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Blue board retaliation
Thread poster: spanruss
spanruss
United States
Local time: 08:06
Russian to English
+ ...
Mar 10, 2007

I just received an e-mail from a translation company I worked with previously. They were upset about a negative blue board rating I posted against them. In reality, nine out of the ten posts about their company were negative. They have, in essence, given me a deadline of two weeks to remove the negative rating and gave me an implied warning that they would otherwise seek out ways to tarnish my reputation as they feel their's has been.

I know ProZ has no resources within its power to assure against retaliation by a company making such threats, so doesn't this make the Blueboard concept ineffective? I'm sure this company is sending the very same e-mail to the other nine translators who gave it bad reviews. I'm sure some of these translators will remove their negative threats out of fear of retaliation. Am I right in assuming there's nothing that can be done to curtail such threats?


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 15:06
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Blue Board retaliation Mar 10, 2007

Hi 'Spanruss',

Making threats (etc) is certainly not allowed.

Have a look at the following Blue Board rule (rule 11 http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb&viewPage=faq).

11. A service provider has commented on his/her likelihood of working again with my business. Can I respond?

....
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 user 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.

Like service provider comments, your responses must be restricted to the work relationship and likelihood of working again. Personal remarks from service providers and outsourcers are not acceptable and will be removed by the site staff upon request.

Please contact a Job Moderator or ProZ.com staff by submitting a support ticket (http://www.proz.com/support).

Kind regards,

Evert Deloof-Sys
ProZ.com Moderator


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Baruch Avidar  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 16:06
English to Hebrew
+ ...
No fear Mar 10, 2007

If nine other people also believe they are bad, just disregard their threats, they will probably do nothing about and if they do, what can it be ? Just ignore them!

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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 15:06
German to Romanian
+ ...
I don't think they could go very far Mar 10, 2007

And even if they could, there is no way your good clients, who appreciate your work, would believe a disgruntled outsourcer. I really don't see how they could do anything to ruin your reputation.
One suggestion is to contact the other 9 translators and see if they were in the same situation and see how they solved the problem.
I would not remove the posting. As I said, I don't think there is much they can do.


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 08:06
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I am also in fear Mar 10, 2007

spanruss wrote:

I know ProZ has no resources within its power to assure against retaliation by a company making such threats, so doesn't this make the Blueboard concept ineffective? I'm sure this company is sending the very same e-mail to the other nine translators who gave it bad reviews. I'm sure some of these translators will remove their negative threats out of fear of retaliation. Am I right in assuming there's nothing that can be done to curtail such threats?


I am about to leave a bad note on another agency, but I'm sure they will retaliate. I emailed the ProZ staff and got a very nice answer to my concern, but no real solution. So is the BB good for anything? To me, most people are just afraid to leave bad feedback, for fear of the consequences...so do we paint everything pink and go away?

So the BB is just: I like you & you like me? There's got to be something else to this issue that PorZ can do.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 15:06
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
An alternative Point of View Mar 10, 2007

I am about to leave a bad note on another agency, but I'm sure they will retaliate.


By not sending you any orders any more? Isn't that what all those records of negative experience are saying is the best that can hapen to you?

Why not give them up in your mind, keep your BB opinion private for now and make the search for alternative agencies your priority number one? Once you are independent, you can enter BB record and tell the others of your experience.

If 9 out of 10 entries are negative, then the agency is a real slave-driver. To complain and at the same time stay with them is a sign of hope, a slave driver will turn into an abolitionist.

Big fat chance.

Regards and keep your heads up (and open)

Vito


[Edited at 2007-03-10 16:26]


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Lorenia de la Vega  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
How about... Mar 10, 2007

Vito Smolej wrote:

By not sending you any orders any more?


How about by leaving you a negative WWA score? They certainly can do that. I worked for an outsourcer once who did not reply to my constant emails, paid 90 (!!!) days after I sent the invoice, and was in general kind of rude not only to me, but to someone else who worked on another part of the same translation, making up a different lie to tell each of us (unfortunately for the outsourcer, the other translator and I met at a conference we both interpreted at!).

