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Poll: A customer tries to alter the payment schedule after you have started a project. You...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Local time: 11:41
SITE STAFF
Sep 2, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "A customer tries to alter the payment schedule after you have started a project. You...".

This poll was originally submitted by Julian Holmes. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Talk it over Sep 2, 2013

I might be worried about their solvency, but it doesn't usually occur with my regulars and I don't usually have to discuss anything about rates or payment with them. Some pay quicker than others, that's all.

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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:41
French to German
+ ...
Refuse Sep 2, 2013

My payment schedule is usually 30 days EOM. That is generous enough and non-negotiable, sorry. Neither my landlord nor the tax office, my health insurance company or even the grocer are willing to alter their payment schedules...

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 2, 2013

Never happened to me in 20 years

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Negotiate! Sep 2, 2013

Never happened to me, though. At least this customer is kind of honest! In general, I only know that the client decided to alter the payment schedule when the date comes and passes and nothing happens well after the project was completed and delivered!

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:41
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Sep 2, 2013

All depends on the situation / customer.

In the end, if thay pay late, you cannot influence it anyway. Just dont work with tham again in the future.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends Sep 2, 2013

If they're a good, regular client, I'd probably just go along with it. Being a freelancer always seems to involve a bit of financial juggling anyway.

If they were a new client, I'd probably also go along, but then put them way down on my list of priorities and WWA.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other or negotiate Sep 2, 2013

Usually the agreed terms are quite simple, because most jobs I do are small, and it is a bit pointless to spend time haggling over 500 words. Either we agree quickly, or the client (which is what I call mine) has to move on and find another translator.

I have given good clients a discount on occasions - on my own initiative - when I discovered that most of the text was already in the TM or very repetitive. It is well worth it, but it doesn't happen often.

Depending on the circumstances, I would probably negotiate if it happened over a larger job, but I don't remember it ever occurring.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 21:41
Turkish to English
+ ...
Same here Sep 2, 2013

Chris S wrote:

Never happened to me in 20 years


Same here (in fewer years); it is a purely hypothetical question at the moment and I would cross that bridge if I ever came to it.


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:41
English to Russian
+ ...
Why there is no "It depends" option Sep 2, 2013

IT DEPENDS
Accept unconditionally if payment is 3 days postponed, but cancel the project if it is postponed indefinitely and conditioned on customer's profits

[Edited at 2013-09-02 08:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-09-02 08:56 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:41
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Sep 2, 2013

Michael Harris wrote:

All depends on the situation / customer.

In the end, if thay pay late, you cannot influence it anyway. Just dont work with tham again in the future.



First of all, I would, of course, negotiate. If this fails (usually not with long-term clients), then I will most probably just cancel the project based on the client's "decision".

As Michael stated, we have no influence on when they pay, so it's best not to work with them again. Surely, any client will understand this because he/she doesn't want to receive their translations late, either.


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Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:41
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Other Sep 2, 2013

Thayenga wrote:

Michael Harris wrote:

All depends on the situation / customer.

In the end, if thay pay late, you cannot influence it anyway. Just dont work with tham again in the future.



First of all, I would, of course, negotiate. If this fails (usually not with long-term clients), then I will most probably just cancel the project based on the client's "decision".

As Michael stated, we have no influence on when they pay, so it's best not to work with them again. Surely, any client will understand this because he/she doesn't want to receive their translations late, either.



I agree with Michael and Thayenga.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:41
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Thank you all for your valuable comments so far Sep 2, 2013

This is just one of a "translator nightmare" series that I suggested recently.

Though unbelievable, this actually did happen to me last year 2 weeks into a 3-month project.

FYI, I refused and canceled the contract because they tried to alter the rules of engagement and told me that they'd pay 3 months later, i.e. 1 month after the project would be finished. I also enlightened them to the illegality of it, and got them to revert to the original payment schedule that was already in place.

Please look forward to others in this series. However ridiculous they may seem, they are all true stores and all from the same soon-to-be-divorced customer. Stay tuned.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sorry to hear that... Sep 2, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

This is just one of a "translator nightmare" series that I suggested recently.

Though unbelievable, this actually did happen to me last year 2 weeks into a 3-month project.

FYI, I refused and canceled the contract because they tried to alter the rules of engagement and told me that they'd pay 3 months later, i.e. 1 month after the project would be finished. I also enlightened them to the illegality of it, and got them to revert to the original payment schedule that was already in place.

Please look forward to others in this series. However ridiculous they may seem, they are all true stores and all from the same soon-to-be-divorced customer. Stay tuned.


I do hope the “divorce” goes well and not like real divorces (long, time-consuming, costly, and often bitter)...


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:41
Member (2012)
German to English
depends Sep 2, 2013

if the client is a trusted client and is having cashflow problems, then maybe I will accept the situation. Some will actually pay earlier if I tell them I have a cashflow problem so one hand washes the other.
but, in some cases, I will accept the situation once and then never work for them again. Unreliability is a no-no!
After all, they want us to deliver asap and with utter perfection, but muck around with our money

@ Julian, in those cases, break out the scotch


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