Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Is it normal to be asked to buy software?
Thread poster: Kristine Cooreman
Kristine Cooreman
Portugal
Local time: 20:06
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Nov 16, 2008

I was approached (by e-mail) for a translation project, on a weekly basis for the next 8 months. Texts to be translated go from business to marketing, from literature to IT. Rate of source word is good, but .... I am required "to order our newly customized software called Trans Pro 9.0."

Has anyone had a similar request? Is it normal for agencies to request translators to buy the software they work with?

I would like to believe that everyone in this business is serious and can be trusted, but I would not like to accept the job and then have a bad surprise. Input would therefore be much appreciated.


Thank you in advance.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Okay to buy, but there are other factors Nov 16, 2008

Kristine Cooreman wrote:
Is it normal for agencies to request translators to buy the software they work with?


Oh, yes, it is quite normal, unless the software is their own software that can't be used for any other client or project or purpose.

I see nothing wrong with the approach of this agency -- they have a translation department and a software development department, and they're not sharing.

But obviously there are warning bells. For example, how do you know you're truly going to get all that work? And, how do you know you're going to enjoy it and/or will want to do it for the entire 8 months?

If I were you, I would not accept it. If they give the software for free, yes. If the software can be used for other projects, yes. If they offer a trial period, yes. But the way it sounds to me, you're basically buying your own incentive to keep working for this client even if you would normally have had the freedom to stop.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:06
Member (2008)
Italian to English
NO way Nov 16, 2008

They promise you lots of work at a good rate. But first YOU have to give THEM money for a piece of software you've never needed before and that might not even work.

So you give them them money and then nothing happens. You don't get any work out of them because they never had any in the first place.

I wouldn't go near this, and if you received this offer via Proz.com, I would report it to the management.

[Edited at 2008-11-16 13:15 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:06
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
No way from a different point of view Nov 16, 2008

You run a transpor company. You are offered a contract for transporting 40 people on daily basis for the next time x. The only condition is you have to offer them a bus with air conditioning - and you donźt have one. Now this is a simple business decision - I invest in the bus and get the contract or I say "no way" and lose the contract.
Somehow I cannot understand why we translators fail to see so simple associations in our business. Very often I read or hear this or that software is so expensive and the customers are so impudent to require it from a "poor" translator... This is a simple investition which generates cash flow. And cash flow is what generates profit - to put the whole in a nutshell.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris Lancaster  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:06
Member
Spanish to English
Another possibility Nov 16, 2008

The advice from Tom and from Jerzy is excellent. However, if you still think the offer may be genuine you could tell them that you'll buy the s/w AFTER the period of 8 months has elapsed, viz., they loan it to you up until that point.

If they're prepared to do that it may be worth your while and if they refuse, well you can almost certainly put it down as some sort of scam (which I strongly suspect).


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
No it is not normal Nov 16, 2008


Has anyone had a similar request? Is it normal for agencies to request translators to buy the software they work with?


No it is not normal at all.

The following practices are "normal":

a) Translation company uses a given tool (Trados, Transit, whatever) and they say that to get work from them you have to use that tool but they don't care from where you buy the tool. They don't sell it.

B) Translation company or customer uses their own internal tool and they want you to use it. For instance, to some Microsoft projects you need to use Microsoft's own LocStudio or Helium but they provide it free of charge.

Now, having to buy the tool from the customer that is going to give you work is not such a a common practice in the translation business.

If I had to accept it, I would only accept it on condition that they software is paid by discounting its price from their first invoices.

If they insist on you giving them money before they even give you any work, I would cut all contact with them.

I am sure there have been similar threads about this.

Daniel

[Edited at 2008-11-16 13:45 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

casey
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member
Japanese to English
Excellent idea Nov 16, 2008

Christopher Lancaster wrote:

The advice from Tom and from Jerzy is excellent. However, if you still think the offer may be genuine you could tell them that you'll buy the s/w AFTER the period of 8 months has elapsed, viz., they loan it to you up until that point.