I am reluctant to post a negative score on their BB because, in the end, after threats, they did pay me, but I don't want the negative WWA score to affect agencies/outsourcers working with me in the future!


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:06
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Only positive WWA entries are allowed, I believe Mar 10, 2007

Hi Lorenia,

Only positive WWA entries are allowed at the moment, I believe. Or am I out of date?

Astrid


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:06
English to Arabic
+ ...
Good idea Mar 10, 2007

Elvira Stoianov wrote:

One suggestion is to contact the other 9 translators and see if they were in the same situation and see how they solved the problem.


I think it's a good idea that you get in touch with the 9 other translators, and if they have received the same emails, you can agree not to remove your comments and see how you can take it from there.

Out of curiosity, but also to be able to properly judge the extent of the threat, would you mind posting the relevant part of their message?


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spanruss
United States
Local time: 08:06
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Public posting of threatening e-mail Mar 10, 2007

[/quote]

Out of curiosity, but also to be able to properly judge the extent of the threat, would you mind posting the relevant part of their message?
[/quote]

Actually, since I'm not familiar with legal issues, such as slander, and I'm not certain what types of measures this company may decide to take against me, I think I'm going to refrain from posting their actual letter publicly at this time. I'll submit a support ticket to ProZ, as suggested by Evert Deloof-Sys, to see how the ProZ staff responds or if they have any suggestions on how to handle this.


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Skatrine
Canada
Local time: 09:06
English to French
Post the message, replace their name by XYZ Mar 11, 2007

Make it anonymous but, please, let us see what you're talking about.

TIA


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 15:06
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
WWA entry - is it not by invitation? Mar 11, 2007

How about by leaving you a negative WWA score?


And even if it were not, if I stumbled upon a negative WWW, I would murmur "Oops, huh?, wth ... let's check..." and go see the BB entries for the offending WWW entry. A negative WWA comment by some black sheep does not make the sheep white, and it sure corrodes the veracity of its WWA entry.



[Edited at 2007-03-11 09:40]


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Lorenia de la Vega  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Okay, but... Mar 11, 2007

Vito Smolej wrote:

And even if it were not, if I stumbled upon a negative WWW, I would murmur "Oops, huh?, wth ... let's check..." and go see the BB entries for the offending WWW entry. A negative WWA comment by some black sheep does not make the sheep white, and it sure corrodes the veracity of its WWA entry.


Sure, but potential clients unfamiliar with proz may stumble upon your profile and write you off for having negative WWA entries thinking "this person must be unprofessional or difficult to work with"...


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Ann Bishop  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
got the same message Mar 11, 2007

I received the same message. I haven't worked for them in 4 years and I was just shocked at such practice. I have sent a message to one of the ProZ.com staff members.

Regards,
Ann


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spanruss
United States
Local time: 08:06
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Money owed Mar 11, 2007

Ann Bishop wrote:

I received the same message. I haven't worked for them in 4 years and I was just shocked at such practice. I have sent a message to one of the ProZ.com staff members.

Regards,
Ann



I'm glad you did that, Ann. Maybe ProZ will be more likely to investigate and analyze what can be done now. If ProZ were to contact the rest of the translators who left this company a bad review, I'm sure they'll find that the company sent these individuals the same threatening e-mail. Also, since this company received 9 negative reviews, I wouldn't doubt it if there were quite a bit more mistreated translators who didn't give them a review. In essence, this company was using money that was owed to us to fund their operations, while our personal bank accounts were lower than they should have been. In extreme cases, some of us could have been under stress about being able to pay our bills. Don't get me wrong. This company eventually paid me everything they owed me, but I had to contact them repeatedly, send them three letters of dunning, hire a collection agency, and still did not receive payments for 4 to 6 months.


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