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Let´s not be shy about expressing {low likelihoods of working again} on the Blue Board
Thread poster: Teresa Duran-Sanchez

Teresa Duran-Sanchez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:23
German to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 7, 2005

Dear Colleagues

I´ve only posted one negative note on the Blue Board in my entire life and I was constantly harrassed by the agency to take it away. They even contacted a couple of friends to post five-point positive notes to counteract my negative mark. Fortunatelly they paid me in the end and soon it was all over, but to my surprise, they now have a lot of good opinions (only three negative ones) DESPITE THE FACT THAT I HAVE RECEIVED HALF A DOZEN E-MAILS BY TRANSLATORS ASKING FOR ADVICE BECAUSE THIS AGENCY DID NOT WANT TO PAY. This people who contacted me never deared to post a negative note on the Blue Board. Perhaps they thought it would cause them trouble somehow. Dear colleagues, please don´t be shy (I won´t say coward: this is a strong word); if you´re let down by an agency for no reason DO SAY IT, FOR GOD´S SAKE. This way we will stop unfair behaviour among agencies. What´s the Blue Board for if we don´t use it??? I can understand there are unprofessional freelancers out there as well and I would suggest there´s also a Blue Board for freelancers (is there one already?). Nevertheless, you´ll agree with me that freelance individuals are small fish in comparison with some shark agencies out there. I´d like to hear your opinion, guys and girls.

Have a nice day...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
Contact Jobs moderators Jun 7, 2005

Hi Teresa,
I fully agree - you should not hesitate to post your experience, positive or negative (bearing in mind that even negative comments should always be limited to the facts).

I´ve only posted one negative note on the Blue Board in my entire life and I was constantly harrassed by the agency to take it away.

Quoting the BB FAQ:
If there seems to have been a misunderstanding, outsourcers are encouraged to communicate directly with those making entries. However, making threats or exerting pressure on a ProZ.com member to cause him or her to change his or her "likelihood of working again" with your business is prohibited, and may result in your right to use ProZ.com being restricted.


Hence, if you find yourself being harassed for having posted an entry, please forward the messages (preferably with IP headers alongside) to a Jobs moderator. Contact me through my profile with the details of the case you're referring to here.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 18:23
SITE FOUNDER
The Blue Board is for expressing "likelihood of working again" Jun 7, 2005

The Blue Board is provided for members to express their likelihood of working again for given outsourcers. You should feel confident in expressing a "low likelihood of working again" because this is an expression of your personal volition, and you are entitled to it. An outsourcer should not try to bully you into removing an entry. (By the same token, a translator should never "threaten" an outsourcer with the prospect of making a Blue Board entry.)

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:23
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
"Agree" negative AND positive Jun 7, 2005

I haven't had to post many negative comments on outsourcers, but the one time I did, also helped by a subsequent forum discussion on a very notorious non-payer, DID eventually get me paid and hopefully warned many other colleagues.
After doing several jobs for reliable outsourcers, I tend to post a positive comment on the Blue Board as well - positive experiences also count!
I have heard before about translators being bullied to post favourable comments and I think it is just unacceptable. Good to be reminded this can be reported to the job moderators.
Anjo


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:23
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Translator should never threaten with BB entry Jun 7, 2005

Hi Henry, good to remind us.
Henry wrote:
By the same token, a translator should never "threaten" an outsourcer with the prospect of making a Blue Board entry.)

Oh! I was not aware of this.
But I told an outsourcer once that I prefer not working with him because of an negative BB entry. Very politely, of course.
And they just became curious about the whole BB thing.

Regards
Steffi

[Edited at 2005-06-07 15:23]


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:23
Spanish to English
General apathy in posting on Blue Board Jun 7, 2005

One thing that has always annoyed me is the fact that there are many agencies that have NO ratings, even when they have posted several jobs on ProZ. Obviously people have completed these jobs, so where are the ratings?!

Occasionally I have taken a risk on a new agency, especially if it has posted numerous jobs on ProZ. My thinking is: if there are no Blue Board ratings (but they have listed many jobs on ProZ), then they are most likely paying their translators.

Unfortunately, there are many translators who only feel compelled to post/threaten a rating when they don't get paid. I can't count the number of times I have seen complaints on the forums about not getting paid. In most cases, the translators mention that they "threatened" use of the Blue Board to get the agency to pay. My only assumption is once they got their money, they didn't post any rating. So how does this help the next poor translator?

I am glad this was brought up, because it is one of things that annoys me most. My impression is that the Blue Board only works because there is a good group of caring translators that actually take the time to give ratings. However, they are only the tip of the iceberg, and the Blue Board could be much more meaningful if the remaining translators were less self-serving.

Anyway, I finally got it off my chest.

