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Trados billing
Thread poster: Jessjean
Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 26, 2008

Hi everyone,
I have a Trados billing query...
I have a long-standing arrangement with a client that I bill X matches at full rate (100%), Y matches at a lower rate (60%) and 100% matches and repetitions at 30%.
I hope this makes sense to any Trados users!!
If you are a Trados user, does this look something like your standard billing arrangement? My client recently said 100% matches and repetitions (for a particular end-client) were now to be charged on a time basis.
For me this makes quite a difference to my invoice (and not a positive difference!).
I would appreciate any views on this, and whether you think this is a fair change. I disputed this and it resulted that if I were given express instructions to completely disregard the 100% matches and repetitions (which I have always checked in the past), then I can't bill for them, even on a time basis. Should I be more firm about the billing system I'm prepared to accept? I'm a little concerned about what may be decided in the future (50-75% matches on a time basis etc.).
What would be really useful is to hear people's thoughts about their own billing system and what they would be prepared to accept.
Appreciate your advice, thanks in advance.
Jessjean


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Renée van Bijsterveld  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:05
Member (2007)
English to Dutch
+ ...
100%/60%/30% is widely used Mar 26, 2008

As far as I know this arrangement is quite normal, although agencies regularly try to 'adapt' this. But I have never heard of any rates based on time. I would not acept this, especially if the agency decides how much time it will take you to review/edit the full matches. You could try to raise your hourly rate, but they probably will not accept that.

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
They must choose Mar 26, 2008

It sounds terribly illogical to me to charge part of a job using time, and another using word count. They will have to choose.

How will you keep track of your time if these 100% matches and reps are all scattered throughout the document?

If you're supposed to disregard the 100% matches and reps, do so, but warn your agency that context may be lost and the overall quality of the text will suffer.

By the way, your percentages seem ok (mine are not exactly the same, but close. I use different (but similar) schemes for different clients). I don't accept discounts for any matches below 85%.

In my experience, if you make your position clear to the agency right from the start, they will usually accept your terms. As soon as you let an agency dictate rates & charges, prepare for trouble. Whether or not a particular agency is worth some trouble is up to you to decide.

In this case, stand your ground, by all means. But it may be time to start looking for other clients....


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is what I thought... Mar 26, 2008

Thanks to both of you (and to anyone else who may post subsequently...) for your thoughts.
I had an idea this was a standard billing arrangement. I said to the agency if they wanted me to disregard 100% matches, I would follow their instructions to the letter, despite seeing inconsistent terms and format changes fly through (it irks me not to change them, but I feel I should prove a point!).
Luckily I have other clients I work with regularly, but this is an agency I have been working with for a long time and I honestly feel very sad they've made this decision.

Can I just clarify with those of you who answered (and anyone else): it is was a long-standing client and they asked you to ignore the 100% matches and therefore not bill them - what would you do?

Sorry if this is repeating myself. I think I will raise the issue with them again but it would be really helpful to hear what other people would do in my situation so I know what I do is 'acceptable'.

Many thanks everyone
Jessjean


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
30% of full rate for 100% matches is the closest I have seen to a standard Mar 26, 2008


I disputed this and it resulted that if I were given express instructions to completely disregard the 100% matches and repetitions (which I have always checked in the past), then I can't bill for them, even on a time basis.


Now, completely disregarding 100% matches and repetitions and not getting paid for them would mean that I don't do any work at all on these sentences (I don't even insert the translations in the document).

Would your customer be happy if you deliver a document where 100% matches are left untranslated and only the first occurrence of each reptition is translated? Would they be happy to do this part of the job themselves?

If they think it does not take any time to translate 100% matches and repetitions (and are not paying for them) I would leave it to them to do this part of the job and deliver a document partially translated.

I have only accepted not getting paid for 100% matches when they were pretranslated in the document with a different colour so I could easily skip them and not even proof them.

No money paid should mean no work.

Daniel


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 03:05
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
You can request pretranslated material Mar 26, 2008

and then you disregard - if you can of course - whats already been translated. But this is already beyond the pale. I am pretty sure nobody has done it so far - for sure not me -.

