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Agency contacted me, then disappeared. What shall I do?
Thread poster: elle_bi

elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 13, 2004

I'm posting this to ask for a piece of advice: I was contacted by an agency after sending my bid from Proz. A month ago they sent me a form to fill out, and then told me I was the right person for the job, and asked if I could give my availability immediately, they were "looking forward to hearing from me by return". I did give my availability and then I never heard from them again. I sent two more mails, but they never wrote me back. I saw the Blue Board, and everyone has posted positive comments about this agency, so, since I'm a newbie, I would like to know what more experienced translators would do. Shall I post in the Blue Board what happened or it is not worth it? Thanks!!

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:51
English to German
+ ...
Call them Oct 13, 2004

Hi Elle,
I'm posting this to ask for a piece of advice: I was contacted by an agency after sending my bid from Proz. A month ago they sent me a form to fill out, and then told me I was the right person for the job, and asked if I could give my availability immediately, they were "looking forward to hearing from me by return". I did give my availability and then I never heard from them again. I sent two more mails, but they never wrote me back.

Did you try to call them?

I saw the Blue Board, and everyone has posted positive comments about this agency, so, since I'm a newbie, I would like to know what more experienced translators would do. Shall I post in the Blue Board what happened or it is not worth it? Thanks!!

From what you describe, your contact so far doesn't qualify for a BlueBoard entry - please refer to the BB FAQ, specifically No. 2:


You may only enter reviews for clients with whom you have worked on a project or to whom you delivered a test translation. You may not enter reviews solely on the basis of negotations or other preliminary interactions.


Best regards, Ralf


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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 14:21
English to Assamese
+ ...
Not uncommon. Oct 13, 2004

elle_bi wrote:

I'm posting this to ask for a piece of advice: I was contacted by an agency after sending my bid from Proz. A month ago they sent me a form to fill out, and then told me I was the right person for the job, and asked if I could give my availability immediately, they were "looking forward to hearing from me by return". I did give my availability and then I never heard from them again.


There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. This happens quite often with new comers. Sometimes the agencies develop cold feet. But they should show the minimum amount of courtesy by informing the translator about their change of mind instead of keeping him/her in the dark. This is not acceptable. As for me, I would never agree to work for such people again, however big they might be or however tempting the offer is. Honour and self respect comes before everything else....and I see no reason why such faux pas should not be entered in the BB.

[Edited at 2004-10-13 10:54]


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:51
Member (2003)
German to English
Not quite BB ready Oct 13, 2004

Syeda Tanbira Zaman wrote:

Honour and self respect comes before everything else....and I see no reason why such faux pas should not be entered in the BB.


This has come up quite a few times, including once when I wanted to write just such a post. Take another look at the BB FAQ, the policy states: "You may only enter reviews for clients with whom you have worked on a project or to whom you delivered a test translation. You may not enter reviews solely on the basis of negotations or other preliminary interactions."


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elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everybody who took time to answer Oct 13, 2004

Thanks for your answers, especially the one about the BB FAQ, which I didn't read before posting. However, I feel exactly as you say, Syeda; it is not something one would expect from a "serious" agency, and probably worthy of a BB comment, but since the policy doesn't allow it, all I can do is reject any future proposals from them! Best regards to all of you

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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 14:21
English to Assamese
+ ...
No policy is absolute. Oct 13, 2004

Steven Sidore wrote:

This has come up quite a few times, including once when I wanted to write just such a post. Take another look at the BB FAQ, the policy states: "You may only enter reviews for clients with whom you have worked on a project or to whom you delivered a test translation. You may not enter reviews solely on the basis of negotations or other preliminary interactions."


Thanks Steven. I am aware of the existing BB policy. But what I am emphasizing is that the issue should be debated with earnestness and policy makers should weigh all the pros and cons giving due consideration to conflicting views in this matter and make suitable changes in the BB policy if need be. It is a problem and it exists. All must join hands to stop this.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:51
English to German
+ ...
Rules set out in BB FAQs were not drawn up arbitrarily Oct 13, 2004

Syeda,
No policy is absolute.

Correct, and neither are the BB FAQ. What I would like to ask you to consider, however, is the fact that the rules set out there are based on the very nature of the BB (which is "...a directory of clients for which ProZ.com members have worked..."), and the experience gained with it over time.


