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Poll: How many times have you dealt with non-payment issues over the course of your career?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 08:13
Sep 4, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many times have you dealt with non-payment issues over the course of your career?".

This poll was originally submitted by tilakahuja. View the poll results »


Manescu Alexandra  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:13
Romanian to English
+ ...
a few times Sep 4, 2013

First it happened when I received a fake check, but I did not work in the end, so it was not a very big problem. Once I had a problem with a Chinese company, but after I wrote here a bad feedback the manager contacted me and paid and even worked with me after that with good results and payment on time( good money...). And my old client( a university professor, former dean), at times do not reply on phone when is the pay day, or count in his own way the pages....but I pass over because is a very old client ( old and from a long time..both).
Thanks God that is all for now


Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
People, by and large, are honest in my experience Sep 4, 2013

I have had so few non-payment issues over the years that I've concluded that the huge, massively overwhelming majority of the people I've dealt with are as honourable as anyone could wish for. One scoundrel, back in the 1980's, who took me for about £15 (not a huge sum, even then, but he still stole it from me...), but apart from that, nothing.
Now, late payment, that's a different story.


Michel Virasolvy  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Member (2012)
English to French
Too many times Sep 4, 2013

Before I registered as a freelance tax-paying translator, little did I care about money matters, I would just translate and if a client wasn't happy they could just contact someone else (actually it happened once)… I used to get peanut payment, just like working with Chinese companies I won't name. Now that I have to deal with a budget things became suddenly more complicated. For instance I almost got tricked by the famous Nigerian scam, and since there is little time to send an application to potential new clients (around 6 minutes, I think) I don't thoroughly check their background on the spot, I have to do it later, while they're pondering about using my services. My idea right now would be to even more expand my contact database so that when a customer comes by I can at least ask swiftly if they're ok, the LWA blue board seems insufficient basis for companies which just "appear from nowhere".

[Modifié le 2013-09-04 08:39 GMT]


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 4, 2013

Non-payment, i.e. not just late or complicated, but no payment at all? Only once that I can remember, but it was only for a rather lengthy test translation because they queried my word count and I couldn't be bothered arguing/haggling/justifying.

This poll has reminded me that one agency sent me a couple of hours' revision work in May or thereabouts. The initial PO had to be modified to include 2 texts but they never got round to sending it to me and I don't know if I can be bothered asking for the PO again, filling it in and sending it back along with my bill. It just hardly seems worthwhile. Oh, what the heck, I'll send them an email later today...


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Actually only once Sep 4, 2013

The other 2 - 3 times there were slight delays in payment which were resolved with one single, friendly reminder.

The one time, when an agency willfully reduced the total amount for no reason (honestly), is still open, but no longer worth wasting my time on it. Strangely enough, that company keeps sending me jobs...despite my clean-cut "1" entry in their BB record.
Of course I refused every single one of them with a click on the "send to file 13" button. Guess some never learn.icon_wink.gif


Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Changing circumstances are hard to avoid Sep 4, 2013

The only times I have had this kind of problem has been when previously reliable companies start having money problems.

I was badly affected when a company I had worked for for years went bust owing me €700.

Another company which had been very good to work for was taken over by a company with a very poor payment record and although I immediately stopped working for it, it took me months to get the money I was owed by its earlier incarnation.

There's not a lot you can do about it because reliability changes when circumstances change. On the whole my clients are great, if sometimes a little slower than I would like.


Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only twice Sep 4, 2013

And both times the client was a city council. I was paid in the end - after 12 months in both cases, and after lodging an official complaint. City councils in Spain have a terrible reputation for late payment and many people won't work for them, including me, now (requesting payment up-front is a surefire way of not being selected for the job!).


Filipa Plant dos Santos  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
Crisis! Sep 4, 2013

Gilla Evans wrote:

The only times I have had this kind of problem has been when previously reliable companies start having money problems.

Me too.

There are two 'firms' (very small or single-person, I'm sure) who owe me money, and I think this is a combination of cash-flow problems together with not spending enough time on the accounting/money management side of things.

Personally, I don't give out work to other people (though it would be 'easy' enough to do) because I'm not prepared to do the hard work of ensuring that all payments and documentation are correct and up to date.

But I think some people don't prioritise this issue, or realise that when they give out work to another person, their ONLY job is to ensure that the non-translation side runs smoothly.

Know Thyself! that's what I say. Are you listening, you non-payers? I know - you're not reading this. Grrrrr!


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Never Sep 4, 2013

But reminders and late payments plenty


Chun Un  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Never Sep 4, 2013

Guess I have been lucky. icon_smile.gif


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:13
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Only a couple of times Sep 4, 2013

In my 30+ years of translating.

The amounts were pitifully small that they did not hurt me financially and weren't worth the bother of hiring a solicitor to turn the thumbscrews on the ingrates, if they could be found, that is.

In one case, I went to the customer's offices a day after the due date because I heard from others about non-payment problems. I found the doors bound tight by a huge chain and padlock.
The manager I did the work for was imprisoned by the Yakuza for 6 months in a windowless room with only a TV and porno videos to watch as his only entertainment because they thought he was in on the scam. icon_rolleyes.gif

Whenever I went for meetings there, the telephones never rang and the CEO was always carving golf club heads in a vice on his mahogany desk. I should have read the signs better! icon_biggrin.gif

BTW, the manager did emerge sane!


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 4, 2013

What do you mean by non-payment issues?

Seriously, I don't remember. Luckily none of them have been cripplingly large.

Early on, I was very shocked when an otherwise reliable client slipped up and apparently had no records of sending me the job. Then they refused to pay, even when I forwarded all their mails. But it was a two-hour job, and after a while I gave up - I had plenty of other work!

Simply forgetting, then apologising and paying at the first reminder is something I forgive and forget (almost), so it doesn't count unless it becomes a habit.

Otherwise there have been two or three occasions when the client did not intend to pay - and in one case could not... the last was when a major client went bankrupt, and that was a nasty shock.

Luckily I find on the whole that clients pay, although a lot wait until the last minute.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:13
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Again, poorly written question Sep 4, 2013

IMHO "to deal with non-payment issues" ("issue" being "a matter that is in dispute between two or more parties") means that, by the end of the agreed payment term, the amount the client owed me had not been sent to me. So my answer was "more than 10", of course. Yet these were issues. In each case, we renegotiated a new payment day, and I eventually got paid.

If the question were "How many non-payment cases have you had so far?", I'd answer "just one". After later investigation, that client had vanished, effaced her tracks, and her two phones were ascertained as "burners", possibly floundering on the bottom of the Thames. It was the only time I ever accepted a 60-day payment term; the lesson it taught me was worth the price.


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:13
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
once Sep 4, 2013

It turned out the woman was a scammer and I have since heard of a few others who have also been scammed by her. The amount was about 350 EUR. There was another who has apparently scammed other people by accusing THEM of being fake and scammers and refusing to pay unless they provide ID. However, I did one job for him a few years ago and he paid ME.

But like everyone else, q few slow or late payers who needed endless reminders.

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Poll: How many times have you dealt with non-payment issues over the course of your career?

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