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There ARE some good agencies out there!
Thread poster: Alex Farrell

Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Japanese to English
Aug 15, 2008

I know of course that we usually seek out advice and help when something goes wrong, hence the gloomy atmosphere on the board, but just to add a little brightness, I thought I'd share a good experience. One of my long-time customers with whom I have a great working relationship asked me to do a trial translation for a bid on a big project--and they paid me for the trial! I don't know if this is common or rare, but in my experience I have done several trials to be used in bids for free.

Anybody else got some really nice experiences?

- Alex

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patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oh, yes! Aug 15, 2008

I do work for a quite high-profile NGO. I have always charged a very low rate. My contact recently upped my rate by 30% and then a few weeks later paid me a further 10% for a rush job. Both of these were completely out of the blue.

Okay, so it's a direct client but I have also been paid more by an agency when I mentioned (not complained) that a transcription had taken more time than I had anticipated because of a sudden drop in quality half way through the audio.

It's so nice to be able to share these good experiences...thanks, Alex.


[Edited at 2008-08-15 02:41]

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:56
English to French
+ ...
Paying for it is common - offering to pay for it is much more uncommon Aug 15, 2008

In my experience, if the client is serious, they will agree to pay for the test. This is not uncommon. What is uncommon is for clients to offer to pay for a test. Usually, you have to nag them. They basically try you on, seeing as many freelancers (mostly wannabe translators) seem to believe that a free test is something you owe to a client in order to get paid work. But usually, if you tell them that you expect to be paid for it since your time as is precious as theirs, they pay - or you never hear back from them. I don't mind, because then I don't waste any more time on those prospects.

However, your client must be a really good one, because I was only offered a paid test once - the paid tests I have done all required an explanation of why I expect to be paid for them. Now that I know that good clients don't mind paying for tests, I am done with free tests. Never again...

P.S.: With clients that don't want to pay for a test yet seem serious enough otherwise, you can offer to be paid for the test and then deduct that amount off your invoice for the paid work if and when they assign it to you. It is only fair - and serious prospects tend to agree.

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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 06:56
German to English
+ ...
Good agencies - I work w/ 2 Aug 15, 2008

I went through a lot of agencies. Some were more nuanced than others; but 2 agencies consistently gave honest work, were consitently patient and understanding, and consitently paid fairly. The end result has been that I do my core work for them - when they ask me to do something, I set everything aside for their projects. Their professionalism and approach - priceliess; my loyalty - undivided.

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
English to Polish
Yes Aug 15, 2008

Alex Farrell wrote:

Anybody else got some really nice experiences?

- Alex

Just recently I had similar case - regular agency offering me to pay for the test translation for a new client.

Also the same agency offered me to pay for translation that I was supposed to do, but the client cancelled it later. Luckily I translated only 2 words (literally), so there was no need of paying me and I didn't waste any time too. But it was nice to know they respected my time and were ready to pay for translation, even if they wouldn't be paid for it and no one wanted it any longer

To add to it very friendly and always helpful PMs - I really like to work with them


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vicksy nurhayati  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:56
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Me too Aug 15, 2008

Yes, I thought a test job will always be free of charge, but no, they sent me the PO!

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
Paid tests Aug 15, 2008

I sometimes do test translations for a couple of agencies for which I do a lot of work. It is usually for a new customer they are trying to get and they always pay me my normal rate. They view it as an investment. I tend to shy away from test translations when it is unpaid.

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