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Poll: Do you charge interest or penalty fees for late payments?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:54
צוות האתר
Jan 18, 2019

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you charge interest or penalty fees for late payments?".

View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 09:54
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Other (not usually) Jan 18, 2019

In over 30 years I’ve had a few late payments (I’m dealing with one right now) but I had only 5 non-payment issues (4 agencies and 1 direct client): some solved, with the help of a lawyer for 2 of them (the amounts were too small for the remaining); all the legal fees were paid by the debtors (interest fees included).

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
No Jan 18, 2019

Obviously it says I will on my invoices, but the only time the interest would ever amount to more than pennies is where the client isn't going to pay at all.

Teresa Borges
Jennifer Forbes
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 01:54
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
No Jan 18, 2019

I think it would be like trying to push jelly up a hill. And not worth the trouble.

neilmac
Teresa Borges
Christine Andersen
Robert Forstag
Mario Freitas
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 10:54
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
No Jan 18, 2019

I try to understand my clients and their situations. The smaller ones sometimes have cash flow problems; for example, one of them just paid me 50% of a bill I issued at the end of September; I'm not sure if it's the first or second 50%, but they always pay up in the end. Then there are research institutions and universities, whose accounting is bound to the tax year and the funds available, which means they may sometimes take several months to pay, but they always do so in the end.
I'm awa
... See more
I try to understand my clients and their situations. The smaller ones sometimes have cash flow problems; for example, one of them just paid me 50% of a bill I issued at the end of September; I'm not sure if it's the first or second 50%, but they always pay up in the end. Then there are research institutions and universities, whose accounting is bound to the tax year and the funds available, which means they may sometimes take several months to pay, but they always do so in the end.
I'm aware that badgering them isn't going to help, and that they will pay up in due course. It used to be more of a nuisance for me in the early days, but over the years I've gotten used to it. As the old tourist ad said: "Spain is different"...
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Amir Arzani
Paul van Zijll
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 10:54
מאנגלית לגרמנית
+ ...
other Jan 18, 2019

I don't work for clients that pay late.

Christine Andersen
Henriette Saffron
Laura Bissio CT
Mario Freitas
TB CommuniCAT
Anja Hajek
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
צרפת
חבר
מאנגלית לצרפתית
+ ...
EU's Late Payment Directive Jan 18, 2019

Never enforced interest or penalty fees for late payments yet, but the provision is present in all my invoices as legally required in France, and as per the Late Payment Directive by the EU:

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/support/late-payment_en

Among the main provisions:

- Automatic entitlement to interest for late payment and €40 minimu
... See more
Never enforced interest or penalty fees for late payments yet, but the provision is present in all my invoices as legally required in France, and as per the Late Payment Directive by the EU:

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/support/late-payment_en

Among the main provisions:

- Automatic entitlement to interest for late payment and €40 minimum as compensation for recovery costs.
- Statutory interest of at least 8% above the European Central Bank’s reference rate.

Note: These come into play without having to send any reminder to the client, simply after the due date lapses. If you are working in the EU, mentioning such legal provisions are a deterring factor against late payment practices. They has served well so far.

All my invoices mention:

- Late payment penalties: interest rate applied by the ECB increased by 10 points of percentage
- Flat rate for late payment recovery costs: €40 (article D.441-­5 of the French Code of Commerce)


[Edited at 2019-01-19 02:44 GMT]
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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
מצרפתית לאנגלית
In France, yes, absolutely! Jan 18, 2019

In over 25 years working as a translator, whether the client is small or huge, getting paid by the deadline for payment is hard. Sending out a reminder invoice with the 40€ penalty and the interest added on usually has the effect of making a forgetful client pay up. However, one example at the moment, is a company who paid the 30% upfront bang on time and that I had to chase for the balance, which they'd put into their system on a 60 days end of month programme. They had agreed clearly to payi... See more
In over 25 years working as a translator, whether the client is small or huge, getting paid by the deadline for payment is hard. Sending out a reminder invoice with the 40€ penalty and the interest added on usually has the effect of making a forgetful client pay up. However, one example at the moment, is a company who paid the 30% upfront bang on time and that I had to chase for the balance, which they'd put into their system on a 60 days end of month programme. They had agreed clearly to paying me upon receipt off my invoice. They paid up, but were late and it caused me prejudice. I added the penalty and interest which they had no choice about and which they agreed to pay (which made me smile, as like I have just pointed out, it's compulsory). But I'm having to chase them for that too, which is adding insult to injury.Collapse


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 04:54
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Seems counterproductive Jan 18, 2019

It seems that proposing a late payment fee when a project is being negotiated would likely drive most potential clients away.

What I do instead in order to protect myself are the following:
1.
I stress the importance of the payment deadline (with phrasing along the lines of: “Payment due on or before [date], which is a firm deadline.”)
2.
In the case of agencies, I usually work with companies with a “good” Blue Board rating (and therefore an o
... See more
It seems that proposing a late payment fee when a project is being negotiated would likely drive most potential clients away.

What I do instead in order to protect myself are the following:
1.
I stress the importance of the payment deadline (with phrasing along the lines of: “Payment due on or before [date], which is a firm deadline.”)
2.
In the case of agencies, I usually work with companies with a “good” Blue Board rating (and therefore an online presence and reputation to protect).
3.
In the case of direct clients, I insist on upfront payment (for small jobs) and a combination of down payment and delivery-upon-payment for larger jobs.

These procedures have generally worked well for me.
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 05:54
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
No Jan 18, 2019

Unfortunately, this does not exist in our market. I wish it did, but it doesn't.

Anyway, it doesn't make a difference to me really. If any client delays a payment for more than 10 days, that will be the last service I'll provide to them.

[Edited at 2019-01-18 18:18 GMT]


 

DZiW
אוקראינה
מאנגלית לרוסית
+ ...
Working with local direct clients Jan 18, 2019

It's me who makes my own rules in my biz:
1) I charge extra for late payments and
2) I ask new, unreliable and persistent non-payers for prepayment--or refuse their offers.


 


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