Invoice rejected because it was sent in later than 3 months (Translation Agency)
投稿者: Regina Maria Brodmann

Regina Maria Brodmann
英国
Local time: 15:15
英語 から ドイツ語
+ ...
Jan 13

I have been working for a translation agency for a while. The company has a platform, where you have to send in one invoice for all the jobs you did in a month and because I have worked less and less recently, I forgot to send in the last invoice. Now, I got this mail:

"Good Day Regina,
We are emailing to advise that we will shortly be rejecting your invoice with the below reference, which you submitted on 21 December 2020.
This is because your invoice/s contain project
... See more
I have been working for a translation agency for a while. The company has a platform, where you have to send in one invoice for all the jobs you did in a month and because I have worked less and less recently, I forgot to send in the last invoice. Now, I got this mail:

"Good Day Regina,
We are emailing to advise that we will shortly be rejecting your invoice with the below reference, which you submitted on 21 December 2020.
This is because your invoice/s contain project/s that are older than 3 months old. As per the Supplier T&Cs, invoices should be fully submitted within 90 days of completion or they may not be processed."

Is there any way I could challenge this? It just seems so unfair (duh!). It is not a lot of money, but I am still extremely annoyed at them and myself.
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Tom in London
英国
Local time: 15:15
2008に入会
イタリア語 から 英語
They can't do that Jan 13

Regina Maria Brodmann wrote:

I have been working for a translation agency for a while. The company has a platform, where you have to send in one invoice for all the jobs you did in a month and because I have worked less and less recently, I forgot to send in the last invoice. Now, I got this mail:

"Good Day Regina,
We are emailing to advise that we will shortly be rejecting your invoice with the below reference, which you submitted on 21 December 2020.
This is because your invoice/s contain project/s that are older than 3 months old. As per the Supplier T&Cs, invoices should be fully submitted within 90 days of completion or they may not be processed."

Is there any way I could challenge this? It just seems so unfair (duh!). It is not a lot of money, but I am still extremely annoyed at them and myself.


They can't do that. Don't let them get away with it.

Be determined. Write them a very obviously extremely polite formal letter that begins "WITHOUT PREJUDUCE" stating your objections and advising them that you expect payment in full within X days.

"WITHOUT PREJUDICE" means that you are thinking about taking legal advice.

That of itself may be enough to persuade them to pay.


Emanuele Vacca
Sheila Wilson
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Yaotl Altan
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
ボスニア・ヘルツェゴビナ
Local time: 16:15
ドイツ語 から セルビア語
+ ...
The policy seems very clear. Jan 13

I am not questioning whether this policy is right or wrong. Fact is, it is/was there, you were supposed to be aware of it, and they can rely on it and quote it during the dispute. It seems like you don’t have anything to counter that other than the “it’s not fair” statement.

You probably signed an NDA or something similar at the beginning of collaboration accepting their terms and policies. As such, I’m not sure what you can do now.


ipv
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
オランダ
Local time: 16:15
2006に入会
英語 から アフリカーンス語
+ ...
@Regina Jan 13

Regina Maria Brodmann wrote:
We are emailing to advise that we will shortly be rejecting your invoice with the below reference, which you submitted on 21 December 2020. This is because your invoice/s contain project/s that are older than 3 months old. As per the Supplier T&Cs, invoices should be fully submitted within 90 days of completion or they may not be processed.


I'm not sure if it is legal for them to put that in their terms and conditions (i.e. that invoices not submitted within 3 months does not need to be paid). I have a number of clients with similar terms in their T&Cs, but they typically do pay even if the invoice is later than that.

Some web sites repeat that the invoice is valid for 6 years, but I suspect that that applies to very specific circumstances only.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
英国
スウェーデン語 から 英語
+ ...
Systems vs people Jan 13

Email your normal contact there and ask them to override the system. I’m sure that’ll work.

I don’t think they can legally not pay you anyway.


Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
Vadim Kadyrov
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
ボスニア・ヘルツェゴビナ
Local time: 16:15
ドイツ語 から セルビア語
+ ...
System. Jan 13

Chris S wrote:

Email your normal contact there and ask them to override the system. I’m sure that’ll work.

I don’t think they can legally not pay you anyway.


It appears like one of those agencies with separate departments for everything. The “normal contact” will just refer her back to the invoicing department.

