Hope no one think that I am kinda absent-minded, always unhappy about everything, permanently cheated and/or underpaid vulnerable “trampslator” just because I like this forum (Money Matters) and make a lot of posts to here, and used super advice from other people whose help was simply invaluable.
So, here is a delicate situation again where I need to share the thoughts with you. The situation is like this:
1) I received an email from a translation agency (and a reputable – their BB rating here is 4.8) which offered me to participate in one big EU translation tender (said at least 500-800 pages per year for my language combination and 3 years in turn). I got interested (of course). Discussed in a more detail what they offer, what area it is, what it is all about. Sent them my CV upon their request, other relevant info on translation experience, etc., they said that they are interested in my expertise and that I might be one of the best candidates. Then we had a preliminary discussion on the orientation rates for that and other technical issues. All seemed fine. Both sides happy.
2) After that they have asked me to help them preparing documents for that EU tender. I think those who prepared the EU translation tender docs know what pile of papers it is and how many officialdom (references, information, certifications, NDAs, proofs of expertise, etc.) one has to fill in and prepare. IT ALSO turned out (when we started a talk about technical issues related to the documents) that a very professional proofreader was additionally requested by the EU as the translation will be highly technical. OK, I even managed to convince one person having a Dr. degree in that area and knowing the English (source) language almost in a fluent level to cooperate with me and help me preparing the docs (from his side as a proofreader).
3) Both (me and my proofreader – a reputable person with a “Dr.”) put our works aside, were running around for almost 3 working days collecting all necessary papers, filling “red-tape” EU forms, etc., prepared that bunch of papers just as agreed and sent to the agency. Received a kind email with a lot of thanks for our effort and work, and they said they will inform about the tender results (even about negative feedback) in some 2-3 months. I took it as a natural thing as these bureaucracies take a lot of time.
4) 4 months passed and it was natural that I got interested “how was it”. Wrote an email to the person of the agency in charge. No reply. A week later wrote another email – no reply. Third – no reply. OK, thought the people are busy, not available at the moment, etc. Decided to wait a little.
5) HERE THE INTERESTING PART BEGINS. After 1 more month I got an automatic notification (from another translators site – not proz) about a job post for my language combinations. Looked into it – the same agency “looking for free-lance translators to cooperate in the (same) project” (same tender), but not like a potential project or intent to participate in the tender, but provide translations already. I think you understand my reaction. I wrote another email (already a strict one) asking about my situation. Got a reply that the previous person in charge left the company a couple of weeks ago, they apologized for not providing any feedback to me AND OFFERED to cooperate with them “if I am still interested”, BUT for the rate that was by 40 per cent SMALLER that the rate we agreed with the agency before upon a “take it or leave it basis”, like my rate appeared to them too big (yes, it was not small as it involved a very professional proofreader and my own rates are not really smallest ones).
Question 1 – how would you evaluate such an approach of that agency? Well, now it is only my hypothesis, but I think they made it in a very simple way – used my (our) documents to win the tender (I am sure these gave them 95 per cent of success), then the rate “appeared” too high for them and they simply found other vendors to do the job for 40 per cent cheaper.
Question 2 – do you have any ideas how to confirm or reject my hypothesis related to Question 1, i.e. how to check at the EU who is the actual tender winner and which documents (and of which persons) the agency used for the tender?
Question 3 – do you think it would be fair from my side to demand a compensation from that agency (if needed - I will go the legal way via a court of law - they are UK-based and I have a lawyer who can help me) and if you think a compensation can be demanded (not for the money, but for the principle itself for such an approach of the agency), what amount of the compensation could be, how realistic it would be to get it, and what consequences the agency might have if I manage to prove the issues defined under Question 1 and 2? Of course, I have to prove, or, at least, to check that things under 1 or 2 are really so.
Thanks in advance for your help and attention.
Best regards to you all.
P.S. Sorry, Ralf, if this topic upon your decision might not be treated as directly related to "money matters" issues. Please inform me if it shall/will be reposted in another Proz forum.
[Edited at 2006-12-30 00:30]
| || || |