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A client refusing to pay the full amount and Proz.com deletes my Blueboard review
Thread poster: Tuncay Kurt

Tuncay Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:04
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Oct 21, 2018

Hello All,

I would like to get your thoughts on a very interesting issue I am having.

After completing a job for a new client I have had issues with the payment. First I needed to sent many reminders, then she said she made the payment but I still did not get it after days and she became unprofessional and rude and always blamed my bank for this delay. Then when I entered a bad review on Bluboard the payment magically arrived in the same day but still 65 Euros less then
... See more
Hello All,

I would like to get your thoughts on a very interesting issue I am having.

After completing a job for a new client I have had issues with the payment. First I needed to sent many reminders, then she said she made the payment but I still did not get it after days and she became unprofessional and rude and always blamed my bank for this delay. Then when I entered a bad review on Bluboard the payment magically arrived in the same day but still 65 Euros less then the agreed amount (+ 15 Euros bank charges). Then she started pestering about the bad rating and when I sent her the document showing the total amount arrived in my account and the missing 65 Euros, again she became rude and blamed that my bank took it (even though sending the document showing the exact amount of the payment).

After a week a staff member from Proz.com got in touch and asked me if I still had the non-payment issue and I have replied and described the issue as above but suddenly today, without even replying my e-mail, without giving me any notice, without further discussing this matter, I have noticed that my review on Bluboard has been deleted.

So, I am a paid member of Proz.com, doing my best to do my job, providing the job on time, without any complaint and expecting to receive the agreed amount. And I am not getting it, giving all the details to Proz.com staff member to "assist" and the result is that my review disappears! (It was there for 2 weeks after getting an approval to publish it and I am aware of the Bluboard rules, so I guess it was appropriate according to Bluboard rules!).

Did you have such issues in the past where Proz.com seemingly is NOT "assisting" and deleting a review without any discussion and even when still did not get the payment?

So, what would your advice be to get the payment when I cannot use the only practical option such as Bluboard review (which helped me 2-3 timesin the past) when Proz.com (for some reason) prevents me giving my warnings to other translators for this client?

Please let me know your experiences and thoughts on this. Thank you.

Tuncay.

[Edited at 2018-10-21 20:50 GMT]
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Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
Member
English to French
+ ...
BB rules and ProZ staff Oct 21, 2018

Hello,

I understand you are still in contact with the ProZ staff about this matter, so I guess you'll have to wait and see with them regarding your BlueBoard entry and outsourcer issue. Was the ticket closed? If so, I would still create a new one.

Here are the BlueBoard rules, so you can check if your entry or actions were in line with these rules: ... See more
Hello,

I understand you are still in contact with the ProZ staff about this matter, so I guess you'll have to wait and see with them regarding your BlueBoard entry and outsourcer issue. Was the ticket closed? If so, I would still create a new one.

Here are the BlueBoard rules, so you can check if your entry or actions were in line with these rules: https://www.proz.com/?sp=siterules&mode=show&category=blue_board_bb_blueboard

As for further actions, I hope other colleagues chime in, as I have had no non-payment issues so far.

Jean
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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:04
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Non-payment vs. willingness to work Oct 21, 2018

I think what may be happening here is that your review stated that the client has NOT paid you - meaning no payment at all. Since that is not the case anymore, your review was hidden. I think you should still be able to post another review, stating your level of willingness to work with them again, and you can include that the payment received was less than agreed, and there was no quality complaint.
If the system blocks you from making a new BB entry, contact support.
As to why the
... See more
I think what may be happening here is that your review stated that the client has NOT paid you - meaning no payment at all. Since that is not the case anymore, your review was hidden. I think you should still be able to post another review, stating your level of willingness to work with them again, and you can include that the payment received was less than agreed, and there was no quality complaint.
If the system blocks you from making a new BB entry, contact support.
As to why the money is missing, it may be indeed bank charges, something that should be discussed before taking an assignment that is paid via bank transfer, especially if it is from another country. There are charges for sending the money, for intermediary banks and often at the receiving end, too. It is customary for the sender to cover the sending fees (although in your case they may have instructed the bank to deduct that, too), the rest often ends up being deducted from the amount sent. I had a payment recently from the UK where I got $41 less than the amount the client sent, even though they paid the sending fees. Intermediary and receiving fees added up to $41.

