to call the American PM my personal friend, empower them to receive in cash from their own company, and then send me the money. In this case, I wouldn't burden my friend, the PM, with the USD 4.99, so they are welcome to deduct it from the total.

PayPal is peculiar. It was built for - and is owned by - eBay! It was not devised to pay for translation services worldwide. So the funds sender pays the net amount, and doesn't see any fees. A seller on eBay includes any fees in the price, e.g. if they sold directly and received payment by credit card. A translator usually doesn't include funds transfer charges in their rates, because there is still the gold bullion option above.

However PayPal strictly forbids sellers to surcharge their fees. In Brazil, a payment made via PayPal will be deducted 6.5% in fees, plus 3.5% in admittedly lower exchange rates. Were that not enough, PayPal delays the actual funds transfer by some undetermined time between 3 days and 2 weeks.

My solution was to set my rates for payment via PayPal and offer generous discounts to clients using anything else. PayPal cannot forbid anyone to give discounts in deals where they are not at all involved.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:40
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
The client May 23, 2013

It is the client's responsibility to see to it that I receive the exact amount stipulated in my invoice. As it is the translator's to deliver exactly what the client has ordered.

Unfortunately, PayPal sees it the same way, that the client needs to pay all fees, so they they collect them from the me, from all of those who (have to) use PayPal for one reason or another. And their fees are quite hefty. (:


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