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Have I been conned?
Thread poster: Wendy Soto
Wendy Soto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Spanish to English
Jun 21, 2008

Last week I bid on a job to translate a short financial document, which was a rush job, and a much longer technical document, which wasn't due for a few days. I got the jobs and proceeded to translated the shorter, more urgent document. I sent the document off to the agency only to receive an email a few hours later ordering me to halt work on the second translation. This person stated that the first translation had a lot of problems and "the meaning [was] wrong." I was told that they were going to need to find another translator to re-do my document that same day.

I was very taken aback by this. I responded and asked for more detail as to what specifically was wrong about the translation, but never got a response.

Feeling uneasy about the whole thing, I decided to send the translation and the source document to a former translation professor (and former grader for the ATA). He looked it over and told me that it was fine and that there was no basis for rejection of the translation.

I noticed that the same day that I was told the translation would have to be re-done, no new request for a bid was made by this agency for that document--only a request for the second document, which I never finished.

Was I conned? This is (I thought) a reputable agency, but this has never happened to me before. I have no idea how to handle it at this point. While the agency contact (who is the President by the way) never told me outright that I would not be paid, I am assuming she has no intention of paying me. Should I just send her an invoice? Should I call her and argue with her? I really don't know what to do. It's not like the document was worth a lot--it was very short. It's more the principle of the matter for me.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance.


[Edited at 2008-06-21 02:36]


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itaharold
Germany
Local time: 06:26
German to English
+ ...
Conned or not? Jun 21, 2008

Hi!

Their procedure seems obvious. I suggest you insist on immediate payment and take appropriate legal action if their response is negative (by the way, until final settlement you are still owner of the copyright on your translation!). You should also contact ProzCom moderators for further advice.

best regards

itaharold


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Write her Jun 21, 2008

The first thing I'd do is write her an e-mail and tell her about the professor's comments. You have a right to defend your work.

Amy


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Dutch to English
+ ...
Just send her the invoice Jun 21, 2008

I think they wanted someone cheaper and that this was their way to get out of the relationship with you (strange way to do business though). Just send them the invoice and see what happens.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
you could have been conned, but send them the invoice first with time based clearance.. Jun 21, 2008

Hi!
The usual process is in this chain of profession is -
Client interaction with the agency and the agency appoints a PM that understands that languagepair.
PM contacts translator and so on..
client ->Agency->PM->translator->PM->proof-reader->PM->reviewer->PM->agency_ client.
But a few agencies have developed the habit of profiting themselves while cutting on the costs, mostly in case of the translator and not the proof-reader or reviewer. Usually the translator translates and sends back to PM and then the proof-reader reads the docs upside down and generates a mark-up with suggestions, which the translator will have to incorporate. But here the proof-reader also offers retranslation services and the PM sets a percentile of failures in the document that would require a retranslation and informs the translator usually in form of the mark-up document. Now the catch is what if the PM= Proof-reader = reviewer, he would be saving on total costs so that his salary is saved. Usually one never knows who is proof-reading and who else is reviewing the document. In the practise however many are not doing that either. And so on...Brandis

[Edited at 2008-06-21 07:29]


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:26
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Charge for what you did Jun 21, 2008

Definitely invoice for your work. As well, charge for the portion of the work you did complete on the second translation on a pro-rated basis, at least.

If you go to a restaurant and you do not like the food, you still need to pay the bill.


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Jack Qin  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 12:26
English to Chinese
+ ...
see eye to eye with Amy Jun 21, 2008

That is also my way of responding to that.

Amy Duncan wrote:

The first thing I'd do is write her an e-mail and tell her about the professor's comments. You have a right to defend your work.

Amy


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't mention the professor's comments if you had a confidentiality agreement Jun 21, 2008

They could conceivably use the fact that you showed it to someone else as an excuse for nonpayment.

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Wendy Soto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jun 21, 2008

Thanks to all of your for your comments and suggestions. They have been very, very helpful!

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