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Poll: Have you experienced payment-related issues when using a client's translation management system?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:40
SITE STAFF
May 1

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you experienced payment-related issues when using a client's translation management system?".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No May 1

Not when it's fully automated. Once the terms are agreed up front and nothing changes, the translation management systems work very smoothly. I just wish they'd all use the same format.

The semi-automated systems not so much. When any human intervention is involved (after the original up-front agreement), things can and do go wrong.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
None of my present clients use a TMS May 1

Some agencies with TMS are not interested in invoices but for tax reasons I do have to issue one, so as far as I’m concerned they don’t save time at all!

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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:40
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes May 1

Yes, I experienced payment-related issues when one of my biggest clients who use a translation management system transitioned to outsourcing to a different service provider the administration of payments to their translators on their behalf. They made the transition at the end of the month just when payment of a number of invoices would normally have fallen due. Everything appeared in order from their end, because they made the payment to the the account which they set up on my behalf with the new service provider on time. However, it took a couple of months for me to actually receive payment of the sums which I was owed to my bank account, because the new service provider made me jump through a number of administrative hoops such as verifying my ID before they were satisfied that they could release payment. It didn't help that the new service provider were poor at responding to my messages regarding the issues which had arisen. However, since the initial hiccup everything has worked fine with the new system and I have got paid on the same day each month.

[Edited at 2018-05-01 08:41 GMT]


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:40
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Yes May 1

The use of such a system doesn't automatically mean payments are automated. I have a smallish client using such a system who ALWAYS pays very late.

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Antonio Tomás Lessa do Amaral
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Extra non paid work for us May 1

Even if (and when) they are not late, they have savings in their internal admin.
When I answer that I'd rather be doing paid work, I often get from them Bulls.... like:
“What? Other translators are happy with it. Who do you think you are?”
One agency went as far as asking me what made think my time was so precious!!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
No May 1

I only really work with one agency on a semi-regular basis, and I have never had any issues with them.
Some of my direct client take longer to pay than others. Two years ago I issued a bill to a large, well-known private company that was supposed to pay for a translation arranged by a research institute linked with one of the universities. When the institute approached me last month for a similar translation, I checked my records and found that the private company had not paid up. The institute is now going to pay me instead, as the person responsible in the private company no longer works for the firm. But I don't usually have any problems with my regulars.


[Edited at 2018-05-01 09:33 GMT]


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 05:40
German to English
+ ...
a qualified no May 1

I worked with on company that had that kind of on-line system, plus a few others. I insisted that I wanted no part of that, and the owner or manager created a work-around. At one point I received a circular that was sent to all translators, having to do with a glitch in the system, reassuring those who had not been paid in time, that it would soon be rectified. I was glad that I had opted out and made other arrangements.
at present no client I work for or with uses such a system. It might be a deal breaker for me.


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Joe Ly Sien  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:40
Member (2016)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Yes May 1

Manual invoice is best, because it shows fairness to translators, when we deliver the job, we can send invoice and this can meet accepted payment terms.
Client management system seems to be unfair system and often lead to several problems, because they didn't work automatically and everything depends on agencies/client. Project Manager (PM) should do some steps manually, for example, when job is being delivered, we have to wait for end client approval, then we should ask the PM to update the system, so we could generate invoice from there, without the approval from client and PM, we can't generate invoice, and in most cases, the PM forgot to update the system, and date of invoice is derived from date of invoicing (so we have to wait until PM enable the generate invoice button), not date of delivery of the job, and this often raise some problems because of time delay (can be varied from 1-3 months), PM was too busy to update the system, and many more problems.


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:40
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes May 1

To be fair, most are easy to use and do not give issues with regular projects. When things need to be changed though, I have found they can be tricky in a "computer says no" kind of way. Even with PMs doing what they can, updating any project in one of these systems can be a real pain in the neck.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes May 1

I've seen a number of clients who use a sophisticated strait-jacket-type TMS for everything BUT payment, which remains manual, relying on one human accountant to get it done.

Evidence of one such case is when after the translator has gone through all the usual hoops of the TMS, s/he is expected to issue an invoice using a client-provided (and misbehaving!) DOC or DOCX template, and send it via e-mail.


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Odile Stuart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:40
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
Control Freaks May 1

On the issue of translation agencies managing invoices I have my reservations. Their system is generally facilitating my job; but it depends a lot on the agencies rapport to the translator; and I am afraid a good proportion wants to be in charge of the terms without much caring for the translator's way of dealing with things. It's my biggest critique. I like to remind agencies from time to time that I am not their poodle but a real person to be treated on a par, not as the ultimate scapegoat.
I recently went to the extraordinary point of refusing to be paid and crossing an agency out of my list as I was so fed up of having no say.
Also; I have always understood that it is the prerogative of the service provider i.e. the translator to invoice; not the opposite (the agency).
A golden rule; but which sadly never works: If I deliver on time, you should pay me on time. A fairyland notion which again argues in favour of the agency's omnipotence. As translators we are vulnerable as far as rights are concerned. We are sometimes asked to sign a contract to access a job; but rarely do agencies want to spend time considering our terms, they'd rather look elsewhere.

[Edited at 2018-05-01 12:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-05-01 12:18 GMT]


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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:40
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
on purpose May 1

EvaVer wrote:

The use of such a system doesn't automatically mean payments are automated. I have a smallish client using such a system who ALWAYS pays very late.

They probably set up the system to make sure of paying late


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:40
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Many times... for a while May 1

Several times, until I actually understood how the system works and got used to it, I made several mistakes and delayed my own payments (all of them were my fault).

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Edwige Thomas  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:40
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Always a few days later May 1

Kay Denney wrote:

EvaVer wrote:

The use of such a system doesn't automatically mean payments are automated. I have a smallish client using such a system who ALWAYS pays very late.

They probably set up the system to make sure of paying late


Payment management tool or not, the majority of my clients pay a few days - up to a week - after due date...When I hear that some of my friends in IT or webdesign don't deliver before payment...


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