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Non-paying cowboy agencies on the internet
Thread poster: Braz
Braz
Polish to English
+ ...
Sep 7, 2004

I did an urgent job for an agency and never got paid. Yet they can't be named - see forum rule: "no client discussions".

I accessed their ratings - having paid 50 points - to find out that the same has happened to at least two other translators.

What can be done to stop these people from fleecing the unsuspecting part of the translation community?

All suggestions more than welcome!

Braz


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:25
English to German
+ ...
Check the BlueBoard before accepting a job Sep 7, 2004

Hi Braz,
I did an urgent job for an agency and never got paid. Yet they can't be named - see forum rule: "no client discussions".

They can be named - it's just that the forum isn't the place. As I pointed out to you privately, the BlueBoard is the place to share such information. Thanks for posting your rating there.

I accessed their ratings - having paid 50 points - to find out that the same has happened to at least two other translators.

Depending on when you accepted the job, that information may already have been available - the first rating citing non-payment was entered more than two months ago.

Unfortunately, the two members who complained about non-payment did not follow up with us - if you enter a "1" or "2" rating, you are invited to contact the Jobs moderators in case of non-payment. Following your posting this morning, I have already contacted the other two members, and will investigate in line with the ProZ.com Termination Policy.

What can be done to stop these people from fleecing the unsuspecting part of the translation community?

This may sound patronising, but I certainly don't mean it that way: stop being unsuspecting. Don't accept work from unknown clients unless you have checked sources such as the BlueBoard (there are several payment-related lists - search the forum for "PP", "TCR" or "Zahlungspraxis"). Advance payment of a part of the expected fee is also a good idea - although this means that you will lose out on some jobs. Whether that's a real loss is up to your judgement.

Best regards,
Ralf


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
English to French
+ ...
The general advice is: Sep 7, 2004

Always check the BlueBoard before accepting a job

You can also comment your own experience on the BB of this agency, helping warn other translators.

Best of luck to you...


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Braz
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Ralf! Sep 7, 2004

Thank you for the advice. No, it's not partonising - in fact I felt pretty stupid myself when I realised how misplaced my trust was. Seeing that I was not the only victim of this scam though (and there may be more out there who didn't bother to post their ratings) I was lead to believe that something should be done about this...

Regards,
Braz


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 00:25
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Inform the agency about copyright Sep 7, 2004

If I don't get paid, I inform the agency that copyright of a text I have translated is mine until payment is received, hence they are not allowed to use the text. (that is, of course, a better weapon, if the text reveals the name of the client).

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
some precautions Sep 7, 2004

Braz wrote:

...in fact I felt pretty stupid myself ...

Regards,
Braz


It\'s not stupidity, it\'s trust, somewhat misplaced - once you realise it - and there are agencies who take advantage of that:-)

Always check up on clients beforehand. Sometimes you will find that there is no info, and in that case, be sure to get client details, and if at all possible a purchase order or job ref number. By the time you have negotiated all the details, you will probably have acquired an impression of them, good or bad.

At teh same time, we have to take jobs on trust occasionally, not all the people who contact you will be agencies with procedures. Not all contacts will be potentially bad payers.

Assess the level of risk that you can handle. If a job is worth a lot of money, you might consider asking for part-payment first.

HTH:-)


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