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Client thinks I am the cause of all troubles.
Thread poster: Aleksandr Okunev
Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 07:56
English to Russian
Jul 25, 2006

Hi everyone.

This morning again I got a few phone calls from Europe, all on
silly issues, which make me sad, please, advise what to do.

Here I have this direct client, a nice company making cutting-edge
equipment in my subject area, nice payers, I have known them for
years, they are all nice folks, but every time they cannot print a PDF
just received from me, they immediately call me and ask to fix it. As
I sit before the PC, checking the file, they call again, saying that the
printer setup was wrong and my PDF was fine. Next day they have a
misplaced paragraph (because they opened a wrong file) and the whole
thing starts again.

What bothers me is that the first thing they think of is to blame the
translator
. I take it easy, they are quite reasonable and are always
sorry for any PITA, but they do it over again.

What would you say?
Thanks!
Aleksandr


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Floriana Casciabanca
Local time: 06:56
German to Italian
+ ...
don't worry be happy Jul 25, 2006

Dear Aleksandr, everybody blames everybody because nobody wants to be responsible for something wrong. apart from repetitions (-body), don't worry, take it easy. Sometimes it happens. It's not your fault.

Be happy

Floriana))


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
German to English
+ ...
Blind them with science Jul 25, 2006

Aleksandr Okunev wrote:

Here I have this direct client, a nice company making cutting-edge equipment in my subject area, nice payers, I have known them for years, they are all nice folks, but every time they cannot print a PDF just received from me, they immediately call me and ask to fix it. As I sit before the PC, checking the file, they call again, saying that the printer setup was wrong and my PDF was fine. Next day they have a
misplaced paragraph (because they opened a wrong file) and the whole thing starts again.

I take it easy, they are quite reasonable and are always
sorry for any PITA, but they do it over again.

What would you say?
Thanks!
Aleksandr


PDFs misbehave easily (between different versions, font incompatability). Your guys sound reasonable. Maybe an idea to educate them them at: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/search/index.cfm?restrict=support&term="Acrobat"%20Font%20compatibility

It's always the translator's fault, and if they remedy it do they get thanks? No. But they get repeat business.

Good luck
Chris


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Maria Luisa Duarte  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I would say................. Jul 25, 2006

I would say " Please do not hesitate to contact. me if you require any further information /questions/concerns/comments ...etc"

We need our clients and sometimes they need us more than we bargained for.

Have a nice day!

MLD


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Jonathan Faydi  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:56
Dutch to French
+ ...
Just make jokes... Jul 25, 2006

tell them you are thinking of changing activity : pdf help desk... Or just tell them that you own an old copy of "pdf for dummies..." that you would be delighted to send them

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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 07:56
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Not my PDFs usually. Jul 25, 2006

Textklick wrote: PDFs misbehave easily (between different versions, font incompatability).


I generate mine with «idiot-proof» settings.

The latest trouble with printing PDF was that
they had a PDF in A4 and printer paper setting
was some envelope, so they had one page
split into segments. Instead of checking everything
they rushed to the phone. (It is costly for them
too, by the way).

Stay well
AO

[Edited at 2006-07-25 09:59]


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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 07:56
English to Greek
+ ...
Rejoice... Jul 25, 2006

You are not the only one Aleksandr.

Everytime I do a DTP job for a major client, I get so many questions and complaints for nothing, that I don't even hear them anymore.

Just smile, explain the problem (if there is a problem) or give them an "amended" file, saying it has been fixed and - lo and behold - all will be fine.

Regards,
Nadia


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 07:56
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Do you think it's a trend? Jul 25, 2006

Thanks EVERYONE! ;o)

What I am afraid of is that this might develop
into a habit and subsequently cost me dearly
(I also translate their contract worth millions
of euros).

When I help my kids to fix a computer bug I always
tell them to try and see what they've done wrong,
and not to blame the software, keyboard, weather,
our cat, etc.

I still have a few clients who pay me little but whom
I cannot abandon for the sheer pleasure of working
with/for them. The money is not always that I value
even in a business relationship.

BTW I offered my help in securing a good translator
for them or guilelines on how to find one. They said
they were happy with me. (?)

Stay well!
Aleksandr


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 07:56
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
ISTFUTD Jul 25, 2006

which stands for

I
Send
This
From
Under
The
Desk

(a literal translation of a Russian phrase equivalent to «ROTFL»)

Nadia Fahmi wrote: ... or give them an "amended" file, saying it has been fixed and - lo and behold - all will be fine.


Wise! Every Commercial Director needs his
own translator to kick...

One dangerous side-effect is: since ALL their
claims have been wrong so far I may well
develop megalomania, which i s going to be
the end of my translation career. :'(

Stay well!
Aleksandr

[Edited at 2006-07-25 09:37]


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 07:56
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
An update Jul 25, 2006

There has just been a phone call, Article 3 of the Contract was mysteriously replaced by Article 1.

My worried client spent 10 minutes on the line, waiting for me to open the files direct in the “sent” folder of my e-mail client (Word document and a PDF) and check them.

When everything appeared to be fine he reopened the file on his end and the problem vanished. There was a lot of apologies, as usual.

I think someone might get rich by writing a good book for such folks/situations.

Anyway, I still enjoy working for/with them quite a lot.

Thank you!
Alex

[Edited at 2006-07-25 11:45]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Above and beyond Jul 25, 2006

I do that all the time, except I charge for it.

At US$50/hour, I don't feel like I'm wasting my time on (yet again) another urgent request to [insert menial PC-help-desk task here].

It works for them, and it most certainly works for me.



--
Dyran
"I've lost my notes and I forgot how to upload files to your FTP address.... oh... just drag and drop? [pause] Well, how about that... it worked!" - Client on the other side of the world calling on the phone at 3:00 am EST.


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 07:56
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I usually get questions from the clients Jul 25, 2006

like "is Latvian word "darīt" (to do) correct, because in another place it stands as "darīja" (did), "darīs" (will do), "darīsim" (we will do), "darošie" (those doing), "darāmie" (those to be done), and so on and so on... we have a complex grammar, so I usually just confirm the translation is correct and OK.

It is after 3rd such question in a day when I (only half jokingly) answer that, of course, I can completely explain to them grammar rules of Latvian and other Baltic languages, but it will be my not-so-cheap hourly rate.

Uldis


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Michael Deliso  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:56
Italian to English
+ ...
Here I have this direct client, a nice company making cutting-edge Jul 25, 2006

Hi Uldis;
think of all those translators who not only are blamed for those errros but they also do not get paid for......
I think many of those would welcome pest clients as long as they get paid...
I think that you should grin your teeth, amke the best of and count the blessings along the annoying calls..
Michael


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 07:56
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
I don't charge directly Jul 25, 2006

Because I would go nuts book-keepipng these.
Once in a while I check my e-mail client, find a dozen
"consulting" emails and charge a minimum fee for each.
Partly this is because business people feel more
comfortable when they have something material
they are paying for, even if this is just an e-mail.

Stay well!
Aleksandr


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 06:56
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Your middle name is Can-Fix-It-All Jul 25, 2006

so why worry or be mad at the client ... Seems they can't put more paper in the printer (correctly;) without you. What else can you ask for!?

You have to realize they are as much the part of the food chain as we all are, with their deadlines, phone calls from upstairs etc...


[Edited at 2006-07-25 15:14]


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