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Do I have to pay for a delayed proofreading job?
Thread poster: Iulia Manescu

Iulia Manescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2005)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jun 28, 2004

Hello dear ProZ,

I need to know your opinions in a very delicate situation, so please bear with me while I explain.

I had 2 brochures that needed proofreading from a native speaker of the target language. I needed the 1st brochure by 13.00 CET Saturday (June 26th), and the 2nd one by today (Monday, June 28th).

I found someone who agreed to proofread them. We agreed on their price, and my deadline.
I sent them the 1st brochure, and was supposed to send the 2nd brochure on Saturday, after delivery of the 1st one.

I didn't receive confirmation of receipt from them for the 1st brochure, and then I didn't get the proofread version of it at 13.00 on Saturday.
I emailed the translator at 14.00 CET to find out what had happened, but he didn't reply. I then sent him a new email, with a polite cancellation of my order, at 16.30 CET, Saturday.

After that, I asked for a deadline extension from my client and found someone else, who proofread both brochures by Sunday evening, and did a very good job.

This (Monday) morning, I sent the brochures to my client, the version that was proofread by the second translator.

Problem IS: This afternoon (Monday), the first translator also sent a proofread version for the 1st brochure, but he was late and I had already cancelled my order.

Do I have to pay for the 1st translator's proofreading? And if not, how do I go about it so as not to get a bad blue board rating?

TIA.
Iulia


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
You're not to blame Jun 28, 2004

It sounds to me as if you have handled things correctly.

What I gather from your posting is that the proofreader was aware of the urgency of the job and agreed to deliver the job before the deadline (which included the relevant time zone).

If the proofreader had run into problems he/she should have let you know IN TIME. Handing in a job two days after the agreed deadline without consulting the client (you) is inexcusable. Besides, it seems to me that you cancelled the job well before the proofreader started working on it. Therefore you should not have to pay anything to this person.

My 2 cents.

[Edited at 2004-06-28 13:30]


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Iulia Manescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2005)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Problem solved Jun 28, 2004

Dear Iulia,

no problem at all. I understand that you're in good faith. It's my ISP problem obviously. Don't worry about payment. it was my fault, even though not intentional. I'll complain with my ISP, which is one I pay for just to avoid these problems that are supposed to happen only on the free ones. Incredible....

Hope to help you in some other occasion
XXXXXXXXXXXX

At 06.04 28/06/2004 -0700, you wrote:

Dear XXXXXXXXXXX,

I'm terribly sorry for this embarrasing situation. I'm sure everything was out of both our control, since it was a tight deadline and I was afraid you hadn't received the stuff I'd sent (seems that indeed you hadn't, not in time, at least).
The deadline was tight, so I had no time to wait until you got them, plus I had no idea what was going on. An email telling me you didn't get any of my material when you needed it would have helped.

I did send those 2 emails, first to contact you, then to cancel my order; I'll send them as forwarded attachments on your new address, so you can be sure I did. You might get them the way I first sent them anyway, just not in time.

Now I'm sending the temporary and final version for each brochure, as they were proofread by the other translator. I need you to know I'm not trying to trick you, I just can't afford to pay for 2 proofreadings of the same project. I feel bad about this, but I can't help it.

There might be some good out of this for you too, because now you'll know to check on your ISP (the other translator received all my mails in time, so that's probably where the problem was).

All the best to you.
Iulia

XXXXXXXXXXXXX wrote:

Dear Iulia,

I've seen your posting on the Proz forum and I have the impression you are referring to me.

If so, well, there are some explanations.

I only received the file (only one) on Sunday. I worked until Friday late afternoon and I did not get your message. I checked my mail on Saturday and then Sunday, and then I found your mail. I could only work on it this morning. So far I've not received any of the other mails.

If you have problems, I do not want to be paid since I understand there must have been some server problems (my ISP or yours) and fortunately it's a very small project.

In 10+ years career I've always been on time on any project,so I hope you understand this was something out of my control.


Regards
XXXXXXXXXXX


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:56
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I think you did everything you could Jun 28, 2004

...... and I see it's solved now - my nightmare as well when I have to send files by email on a tight deadline, that one of the mailservers just fails at the wrong time ..........

[Edited at 2004-06-28 13:48]


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
No win-win situation here Jun 28, 2004

Dear Iulia,
This is an unfourtunate situation for all parties involved, especially you and the editor. Of course, you tried to do your best and it was also out of the editor's hands as well, since his email system did not work right. One little sugestion though: in these types of situations, I would use the phone and call them (people who you have outsourced the job), since emails are not 100% secure as a mean of communication. Good luck and have a great day.
Monika


[Edited at 2004-06-28 15:41]


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Bianca Adriaensen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:56
English to Dutch
+ ...
A great invention a couple of centuries ago Jun 28, 2004

anjoboira wrote:

...... and I see it's solved now - my nightmare as well when I have to send files by email on a tight deadline, that one of the mailservers just fails at the wrong time ..........

