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Can you really trust the Blue Board records? Guess not?
Thread poster: Anna Valjakka

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
They could charge end-clients rates that cover 'European rates' Mar 20

Tom in London wrote:

Today, out of curiosity, I was checking the BB record of an agency in India. It consisted of a long string of 5s with glowing comments every time, including many translators from European countries, and positive remarks about good rates and prompt payment.

My question: how can an India-based agency pay European rates?



If Indian-based agencies pay viable rates to translators in Europe, then in principle at least, they can charge end clients accordingly. This still gives the agency a chance for a good margin if they keep their administrative costs down. They can pay local staff a reasonable salary, run an office outside the most expensive city centres, and even take advantage of the time-zone difference if they are clever.

They can counter the argument that they are not cheap with the old adage about paying for quality...

I would like to think that is how it works, at any rate.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:50
Partial member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Here's your answer Mar 20

Tom in London wrote:

...but I have never responded because I simply assume that they will be offering incredibly low rates as compared to European levels. And yet these agencies keep on sending job offers, and in their BB record I see lots of Europe-based translators who have worked for them. What is going on?


More and more people (any) in this "industry" work for less and less money. Everywhere. (You can at least see the offers on job boards for reference. I also get more and more ridiculous emails from prospective agencies/clients.)

I don't and will not work for less than a decent, fair rate. Key is not having to depend on cheap job offers from job boards or even direct contacts for your livelihood. But if the trend holds, until a sudden crash (brought on by poor quality and/or the impossibility of living on 0.01/word), and good projects fizzle out, it will be time to change jobs (at least temporarily).

Can you trust the Blueboard? You need to know how to read it - see comments from Jose and others. But if the outsourcer is already too cheap, it doesn't really matter what else is said about them.

[Edited at 2017-03-20 15:18 GMT]


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conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:50
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
How to approach clients with no BB records at all Apr 28

Lingua 5B wrote:
Without me opening a new thread about this, can somebody please tell me how to approach clients with no records whatsoever, in the following situation: the client is a ProZ member for many years (say 3-4+ years), has a professional-looking website, but no BB records at all and they offer you a project. What would you do? Would you make inquires about this before accepting a project? For instance: does your lack of BB records mean you have a low project flow or you just don't work with freelancers much?
I am not sure how to approach this one, so I would appreciate a piece of advice.


Well if they do not have any payment record on the BB and no information can be found online, this is a big risk, and you need to recognize it as such. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad payers, either. They could be a good client who just hasn't had any ratings on the BB or who is new to ProZ.

You don't know which it is though. So one thing you can do is to avoid taking large projects from clients that have no information at all. Set a limit that wouldn't be that bad if they didn't pay you, such as $200 USD. And notify them up front that you won't accept jobs larger than this until they have established a payment history with you. This way you can limit your risk.

I have seen both types of clients who had no ratings... those that were bad payers in reality and those who clearly ended up being good, reasonable clients, and I wondered later why they didn't have any ratings.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
There are other ways of judging a client Apr 28

Gut feeling is one. Even if you are totally new yourself, you can see the difference between mails.

Even if the mail is very brief and the client is struggling to write English, some are clearly making an effort to be polite and asking you to tell them your terms. Others are clearly only going to offer a low rate (or they dictate a low rate...) and it can't go too fast.

The Blue Board has been updated since this thread was started, and each outsourcer is given several ratings, so let's hope it helps.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:50
Member (2008)
French to English
Happens sometimes Apr 28

conejo wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:
Without me opening a new thread about this, can somebody please tell me how to approach clients with no records whatsoever, in the following situation: the client is a ProZ member for many years (say 3-4+ years), has a professional-looking website, but no BB records at all and they offer you a project. What would you do? Would you make inquires about this before accepting a project? For instance: does your lack of BB records mean you have a low project flow or you just don't work with freelancers much?
I am not sure how to approach this one, so I would appreciate a piece of advice.


Well if they do not have any payment record on the BB and no information can be found online, this is a big risk, and you need to recognize it as such. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad payers, either. They could be a good client who just hasn't had any ratings on the BB or who is new to ProZ.

You don't know which it is though. So one thing you can do is to avoid taking large projects from clients that have no information at all. Set a limit that wouldn't be that bad if they didn't pay you, such as $200 USD. And notify them up front that you won't accept jobs larger than this until they have established a payment history with you. This way you can limit your risk.

I have seen both types of clients who had no ratings... those that were bad payers in reality and those who clearly ended up being good, reasonable clients, and I wondered later why they didn't have any ratings.


It happens to me occasionally. First I will check other resources such as TC and PaymentPractices - a few agencies are listed there and not on Proz.com. If there is no listing there I will ask the potential client why they are not listed. Then generally one of two things happens:

  • They quickly explain why they are not listed, such as new name, new owner, relationship with a different company which is listed, etc. In this cases there is usually a valid reason and little to worry about.

  • They disappear and never answer, in which case I figure I avoided a bad payer.


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Helga Lemiere  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:50
Member (2009)
German to French
Not that trustable Apr 28

There is especially one agency, which earns a lot of 5, but is worth a little 1 ! An agency that is blacklisted for it's
''I always try to lower the price'' strategy and inhuman dead-lines.


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