[Edited at 2018-10-21 21:13 GMT]
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Walter Landesman
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Tuncay Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:04
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Support ticket Oct 21, 2018

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

Hello,

I understand you are still in contact with the ProZ staff about this matter, so I guess you'll have to wait and see with them regarding your BlueBoard entry and outsourcer issue. Was the ticket closed? If so, I would still create a new one.

Here are the BlueBoard rules, so you can check if your entry or actions were in line with these rules: https://www.proz.com/?sp=siterules&mode=show&category=blue_board_bb_blueboard

As for further actions, I hope other colleagues chime in, as I have had no non-payment issues so far.

Jean


Hello Jean,

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, I have sent another e-mail to follow up to Proz.com staff asking why this has been deleted and also submitted a separate support ticket to Proz.com.

I am aware of the Blueboard rules and reviewed it again before entering this review in the first place. My entry was approved and published and it was there for 2 weeks but suddenly and without any notice it disappeared.

I wonder the rules of Bluboard and my understanding of "non-payment" is different. If the client makes partial payment and refusing to make the remaining amount, it is not considered as non-payment? Really! Even If I assume that there was an issue with my review even after 2 weeks, why I did not get not notice to edit-revise if (if needed)?

I fail to understand the approach presented by Proz.com Blueboard on this disappointing issue I am having with a client.

Hopefully a staff member will reply and give me (and us) some reasonable explanation and another option to enter another review.

Tuncay.


 

Tuncay Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:04
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Further information Oct 21, 2018

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

I think what may be happening here is that your review stated that the client has NOT paid you - meaning no payment at all. Since that is not the case anymore, your review was hidden. I think you should still be able to post another review, stating your level of willingness to work with them again, and you can include that the payment received was less than agreed, and there was no quality complaint.
If the system blocks you from making a new BB entry, contact support.
As to why the money is missing, it may be indeed bank charges, something that should be discussed before taking an assignment that is paid via bank transfer, especially if it is from another country. There are charges for sending the money, for intermediary banks and often at the receiving end, too. It is customary for the sender to cover the sending fees (although in your case they may have instructed the bank to deduct that, too), the rest often ends up being deducted from the amount sent. I had a payment recently from the UK where I got $41 less than the amount the client sent, even though they paid the sending fees. Intermediary and receiving fees added up to $41.

[Edited at 2018-10-21 21:13 GMT]


Hello Katalin,

Thank you for your input.

I can understand the issue about the non-payment report I have sent to Proz.com. But how we will distinguish a non-payment from partial payment? If the client does not pay the full amount (excluding the bank charges), I am not entitled to report a non-payment?

As for bank charges, I was aware that some amount would be deducted and usually all clients deducted around 15 Euros when making payment from EU to my local bank account. Even from overseas I have never seen a transaction charge more than 20 Euros.

Firstly the client was not cooperative even when the payment was delayed for 16 days, then she became rude and claimed my bank for not getting the payment, payment arrived magically after my review on Blueboard and then for not getting the full amount. She did not assist to follow this delayed payment with her bank, blamed an intermediary bank and was always rude when I have asked about it and finally blames these banks again when I received 70 Euros less the invoiced amount (also my bank charged me additional 15 Euros). I have shown the document which was clearly describing the amount arriving to my bank and then 15 Euros deducted my own bank.

41 USD is definitely very high but 70 Euros is definitely not acceptable! What is more disappointing is the approach by Proz.com on this issue. They should either provide an explanation on why I need to deal with this even when I had major issues with the client already and still did not receive the full payment. And also the definition of "non-payment" should be defined clearly.

Tuncay.


 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 02:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Intermediates Oct 21, 2018

A couple of times I received USD 70 less due to fees and commissions charged by my bank and two intermediate banks which took USD 25 each. That may account for your difference as well.

