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How much to charge for a "Rush Charge"?
Thread poster: Maria Diaz

Maria Diaz
United States
Local time: 01:59
English to Spanish
Jul 16, 2003

A client sent me a file for translation in the morning, and wants it delivered by the end of the day. How should I charge the rush fee, per word or hour? How much is appropriate?

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
How many words a day do you consider fair? Jul 16, 2003

Hypothetical case: I define "day" as 24 hours, and 2,500 as mean word output. If I'm asked to produce 3,500, that's "rush" for me, and the 1000 words extra count for +40%.

I could also define 500 as normal per hour. Counting fatigue factors and break, however, I will NOT finish 2,500 in 5 hours. More realistic will be 6-7.

You could adjust these bases. Evidently, 300 words in 1 afternoon would not be rush for me, and I could say "normal rate" for goodwill.

[Edited at 2003-07-16 22:20]


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Maria Diaz
United States
Local time: 01:59
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
It's not so much how long it takes to do the job. Jul 16, 2003

In my case because I'm geographically 3 hours behind Client's time, when I got the job at 10:30am it was already 1:30 on Client's time. He wanted it by 5:30, which meant I had to put everything else on hold to do that job.

Plus, I don't want them to get used to same day requests. I will normally deliver a job like this next day. Any advise on the rush fee?

Evidently, 300 words in 1 afternoon would not be rush for me, and I could say "normal rate" for goodwill.

[Edited at 2003-07-16 22:20][/quote]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Slap the surcharge on the whole thing? Jul 16, 2003

If it's as you say... I don't like having my things put on hold either.

[Edited at 2003-07-16 23:36]


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
wise attitude Jul 17, 2003

drspanish wrote:
Plus, I don't want them to get used to same day requests.


That is a very wise attitude!

As a general policy, I apply a 30% surcharge for assignments due within 24 hours. Some of my colleagues will charge more, some less. As Parrot says, sometimes good will is in order, and the surcharge may be waived. In your case, if you had to put everything on hold, I would certainly factor it in when it is time to invoice.

I would strongly recommend you discuss any surcharges that apply with your client before accepting any rush job. It should not come as a surprise to them.

Hope this helps.

Susana


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Annira Silver  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:59
Finnish to English
+ ...
50% extra for evening/weekend work Jul 18, 2003

Hi,

Freelancer or not, I try to keep to 'normal' working days and hours. If a client wants me to give up my evening and especially weekend, I charge 50% extra. It seems a lot, but is only the same as e.g. British factory workers' time-and-a-half overtime rate!

Doing too many favours for clients does spoil them - they will think they can have a job done at any time of night or day. I recently had an agency whinge when I charged extra for a job they wanted immediately - at half past nine in the evening!

Annira


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:29
English to Tamil
+ ...
Definition of a rush job Jul 18, 2003

Now I will give you an account which may turn you green with envy. There is the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (Insdoc) owned by the Government of India. They undertake translation work among other things. They charge 50% more for rush jobs. By rush job they just mean that the work will be assigned to the translator immediately and not made to wait for its turn in the queue. That's all. Only the translation time is involved and the translator's deadline is set 66% of the time for an ordinary job. Per day a translator was expected to clear 2000 words for ordinary job and for rush job it will be 3000 words.

Compared to the tension we are working under nowadays, those were the days of relaxed translation. It is a pity that it is not now working to its full capacity. They were charging very modest rates, yet lost clients mainly due to red tapism.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Charge accordingly Jul 18, 2003

I charge 50% more for urgent deliveries (next day, weekends).

For same day delivery, I charge 100% more.

Of course, this does not apply to ongoing projects (short phrases, text-tweaking, etc.), only to new ones.

[Edited at 2003-07-18 13:08]


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