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Off topic: A strange kind of spam from an agency
Thread poster: Vito Smolej

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:17
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Oct 6, 2008

Mail out of my InBox (you won't believe it):

Dear Vendors,

We would like to remind you not to post the names of our clients.

Please do not violate the Vendor Agreement you have signed that
contains a non-disclosure agreement.

Many of the projects that we send to you contain information that is
important to our clients. We do not want to break the trust we have
with them through client confidentiality.

Feel free to list XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX as a company you have worked for
and to use us as a reference, but please remember do not post the
names of our clients.

Thank you!

Kind regards,

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I Xed out the name of the company, because I dont believe in nuking those who use a hammer to communicate with me. In any case, the way I see it, this is a huge, thoughtless, dumb hammer, hitting a lot of innocent "vendors" - I would think they number close to 100%.

Don't the authors know the transgressors? If they do, what's the intention of this impersonal mail to all their "vendors" (aka folks) ?? If they don't know who did it, what's the intention then?


end of rant

PS: I made it off-topic, because it is so unreal. Moderaters are of course invited to move it to the main stream.
PPS: My name is NOT Vendors. Usually they call me Vito - people who I trust and who trust me.

[Edited at 2008-10-06 20:30]


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
Danish to English
+ ...
spam Oct 6, 2008

I have never seen that one before though gotten some obvious spam from "agencies" offering me work or inquiring about my availability. The offers usually have been presented with typos and some odd terminology that I - of course - did not send a reply.

Thanks for the heads-up.
suz


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't see the problem Oct 6, 2008

Assuming you're one of their vendors, it seems a perfectly reasonable reminder that addresses a broad problem in the industry.

In any case, if you have a business relationship with them, a message relating to the nature of that relationship is not spam by any definition I've ever seen.

[Edited at 2008-10-06 21:32]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 12:17
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
I don't get it Oct 7, 2008

I agree with Steven, I don't see what's so wrong or so hard to believe about that email. It sounds like a reasonable request. It's a large agency, I assume, and they want to remind all vendors about their confidentiality policies. They didn't use your name, instead they sent one email to all their vendors. So? Didn't you work with this agency? Either I am overlooking something really important or you're being over-sensitive about this.

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:17
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My point of View Oct 7, 2008

Read the text I would write it and compare it to above

Dear Vito,

There's been cases of names of our clients being posted in public places.
You have not been involved in such practices, but we would like to state
clearly that such acts constitutes a clear violation of the non-disclosure
agreement, contained in the Vendor Agreement you have signed

Many of the projects that we send to you contain information that is
important to our clients. We do not want to break the trust we have
with them through client confidentiality.

Feel free to list XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX as a company you have worked for
and to use us as a reference, but please remember do not post the
names of our clients.

Thank you!


I hope it is clear enough: it's not been you, however we hope you will understand our concerns and the reason we sent you this mail: to avoid this break in trust between you and your client - i.e. us - in the future.

The way it was sent however, read like "we're p*d by all of you, this is not the way we want to be treated". Says who?

[Edited at 2008-10-07 03:28]


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 14:17
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I received the same email Oct 7, 2008

And I considered just a reminder. In my opinion, they just want to say, please take into account that you cannot use the name of the final client but we will gladly provide references. Other agencies have told me the same.

I consider that every translation done for any agency is confidential. I don't need a reminder nor a confidentiality agreement, but still receiving them. I don't mind.

Perhaps your interpretation is wrong and the company wanted to say: While there haven't been cases of names of our clients being posted in public places, just in case, we inform you that nobody can post our clients' names in public places.

I believed that "you" means sometimes something more general and wide that "second person singular".

Have a nice day

Clarisa Moraña


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
I still don't get it Oct 7, 2008

Perhaps we're dealing with a massive gap in cultural expectations here, but I don't understand your objection. This strikes me as a completely unremarkable, polite piece of business correspondence. As far as I can tell, it contains nothing personally insulting in any way and there is nothing angry in its tone.

