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Handling a Displeased Agency
Thread poster: Gacela20
Gacela20  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Jun 21, 2007

I accepted a job posted here at proz recently after taking two test translations and submitting my cv to the agency's representative. The text was forwarded in an attachment and the three-day deadline confirmed before I got to work. I was also told that the document could be sent back to me for minor changes if the client requested them after seeing the finished product.

Before submission, I was told that there would be more documents like this to come and that they hoped I would be available until mid-July. A little while after I submitted the work, I got an e-mail confirming receipt and telling me that the next project would come in a few days.

When I heard nothing else from the agency, I decided to send an e-mail to find out if the project was still available. I got a response that there were problems with my work and that because both the proofreader and client were not happy with my work, they (the agency) had decided not to work with me again.

I'm left to wonder why I had to initiate contact in order to be told this? Has this ever happened to any of you? How did you handle it?


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 07:12
English to Russian
+ ...
Their case has no merit Jun 22, 2007

Let's suppose you are an awful translator, even an imposter:-) Would it not be clear after TWO tests? Especially if those tests were subject-related? They are lying. Unfortunately, you are about to handle not a displeased, but a dishonest agency.

In the unlikely case of a perfect test and a poor job (sorry, hypothetically only) they are the ones to pay for their mistake, they had their chance to check you out. They've used up their trial period and it's too late for a refund.

Obviously, before anything else they must provide you an edited version. No one can and/or will satisfy warranty obligations without a discrepancy list.



[Edited at 2007-06-22 02:58]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:12
Dutch to English
+ ...
Send them an invoice and chalk it down to experience Jun 22, 2007

It sounds very strange.

Send them an invoice and move on.


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Rosa Diez Tagarro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:12
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
fully agree Jun 22, 2007

with both Irene and Marijke!

Best of luck,

Rosa


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Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 13:12
English to German
+ ...
What it boils down to... Jun 22, 2007

In my opinion, they are not going to pay...

If your translation was bad, you should get a copy of the revised translation...so you could see where "you made mistakes"...

My thinking feeling is they won't bother to pay you.

Agencies are very cheeky these days. I give you one example I have just gone through:

One of my ex-agencies -- a very slow payer -- continued to ignore my reminders.

I decided to take a lawyer. The day they received the letter from the lawyer they paid, which was to be expected...

They did not pay the late fees and the lawyer's fees because they know I would not take them to court for 100 Euros...

What they don't understand -- or are they really that greedy and mean? -- they will loose out in the end, because they won't find enough stupid translators to comply and keep their business going...

No more "unpaid" test translations, I implore you!!!!


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 08:12
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
They found someone cheaper Jun 22, 2007

It sounds to me like they found someone who will do the job for less money. But I also believe that they shot themselves in the foot - because if this new translator isn't up to scratch, they'll wish they could come back to you - but they can't now, because they told you the work you submitted was not suitable.

As Marike said, invoice and move on.

Nancy


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
<i>They</i> failed <i>your</i> test Jun 22, 2007

Now that you have an idea of their style of doing business, you probably would not want to work with them, even if they return to you.

You didn't mention payment; I assume these were agreed to be free tests—if so there is no point in sending an invoice.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:12
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why was there a minor correction agreement in the first place? Jun 22, 2007

Hello Gacela,

Sounds to me that from the outset, despite your successful tests, they were half-expecting your work to be "less than perfect", or not what their own customer had in mind. Perhaps their end customer is a hopelessly neurotic control freak well known to them who can't be satisfied no matter what, and they knew full well what was coming?

If they were worried about terminology or whatever, they should have given you a glossary, or given you something to go on, some clue about it all, not tell you about this mysterious "minor corrections" phase afterwards.

I think you should have objected when you were first told about the possibility of "minor corrections", because it sounds suspect.

As for the outcome, I suggest you politely explain the situation, try for your money through the usual channels, and learn the lesson - never work for them again.

Bye now,



Mervyn


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Gacela20  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your replies Jun 22, 2007

Yes, the two tests were subject-related and just under 200 words in length. A PO was promised later on in the week, but only arrived about 20 mins or so after delivery. This is an agency that has received mostly glowing reviews on the Blue Board.

As far as glossaries go, I received one from the beginning and the other one the night before the deadline, which was the next morning.

I submitted an invoice and receipt was confirmed. But this was all before I sent the e-mail asking about the second part of the project. Also, they promised to forward a copy of my translation with the proofreader's changes.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 07:12
English to Russian
+ ...
Well... Jun 23, 2007

Unless you put your foot into something like nanotechnology or polimerization, I can't imagine what kind of problem they might have with your work. Even with just a 1-year experience in translation proper, if you were sticking to your declared specialties and translating into English there must be something wrong with your client's head and taste:-).

I'm not an English native and my French is very poor but I absolutely love your translation samples. It sure is not a sample of work to be left unpaid...

Move on!

Cheers,
Irene


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:12
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Similar experience Jun 23, 2007

This reminds me of a job I got from the page a while ago. They had OKd my initial test and told me, since their customer was adamant that the terminology, very specific, had to be perfect, they were giving me a website address, various pdfs, and other bits and bobs to use as comparative material. A real handful.

The stuff was all useful and subject-specific, but of course it slows you down initially. Still, after 3 or 4 days I was speeding up and had the terminology OK. Another condition was that I had to send what I had done every few days, obviously not finished-format, but just for them and possibly the end customer too, to get an idea and maybe comment on it. During all this time I was sending in doubts and queries, which were answered in dribs and drabs, never fully, but there was absolutely NO feedback on the sample work done. Strange, I thought, but I toiled on.

After about 2 weeks, the very day before Big Delivery Day, they emailed to say the end customer had had a look at the translation the day before, and didn't like it, said the terminology was wrong, and offered one or two specific alternatives, which didn't square with the stuff I'd been given.

I think my customer was a little embarrassed, but not 100% embarrassed, since they asked for a discount on the job (their customer was moaning about penalties and things for faulty work, and obviously late delivery as well). I declined. They said this wouldn't affect their criteria for future jobs (!).

I feel I'll get paid the full amount OK, but the last I heard the end customer had insisted on other translators correcting and finishing the job. I don't know how, though, because presumably they'll use the same comparative material.

But it could be in my case, and the one under discussion here, that the end customer is trying it on just to see if there's a freebie discount to be had. It's a jungle out there.

Mervyn


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
EXACTLY this experience Jun 28, 2007

I'm sure this is the same agency/job.
I, too, did a small test, was accepted for the job and promised work, until mid-July.
I was sent all the stuff you received, and submitted my work quite confidently within the deadline.
We exchanged PO and invoice and I waited for the next job. When it didn't arrive I emailed the PM and asked if there had been a problem. I was told (very nicely) that the proofreader had "issues" with my translation and it would be returned to me in the next few days with the track changes.
I haven't received this yet.
I also checked the BB and saw excellent comments on the PM and the agency.
I wrote again to the PM this morning and received an almost immediate reply that my mail had been forwarded to the English editor who would no doubt respond.
This has got to be the same agency.


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Gacela20  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Striking similarities Jun 28, 2007

Just like you, patyjs, I'm still awaiting the track changes from the proofreader. The representative promised to pass them on a week ago. The similarities between my situation and yours are a little too obvious.

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