[Edited at 2018-10-22 12:45 GMT]


Yolanda Broad
Stuart Hoskins
 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 12:04
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Always happen Oct 22, 2018

Tuncay Kurt wrote:

After completing a job for a new client I have had issues with the payment. First I needed to sent many reminders, then she said she made the payment but I still did not get it after days and she became unprofessional and rude and always blamed my bank for this delay. Then when I entered a bad review on Bluboard the payment magically arrived in the same day but still 65 Euros less then the agreed amount (+ 15 Euros bank charges). Then she started pestering about the bad rating and when I sent her the document showing the total amount arrived in my account and the missing 65 Euros, again she became rude and blamed that my bank took it (even though sending the document showing the exact amount of the payment).


This always happen to mt account. Proz.com BB requires "translation quality" to speak against non-payment of full amount. But quality is a subjective qualification in translation world.
My BBs were removed several times.
Now I never write BB regarding claims on agencies since Proz.com maintains that they want a positive response for better business of them.

Soonthon L.


writeaway
Lydie Parisot
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The Blue Board is not perfect, but is generally useful nonetheless Oct 22, 2018

Tuncay Kurt wrote:
Did you have such issues in the past where Proz.com seemingly is NOT "assisting" and deleting a review without any discussion and even when still did not get the payment?


It has happened before (also reported here on the forums). In order for the Blue Board to work well, it has to be "fair", and that means sometimes erring on the side of caution, even though to the translator it may seem in his individual case that ProZ.com is siding with the non-payer. Don't take it personally.

So, what would your advice be to get the payment when I cannot use the only practical option such as Bluboard review (which helped me 2-3 timesin the past)...


In theory you should not be using the Blue Board like that anyway (i.e. you should not use it as a stick to make clients pay). I'm sure many translators do that, though. But it is not the real purpose of the Blue Board, and your paid membership does not entitle you to that kind of "service".

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:
Proz.com BB requires "translation quality" to speak against non-payment of full amount. But quality is a subjective qualification in translation world.


Not quite -- ProZ.com requires that there were no "complaints about quality", and this is simply to prevent translators who really suck from [ab]using the Blue Board to get back at clients who did not pay due to legitimate quality concerns.

My BBs were removed several times.


Perhaps the likelihood that a client will "fight back" is greater in some cultures (language combinations). My advice: keep fighting -- don't stop.

[Edited at 2018-10-22 05:12 GMT]


Robert Forstag
 

Tuncay Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:04
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The purpose of BlueBoard Oct 22, 2018

Samuel Murray wrote:

Tuncay Kurt wrote:
Did you have such issues in the past where Proz.com seemingly is NOT "assisting" and deleting a review without any discussion and even when still did not get the payment?


It has happened before (also reported here on the forums). In order for the Blue Board to work well, it has to be "fair", and that means sometimes erring on the side of caution, even though to the translator it may seem in his individual case that ProZ.com is siding with the non-payer. Don't take it personally.

So, what would your advice be to get the payment when I cannot use the only practical option such as Bluboard review (which helped me 2-3 timesin the past)...


In theory you should not be using the Blue Board like that anyway (i.e. you should not use it as a stick to make clients pay). I'm sure many translators do that, though. But it is not the real purpose of the Blue Board, and your paid membership does not entitle you to that kind of "service".


Hello Samuel,

Thank you for your reply.

I thought I have described the situation enough to give an idea about what happened but probably I need to underline some points more to express my concern.

"Fair": to summarize the above situation, I have provided a high quality job on time, expected the client to make the agreed payment on time, she did not, delayed 16 days even after reminders, I have sent +10 e-mails, she became rude and started using unprofessional language and this payment arrived within hours ONLY when I entered a bed review on BlueBoard. I do not see anything unfair here on my side. But deleting my review without discussing it to me and preventing other translator to see this issue I had with the client and that she still owes me is unfair to me.

"Using BlueBoard as a threat": Unfortunately for some client this "stick" works sometimes as it happened with the client. Without BlueBoard review I do not think I could ever get the payment or there would be even more delays. All my reviews were positive until this client. In my experience BlueBoard was very helpful to select new clients (mostly) and all the positive & negative reviews helped me a lot and I also try to provide these reviews to help other translators on their way. What is the purpose of BlueBoard If we cannot use it (within the rules) to see the other translators' experiences with a potential client or to provide information about our own experience with some clients??

