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Poll: How many times have you dealt with non-payment issues over the course of your career?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:18
SITE STAFF
May 13, 2015

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 Maciej Burak. View the poll results »



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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Per year might have been more informative May 13, 2015

We've successfully taken legal action twice and written off one small debt (£30).

But this is over a period of 22 years and none of them has been in the past 15 years.

All were small-time operators. We've had no problems with big companies, even Enron.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 13, 2015

As far as I can recall, no more than a few times, perhaps twice... The only one that springs to mind was a few years ago when I agreed to do a test translation for an outfit based in Hungary (if I'm not mistaken). They then asked me to translate more of the same - a text about telecommunications - which they said they would pay for. However when I tried to bill them, they started to quibble about the word count so I basically told them to shove it. Arguing about it and trying to justify the work I had done for them just seemed like more bother than it was worth.

Nowadays I am usually reluctant to do test translations.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:18
Member (2006)
German to English
"Only" once or two times May 13, 2015

and both turned out well fo me, was just a hassle and took a while, but it was quite an amount of money though.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
3 in 30 years May 13, 2015

1 recent (still pending) and the other two solved some years ago after my lawyer's intervention.

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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:18
Danish to English
+ ...
Other May 13, 2015

I have had a couple of late payments, but they have all been settled in the end, without me having to take legal action.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:18
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Five in 30 years May 13, 2015

I think I've been unpaid on five occasions in 30 years as a freelancer.
Two agencies went bankrupt or into liquidation without warning, one of them starting up again under a new name shortly afterwards, but having abandoned the debts owed by the liquidated company. Two or three simply disappeared from the planet and were banned from posting on Proz, but, luckily for me, the sums concerned were small.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:18
Russian to English
+ ...
Once or twice but May 13, 2015

i am still planning to sue the last customer—just out of principle, and perhaps donate most of the money afterwards. The first time was when the customer claimed that she did not need the translation and was not going to pay $1,000 for it because it did not say anything that her husband was planning to kill her, as she originally thought, based on some words within the conversation.

From what i have heard, no-payments are a plague these days. Something has to be done about it.


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:18
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I replied ' never'... May 13, 2015

...because, although I have had a couple of instances where clients seemed to refuse to pay, these were resolved in the end (after which I have stopped working for them).

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:18
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Maybe 1 or so May 13, 2015

In 30+ years

I've always tried to be as careful as possible, which is why I like to get all contractual details cleared and clarified and out of the way up front to level the playing field before I bite the bit and embark on a relationship with a new customer.
Otherwise, I've often found that this leads to trouble down the road and possible non-payment.

I think this issue is why I prefer to deal with the 'locals' here in Japan so that I can physically hop on the train, visit the miscreants, put on my dark glasses and lower my voice if a push comes to a shove.


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:18
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two May 13, 2015

In 15 years, I had two non-payment issues. In the end I got paid, but quit the company and the environment forecast is getting worse year after year.

:/


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
2 May 13, 2015

In one case I quit working with that agency as soon as I finally got paid. The other client has finally paid after a while and still wants me to continue the project. I am inclined to do so (because it's really an interesting project), however, only if the payment for each phase of the work arrives...a forehand.

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
3 May 13, 2015

cases of actual non-payment.
They all happened in my first couple of years of freelancing, when, evidently, I was on the steep part of the learning curve concerning vetting potential new clients.
In the first case, I mistakenly took a job from an up and coming scammer [40 USD] who was relatively unknown at that time, also apparently just starting out in his business. Due to the amount, I did not pursue it. From what I see on the internet, he's still out there, still scamming.
The 2 other cases were for larger sums and were solved by my lawyer.

I had many more cases of late payment, so I just stopped undertaking jobs for people who have paid me late more than once, which more or less solved the problem.

Forgot to say: that's in 12 years freelancing




[Edited at 2015-05-13 13:38 GMT]


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Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
1 May 13, 2015

Didn't do anything. Lost 300-500 EUR.

[Edited at 2015-05-13 14:53 GMT]


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:18
Member
German to English
+ ...
Twice May 13, 2015

Once when I was starting out and the second time by a company belonging to a father and son who I both knew and never really expected it to happen. I worked together with an advertising agency, who never got paid either.

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