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Technical problems during proof-reading job - how can I charge for this?
Thread poster: Willemina Hagenauw

Willemina Hagenauw
Local time: 13:31
English to Dutch
+ ...
May 25, 2005

I have recently done a proof-reading job for an agency for which 9 hours was allowed. However, the document they sent me kept crashing and it took me a long time to try to get it right. I worked a whole day on the document and at the end of it, it crashed again, and all the track changes were lost (as was the content of the document). In the end the document was split between me and another proof-reader for reasons of time and now it is finished. However, they keep on saying that they did not have any problems with the document at their end, implying that the crashing business was my problem. I have spent much more time than the 9 hours on the job but am worried that they might not even want to pay me for the 9 hours as they had to use another proof-reader. How do I deal with this?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-05-25 08:43]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:31
German to English
+ ...
Technical problems during proof-reading job - how can I charge for this? May 25, 2005

Willemina Hagenauw wrote:

I worked a whole day on the document and at the end of it, it crashed again, and all the track changes were lost (as was the content of the document).


If you didn't make back-ups in the course of your work, that is not really your customer's fault.

Marc


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
Italian to English
+ ...
crashing May 25, 2005

Hi,
When did you alert the agency to the fact that the document was crashing?


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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
French to English
crashing May 25, 2005

I don't think the agency needs to pay you for the extra time it took you. I would have got back to them the second time it crashed and told them. I don't think an agency needs to pay for a translator's technical problems.

That's my opinion anyway.


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Beth Dennison  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
Chinese to English
+ ...
Back up your work May 25, 2005

I don't know when you notified your client about the crashes. If you had such serious technical problems with it, you should have alerted them after the second or third crash. I do think, as others have mentioned, that you cannot really expect your client to pay extra money for the time you spent on this. I always make backup copies as I go along so that if problems occur only a minimum amount of work is lost and a minimum amount of inconvenience caused.

Beth


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Willemina Hagenauw
Local time: 13:31
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Technical problems during proof-reading. May 25, 2005

I did warn the client straight away and they sent me a new document which also crashed - I even tried to contact them over the weekend, but nobody was there. I did make a back up of the document and during the crash that crashed as well.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:31
German to English
+ ...
Technical problems during proof-reading job - how can I charge for this? May 25, 2005

Willemina Hagenauw wrote:

I did make a back up of the document and during the crash that crashed as well.


Either you have an ineffective back-up procedure, or a very major hardware problem. One or the other!

Marc


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Pat Jenner
Local time: 13:31
German to English
+ ...
What about the other proofreader? May 25, 2005

If he or she experienced the same problem it would strongly indicate a fault in the source file, then you would be on stronger ground.

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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 14:31
German to English
Possible problems May 26, 2005

The problem could've been that the file was too big (lots of pictures, linked excel files...) and your available memory too small?
Or you have older software and the file was created with a newer version, a problem I've had with excel-linked files.

In the end did the file that was split between the two of you also crash?

But, I hardly think you will be able to charge for more time than was alloted.

syl


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Willemina Hagenauw
Local time: 13:31
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Technical problems during proof-reading May 26, 2005

They claim that they have not had any problems themselves, but the document was a Trados-document so there might have been some problems with the software. I don't think it is a technical fault in my computer or hardware as I have it checked regularly and I have not had any problems like this before, nor had any since. I don't have Trados myself but I have received documents from agencies compiled with Trados or other translation software and - again - never had the problem.

Thanks anyway for everyone's views. It is a difficult issue and I think it also had to do with the attitude of the agency which was not very helpful and not very appreciative of all the work I put in to get their work done on time for them.


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