Regards


[Edited at 2008-03-26 11:16]


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Renée van Bijsterveld  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:05
Member (2007)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Do you accept the risk of loosing this client? Mar 26, 2008

Can I just clarify with those of you who answered (and anyone else): it is was a long-standing client and they asked you to ignore the 100% matches and therefore not bill them - what would you do?

I have a few clients who introduced this 'discount', and I hate it, because, even when you do skip those full matches (if the document has been pretranslated, you can easily skip these full matches), they will cost you time: sometimes because you simply need context, or because you notice some errors and not changing these (because you're not paid to do so) will take you even more time than simply correcting the error, and for many other reasons.
In some cases I accepted, telling them that they should check the full matches, and in other cases I did not accept, which caused me to loose clients.

Good luck


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pretranslated material Mar 26, 2008

Thanks everyone for your comments.
I think, because this is a long-standing client, I will accept this basis (but for this one particular end-client only), if the document is given to me with pretranslated material highlighted, as you suggested dgmaga.
I too dislike working like this as the standard delivered back will just not be as high than if 100% matches were checked, but the customer is always right, no?!
Thanks again
Jessjean


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Thorson
Local time: 03:05
Danish to English
Penny wise and pound foolish Mar 26, 2008

Sounds to me like they're being penny wise and pound foolish. Probably if they're not in trouble now, they will be.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:05
Member
English to French
100% matches not paid, no time spent on them Mar 26, 2008

It may happen that a customer doesn't want 100% matches reread because there is a round of rereading after the translation phase. In such instances, either they send me the pretranslated files with only 100% matches translated IN ANOTHER COLOUR or I do it myself (then set the colour back to unchanged).
When translating, the 100% matches are discarded using the appropriate button or key combination, and when rereading my text, I discard all coloured text.
No gain, no pain, and the 100% matches are their responsibility. Clear, plain and simple.

Repetitions are another matter, you should ALWAYS be paid for repetitions in Trados. This is usually where agencies need to be educated. If you decide to change a repeated segment, all repeated segments have to be changed, and there is no way to "flag" repetitions (maybe v.2007?), so that you will reread all your repetitions in context. So you should be paid your repetition/rereading rate for ALL of them.

At any rate, a CAT tool should allow you to earn more per hour than no CAT tool. The financial benefits of these technologies in terms of time saved should not be directed only to agencies or end-clients.

Have fun,
Philippe

EDit: Sorry, I repeated Daniel's view about 100%...

[Edited at 2008-03-26 14:48]


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Repetions should always be billed Mar 26, 2008

I did wonder about repetitions - given that you surely are responsible for translating the initial text to which the repetitions relate? (If the repetitions were done by a previous translator, wouldn't this come under 100% match?).
As you can see, I've been bogged down in the intricacies of it all since the agency gave me the news about the billing change.

This is why this feedback has been so helpful and interesting - thanks!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:05
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You can exclude easily the full matches Mar 26, 2008

Just analyse and export less than 99% matches to rtf and translate these. Later, when the tm is updated, translate the initial file(s) using translate to fuzzy, and ready you are.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:05
Member
English to French
Yes Mar 26, 2008

Jessjean wrote:
...(If the repetitions were done by a previous translator, wouldn't this come under 100% match?).


This is why, while I understand that we can accept not to be paid for 100% matches, I will never ever not be paid for repetitions in Trados, because they mean work, whatever the perspective.

I think the confusion comes from other CAT tools such as SDLX and others, where the analysis is dynamic, i.e. SDLX virtually populates the TM during the analysis, so that a detected repetition become a 100% match on the next segment's analysis when you use knowleadgeably the various switches in the program (I am not a specialist of SDLX).
Similarly, two similar segments without match in the TM will generate 2 no-match segments in Trados (paid 100%) and 1 no match and 1 fuzzy match in SDLX (paid less).
Therefore with SDLX there is very little room for return on investment compared to Trados if your rate and discount scheme is not well devised.

SDLX can autopropagate, so there is a way to know with colours which ones are translated repeats and to autopropagate any changes to them. Trados doesn't do that, so back to square one, reps in Trados need to be paid.


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
(I keep saying thanks - last time for today!) Mar 26, 2008

Will check the thread again tomorrow but this information has been really helpful for now...

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