Their policies and NDA is a legal document, isn’t it?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
スペイン
Local time: 15:15
2007に入会
英語
+ ...
Aren't there legal limits, which exceed 3 months? Jan 13

Maybe you'll find the legal limits for the country/countries here:
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tic/public/invRules/invRulesPublicationPage.html

From the UK:
https://debitoor.com/blog/time-limits-for-issu
... See more
Maybe you'll find the legal limits for the country/countries here:
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tic/public/invRules/invRulesPublicationPage.html

From the UK:
https://debitoor.com/blog/time-limits-for-issuing-invoices
https://www.mycreditcontrollers.co.uk/Articles/how-late-is-an-invoice-still-valid.html

From the US:
https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/how-long-does-a-contractor-have-to-bill-you--62387.html

(Edited to add more links)


[Edited at 2021-01-13 17:19 GMT]
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Edwin den Boer
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
英国
スウェーデン語 から 英語
+ ...
@5B Jan 13

Lingua 5B wrote:
It appears like one of those agencies with separate departments for everything. The “normal contact” will just refer her back to the invoicing department.

I’ve always found that if you have a friendly relationship with your contact, they will go to great lengths to make sure you are treated right. After all, it’s not in the agency’s interest to ruin the working relationship. The limit is only there to try to get people to invoice promptly and make their accountant’s life easier.

Their policies and NDA is a legal document, isn’t it?

Yes, but many of the terms are there to encourage compliance but are actually unenforceable. There are laws that overrule many contractual terms.


Sheila Wilson
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Adieu
Philippe Etienne
Vera Schoen
 

Regina Maria Brodmann
英国
Local time: 15:15
英語 から ドイツ語
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jan 13

Thank you all for your replies. I have sent a friendly mail, emphasizing the fact that I have worked for them over 4 years and hope for their goodwill. Let's see...
I mean, I have signed their NDA at the very beginning, so technically they can always say that I signed it. I just don't want to lose the client and I feel that's going to happen if I threaten them...

[Edited at 2021-01-13 20:50 GMT]


Chris S
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
フランス語 から 英語
Shared responsibility Jan 14

Setting aside any contractual and/or statutory principles for the time being, I think it might be worth mentioning that the agency must have realised that they had not paid you. Agencies are very quick off the mark to seek reliance upon an end client's late payment (or failure to pay) as an excuse not to pay a translator, thereby failing to take account of matters such as the doctrine of privity of contract. Further, you may wish to check to see whether they have ever been late in paying you or ... See more
Setting aside any contractual and/or statutory principles for the time being, I think it might be worth mentioning that the agency must have realised that they had not paid you. Agencies are very quick off the mark to seek reliance upon an end client's late payment (or failure to pay) as an excuse not to pay a translator, thereby failing to take account of matters such as the doctrine of privity of contract. Further, you may wish to check to see whether they have ever been late in paying you or made a mistake of some sort. If they have and you did not seek to recover interest etc., that would be the sort of thing you could bring to bear in support of an amicable arrangement here.

This agency may otherwise be a good client for you. Over the past 4 years, you have probably bailed them out on occasion with one or two urgent jobs. You could point to such incidents and things such as good faith, reciprocity, sound professional morals and give and take, etc. They may have closed their accounts and be reluctant to cover on 2021 something they should have covered in 2020. However, that's their accounting problem, not yours. A host of other possibilities could be listed. One you might like to consider is that the end client has not paid them in which case, they could be happy to balance their books on this one by not paying you.

So, have a look at the facts. Stick to what you know. If you have accorded the agency one or two favours, I think you can politely but firmly bring those to the table and ask them to reconsider.

One or two issues you might like to do some legal research on:
- privity of contract
- right to use your work when it has not been paid for and when they must have known that was the case (good faith/bad faith)
- unfair contract terms
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Tina Vonhof
Chris S
Philip Lees
 

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei  Identity Verified
ガーナ
Local time: 15:15
日本語 から 英語
Check your legal rights Jan 14

Regina Maria Brodmann wrote:

Thank you all for your replies. I have sent a friendly mail, emphasizing the fact that I have worked for them over 4 years and hope for their goodwill. Let's see...
I mean, I have signed their NDA at the very beginning, so technically they can always say that I signed it. I just don't want to lose the client and I feel that's going to happen if I threaten them...

So you're just gonna roll over and let them not pay you? I hope they respond sensibly to your friendly email, otherwise your next step should be asserting your legal right to be paid for invoices issued within the time limit specified by the government in question, not the agency. Asking to be paid for work done is not the same as 'threatening' anyone.


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