If they're prepared to do that it may be worth your while and if they refuse, well you can almost certainly put it down as some sort of scam (which I strongly suspect).


I believe I'd try this approach. The translator has more to lose in this situation than the agency, so such an arrangement should not be a problem.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:06
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Excellent solution Nov 16, 2008

Christopher Lancaster wrote:

The advice from Tom and from Jerzy is excellent. However, if you still think the offer may be genuine you could tell them that you'll buy the s/w AFTER the period of 8 months has elapsed, viz., they loan it to you up until that point.


If they are a real client and want to play fair it should not be a problem for them and if the price of this software is reasonable when compared to foreseeable income it should be acceptable for the translator as well.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Don't let them fool you Nov 16, 2008

Kristine Cooreman wrote:

I would like to believe that everyone in this business is serious and can be trusted..

Then what do you think the Blueboard is good for?

Since you would need this software only for this client, you would have to add the costs for it to your word rate for this client, and also need a guarantee thay you will get the promised business - which is not feasable (what if he goes broke after selling it to you?).

It would be kind enough of you if you would agree to use his *free* software to work for him, without charging extra for this extra requirement.

And I guess they expect you to pay in advance for their software, while they are not willing to pay you in advance for your work?

[Edited at 2008-11-16 15:39 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:06
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Doesn't sound serious at this point Nov 16, 2008

I would propose a "payment plan" in which you offer them a 10% discount on your invoices to be credited toward the price of the software up to the amount of purchase. Payment on your part would ensue only via this mechanism. However, first raise your rates by 10%. Then, when the software is "paid off", you are getting a better rate for using something that is probably of little value for other clients anyway.

Otherwise I'd just walk away. This reminds me too much of that Systran scam that was attempted recently. I have nothing against investing money to make money, but I am very, very reluctant to make an investment with a narrow scope of application without meaningful contractual guarantees.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Kristine Cooreman
Portugal
Local time: 20:06
French to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Nov 16, 2008

Thank you all for your helpful comments. In a way they confirm what I first thought when I received the e-mail, but it is good to know other people's opinion to get rid of any doubts.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
dulmini22  Identity Verified
Sri Lanka
Local time: 00:36
English to zzz Other zzz
+ ...
Normal, but there may be disadvantages Nov 17, 2008

Of course, some clients ask to buy software. It is up to you to buy it or not.

Once I was asked to buy a software by a client. I was paid for the job and he has become a regular client now, but I never needed that software,after that!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
FarkasAndras
Local time: 21:06
English to Hungarian
+ ...
- Nov 17, 2008

Dulmini22, the difference is that in this case it's THEIR software
Given that, they should give OP a steep discount at the bare minimum, and be open to subsctracting the price from invoices or the other similar things recommended above.
Asking OP to pay full price up front before a large job is confirmed is totally backwards imo.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxNMR
France
Local time: 21:06
French to Dutch
+ ...
Normal for me too Nov 17, 2008

Years ago, I bought QuarkXPress (not a cheap program, though) for a regular direct client. It was a reasonable question and I though that it was a way to upgrade my services and to ask more for my translations. I knew that I took a risk, but I thought it could be useful for other clients. In fact I translated tons of leaflets and internal and external brochures for this company, directly, without intermediaries such as layout people. The same thing was true for other software I downloaded or invested in. I am not afraid of investing, but dot like investments which are tending to have my prices lowered, such as Trados an the corresponding price schemes. We should be in an upwards spiral, not downwards.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:06
German to English
+ ...
No-no Nov 17, 2008

I am required "to order our newly customized software called Trans Pro 9.0."


You could offer to have the cost of it deducted after they have paid you for work worth the cost of the software x whatever figure suits you.

But it's the expression our software that makes it sound smelly to me.

Sounds very fishy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Is it normal to be asked to buy software?

Advanced search


Translation news





TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs