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Advice needed - suspicious agency contact information
Thread poster: Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
German to English
Oct 21, 2001

I have been offered (and in fact just started) a largish assigment for an agency outside my country of residence (Germany). All-in-all, they appear serious (faxed first part of translation, sent the rest by courier @ ca. DEM 75.00). However, the email address doesn\'t seem to tally with the company name or supposed domain name, nor do they give a web address. I found a site, which appears to be theirs, after a web search, but there is only one page, with very little text. To top it of, I cannot decipher it! And just to round things up, it made me a little uneasy (don\'t ask me why) when they ask for my bank details twice in the first contact or two.



So! Are agencies that keen to see that translators get their money? What, if anything, can I do to feel safer and be sure that I am going to get my money (it\'s a large job for me, as stated)?



Any advice welcome.



Alan

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-21 01:03 ]


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Dikran
Local time: 13:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
Just discuss everything openly with them from the start! Oct 21, 2001

Hello Alan,



I would advise you to ask them about their street address and website as well as their payment policy before you start the job. In the light of their answers you should be able to figure out whether to work or not to work for this client.



Hope this helps

Regards,

Dikran
[addsig]


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 23:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
tread carefully Oct 21, 2001

Please work carefully. They must be having a telephone number and proper office. Get a job order from them, detailing the terms and mode of payment. If possible, ask for payment for the part translation done. Locate a friend in that city and ask him to contact them, on your behalf. I hope this will help to some extent, in case of any trouble. Some agencies are fond of finding fault with your translation to avoid payments. In case of a slighest doubt in translation do not hesitate to contact you colleagues on Proz.com. All the best and hope all goes well.



Quote:


On 2001-10-21 01:02, ajohnson wrote:

I have been offered (and in fact just started) a largish assigment for an agency outside my country of residence (Germany). All-in-all, they appear serious (faxed first part of translation, sent the rest by courier @ ca. DEM 75.00). However, the email address doesn\'t seem to tally with the company name or supposed domain name, nor do they give a web address. I found a site, which appears to be theirs, after a web search, but there is only one page, with very little text. To top it of, I cannot decipher it! And just to round things up, it made me a little uneasy (don\'t ask me why) when they ask for my bank details twice in the first contact or two.



So! Are agencies that keen to see that translators get their money? What, if anything, can I do to feel safer and be sure that I am going to get my money (it\'s a large job for me, as stated)?



Any advice welcome.



Alan

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-21 01:03 ]



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Alan Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
reply Oct 21, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-21 02:34, telef wrote:

Please work carefully. They must be having a telephone number and proper office. Get a job order from them, detailing the terms and mode of payment. If possible, ask for payment for the part translation done. Locate a friend in that city and ask him to contact them, on your behalf. I hope this will help to some extent, in case of any trouble. Some agencies are fond of finding fault with your translation to avoid payments. In case of a slighest doubt in translation do not hesitate to contact you colleagues on Proz.com. All the best and hope all goes well.





Thanks for your reply.

Well, they do have a phone and fax number, although I haven\'t tried them. They also sent a work order, AND I have confirmation that they are in the local yellow pages. Perhaps I am just a little nervous, for the reasons stated in my first post, and also, they mentioned that they have been operating for 20 years, yet in the usual forums and lists, nobody seems to know them (is there an Italian in the house?). Of course, I don\'t want to bring anybody into disrepute; as i indicated, it may be just me!



Regards



Alan

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Thierry Heim
Local time: 04:01
English to French
+ ...
payment in several instalments Oct 21, 2001

Ask them to pay you in 3 instalments, one after completion of 10% of project, then the rest 45% and 45%.

Translate some of the beginning and some of the end of the text for the first 10%, then send it and ask feedback and payment.

If they are happy with the first batch and have paid you, I would then carry on with the remainder.


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Alan Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:01
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
good idea Oct 21, 2001

That sound OK too. And I think that, considering the size of the job, any reliable agency should find this amenable. I\'ll get in touch with them tomorrow.

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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 19:01
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Chamber of Commerce Oct 21, 2001

Hi Alan,



You could also contact the Chamber of Commerce of that country and ask for details about this agency. I didn\'t understand your question about Italians, but if you meant that agency is Italian there should be an office of The Italian Chamber of Commerce somewhere in Germany, but definitely in Vienna, Austria, you can contact over the web.



There are many agencies who use the web only for posting mails and have very poor homepages, simply because they started operating long before Internet came, got established, have enough jobs and perhaps an executive of \"the old guard\".



Good luck!



Giuliana
[addsig]


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Natasha Stoyanova  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:01
Member (2002)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Oct 21, 2001

The partual payment is a good idea I think. Another advice to you: some weeks ago one of our coleagues posted at forum some samples of contracts to be signed between the agency and the translator.

If they look serious and can use a courrier, there will be not a problem for them to receive a contract from your side with all the details aboit the job, payment, etc., to sign it and return back to you.

Hope to be of help.

Good Luck!



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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:01
French to English
Getting paid Oct 22, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-21 02:54, frenchie wrote:

Ask them to pay you in 3 instalments, one after completion of 10% of project, then the rest 45% and 45%.

Translate some of the beginning and some of the end of the text for the first 10%, then send it and ask feedback and payment.

If they are happy with the first batch and have paid you, I would then carry on with the remainder.





This is how I operate. Any client with a job over X (amount) has to pay 30% upfront. The balance outstanding is to be paid within 1 month of receiving my bill.



I have decided how much I can afford to lose (not a lot) and systematically ask for 30% upfront. I do this with big jobs and with new clients. Such practices are highly common. You are running a business too and your client has to realise that.



AGENCIES :

Unfortunately, it is common in France for agencies to pay 2-3 months after having received their outsourcer\'s bill.



GOVERNMENT / STATE as final payer :

If you do work for state organisations, then payment is generally very slow too.

I no longer work for agencies. Work for the state (where the final payer is a local or regional authority for example) will only be undertaken if the person asking me to do the work is prepared to pay that 30%.



SMALL COMPANIES :

Small companies often need translation services but the sums involved on major projects can represent a large sum of money for them. Suggest they pay in instalments (some upfront), they are usually only to happy to have this solution open to them. It\'s easier to put up with a late last payment than not have anything at all.



BIG COMPANIES :

Often tricky as big the person ordering the work is not usually the one who signs the cheque or order to pay. Ways round it?

Find out what the \"house\" limit is. Ask the person you deal with what his payment authority level is. He may even tell you? Explain why! Many companies require a senior manager to counter-sign anything over 5 000 FRF. If your bill is just over, split your bill and send in bill (a) and (b) ; or work for a fixed sum and set it just under the \"house\" level. Make sure your bill always states who ordered the work. That way it gets to the right desk for signature that much earlier.



Good luck!

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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 23:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks Nikki Oct 22, 2001

Thanks Nikki for that very useful input and guidance. Some of your points will help us to face similar situations.

Regards,

telesforo Fernandes


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