Russell


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:23
Member (2004)
English to French
Negative and positive comments Jun 7, 2005

Hi,
I have posted positive and negative comments, as appropriate and not only about payment practices (feedback, communication, projects). Still, in one case, the agency owner was so pissed (sorry) that she put me down and attacked my reputation publically. Another extremely well known case threatened me with legal action, which in the end became clear that it wasonly bluff. Even though I had to endure stress from these two fellas (at one point I wondered if it was worth all the trouble), I think it extremely important to say exactly what went wrong on the BB to warn other translators and let agencies with attitude problems know that they have a bad reputation. It's hard enough making a living as it is, we should know who we're dealing with.

Nina


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 18:23
SITE FOUNDER
Right, Russell Jun 7, 2005

Russell Gillis wrote:

My impression is that the Blue Board only works because there is a good group of caring translators that actually take the time to give ratings.


True. We are going to encourage this more in the future.


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:23
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar Jun 8, 2005

The BB is a tool many of us wished everybody used. I helps us to decide whether or not accept jobs from a given agency. It also encourages good agencies to continue with their good business practices, as I have seen that they appreciate our positive comments, and possibly discourages bad agencies to going on with unacceptable policies.

We should not fear posting unfavorable comments when it is right to do it. If we do so we just allow that some agencies continue with their abusive behavior. If some agency deletes us from their roster because they don't like us telling the truth, there'll always be some good replacement for it.

Best regards,

Elías Sauza


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Kathinka van de Griendt  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:23
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Thanks for the push! Jun 8, 2005

This posting finally made me enter a BB posting I'd been stalling for months. I pondered over the correct wording, finally entered what I thought was a polite, precise reason ... and got a personal and rude reply. So much for that.
Thanks for all your input, it really helped me to see that we have to enter good AND bad.
Regards from sunny!! Northern Germany
Kathinka


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 18:23
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
My approach Jun 8, 2005

Whenever I finish up a project with a new agency and get paid I just put in the rating right away. That way it's done! I believe that bad payers need to be advertised, but good payers deserve good ratings too. A balanced approach is best for everyone, IMO.

Enjoy your day!

Nancy


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Federica Masante  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:23
Member (2003)
Italian to English
+ ...
Right on Kathinka! Jun 8, 2005

I agree with everything that's been said so far and I can only sympathise with Kathinka as I have seen that she has made the same negative comments about the very same outsourcer and I too got an extremely rude and personal reply back when all I did was simply state the facts! Some people are really not worth their salt so it's good riddance for us as well Kathinka!

Happy translating and getting paid to us all!

Federica


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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
My thoughts about this... Jun 9, 2005

I haven't so far had to leave negative feedback (luckily), but I must say it is exactly what Kathinka and Federica told above that would make me think twice about giving such feedback - on BB I have seen rude & personal comments made by agencies, in reply to the feedback/likelihood of working again given by the translator. And the reply by the agency is permanent (as I understand it?), so it's not a very enticing prospect (to put it mildly) to have such things said about you, personally, beside your name in a public board!! Even fellow translators reading the comments may get doubtful about offering to co-operate with the translator in question, etc. (or am I entirely wrong?). (And any other reasons aside, at least I would feel very, very bad about it personally, I can't deny that, but of course not everyone is so sensitive as I am...)
Of course I understand it's a duty to warn others, but unless it's a definite non-payer or something like that, I personally wouldn't resort to bad/negative feedback, for this reason.

(Actually, I wonder why are the agencies given the possibility to enter their comments, as in most cases they truly seem to be personal and rude remarks? If that would be eliminated from BB, I'm sure people wouldn't have any hesitations at all to enter their experiences, so everyone would benefit...)

How do you people feel about it, especially those who have had such rude comments thrown at you by the agency you have rated?


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Kathinka van de Griendt  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:23
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Ouch! Jun 9, 2005

Melina Kajander wrote:
How do you people feel about it, especially those who have had such rude comments thrown at you by the agency you have rated?


Well Melina, I presume it's a stab where it hurts most - as I said before it took most of my courage to finally make the entry, but now I'm glad I did. I can handle criticism relatively well and I can only hope that outsourcers and translators alike will have the presence of mind to judge for themselves. My only irritation is: Why does Proz allow comments which are rude? It took me hours to come up with a discreet and polite entry - and I'm rewarded with a comment like that, just because the agency doesn't like criticism.
Anyway, it's done. Have a good day and don't let anyone spoil it
Kathinka

[Edited at 2005-06-09 10:53]


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:23
Spanish to English
Anticipate the negative comments Jun 9, 2005

I think the best thing you can do when submitting a negative rating on an agency is to substantiate your rating. This way any negative remarks from the agency will look like sour grapes. I would state the following:

1. Translation was delivered on time.
2. Agency made no objections to quality.
3. How late payment was/no payment made at all.
4. You have evidence to back this up.

I have seen agencies that make negative comments afterwards, and I can only imagine how the translators feel. However, I think if the translator states these 4 basic facts, there is not much the agency can say without looking bitter.

Usually the agency will make some comment about poor quality, which of course would contradict the 2nd statement. In addition, by stating you have evidence, any translator looking at the ratings will not be left with a negative impression of you, but rather of the agency.


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