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How do I explain how I feel to my client?
Thread poster: Kay Denney

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:27
French to English
Yes Nov 15, 2017

Texte Style wrote:
What the client was suggesting was more like the arrangement Sheila mentioned rather than a retainer fee, so this is actually irrelevant, but anyway:

Nikki, if they're paying a retainer fee, they're paying me to be available whether or not work comes in surely? I don't refund them if they don't send me work, because my part of the bargain is that I make sure of being available. Especially with larger projects, this would impact my ability to accept other projects so I would still deserve the money. Of course if it happened too often the client would decide to no longer keep me on the retainer and just hope that I will be free (and I always do my best to fit stuff in for well-paying direct clients).


Yes, I realise that. My point was that if it is not clear already, you need to be sure that you and your client are clear about what is to happen in situations where you have been paid upfront but the work does not follow. I digressed, certainly, and the list of what-ifs is endless. My main line is that it is important to be as clear as possible as early as possible. The situation does not seem to be satisfactory for you at the moment and it is important to clarify it as best you can.

Someone else has pointed out that it is quite possible that invoicing on a true word-count basis might actually work out the same as working on a fixed-rate per article basis in the end. If so, so much the better. I think I have pointed out that I have worked on that basis and it worked reasonably well. It was a client I had been working with for a while and so I knew pretty much what to expect. If the volume occasionally overshoots the volume upon which the fixed price was based then it probably doesn't matter. It is likely to be offset by other occasions when the volume is slightly under. If you are not sure, then it is best to work on a better-safe-than-sorry principle and go for a real-volume invoicing.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:27
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Follow-up Nov 16, 2017

So have you given it to them straight yet? And did they cave in? Seems you're talking about a whole load more now, so I hope you've laid it on da line ...

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:27
Member (2018)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Victory! Nov 16, 2017

They have been messing me about all week, telling me more will come but they don't know how much, some more has come, worth 100 euros more than their 250 budget.

My contact thanked me for my patience, and asked for the exact wordcount, I sent a mail detailing everything my service includes, such as that patience, a smile, well-polished translation, correction of source text if necessary, extra proofreading after layout work, help with cutting the text up for sub-titling etc, along
... See more
They have been messing me about all week, telling me more will come but they don't know how much, some more has come, worth 100 euros more than their 250 budget.

My contact thanked me for my patience, and asked for the exact wordcount, I sent a mail detailing everything my service includes, such as that patience, a smile, well-polished translation, correction of source text if necessary, extra proofreading after layout work, help with cutting the text up for sub-titling etc, along with the wordcount.

I pointed out that if things were to balance out over time, it shouldn't be a problem paying me per word, it would just be them dealing with it not me. That for the moment I had no way of telling whether it really would balance out. That I had already done little bits of proofreading and evaluation for them without billing it. That I wouldn't mind doing 100 euros worth of work for free if the entire project were worth 2500 euros, but not for a project worth 250.

She's just written back saying they'd bumped my budget up to 300 euros, and I should add the remainder to my previous bill, which was under budget, and to only put "flat rate for translation" without any further details on both bills so the accountant wouldn't freak out (I usually specify exactly which texts were translated).
So delivery will go ahead tomorrow as planned and I will be paid in full for my work!

[Edited at 2017-11-16 19:10 GMT]
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:27
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Atta ... Nov 17, 2017

... girl.

 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:27
German to English
Assume good faith. Nov 17, 2017

That has almost always (one exception) worked very well for me. Check to make sure that the numbers really do work out for you over a longer period, but "otherwise bookkeeping will freak out" is not an implausible explanation and not having to go through and check and approve itemized offers and invoices is a significant convenience for a lot of clients without really being a burden to you (you just have to punch the information that would normally go into the invoice into an Excel-file). If the... See more
That has almost always (one exception) worked very well for me. Check to make sure that the numbers really do work out for you over a longer period, but "otherwise bookkeeping will freak out" is not an implausible explanation and not having to go through and check and approve itemized offers and invoices is a significant convenience for a lot of clients without really being a burden to you (you just have to punch the information that would normally go into the invoice into an Excel-file). If they are trying to fleece you or they have unrealistic expectations, it will become clear relatively quickly and the risk and the slight inconvenience seem acceptable for securing a client who wants to pay you several thousand euros a year on the basis of a good rate.Collapse


 

Victoria Fushchich
Ukraine
Local time: 14:27
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Just be clear Nov 18, 2018

Taking into account the fact that you like working in the field they are offering, you have already made your discount for them. And that's very nice of you. And they have to value and appreciate it. And not to demand discounts in the future. You have to be very concrete with your rates. if they are not willing to pay even after all extra that you've done for them, just let it go. It seems, they are trying to push you and are now watching how far they actually could. Although, if they really ... See more
Taking into account the fact that you like working in the field they are offering, you have already made your discount for them. And that's very nice of you. And they have to value and appreciate it. And not to demand discounts in the future. You have to be very concrete with your rates. if they are not willing to pay even after all extra that you've done for them, just let it go. It seems, they are trying to push you and are now watching how far they actually could. Although, if they really like and appreciate your work, they will definitely be willing to pay you your standard rate.Collapse


 
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