But what I am emphasizing is that the issue should be debated with earnestness and policy makers should weigh all the pros and cons giving due consideration to conflicting views in this matter and make suitable changes in the BB policy if need be.

Which we do - take #2 as an example:


You may only enter reviews for clients with whom you have worked on a project or to whom you delivered a test translation.

The part of the sentence I highlighted was added subsequently, based on the recognition that test translations are sometimes used improperly.

Extending the scope of the BlueBoard to include experience related to preliminary interaction could expose the site to legal risks. Also, I would point out that in the case at hand, no PO was issued, so the existence of a contractual obligation is at least debatable. As unpleasant as the situation may be, it is not the most signficant issue Jobs moderators focus on: non-payment. (Please don't forget that all moderators are volunteers - extending the scope is fine in theory, but in practice this needs to be handled by the team.)

At some point (please don't ask me when), ProZ.com will overhaul the job posting and acceptance process: based on preliminary discussions among moderators and staff, the process might become more controlled, which can help prevent mis-communication.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 03:51
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
I don't see the problem .. Oct 13, 2004

I dont' see why this agency would deserve a negative rating in the Blue Board. Since they didn't really make you lose any time or money. There was no PO involved and you didn't translate anything. The BB is for non-payment or late-payment situations. That policy makes the Blue Board more reliable.

You situation is not the only one. I agree with Syeda, they should've answered your emails immediately. But I wouldn't disregard a posible future colaboration with them. Give them the benefit of the doubt. They may have contacted several translators for this job, and now they want another traslator to do it, or simply the client cancelled the job and the person that was supposed to let you know, just didn't for whatever reason. No question the agency should've told you what happened, but that doesn't mean they deserve a bad rating in the Blue Board because of that.

Along the way you'll find yourself in several situations like this. But in my experience, once an agency knows you, they'll probably contact you again for another job. And you said this agency has a positive rating, so wait and see what happens.

Good luck,
Cali


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:51
English to German
+ ...
Not a payment-practices list Oct 13, 2004

Hi Cali,
I beg to differ regarding one detail:

The BB is for non-payment or late-payment situations.

Not exclusively - what distinguishes the BB from pure 'payment practices' lists is that you can (and should) base your rating on your overall willingness to work for a given outsourcer again in the future.

Of course, payment is a central issue, but it is not the only one. For instance, you might not want to work for an outsourcer who pays on time because you didn't feel comfortable with the business relationship - on the other hand, you might still be willing to work for a late payer because they were open and honest about problems, and keep you updated.

Best regards, Ralf


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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 14:21
English to Assamese
+ ...
Thanks Ralf. Oct 13, 2004

Ralf Lemster wrote:

At some point (please don't ask me when), ProZ.com will overhaul the job posting and acceptance process: based on preliminary discussions among moderators and staff, the process might become more controlled, which can help prevent mis-communication.

Best regards,
Ralf


That is exactly what is needed. In many occassions, the job postings themselves are nothing but dummies planted by some agencies to gauge the market. Those are so obvious at times. But we also get clever by the day and can distiguish genuine postings from the phonies. There is also an unofficial Blue Board running within the translators fraternity. "ONE CANNOT FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME". Can they? But I am waiting eagerly for the day when they can be exposed in public. Non-payers and Phoney job-posters deserve to hang together in the BB square.

I apologise for the language. But that is exactly how many of us feel.

Thanks a million for taking so much pain in explaining the situation to me.


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elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I make it a question of correctness Oct 13, 2004

Hi Cali, well I asked whether it was the case to rate the agency in the BB because I really didn't know, although think it is an incorrect behaviour. It's true that I haven't signed a contract, nonetheless they didn't respect the "verbal pacts". After contacting the manager, another person wrote to me, telling me that I needed to fill out a form to gain priority, and once I did that, he said that a.s.a.p. he needed my availability, but then disappeared. So, maybe they didn't make me lose time, but I don't make it a question of time or money, only of correctness. When I read the ratings saying that this Agency is extremely serious and the person of contact does a great job, you can imagine how different about that I feel. Also, I would have appreciated an answer to my other three mails, that's all. Thank you for your answer!

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:51
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Keep the discusssions going Oct 13, 2004

Good stuff here. Let us continue to discuss these issues and stick together.

Ralf, again I salute you. You have a very good handle about what the Blue Board is all about. Kudos to Henry as well.


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