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Poll: Do you apply a surcharge for late payments?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:03
SITE STAFF
Mar 13, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you apply a surcharge for late payments?".

View the poll results »



 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:03
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, never Mar 13, 2015

Because all of my customers pay on time - the way it should be, which is just hunky-dory with me. icon_biggrin.gif

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Mar 13, 2015

No. Late payments are par for the course in Spain, despite recent regulations stipulating maximum standard payment times of, I think, 30-60 days. I have one long standing client who pays at 90 days and in fact they took five months to pay me a bill I sent them in October.

However, I have been working with most of my clients for a long time and I understand they may sometimes have cash flow problems, so it doesn't bother me the way it used to 10 or 20 years ago. I no longer worry that they are trying to stiff me...

As I stated before, and only half jokingly, I have come to regard the due dates on my invoices as wishful thinking rather than something hard and fast to beat tardy payers over the head with.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, never Mar 13, 2015

I just nag them until they pay and don't work for them again. Fortunately, it hardly ever happened. Most of my clients pay as agreed and some of them might need a small reminder from time to time. In 30 years I only had 2 non-payments (both small amounts).



[Edited at 2015-03-13 14:15 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Occasionally Mar 13, 2015

Our terms state that after 30 days we charge interest at the Bank of England base rate plus 8 percentage points, as we are entitled to do by law in the UK.

It is rarely worth enforcing, because the interest seldom amounts to much.

But if it does amount to more than pennies, then absolutely.

I don't take no **** from anyone, especially not people who expect me to meet their deadlines!


 

Tania Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:03
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
DIRECTIVE 2011/7/EU Mar 13, 2015

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32011L0007&from=EN
I usually apply this for late payers within the EU.


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Mar 13, 2015

No. As Neil mentions, I accept all my clients' payment terms because I know they'll all pay me (sooner or later).

Over the years I've weeded out the poor payers and kept the reliable ones.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:03
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I can't imagine trying to collect it Mar 13, 2015

The very thought of trying to get them to cough up the extra money gives me visions of hassle and frustration. I know what it feels like to try to collect money from people who don't think it's owed or don't want to pay it. Life is short; I don't want it to be any more complicated than it already is.

 

Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:03
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Other Mar 13, 2015

I don't keep late payers.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:03
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, if I must Mar 13, 2015

I do apply a late payment fee if all else fails. The payment terms I've agreed to with my clients is already a loan. Usually, my clients pay me in the same way as I deliver my translations or other projects: on time.

But there are very few, rather rare cases when this mutual (and contractual) agreement doesn't work. In fact, I just had to apply such a surcharge. But it still took more than 2 months past the due date before I finally got paid.

Sooo I've decided that I will continue my proven practice and take my parting from late payers. This saves both parties a lot of time.icon_biggrin.gif


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:33
English to Hindi
+ ...
I would certainly like to, but... Mar 13, 2015

... I don't think my clients would take kindly to it, or even heed it. So I don't bother, especially since they do eventually pay up. If they don't, they would disappear from my list of working clients double quick.

 

Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:03
French to English
+ ...
Usually just glad to get the money Mar 13, 2015

And then write off the client.... No second chances.

 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:03
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Yes, once Mar 13, 2015

A couple of months ago I added a late interest charge to an invoice that was by that time two months overdue. My solicitor even got the client to agree on the phone to pay this interest plus the outstanding amount on a specific date. However, when the payment arrived it was minus the interest. Given that it was such a paltry sum anyway, not nearly enough to compensate me for the trouble the late payment had caused, I decided to let it go. To be honest, having seen the state of this company's financial affairs online, I'm just relieved I managed to walk away with all my work paid for.

I do think it's sad to read in this forum that people regularly accept late payments and do not charge interest. Because essentially we're just being walked all over and not treated with any respect. It shouldn't be like that and the system should change to protect us better. After all, aren't we freelancers supposed to be the backbone of the economy?


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 13, 2015

If an agency can reduce an invoice for late delivery, I can increase it for late payment. I haven't done so for a couple of years now, but it's always there... waiting.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that I charge a fee every time a payment is past due. Like many others have said, I have some really good clients and I try to scratch their back as often as possible.

[Edited at 2015-03-13 16:45 GMT]


 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:03
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No Mar 13, 2015

I think that's far too severe.

However, if a customer continuously pays late then that, to me, is blatant disregard for me as a service provider, especially if that customer requires one trillion new words by lunch tomorrow, which always makes me giggle when I know I might not be paid for over three months. Sigh.


 
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