I see that I need to elaborate: "So, I am a paid member of Proz.com, doing my best to do my job, providing the job on time, without any complaint and expecting to receive the agreed amount. And I am not getting it, giving all the details to Proz.com staff member to "assist" and the result is that my review disappears! (It was there for 2 weeks after getting an approval to publish it and I am aware of the BlueBoard rules, so I guess it was appropriate according to BlueBoard rules!)."

I was expecting to get a "service" to be assisted while I am dealing with this issue and I did not mean that Proz.com should help me to threaten the client or something like that. I was expecting to be informed about the issue (if any) on my BlueBoard review before deleting it or at least to be told that there was an issue and that I need to revise it (if needed). As a paid member I thought staff members prioritize support tickets.

Probably I have reflected my frustration with this client to my first message and might have looked as if I am threatening the client, being unprofessional in my communications with the client, not following the rules on BlueBoard or trying to use Proz.com (and its staff) to do anything unfair. But No! If a client treats me this way after my hard work and on time delivery, I should be able to warn other translators so that they can avoid working with such a company and have the same issues as I many times avoided some potential client thanks to some past reviews.

Thank you again Samuel for the reply which gave me the chance to explain my thoughts a bit further. What was your experience on a similar issue and BB entries? I did not catch your forum posts on this. What did you do or would you do to get the payment without using the BlueBoard?

As a side note, I have made another entry describing the situation and now it appears on the client's BlueBoard. Hopefully it will stay there to warn others. We will see what happens for "non-payment" issue though: what is the difference between partial payment and non-payment?

Tuncay.


[Edited at 2018-10-22 05:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-10-22 05:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-10-22 05:42 GMT]


 

Tuncay Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:04
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
High transaction fees Oct 22, 2018

Walter Landesman wrote:

A couple of times y I received USD 70 less due to fees and commissions charged by my bank and two intermediate banks which took USD 25 each. That may account for your difference as well.


Hello Walter,

Thank you for your input.

I never had such high bank charges even with intermediary banks before and when I have seen this difference I have asked about but unfortunately the client's attitude about this late and partial payment which arrived only after a bed BB review was "it is your bank's problem, I made the full payment". An apology, an explanation, some documents showing the actual fees clearly and a professional attitude would be enough to consider this as a rare case with high bank charges but I tend to think that she did not make the full payment. Anyway, as long as I can use my right to warn others about this experience, I will not mind not getting 65 Euros.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:04
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
A few numbers Oct 22, 2018

Before your entry, there were only two other entries on the BB of this outsourcer, a 1 and a 5. That is not very reassuring, to begin with, perhaps you did not check the BB before you took the assignment?

Another set of numbers: 65, 70, 75.
These numbers refer to the amount you said you were missing.
I am quoting from your posts here:
"the payment magically arrived in the same day but still 65 Euros less then the agreed amount"
"the missing 65 Euros"
"w
... See more
Before your entry, there were only two other entries on the BB of this outsourcer, a 1 and a 5. That is not very reassuring, to begin with, perhaps you did not check the BB before you took the assignment?

Another set of numbers: 65, 70, 75.
These numbers refer to the amount you said you were missing.
I am quoting from your posts here:
"the payment magically arrived in the same day but still 65 Euros less then the agreed amount"
"the missing 65 Euros"
"when I received 70 Euros less the invoiced amount "
"70 Euros is definitely not acceptable!"
" I will not mind not getting 65 Euros"

And in your BB entry, you wrote:
"she made the payment only after bad review here but 75 Euros less than the invoice"

It is a bit confusing...
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Tuncay Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:04
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Oct 22, 2018

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Before your entry, there were only two other entries on the BB of this outsourcer, a 1 and a 5. That is not very reassuring, to begin with, perhaps you did not check the BB before you took the assignment?

