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Poll: Your client pays you twice for the same job. What do you do?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:56
English to German
+ ...
other May 30, 2018

I was never paid twice for the same job, but I was overpaid a couple of times.

I informed the client; once they let me keep the money as a sort of year-end-bonus, twice they issued a (x amount negative) PO for my next invoice to offset the payment.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Credit them for the next job May 30, 2018

This has happened a couple of times already, fortunately with recurring clients.

Most payment methods involve fees, which may range from PayPal's greedy 10% (6.5% fee + 3.5% lower-than-market exchange rates) deducted from the amount I receive down to Western Union's modest US$ 4.99 per-transaction fee.

If I refund them, we'll be wasting money on funds transfer fees.

Of course, I can reject the payment via PayPal, I guess they'll be charged a fee for transac
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This has happened a couple of times already, fortunately with recurring clients.

Most payment methods involve fees, which may range from PayPal's greedy 10% (6.5% fee + 3.5% lower-than-market exchange rates) deducted from the amount I receive down to Western Union's modest US$ 4.99 per-transaction fee.

If I refund them, we'll be wasting money on funds transfer fees.

Of course, I can reject the payment via PayPal, I guess they'll be charged a fee for transaction cancellation.

I can reject a bank transfer, so I won't have to pay the BRL 115 receiving fee, but they'll already have paid a US$ 20~65 (depending on their bank) sending fee.

If I send back the funds from a P2P (Western Union, Moneygram) we'll lose the forex spread twice. They send USD, I get the low BRL exchg rate. To send them the money back, I pay in BRL at the higher USD exchg rate.

Domestic clients are a different game. Once a local client paid me twice. As we use the same bank here, transfers are done in real time, 24/7, no fees. I immediately sent the amount back to her account.
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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:56
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Return it May 30, 2018

of course. Not only is it dishonest against your client or in general, but also it is impossible from a bookkeeping point of view: any incoming money has to match exactly an invoice. Really astonished at the mere idea of keeping it, and at the 4% considering it.

 

Hubert Schwarzer  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:56
Member (2011)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Who the hell are those that would keep the money paid twice? May 30, 2018

Shame on you! Well, what was I expecting? Dishonesty is part of every human society.
In all those years it happened to me several times, I always promptly returned it and told my clients so. Sometimes a customer miscalculates the price in my favour. Even then I correct them. My money is earned honestly, causing no loss to anyone else.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Accounting is important May 30, 2018

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

of course. Not only is it dishonest against your client or in general, but also it is impossible from a bookkeeping point of view: any incoming money has to match exactly an invoice. Really astonished at the mere idea of keeping it, and at the 4% considering it.


When I get paid twice for the same job, I write the client CC their accounting, if different, stating that $ X have been credited to their account for the next job.

When I invoice for that next job, I include that amount as "advance prepayment", and deduct it from the total amount due. This will make the ends meet in my clients accounting.

Example:

1st job invoice: $400.00
Amount due: $400.00
Payments received:
a) $400.00 +
b) $400.00 = $800.00

I credit them $400.00 (and advise!)

2nd job invoice: $150.00
Prepaid: ($150.00)
Amount due: $0.00

I advise them they still have a $250.00 credit.

3rd job invoice: $800.00
Prepaid: ($250.00)
Amount due: $550.00

I advise them that we have no pending credit.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Of course, return it or give credit against future work May 30, 2018

Unless it is a situation where the client/agency owes you a past-due balance. In that case, apply all or part of the overpayment to the past-due balance.

I think that a more interesting question arises when an incompetent or careless project manager agrees to a given rate for a job, and then later requests a discount when he or she becomes aware that the text in question involved a significant amount of repetition. In such cases, I would at most be inclined to agree to a small disco
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Unless it is a situation where the client/agency owes you a past-due balance. In that case, apply all or part of the overpayment to the past-due balance.

I think that a more interesting question arises when an incompetent or careless project manager agrees to a given rate for a job, and then later requests a discount when he or she becomes aware that the text in question involved a significant amount of repetition. In such cases, I would at most be inclined to agree to a small discount.

The principle of "a deal is a deal" cuts both ways, and it is not the freelancer´s job to manage projects for PMs.
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Ana Florencia Fernandez
Argentina
Local time: 14:56
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let the client know ASAP May 30, 2018

Good clients are hard to get, why not do our best to keep them?

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reimburse it May 30, 2018

Assuming, of course, that I noticed the double payment. I'm so scatty at the admin side that I'm more likely to forget to bill clients rather than try to stiff them in any way.

[Edited at 2018-05-30 14:33 GMT]


 

Peter Simon  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:56
Member (2013)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Oh no, May 30, 2018

I can't even imagine how some client may pay me twice for the same invoice...

 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
No nigerian scam? No mistake? It's just a tip) May 30, 2018

The agreed price is the absolute bottom, so I would simply collect the due and honest benefits, why?
Mostly I work as an interpreter and enjoy different bonuses (both in money terms and other benefits), so far, unless it's a mistake, I would accept it as a gratitude--even as a translator.

Why, when my direct client paid me almost tenfold by chance, we just agreed it was advance money, yet he still paid in full in spite of my reminders; finally he said it's worth it.

... See more
The agreed price is the absolute bottom, so I would simply collect the due and honest benefits, why?
Mostly I work as an interpreter and enjoy different bonuses (both in money terms and other benefits), so far, unless it's a mistake, I would accept it as a gratitude--even as a translator.

Why, when my direct client paid me almost tenfold by chance, we just agreed it was advance money, yet he still paid in full in spite of my reminders; finally he said it's worth it.

P.S. It's fancy how local state and federal laws tell legal-illegal and moral-immoral-amoral... while abusing the same 'values'.
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Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:56
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
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Return the money May 30, 2018

Return the money. Period.

 

Nam-kyu Cho
United States
Local time: 11:56
Korean to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


I would ask May 31, 2018

There was one time when a client paid me twice for the same job. I told them I would transfer money back to their bank account if they let me know their account number. They said they would pay me the difference for the next job. After I completed the next job, I got paid in full, so I reminded them, but they never got back to me. I ended up keeping the money.

 

Giorgio Maria Bruno Anselmi
Georgia
Local time: 21:56
Member (2018)
English to Italian


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Return the money. May 31, 2018

I'd return the money or (as other suggested) apply a credit. Besides the obvious ethic implications, the chances of losing a client because they might later realise, is most likely not worth the extra money.

Clients mess up ALL-THE-TIMES. In my nine years as a project manager in a localisation agency, I've seen things that make wonder how come many of them kept (and keep) staying in business.


 

Selene Desiré Bovo  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:56
English to Spanish
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Let them know May 31, 2018

I let the client know and wait to see how they want to proceed.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:56
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Are you asking if we are honest? Jun 2, 2018

Of course you return the money immediately! Any doubt about that?
It could happen that the client sugggests to deduct it from the next jobs, of course. It has happened to me a few times. But whatever the case may be, you immediately inform the client they paid twice. Period.

Edith van der Have-Raats wrote:
4% over here keep the money. I assume/hope they have not signed the ProZ Professional Guidelines ...


Exactly! And of course none of these 4% showed up here to make a comment. Bufoons!

[Edited at 2018-06-02 18:07 GMT]


 
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