My Word Was Unpaid
Thread poster: Alexandre Tissot

Alexandre Tissot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Mar 28, 2013

Good afternoon,

May I ask you to take a few minutes in order to read the following text, please?

I am French freelance translator. At the beginning of this year, a Franco-Mexican company franchiser sent to me an important translation job. It dealt with the translation from Spanish into French of the deed of settlement of his company. I had one month to achieve the translation. Before accepting and starting the translation of this deed, I sent an agreement to the client. This agreement mentioned that the client had hired me to translate the job and that he committed to pay the invoice corresponding to the translation one week after I delivered the translation. The client sent the signed agreement back to me. Then, I translated the deed of settlement within the specified deadline.

When I delivered the translation, the client cancelled it giving as a pretext that the translation was deemed null, void and useless because the company was not existing anymore. Besides, he refused to pay the invoice corresponding to the translation and he keeps on ignoring my complaints and claims. Moreover, the client added that he was not the author of the signature that appeared on the agreement. He also wrote that I insisted to translate the deed of settlement of his company. Finally, he wrote that he was living Mexico because he was suffering an illness.

Feel free to email me if you need more information about this client.

If you hear from this man or if you do business with him, I would be grateful if you let me know about it.

I thank you in advance.

Best regards,

Alexandre Tissot


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:37
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blue Board Mar 28, 2013

Please create a Blue Board record for your client and make an entry regarding your experience with him.

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Audra deFalco
United States
Local time: 02:37
Italian to English
+ ...
Hmm Mar 28, 2013

I would echo what Yolanda said. Was the translation for a significant amount of money? If so, it might be worth your while to contact a lawyer or two just to send a scary letter to him in legalese. If you really want to track this guy down, we can help (I'm sure).

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Alexandre Tissot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Amount Mar 28, 2013

Yes, the amount was quite significant.

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Audra deFalco
United States
Local time: 02:37
Italian to English
+ ...
I was in this position once. Mar 28, 2013

I was in this position once. I was owed a significant amount of money and ended up having to contact a lawyer. Once I did and sent notice via him, my money miraculously appeared in my bank account!

Do you know of any debt recovery agencies near you? That would be my first step.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Real, organised scam, perhaps? Mar 29, 2013

Alexandre Tissot wrote:
Finally, he wrote that he was living Mexico because he was suffering an illness.

I'm afraid that has immediately set alarm bells ringing in my head, Alexandre. It's something that's written so often by scammers. On the other hand, you don't say they paid in advance or anything like that, so "all" (hah - bad joke!) they have gained has been a translation. More often we learn that they pay, but pay much too much, so the poor translator repays them the balance: the original payment turns out to be a dud so the translator ends up actually paying them! (And potentially getting into trouble with the police for laundering foreign money!). But I don't suppose that's a great consolation to you at the moment. Of course, I could be wrong, but...

Did you check out the business at the time? Do you know if it ever existed? Have you followed up on the name and address in the translation, and on the name and address he gave for the invoice? If some or all exist then maybe a debt recovery firm might be able to help. If his company doesn't exist now, there's no way the courts can help you.

I suggest you read this Wiki: http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Detecting_and_reacting_to_false_job_offers_and_other_scams
If you think there's a real chance this is a scam, then you should report it to ProZ here: http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/
And for the future, another Wiki: http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Risk_management_for_translators_and_interpreters

I hope you haven't lost the lot, but I think you may have to start facing up to that possibility.


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Unpaid work Mar 29, 2013

Dear Alexandre, hope you checked the outsourcer before accepting this work. If you did so, as he answered the invoices you sent, you had no reason to suspect till he answered speaking about his "illness"- dubious & sets off alarm bells. Send him a notice by a lawyer, it might just jolt him into paying. Surprising what tricks they get up to. We're you sent email by ProZ? Did he have WWW entries? List him and out LWA entry on ProZ site so others can check him out.
I had an email from a company for a job I applied for and the company wanted me to sit for a 200-word test. I accepted, did the Word Doc text-I was sent sample formats how company wanted my work-then I was told I had been supposed to do the XX/YY, not the YY/XX doc. Anyway, I did as asked & sent it off quickly as it "was needed" quickly. I heard nothing so emailed after a day to see how I had done. I was told "work looks ok" so I suspect the "test" was either the work itself or needed someone for proofreading. Really! I do not think i am imagining.
Hope you will have pleasanter experiences, Alexandre


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Alexandre Tissot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To Answer Your questions Apr 9, 2013

Dear colleagues,

Sorry for answering so late.

The client sent his proposal to me not by Proz.com but via a network. He seemed to be reliable and when I received his e-mail, I asked him a few question in order to check the source texts, etc.

I sent an agreement to him (that I had first signed) with a quote and he amended the address of the company because it had changed. I found the first address on the Internet. This behaviour was professional for me. So, I changed the address and he signed the agreement. He also agreed with the quote.

I translated the text and I explained what happened next.

Since the client coned me, I sent e-mails to him in order to have my money and he never wrote back but I knew that he never left Mexico.

Furthermore, I checked the website of his company and I figured out that he had disabled all the addresses and phones. So, he seems to be unreachable.

I will check your links and, next time, the clients will have to pay an advance before I start translating a job!

Thank you for all you answers. I really appreciate them.


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