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Unbelievable email-message
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:55
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Feb 28, 2008

A minute ago I recieved this message from a UK-agency I never heard of before and certainly never worked for:

Dear HEINRICH

As part of our system updates and quality assurance programme, we need to collect 1) references and 2) copies of certificates for all our translators / interpreters.

1) REFERENCES
Please send contact details of 2 referees as follows (preferably at least 1 of these will be a language company):
REFEREE 1
COMPANY NAME:
COMPANY TYPE:
REFEREE NAME:
POSITION:
E-MAIL:
TELEPHONE (including country and area codes):

REFEREE 2
COMPANY NAME:
COMPANY TYPE:
REFEREE NAME:
POSITION:
E-MAIL:
TELEPHONE (including country and area codes):

We will then contact the referees with a request to fill in a short form with questions on your quality of service and professionalism.

2) CERTIFICATES
Please also e-mail scanned copies of your higher education certificates and (if available) any relevant documents indicating your training/experience in translation/interpreting work.

Please ensure that we have your updated CV with full contact details.

This information is required urgently and it is in your interest to supply the above details as soon as possible to guarantee further orders from xxxx Ltd.

Please e-mail all above a.s.a.p. to


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:55
English to German
+ ...
Recycle bin... Feb 28, 2008


A minute ago I recieved this message from a UK-agency I never heard of before and certainly never worked for:

...and hopefully never will.


Best, Ralf


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xxxzsuzsa369
Local time: 03:55
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Not unbelievable, just unprofessional Feb 28, 2008

You probably registered with this agency years ago but forgot all about it. Sounds like they're just updating their database. I'm always amazed how most agencies don't even bother to acknowledge registrations. I get these emails too once in a while - that's when I realise that they actually have my details, otherwise I've lost track of which agencies I've registered with.

Just ignore it if you don't wish to work with them. You could even ask them to remove you from their database altogether, although from the sounds of it, if you don't reply, that's exactly what they're going to do, so you can save yourself the hassle.


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ivo abdman
Indonesia
Local time: 09:55
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Why not try to reply Feb 28, 2008

If you have times, why not
I hope there is another gate opened for you


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:55
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A "marketing" initiative Feb 28, 2008

Heinrich,

I'd bet this agency's business is riding the low tide, and that this whole "updating" is no more than a smoke screen to disguise that all they want your clients' contact info, to pester them with messages to the tune of: No matter what this jerk does for you, we can do it better, faster, and cheaper!


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another possibility... Feb 28, 2008

Keep in mind also that some agencies bid for juicy government contracts and need to show “proof” of all the translators who “work” for them.

This happened recently with a local agency. They had told the Ministry of Justice that they had 1,500 translators available. It wasn’t long before it was discovered that, in reality, they only had about 100 and of those 100, a sizeable number had never been paid more than 2 or 3 euros.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I have no problem... Feb 28, 2008

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
"As part of our system updates and quality assurance programme, we need to collect 1) references and 2) copies of certificates for all our translators / interpreters."


I can see nothing wrong with what they're asking (unless I'm missing something here), but I won't send them a copy of my certificate simply because it is too much bother. Let them judge me by my work and my references, if they don't believe me when I say that I had studied such and such.


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:55
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Be careful about giving out references Feb 28, 2008

You will probably have read this in other threads, but I can confirm that many agencies nowadays would not think twice before contacting referees to offer their services directly. It happened to me and to several colleagues, so I will never give references again. I agree with previous posters urging caution on this front.

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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
further proof that... Feb 28, 2008

...they need us more than we need them. You can translate without an agency, but you can't be an agency without translators!

(A prof of mine once said the same about teaching and students.)

J


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Forms, Questionnaires, References, Blood Samples Feb 29, 2008

In my experience, the amount of information and forms you are asked to provide is always inversely proportional to the amount of work you will actually receive from that company.



[Edited at 2008-02-29 00:10]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:55
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Carve that in stone, Jeff! Feb 29, 2008

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
In my experience, the amount of information and forms you are asked to provide is always inversely proportional to the amount of work you will actually receive from that company.


Mathematically, it makes sense. They are so busy sorting and filing all the forms they requested from translators by snail-mail, that they have no time for customer service (getting jobs) nor to interface with translators (to get them done).

One agency sent me several e-mails with all the attachments I should print, fill in, sign, and send by fax or post. There were PDFs, XLSs, DOCs, you name it. As the fax number (overseas) they gave me didn't answer, I sent it by regular, unregistered mail. Nevertheless, I received it back one month later with "addressee not found".

Another one, totally unknown, sent me a small job, asked no questions beyond if I could do it or not, I delivered it, and got paid via PayPal... everything on the same day!

[Edited at 2008-02-29 00:55]


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:55
English to Spanish
idem Feb 29, 2008

Anne Lee wrote:

You will probably have read this in other threads, but I can confirm that many agencies nowadays would not think twice before contacting referees to offer their services directly. It happened to me and to several colleagues, so I will never give references again. I agree with previous posters urging caution on this front.


It happened to me too. With a UK agency. Shame I cannot mention the name, it started by "a" and finished by "o".

Anyway, as Anne writes, not a case of conspiracy theory or anything like that, but watch out when asked for references, I would give them just for an in-house vacancy.

Regards,

Marta

[Edited at 2008-02-29 00:59]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:55
English to French
+ ...
I keep telling everybody this, but... Feb 29, 2008

Jim Tucker wrote:

...they need us more than we need them. You can translate without an agency, but you can't be an agency without translators!



...judging from the number of quotes on a-penny-per-word job posts, nobody is listening...


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:55
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
... Feb 29, 2008

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

In my experience, the amount of information and forms you are asked to provide is always inversely proportional to the amount of work you will actually receive from that company.



[Edited at 2008-02-29 00:10]


I formulated this exact relationship in my own mind...I guess I'm not the only one


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jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 08:25
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
May be a case of identity theft Mar 1, 2008

This has happened in the past and I guess scamsters has discovered a new way to steal your identity.


I get 3 - 4 emails every week which declare that the ticket number attached to my email ID has won a large lumpsum amount or a widow of a wealthy businessman, who got killed in a car accident, want my help to get a large amount released from a bank which was deposited in her husband's account and in turn they offer me 30% of the whole amount. Then they ask for my full details so that their lawyer could prepare the necessary papers.

May be this time, the guys have discovered a new way to kill so many birds (read "getting so many IDs") with one stone.


Beware.


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