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One tip about how to avoid non-paying agencies.
Thread poster: Sven Petersson

Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:15
English to Swedish
+ ...
Oct 11, 2001

An agency promising to pay the translator more per word than the agency charges its customers does not intend to pay the translator. A simple phone call will tell you the situation. WARNING: A South African establishment of that kind is currently very active.



Sven.


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Marijke Mayer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
phone call to whom? Oct 11, 2001

Hello Sven, your message is somewhat cryptic. A phone call to whom? If you know the customers, there\'s no need to go through an agency.

By the way, how clever that you can translate from Afrikaans! Did you used to live there?

Regards,

Marijke


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Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:15
German to English
+ ...
Let us sort out the rotten apples! Oct 11, 2001

Sven,



I think non-payment for translations dealed over the Internet will be a serious problem in the future. Why? When I had a payment problem with my Japanese customers in the past, I jumped into the train, went to their office and pounded on the desk of the person in charge and ALWAYS got my money. Do that electronically )-:



As with the Internet in general, where I observed a tremendous deterioration of morals and business ethics over the past 2 years (I had 471 pieces of junk mail with the same contents from the same source in Taiwan in my in-box yesterday!), the same will happen in the still young trade of international translations. \"The bad guys\" will take advantage of the relatively weak position of the translators, who cannot spend thousands of dollars for a plane ticket or a lawyer to fight for getting paid a couple of hundred dollars in a foreign country and just give up on their claim.



But the Internet has also the upside that information travels fast. If we pull out the shady companies into the public view (here on this site), immediately 20,000 translators worldwide will know about them. Therafter word of mouth travels fast, too!



We could also link these information with other translator organizations/websites, but whatever we do, it will make agencies think twice to play foul.



What we at PROZ should do is create a forum, where agencies are listed, performance graded and where duped translators can make their problems public. If the agency is informed of the complaints by e-mail (which the complaining translator has to provide) and has an opportunity for a counter statement, we don\'t even have a legal problem, which may occur, if the non-performance has other reasons, e.g. poor quality of the translation, pending claims, etc. The wording of the disclaimer on that page will require a good US/international lawyer. I recognized that you hesitate to make the name of the company public, and I think that you have a good reason not to.



Let\'s discuss this with Henry and the other PROZ management (I have sent him an e-mail informing him about this discussion).



Sven, united we are strong!



Wish you all the best with your SA guys.



Hans



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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:15
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
YES! Oct 11, 2001

Dear Hans-Henning,



You read clearly and loudly between the lines. The suggested action will get my unreserved support.



Sven.



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Kate Persson
Denmark
Local time: 19:15
English to Danish
+ ...
Phone call or train tickets are not sufficient Oct 12, 2001

May I suggest that all translators ask their banker to get financial information on the agency when the job exceeds 5,000 words. It\'s worth the effort and not as expensive as going by train to visit the agencies. I find it a good idea to make a list of rotten apples. I just had a job (about 50,000 words) where I split-invoiced. It was not paid on time - and the agency got no more translations before the money was transferred. Some might call it blackmail, I call it common sense.



Best regards

Kate


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Sandra Baptista  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:15
Partial member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Rate agencies and companies Oct 12, 2001

I totally agree that it should be create a list rating the good ones and the bad ones. I\'m presently having payment problems with Loft Publications (Barcelona) and ProLink, in Hong Kong. Pay attention to them!!



Sandra


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 22:45
English to Hindi
+ ...
About Payment Practices Oct 13, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-12 14:55, scidade wrote:

I totally agree that it should be create a list rating the good ones and the bad ones. I\'m presently having payment problems with Loft Publications (Barcelona) and ProLink, in Hong Kong. Pay attention to them!!



Sandra





Dear Hans, Sven as also Sandra,



I understand and agree with each one of you that the issue of non-paying/late-paying agencies might be a serious one. But as a Moderator, I can tell you that at ProZ, there is no effort to create a \'blacklist\'. There are other places where these issues may be discussed. They include the TCR list at Yahoo Groups or the Payment Practices mailing list as also the Reputable Translation Agencies Database.



