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How do you deal with a client that's posponing jobs
Thread poster: Channa Montijn

Channa Montijn  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:39
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 9, 2004

This has happened to me several times; a regular client states: "are you avaible from X until X for this job"... (over 10,000 words) I respond yes (or no but in that case I do not have a problem)... so I decline other jobs. I do not recieve the files to be translated they mentioned by the client on time... I send an email, they are not sure when the text will arrive... to cut a long story short... I've been waiting for a week now, not taking on other jobs since I was expecting this one (and it is a lot of work, since it not just translating but copywriting as well).
They promised it will be in by next Monday and the deadline is now just after Christmas....
Just wondering...
What do you do?
Do you take a chance and perhaps take on too much work on or (like I did) reserve time just to make sure you have enough time).
I missed out on a lot of money this week, just waiting (however I did enjoy myselve -:)).


[Edited at 2004-12-09 16:30]

[Edited at 2004-12-09 16:32]


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Matt Baird
Germany
Local time: 13:39
German to English
Take on other jobs Dec 9, 2004

If a job is postponed and my client can't say for sure when they will receive the text, I would accept work from other clients. Your client must understand that you cannot wait around for their job to come in. They asked if you were available for a specific time and you were. When the job finally does arrive, if it ever does, (I have experienced that) you may be available or you may not be and that is for you to decide.

Best,
Matt


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Azra Obalı (Akifgil)
Local time: 14:39
Turkish to English
+ ...
Cooperation Dec 9, 2004

In such cases, I suggest you to ask for other (reliable) colleague(s) if he/she/they would be available for a potential job to be passed to him/her/them, and upon receipt of confirmation from the collague(s), take on the other jobs, so that you would be able to pass the other jobs to the others, while you are on your expected job.
HTH


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Take on other jobs Dec 9, 2004

I fully agree with Matthew, I lost too much money the other way.

And when you will have another job, you cannot even inform the postponing client that you won't have time for his job, because you won't know when his job will really start and what the actual deadline will be.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 06:39
English to Russian
+ ...
Regular client is a dear thing... Dec 9, 2004

I also have a client (an agency) who does that once in a while and I know that they are really not at fault since I also know the end client and the overall project, which is very dynamic. But they also feed me steadily for 5 years, including coffee and desserts:-). They give me at least 50-60% of my income. When things happen, I accept small jobs from other clients, something I know I can do within no more than a couple of days or even in between. You can always spare a few hours within a timeframe for a 10K volume and finish a small project. Once I declined a serious side job because the same volume was promised by that regular client. It never came. Still, my loyalty was and is worth it considering a steady well-paid workflow. A different huge job from them dashed in in a week. Yet what I just described should be treated as an exceptional relationship.

For all other cases another day would be the absolute maximum that I would wait in the idle mode unless I wanted a break. Then I would call or write them a letter stating that I have to accept another job and will be happy to complete their request and discuss the new term when the project actually arrives. I would do that even if I had no job at hand, for 2 reasons - first, the job might present itself any minute, and second, it's a nice reminder that you are a busy, sought-after professional. Make them feel lucky that 2 weeks later you were still available:-)

Cheers,
Irina


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Channa Montijn  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:39
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That would be passing on the problem... Dec 9, 2004

Azra Obalý (Akifgil) wrote:

In such cases, I suggest you to ask for other (reliable) colleague(s) if he/she/they would be available for a potential job to be passed to him/her/them, and upon receipt of confirmation from the collague(s), take on the other jobs, so that you would be able to pass the other jobs to the others, while you are on your expected job.
HTH


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 13:39
German to Romanian
+ ...
accept other jobs Dec 9, 2004

IreneN wrote:


For all other cases another day would be the absolute maximum that I would wait in the idle mode unless I wanted a break. Then I would call or write them a letter stating that I have to accept another job and will be happy to complete their request and discuss the new term when the project actually arrives. I would do that even if I had no job at hand, for 2 reasons - first, the job might present itself any minute, and second, it's a nice reminder that you are a busy, sought-after professional. Make them feel lucky that 2 weeks later you were still available:-)

Cheers,
Irina


Exactly my thoughts. Maybe I would wait two days after the promised date for the arrival of the project. but if another project comes in the next day, I would inform the client and take on the new job.


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:39
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Don't keep waiting Dec 9, 2004

Imagine you're asking a plumber to come and do an urgent job. but, oh, you have to go out - postpone the work on the plumbing. It just depends on how urgent the plumbing work is ... doesn't it? Because you know that your plumber may very well be off on other jobs next week. Come to thhink of it, in some countries you'd be happy to be able to get hold of her/him anyway!
Translating is a bit like the yachting service business: everything has to be ready yesterday, but well, yesterday next week is not so bad either, if we're really stretched....

Last week I accepted only half of an assignment because I would not be able to do the whole translation and ended up editing the second half .... this week! I've also declined jobs because another project was 'imminent' - and then that project just did not materialise. A job that is confirmed is a job, everything else is just a possible job. And of course, you'll be more lenient towards 'old' clients and bend over backwards to try and do their jobs, but hey - you are in the business to earn money, and "waiting-days" are not paid for. If they want to book you, let them pay a retainer fee.... I found out most of the time that if you are not available for a few days, because you've accepted another project, they'll wait!
Anjo

[Edited at 2004-12-09 22:18]


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
English to Tamil
+ ...
Advance booking has to be paid for Dec 11, 2004

I do not commit for translation jobs that are expected in the future. When a client talks of such a possibility I tell him that I cannot be blocked that way. If he insists, I ask for an advance that can be adjusted in the bill for that particular work. If no work comes for that project, he forgoes the advance.

Trouble with such clients is that they want everything in black and white from us but are delightfully vague when it involves their own commitments to us. I advise the client to take his chances with my availability at the appropriate time. Time is money.

Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2004-12-12 13:11]


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