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Poll: Your client pays you twice for the same job. What do you do?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:26
SITE STAFF
May 30

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Your client pays you twice for the same job. What do you do?".

This poll was originally submitted by Muriel Vasconcellos. View the poll results »



 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:26
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Other - let the client know and give them the choice as to how to proceed May 30

On the one occasion that this has happened to me, I let the client know and gave them the option of returning the money or applying it as a credit towards future translations. The client chose the latter option.

 

Joe France  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:26
Member (2016)
French to English
+ ...
Good faith May 30

Okay, so it might seem a little dewy-eyed and naive, but I don't see how you can build a business relationship on taking advantage of others' mistakes. I've had to correct clients' payment mistakes and credit notes in the past, and would again in the future.

Sure, clients might not always be as honourable - there are some bad eggs out there - but if you're not prepared to be decent in business dealings, why should you expect it of others?

Here endeth the sermon...


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 30

I was recently faced with this situation, which is why I posted the question. I returned the money, though of course it hurt to do it. It was nearly $1000.

The circumstances reminded me of a time 25 years ago when a client owed me $9,000 for two years. Their books were totally messed up. During the interim they sent me 3 small checks for the same job, about $300. I figured the extra $600 was interest and compensation for the time I was spending chasing after them.

And there was another time ... An agency made two payments to my PayPal account for the same assignment. The first amount was short, and I let them know. They eventually corrected it, but only months later and it included the previous amount plus the difference that was owed. The total was still a small amount and the work had been more difficult than I imagined (it was a revision of an impenetrable text). I have to confess, it wasn't much money and I kept the whole amount. I probably wouldn't have done it if it had been a translation, but I have often found that revisions take me twice or three times as long as the client or I anticipated. (Which is why I stopped doing them.)

[Edited at 2018-05-30 08:43 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Return the money May 30

Some years ago I had a chronically disorganized client who never knew what he wanted and was an expert in turning ordinary jobs into rush jobs, mixing up documents, losing files, the whole nightmare! As far as I remember he paid twice at least one invoice; I did return the money even though I felt for a moment that I really deserved it…

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Return the money May 30

Otherwise I would have trouble - or my accountant would - with how to enter it, what to do about tax… I can't bear to think about it!

In the unlikely event that it was one of my regular clients, it would be for a small job, and we might be able to make an adjustment on the next month's invoice… but one way or another, they would get their money back or a translation for it!

Just hope it was not one of the few clients where there are bank charges to take into account, because double payment for the small jobs I do would soon disappear that way.


 

Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:26
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
OMG! May 30

4% over here keep the money. I assume/hope they have not signed the ProZ Professional Guidelines ...

 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:26
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
Is there any question as to what one should do? May 30

A strange question. Return the money, of course. Or offer him or her credit.

But ... would anyone really be dishonest and tacky enough to keep it? Wow.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:26
Member (2008)
English to Italian
return the money May 30

Once it happened that the client paid an amount with was actually to be paid for taxes. I called the client and we agreed that a bank transfer was the best solution for both of us.
It happened that the same job was paid twice and I just told the client and I gave the money back.

I have worked with my clients for such a long time... Having even 1000 euros more would not make me rich...

On the other side, having a client who calls you because you have not issued an invoice for a job and he cannot pay it... well it is definitely the resulta of being honest (on both sides)


 

Anja Hajek  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:26
Member (2009)
Italian to German
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Thump up for this answer! May 30

Edith van der Have-Raats wrote:

4% over here keep the money. I assume/hope they have not signed the ProZ Professional Guidelines ...


 

Laura Bissio CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 15:26
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Happened to me twice May 30

Angus Stewart wrote:

On the one occasion that this has happened to me, I let the client know and gave them the option of returning the money or applying it as a credit towards future translations. The client chose the latter option.


In one occasion the client chose this option, the other time I returned the money (the client paid the bank fees).


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Indeed May 30

Anja Hajek wrote:

Edith van der Have-Raats wrote:

4% over here keep the money. I assume/hope they have not signed the ProZ Professional Guidelines ...


That would be highly unprofessional, aside from being a criminal deed.


 

rnicoleta  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:26
Romanian to Spanish
+ ...
return the money May 30

This has happened to me once several years ago. I needed exactly the amount that was transferred to my account by mistake. Despite this, I have informed the client and returned the money, with them paying the bank charges. I kept only the value worth my work.

 

Assimina Vavoula
Greece
Local time: 21:26
Member (2005)
French to Greek
+ ...
Other - let the client know and give them the choice as to how to proceed 11:26 May 30

Other - let the client know and give them the choice as to how to proceed

 

Assimina Vavoula
Greece
Local time: 21:26
Member (2005)
French to Greek
+ ...
Other - let the client know and give them the choice as to how to proceed May 30

Other - let the client know and give them the choice as to how to proceed

 
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