Best wishes

Roomy Naqvy



Moderator EnglishGujarati
[addsig]

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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:15
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
no blacklist at Proz.com Oct 13, 2001

Dear Roomy,



could you explain why this idea has been rejected? Wouldn\'t it be a good idea after all to have an all-round site that gives information on perhaps the very agencies/companies that are posting jobs? I think that the problem of non-payment for a well-done job with no complaints could get worse and worse unless we all pull together and try to protect ourselves. I do get the feeling that we are becoming more and more vulnerable.



Thanks,

Nikki


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Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:15
German to English
+ ...
Why PROZ cannot afford to be neutral in this matter... Oct 14, 2001

Judging from the amount of BBS entries over the last 3 weeks, this is definitely a serious problem, and I don\'t think that a professional organization like PROZ can afford to stand at the sidelines, while its members are duped by dishonest agencies. If we deal with and over the Internet, this is the only possibility to give ourselves a voice that is heard.



Question is how to initiate it and how to \"package\" it.



I don\'t think that a black list alone is a good idea. It should be something like a general evaluation of agencies, which means that also the good guys appear there and translators should actually STATE that they never had problems with the agency, were correctly paid, etc.



This would take away the \"pillory\" (exposure) edge and would still enable us to criticize dishonest companies.



It should also be a rule that the respective company is immediately informed about the complaint and has an opportunity to give its own statement in the same format as the accusation.



If PROZ does not want to act in this matter, the minimum it could do is providing links to sites that do...but of course that could also mean the loss of members, who feel better represented there.



Roomy, if there is no effort for such an activitiy, this does not mean that there SHOULD be one and we should initiate it.











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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:15
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Suggestion for a new marking system for agencies Oct 17, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-14 23:51, JE-Access wrote:



I don\'t think that a professional organization like PROZ can afford to stand at the sidelines, while its members are duped by dishonest agencies. If we deal with and over the Internet, this is the only possibility to give ourselves a voice that is heard.



Question is how to initiate it and how to \"package\" it.



I don\'t think that a black list alone is a good idea. It should be something like a general evaluation of agencies, which means that also the good guys appear there and translators should actually STATE that they never had problems with the agency, were correctly paid, etc.



It should also be a rule that the respective company is immediately informed about the complaint and has an opportunity to give its own statement in the same format as the accusation.





I completely agree and this topic brings me back to an old idea I launched elsewhere on these forums.

I suggested to keep agencies (translation businesses) clearly separate from translators (individuals).



The agencies should have a special listing and different specific attributes.

Some of them could be a marking system based on a number of criteria, for example:



  • Verified Identity (perhaps creating a special category of ProZ partners)

  • Number of jobs posted

  • Number of jobs assigned

  • Number of jobs paid (i.e. using Paypal)

  • List of essential details of all jobs posted (date, wordcount, value, etc...)

  • Feedback from translators

  • and many more...



I had this dream... just imagine a day when you can find jobs posted in ProZ by known, reputable agencies, well referenced by several colleagues, and with a history of previous and well run projects.



Then I woke up and... it was only a dream!









[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-17 05:30 ]

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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:15
Member
French to English
Special Payment Practices price for ProZ members Oct 21, 2001

I can see that many of you are very concerned about payment practices. I just became a Platinum member myself.



I will set up a special for ProZ members. The special will not be limited to any specific type of ProZ member, it applies as long as you are a ProZ member. Proof of your membership in the form of a link to your profile is required by e-mail.



The special will be a 50% discount on the price of subscription to the Payment Practices mailing list. Instead of $30 US per year, the price will be $15.



There will also be a special PP & RTA offer that will include a subscription to the PP list and a subscription to the on-line version of RTA for one year. The price for this will be $35 US per year.



In both cases, the subscription will only be finalized when a link to your ProZ profile has been provided by e-mail to karin.adamczyk@macroconsulting.com



To place your order, go to http://pages.infinit.net/karining/cat1_1.htm



Regards,

Karin Adamczyk


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