If the agency has hundreds or thousands of contractors, sending a "Dear Vito" e-mail (and a "Dear Helga" e-mail, and a "Dear..." several-hundred-other-people e-mail) is an impractical and unnecessary use of company time.

[Edited at 2008-10-07 04:37]


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:17
Member (2003)
French to English
Agree with Claudia and Steven Oct 7, 2008

Claudia Alvis wrote:

I agree with Steven, I don't see what's so wrong or so hard to believe about that email.


Same here - it doesn't strike me as very different from the "round robin" e-mail I got from one of my agency clients reminding all their vendors about their invoicing procedures. Obviously some people were getting it wrong, and it was causing problems, so they sent a general reminder.


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pltsanve
Slovenia
Local time: 18:17
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Politeness Oct 7, 2008

The original mail seems polite (enough) in some universal sense, still - that or any other agency didn't sign the agreement with just any Vendor, but with Vito and Jim and James and ...

And, IMHO, at least adding a sentence "we know it wasn't you, but ..." and sending it such even to those who caused it would be less of an unpleasant surprise to those who wouldn't even think of doing it. There's no reason to bitter the majority just because there is a person or a few of them (and it's likely that the agency knows who they were), since it won't change the facts or the attitude of the guilty ones. Besides, the "Dear %to%" can be automated, just think of all those real junk mails naming Your Name.

Have a pleasant day
Vesna


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A note on "Vendors" Oct 7, 2008

Vito Smolej wrote:
PPS: My name is NOT Vendors. Usually they call me Vito - people who I trust and who trust me.


Here's my take on it. You normally deal with specific persons in the company, namely project managers. Some executive person in the company decided to send out this mail to everyone. Now the PMs have a choice -- they can either address it to you personally (thereby creating the impression that they are reprimanding you personally) or they can address it to "Vendors" (thereby attempting to create the impression that the mail is not targeted and that what is written in it is not in response to something you personally did).


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LP Schumacher  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:17
Member
German to English
Recent post Oct 7, 2008

I wonder if this recent forum post might have set off some alarms with a few agencies:

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/117085-confidentiality_issues_when_posting_kudoz_questions_and_possibility_of_implementing_a_time_rule.html

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:
...I have noticed an unfortunate trend in the posting of Kudoz questions: some people regularly paste a chunk of text they are translating as "context" for their term, with no attempt to hide names and data. I'm sure that most customers would be horrified to see parts of their internal documents openly published on the web...


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Clearly a cultural difference Oct 7, 2008

If a message is to all their vendors, I'd rather that it begin "Dear Vendors."

Form messages that are mail-merged always seem very jarring and insincere to me.

[Edited at 2008-10-07 09:15]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:17
English to French
+ ...
Sorry if I swim against the stream Oct 7, 2008

I agree with Vito. The mail is reminding him of what he signed. If Vito did sign the NDA, then I am sure he is intelligent enough to remember he did. This makes me think of police knocking on my door only to tell me not to forget that it is illegal to drink and drive. An insult to my intelligence, as I'd take it.

Also, no matter how polite, the message comes off as accusatory. As Vito says, if the agency is aware of people disclosing end client names, then they surely know who their mail should be specifically addressed to. No need to spam 200 faithful collaborators to remind two measly translators of their obligations. It sounds a bit patronizing to me...

What's next? A classic, hard copy, recommended mail cease and desist addressed to a guy named Vendor?

Sorry, but I'm with Vito on this one.

[Edited at 2008-10-07 09:30]


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Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:17
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
i got it too Oct 7, 2008

I got the same email, however I didn't think it's a spam. I haven't checked with the sender though. Anyway I am not bothered at all

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:17
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I assume I am innocent until proven guilty Oct 7, 2008

Also, no matter how polite, the message comes off as accusatory.

I did two assignments for the agency, one in 2006 and one in 2007, so it just looks, like Samuel figured it out, some corporate dude decided it's time for his or her action.

Anyhow, reading the post I had the same sinking feeling you get when you watch Deliverance and that hand slowly rises out of the lake.

Thank you all for comments, btw.

[Edited at 2008-10-07 09:35]


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