Poll: How often do you use escrow with your clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
SITE STAFF
Jun 25, 2020

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you use escrow with your clients?".

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Jaime Munizaga
페루
Local time: 11:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Meaning Jun 25, 2020

Good morning everybody,
A question, what means "escrow with clients"?
Best,


Kaisa I
expressisverbis
Teresa Borges
Anja Hajek
Mario Freitas
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
svetlana cosquéric
 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
프랑스
Local time: 17:10
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
What would the point be? Jun 25, 2020

As far as I know, escrow payment is used to reduce the risk, both for the supplier and the client. Obviously, both party have to agree on using it (on a strange basis: "we don’t really trust each other, so let’s do it this way").
I personally do the usual checks before working for any new client and pay close attention to all relevant aspects, no matter how mundane (I do not serve rude or shady prospects). If the rate and conditions don’t match my criteria, I basically don’t take
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As far as I know, escrow payment is used to reduce the risk, both for the supplier and the client. Obviously, both party have to agree on using it (on a strange basis: "we don’t really trust each other, so let’s do it this way").
I personally do the usual checks before working for any new client and pay close attention to all relevant aspects, no matter how mundane (I do not serve rude or shady prospects). If the rate and conditions don’t match my criteria, I basically don’t take it further.
Unless the project is tiny, all new clients are required to pay a downpayment.
Never had a bad surprise so far (touch wood!).
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Teresa Borges
Paulinho Fonseca
Diana Casoliba Bonache
Aline Amorim
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
브라질
Local time: 14:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Escrow as a verb? Jun 25, 2020

Using "to escrow" as a verb is quite a bit weird.
And even as a noun, it doesn't exist in our market. Not for freelancers, at least.

[Edited at 2020-06-25 13:45 GMT]


Gibril Koroma
Paulinho Fonseca
Aline Amorim
 

Jennifer Caisley  Identity Verified
영국
Local time: 16:10
Member (2019)
German to English
+ ...
To add a different perspective... Jun 25, 2020

I look to be in the 10% or so of freelancers who make use of an escrow arrangement, albeit rarely, as one of the freelancing brokerage sites I use occasionally has an in-built escrow system.

I personally find it highly reassuring to have the funds in escrow before completing the project - even though I am scrupulous about checking my clients' credentials, every so often the odd rogue slips through the net, and even the most reliably loyal clients can have the odd month where they're
... See more
I look to be in the 10% or so of freelancers who make use of an escrow arrangement, albeit rarely, as one of the freelancing brokerage sites I use occasionally has an in-built escrow system.

I personally find it highly reassuring to have the funds in escrow before completing the project - even though I am scrupulous about checking my clients' credentials, every so often the odd rogue slips through the net, and even the most reliably loyal clients can have the odd month where they're rather less than speedy to settle their invoice!

Of course, it's rather a moot point because establishing an escrow arrangement across the board for my entire client portfolio would be utterly impossible!
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Ian Keith Jones Williams
 

Mina Chen  Identity Verified
미국
Local time: 11:10
Member (2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
not sure if that is a thing in the US translation market Jun 25, 2020

I only know that escrow is used in big-ticket items such as real estate transactions here in the US.

if it is not a huge amount of money, it probably doesn't make sense to use it. There is a fee to it.

But a built-in escrow system in a translation platform is an excellent idea. I haven't tried ProZ*pay but it seems it has some "escrow" characteristics to it?


Paulinho Fonseca
 

DZiW (X)
우크라이나
English to Russian
+ ...
Over 78% of Freelancers Jun 26, 2020

Little wonder, not long ago I saw the statistics the vast majority of all freelancers (not only translators) suffered from at least one unpaid job.

Business is always legal risky* for-profit endeavors, balancing Compliance risks, Financial risks, Operational risks, Reputational risks, Strategic risks, and on.

While an initial partial upfront payment (some 5%-50%) and reasonable milestone is strongly recommended for new or risky clients/projects, h
... See more
Little wonder, not long ago I saw the statistics the vast majority of all freelancers (not only translators) suffered from at least one unpaid job.

Business is always legal risky* for-profit endeavors, balancing Compliance risks, Financial risks, Operational risks, Reputational risks, Strategic risks, and on.

While an initial partial upfront payment (some 5%-50%) and reasonable milestone is strongly recommended for new or risky clients/projects, how could one make sure (1) the contact is legit/real, (2) financially reliable, and (3) has no plans of bailing out of the deal? Common sense and due diligence with guts helps sometimes, yet escrow mostly covers it all, offering security for the parties--from a $3,500 job to a $1,500,000 mortgage. Just an option to consider.

A bank, a dedicated entity, an underwriter, an authority, or a third/independent business party may act as such a reference/agent--as agreed. Of course, a practicing lawyer must check the contract, yet there's nothing far too complicated. If I remember correctly, Paypal, Payoneer, and a few others seem to have escrow-like features, but they are rather unilateral or handicapped in a way.


Meanwhile, How come most* freelance translators dealing with anonymous intermediaries believe the now-standard “Little/No Deposit + Net30” scheme [often sucked into 50-120+ days--with freebies, underpayment, or fraud] is any safer or more secure?


P.S. I work with the same direct clients, so no need to escrow, yet several times I had one direct client acting as an escrow agent in a few $10k+ contracts with other prospects, who are my direct clients now too)



[Edited at 2020-06-26 02:43 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
포르투갈
Local time: 16:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never Jun 26, 2020

I’ve never heard of the use of an escrow in the translation market, either in Belgium or in Portugal, the countries I know best, and I’ve been around for a long while. I suppose that if I was to propose that to a potential new client he/she would run from me as fast as possible like a rabbit from a fox. Due diligence is a must in our profession and anyway I never accept huge projects from new clients, unless they are a well-known international organization, and in these cases they are always... See more
I’ve never heard of the use of an escrow in the translation market, either in Belgium or in Portugal, the countries I know best, and I’ve been around for a long while. I suppose that if I was to propose that to a potential new client he/she would run from me as fast as possible like a rabbit from a fox. Due diligence is a must in our profession and anyway I never accept huge projects from new clients, unless they are a well-known international organization, and in these cases they are always willing to make an advance payment. May I add that I haven’t had a single payment issue for some years now?Collapse


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
브라질
Local time: 14:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very nice! Jun 26, 2020

It's very nice to edit the poll after several comments are made, so that our comments sound that we are either stupid or crazy. Thank you.
The original poll said "How often do you escrow with your clients" and that's where many comments below came from.
Please do NOT edit polls after comments have been made in the forum.


DZiW (X)
expressisverbis
 


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