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Can Non-Paying Agencies Be Banned From ProZ?
Thread poster: Rowan Morrell
Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 03:08
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Jul 18, 2002

Before continuing, I wish to assure you all that I am aware of the Blue Board and have already used it to give a negative rating to a non-paying agency. I am also a member of TCR and TransPayment.



However, I would still like to raise the issue of non-paying agencies here. Specifically, whether they should be banned from ProZ if they are a member here.



On eBay, if a person gets enough negative feedbacks, they can be banned. I think ProZ should consider doing something similar for member agencies that get a lot of bad feedback for non-payment or other unethical behaviour. Why should these agencies continue to be allowed to operate through ProZ when they just want to rip people off?



Admittedly, care would have to be taken not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, in other words, ban agencies that are having genuine problems that lead to hiccups in payments and maybe bad reviews from impatient translators. But I also think that if an agency is getting consistently bad reviews on the Blue Board, especially for the same thing (eg non-payment) something should be done about it.



I hope I\'ve posted this to the right forum. Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I feel it\'s an important one.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:08
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
I agree if used with caution Jul 18, 2002

Just as translators can be banned agencies should.

I clearly see the problems, but it CANNOT be an inherent goal for ProZ.com to help crooks impoverish translators.


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:08
English to German
+ ...
I see it a bit differently: Jul 18, 2002

Look at it the other way: once you ban a fishy agency from proz (and I suppose you have in mind to erase them completely, not leaving any information), how would members then know they are fishy when being aproached personally by such agencies, not through the site? I partly agree with you if there is a possibility (technically) to leave the bad ratings on the site for information and to ensure at the same time that these agencies can not use the bidding system anymore. But, nevertheless, I have a bad feeling about it even in this case: shouldn\'t it be up to everyone of us to decide whether we would like to work for an agency or not and to make sure we know whom we get into with? I personally 100% dislike the idea of shifting this responsibility to the proz site staff as well as I do not like the feature which disables me to receive mailings on jobs the price of which is out of the range I entered at the site. I like to use the site as a means of communication but do not wish to be administered, morally influenced or personally limited by the staff in any way. My duty was to pay 100 bucks which I did, their duty is to run the site propely, that\'s it.



Please, all of you, feel free to let me know your point of view.



As I can recall, we had this issue already about 1/2 year ago or so, BTW.



Salem

Steffen

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-18 07:44 ]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:08
Dutch to English
+ ...
Banning agencies Jul 18, 2002

Steffen wrote:

I personally 100% dislike the idea of shifting this responsibility to the proz site staff as well as I do not like the feature which disables me to receive mailings on jobs the price of which is out of the range I entered at the site. I like to use the site as a means of communication but do not wish to be administered, morally influenced or personally limited by the staff in any way.



I agree with this. Another point I\'d like to make is that you cannot cover every eventuality and people will always be ripped off at some point or another. Although I agree this is unfair, it is part of the job. When you do freelance work, there is a risk attached like in any other branch of business.



I\'m not very happy about the fact that I cannot receive mailings on jobs the price of which is out of the range I entered at the site either. Sometimes I do offer my services for a lower rate (mainly non-profit organisations which I personally respect). I like to be in control of the business I do!



Kind regards to all!


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 15:08
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
I agree anyway Jul 18, 2002

It is enough!
[addsig]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:08
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Well spoken Stephen! Jul 18, 2002

A very clarifying comment!

BUT:

Although I share you view on taking responsibility for my own dealings, I still think ProZ.com should try to improve the translation market by assisting in weeding out the bad guys.

The should not be erased but blacklisted, not publicly but \'BlueBoard\'ly, i.e. with the information \"Not allowed to post jobs on ProZ.com\"



Mats





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Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 03:08
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Steffen Jul 18, 2002

Thank you for sharing your views, Steffen. You raise some interesting points, which I will endeavour to respond to here.



Let me go back to the eBay analogy. On that site, the feedback records of members who are kicked off are still visible for all to see. So an agency\'s feedback could still be visible after it gets banned, but there could be an extra note saying that the agency has been banned from ProZ.



Another possibility might be to create a \"blacklist\" which an agency would be automatically transferred to (complete with all its feedback) if it gets banned. This blacklist could be a component of the Blue Board, and would be available to all members.



Members should certainly take every step they can to find out about an agency, such as studying the Blue Board or joining a list like TCR. But not everyone may do this until it\'s too late, and I think banning agencies that employ unethical practices would send a strong statement from ProZ that ill-treating translators won\'t be tolerated.



You say: \"I like to use the site as a means of communication but do not wish to be administered, morally influenced or personally limited by the staff in any way.\"



But doesn\'t this happen anyway, when members are disciplined for e.g. flaming on the forums? And staff can edit or delete messages with inappropriate content. Is this kind of action not a form of administration and personal limitation by the staff? Presumably you have no problem with that. Ergo, why not extend some of the staff\'s powers over individual translators to agencies as well?



It is true that ProZ staff cannot assume responsibility for what goes on between an agency and a translator. It is also true that whenever you accept work from an agency, it\'s at your own risk. However, I believe that if an agency is clearly crooked, as evidenced by a large number of negative reviews and so forth, ProZ staff can at least prevent the agency from contacting its members through ProZ. It cannot prevent the agency contacting translators through other means. But if an agency is banned from ProZ for unethical practices, that in itself serves as a warning to other translators, and also gives notice to all agencies that ProZ is one place at least where ripping off translators won\'t be accepted or tolerated.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)


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Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Don't let them allow to post jobs or to bid on jobs Jul 18, 2002

Mats came up with the solution, just don\'t let them post jobs or bid on jobs anymore. I made the same experience....bidded on a job posted by another proZ member from the Czech Republic and ended up not getting paid. I think it should be our common effort to keep this place clean and to make members aware that they can\'t use this great platform anymore once they abused other members. The grading on the Agency Rating is a great idea and should be maintained...banning is another thing and may be more hurtful to them.

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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:08
English to German
+ ...
Totally agree with Mats, Marijke and Kathi Jul 18, 2002

This is what I tried to make clear: Banning should not mean to erase all information on a banned agency, but keeping their \"track record\" on the Blueboard, maybe with an appropriate statement. Otherwise, helpful information will be lost and we achieve the opposite of our initial goal.



And of course, the administration through the moderators is kind of limitation, but it was our choice to register or not with proz. And, so far, in general, I am fine with it, it has not yet got too heavy, although sometimes it is just boring to get reminded like in the kindergarden that \"you shouldn\'t say so\". I take full responsibility for what I point out and do not like other people interfering and telling me what to do or not. But, at least, they were appointed to do so. And don\'t I have the opportunity to reply to them or, should it become totally unbearable, just to unregister? IMO, a system that\'s nearly perfect and pretty liberal.


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