[Edited at 2004-06-28 13:48]


IMHO: that's what phones are for. Even in cases where client and translator are residing 12 time zones from eachother, there will always be a couple of hours per day that both are awake.


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Italian to English
+ ...
Agree with Monika Jun 28, 2004

An unfortunate situation, and hindsight is great! But you really should have phoned the proofreader when you didn't get confirmation of receipt of the first file, or at least before you cancelled the order, as a lot of time had elapsed between sending the file and hearing nothing.

Glad you've found a solution.
Have a good week.



[Edited at 2004-06-28 15:57]


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
Spanish to English
Backup e-mail (like hotmail) Jun 28, 2004

This has happened to me as well, with an e-mail account that I pay quite a bit for. If I don't get a confirmation within a couple of hours, I will either call the client or send the same file by hotmail.

Almost always the hotmail message gets there first, meaning there is a problem with my ISP. As much as I have tried to work this out with my ISP, they will never admit that there are problems with their server. They always come up with the excuse "e-mail is not always instantaneous..."

I would suggest that you always have (and also ask for) a backup e-mail address. If you both have hotmail or Yahoo, the messages will probably come through very quickly.

Sorry to hear about your plight (for both of you)!

Best regards,

Russell


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Iulia Manescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2005)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Finding culprits is tricky Jun 28, 2004

Amy Williams wrote:

An unfortunate situation, and hindsight is great! But you really should have phoned the proofreader when you didn't get confirmation of receipt of the first file, or at least before you cancelled the order, as a lot of time had elapsed between sending the file and hearing nothing.


Following that logic, the proofreader too should have contacted me after not getting the file at least Saturday morning - after all, it was due Saturday afternoon. If you got a file on Sunday that you were supposed to finish on Saturday, wouldn't you find that odd?
Besides, on a first collaboration, no one knows what to expect from the other party, do they?

Glad you've found a solution.
Have a good week.

Thank you, you too have a great week.


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Iulia Manescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2005)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Russell Jun 28, 2004

Russell Gillis wrote:

This has happened to me as well, with an e-mail account that I pay quite a bit for. If I don't get a confirmation within a couple of hours, I will either call the client or send the same file by hotmail.


Everything you wrote sounds like sound advice, but I guess you never think about it until it happens.
The proofreader wrote to me and told me they checked, and they've been missing important emails from other clients as well, and that's causing them troubles. Apparently they hadn't anticipated this either.

On the bright side, maybe now people who hadn't thought about ISP problems or hadn't found a sollution to it can get some info. (You might disagree, but as we say here in Romania, I like to see the full half of the glass).

Best regards to all.
Iulia


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Italian to English
+ ...
you're right Jun 28, 2004

You're tight, Iulia, the proofreader was just as much in the wrong for not calling you, but as outsourcer you are the one who (unfortunately!) has to shoulder the responsibility - after all, it's you that has to hand the document over to the client. The proofreader is probably more likely to be enjoying their free time until the document lands on their doorstep (although I can't say if that was the case in this instance)!

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
The fee mails are sometimes irresponsible Jun 28, 2004

I am having an eth.net id. If somebody sends some attachment to it, at times it takes 24 hours, whereas a freemail such as msn.com or laposte.net are much quicker. So much so that I avoid the eth.net id like plague.

In my case I send email attachments to all the id's of an outsourcer, by making use of the cc and bcc features. For example my most important outsourcer has 3 id's and I send to all of them. Similarly he sends work to all my 5 id's. So, if one server is having tantrums, the others can deliver the goods. It doesn't cost anything extra to send cc's. It is just laziness not to do so. Never take chances with important mails. As the travelling salesman, when asked whether he wanted his dead mother-in-law cremated or buried, he said not to take any chances. "Cremate her and bury the ashes".

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Iulia Manescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2005)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That is a sollution, but I'd take out the part about being lazy:) Jun 28, 2004

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

In my case I send email attachments to all the id\'s of an outsourcer, by making use of the cc and bcc features. For example my most important outsourcer has 3 id\'s and I send to all of them. Similarly he sends work to all my 5 id\'s. So, if one server is having tantrums, the others can deliver the goods. It doesn\'t cost anything extra to send cc\'s. It is just laziness not to do so. Never take chances with important mails. As the travelling salesman, when asked whether he wanted his dead mother-in-law cremated or buried, he said not to take any chances. \"Cremate her and bury the ashes\".



That\'s a great idea, as is phoning each other.
Maybe outsourcers and translators should always ask each other for a back-up email account. In mine and the proofreader\'s case, we didn\'t think about that. I had no back-up email to send stuff to; not before the incident, anyway. Neither did he.

One last thing: Poor mother-in-law.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
Sorry about reference to laziness Jun 29, 2004

Dear Iulia,
Let me explain my remarks. Many outsourcers, while sending me email, neglect to do just that and many a time there have been avoidable delays. And in their case it was pure laziness on their part. Once again sorry for the reference to laziness.
Regards,
N.Raghavan



[Edited at 2004-06-29 05:01]


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