Another set of numbers: 65, 70, 75.
These numbers refer to the amount you said you were missing.
I am quoting from your posts here:
"the payment magically arrived in the same day but still 65 Euros less then the agreed amount"
"the missing 65 Euros"
"when I received 70 Euros less the invoiced amount "
"70 Euros is definitely not acceptable!"
" I will not mind not getting 65 Euros"

And in your BB entry, you wrote:
"she made the payment only after bad review here but 75 Euros less than the invoice"

It is a bit confusing...


Hello Katalin,

Yes, usually I do not accept jobs from new clients with an overall positive BB but this client has 13 entries in total (probably you only see the last entries in past 5 years?). She had 12 entries with 5 and a single one with 1. Then again, I have learned my lesson and will be even more careful.

As for the number, you are totally right. The amount on the invoice, the amount arrived in my bank account, the bank charges she proved and the amount my local bank deducted...It was confusing for me as well. To clarify these number, below is the exact amounts:

- Invoiced amount: 605,40
- Bank charges from her side (as I remember...it might some around this): 15 (totally acceptable)
- The amount arrived in my account: 514,54
- The amount my bank deducted: 12,86 (totally acceptable)

Payment arrived 90,86 Euros less the invoiced amount and I have seen the bank charges on her side which was around 15 Eur as I remember, so the total missing payment she owes me is 75 Euros.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:04
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Experience Oct 22, 2018

From past experience, I don't trust any BlueBoard reviews, no matter what. The BB doesn't work. Something should be done about it. But probably won't be.

Just recently I was contacted by an agency that had good BB ratings and being in the middle of other work, I didn't reflect and said OK to them. Sure enough when the time came for payment, they didn't pay and I had to resort to....let's call them "other measures" to make them pay me.

To slightly distort a common Itali
... See more
From past experience, I don't trust any BlueBoard reviews, no matter what. The BB doesn't work. Something should be done about it. But probably won't be.

Just recently I was contacted by an agency that had good BB ratings and being in the middle of other work, I didn't reflect and said OK to them. Sure enough when the time came for payment, they didn't pay and I had to resort to....let's call them "other measures" to make them pay me.

To slightly distort a common Italian saying: "It's good to trust the BB. It's even better not to".

[Edited at 2018-10-22 12:01 GMT]
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Tuncay Kurt
Daryo
Álvaro Espantaleón Moreno
Lian Pang
Lydie Parisot
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 06:04
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Another saying Oct 22, 2018

Tom in London wrote:

From past experience, I don't trust any BlueBoard reviews, no matter what. The BB doesn't work. Something should be done about it. But probably won't be.

Just recently I was contacted by an agency that had good BB ratings and being in the middle of other work, I didn't reflect and said OK to them. Sure enough when the time came for payment, they didn't pay and I had to resort to....let's call them "other measures" to make them pay me.

To slightly distort a common Italian saying: "It's good to trust the BB. It's even better not to".

[Edited at 2018-10-22 12:01 GMT]


I read another saying today. It mentions employees, but it can be substituted by the word "users":

Never push loyal users to the point they no longer care!


Tuncay Kurt
 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
BB realism Oct 22, 2018

Tom in London wrote:

From past experience, I don't trust any BlueBoard reviews, no matter what. The BB doesn't work. Something should be done about it. But probably won't be.

Just recently I was contacted by an agency that had good BB ratings and being in the middle of other work, I didn't reflect and said OK to them. Sure enough when the time came for payment, they didn't pay and I had to resort to....let's call them "other measures" to make them pay me.

To slightly distort a common Italian saying: "It's good to trust the BB. It's even better not to".

[Edited at 2018-10-22 12:01 GMT]


I think that the more accurate view is that if BB ratings for a given agency are numerous and positive, then you can *probably* rest assured that you will receive timely payment.

Such an approach has been advocated numerous times in these forums. The more important point here (which I have never seen stated explicitly) is that those agencies who have their long string of ”5s” have a vested interest in avoiding even a single negative rating (especially from a translator of unquestionable experience and standing) and are therefore less likely to stiff their contractors.

Of course, there are never any absolute guarantees.

[Edited at 2018-10-22 16:00 GMT]


Tuncay Kurt
Álvaro Espantaleón Moreno
Sanghyo Lee
 
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