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Demand of discount after delivering translation
Thread poster: Anabel Martínez

Anabel Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 16, 2007

Hello everybody,

I would like to ask you advice regarding a situation with a client. Right before Christmas two colleagues and I were asked to do a huge translation due last week, which we delivered the day of the deadline with no problems.

Before the translation was accepted, the client asked for a quote, which was given, and accepted. However, today, that is, 4 days after the translation was delivered, they ask (or rather demand) for a discount, since they noticed that there are repetions.

I believe we should not give any discount, for several reasons, the strongest one being that they had accepted our quote and they should have checked for repetitions before accepting it. In any case, we worked with different texts, so we did not always benefit from these repetitions.

What would you do?

Thanks in advance,

Anabel


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abufaraz
Pakistan
Local time: 11:10
English to Urdu
+ ...
Principles and Business flixibility Jan 16, 2007

Hello Anabel,

On principle, the client should NOT ask for any discount once they have agreed to the quote submitted by you because it is against the rules of business. But on the other hand, if the client is a regular one and you receive quite enough business from him/her, then, in my opinion, granting a little discount will not matter much in view of the volume of the work and an expected healthy working relationship in future. The mutual agreement among you and your colleagues is, of course, necessary while making any decision.


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Pilar RdT
Spain
Local time: 08:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
The rules of the game Jan 16, 2007

It's quite simple: they should have checked the repetitions before asking you for a quote. Once they accepted the quote there's no need to change it, they already know how much it was going to cost. You should also explain to your client that those repetitions were not always useful.

¿Te imaginas a tí misma en la situación contraria? Te compras un jersey y al cabo de 4 días vas a la tienda y pides que te hagan un descuento porque le falta un botón... Te dirán que no pueden y que a lo mejor te lo habrían hecho en el momento de la compra pero no después!!!

Don't let them abuse of your work and patient!!

Saludos!!

Everyone should ask the client to sign some kind of contract so you can have something more than a simple email-quote.

[Edited at 2007-01-16 18:48]


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 02:10
German to English
Negotiate discounts in advance Jan 16, 2007

Unless large sections of your text contains boilerplate that is used by all translators on a project, it is difficult to coordinate recognition of repetitions. However, if for example there are checklists with "Yes / No" or similar text, the repetitions are easy to identify and should be taken into account when quoting.

An alternative I've used when I've discovered that a text a regular client has given me contains a lot of material contained in other documents (presuming the format is in Word or Excel) is to offer a discount when invoicing. In this way you're providing the discount *you* want to give, not necessarily the discount the client wants to receive. This hapened to me recently. I quoted a rate based on 3500 words to a regular client. Since most of his documents deal with the same subject, they all tend to look alike at first glance. I based my quote on word-counting software, not my TM. When I started to work on the document, I discovered that it was a compilation of material contained in 3 previous jobs. There were about 100 new words, including 3 new sentences, the rest had to do with updated numbers or minor text revisions. It was at most 10 minutes work. I charged the client for an hour of my time. He was thrilled, and I was happy to have the time to work on something else.

The point of all of this is that you should try to stay in control of the discount, not the client.

[Edited at 2007-01-16 23:59]


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Marius Reika  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Member (2006)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
No way.. Jan 16, 2007

Anabel Martínez wrote:
I believe we should not give any discount, for several reasons, the strongest one being that they had accepted our quote and they should have checked for repetitions before accepting it. In any case, we worked with different texts, so we did not always benefit from these repetitions.


Some guys feel they can shit and jump on our heads and we'll say 'thanx'. There is rarely a single reason to give a discount in the translation business and the fact that these people are insolent enough to require a disc after the job was done is not the case.

Whether you benefited or not from the reps., is not their business; they should have thought about it beforehand.

Also check this out:
http://www.accurapid.com/journal/39payments.htm
(food for thought for all the discount-generous)

Marius


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Another suggestion... Jan 16, 2007

Tell them, sure, you'll give them a discount for repetitions, though the PO says otherwise. Then tell them that you're adding a 30% surcharge for working over the Christmas holidays (though the PO says otherwise).
After all, if they can change the rate after delivery, so can you.
Catherine


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
OOPS! Jan 16, 2007

SORRY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DELETE THIS MISTAKE!!

[Edited at 2007-01-16 22:33]


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 08:10
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
Very interesting... Jan 16, 2007

cbolton wrote:

Tell them, sure, you'll give them a discount for repetitions, though the PO says otherwise. Then tell them that you're adding a 30% surcharge for working over the Christmas holidays (though the PO says otherwise).
After all, if they can change the rate after delivery, so can you.
Catherine


This is a very interesting suggestion, Catherine. It just might make them have second thoughts! But NO guarantee, I think!

Bill


[Edited at 2007-01-16 22:31]


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:10
English to German
+ ...
I would be polite but refuse Jan 16, 2007

You had an agreement and you did your translation on the basis of this agreement.

I'd say:
You calculated your quote for the text as is, this means including repetitions and the like. Of course, if it had been known to you in advance, that repetitions were paid worse, you would naturally have chosen a higher per word rate to arrive at the same amount, which is what your work is worth.

So the discount for any repetitions was already calculated into your first offer. For any future texts you could of course consider working with varying rates for completely new text and repetitions. But you need to know this beforehand, so you can give your best offer.

In the same way you guarantee your price to the client. You can reassure them, that you will not approach them on the last day of the deadline, that the text was harder to translate than you had imagined so you needed to have an agreement for some extra money before you deliver the translation.

I sometimes give a discount to very good clients. But NEVER afterwards. It would really be a bad kind of education!

[Bearbeitet am 2007-01-16 22:39]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:10
German to English
+ ...
Acceptance? Jan 16, 2007

Anabel Martínez wrote:

Before the translation was accepted, the client asked for a quote, which was given, and accepted. However, today, that is, 4 days after the translation was delivered, they ask (or rather demand) for a discount, since they noticed that there are repetions.

Anabel


I agree with what colleagues have said.

But was your quote accepted in writing? Always helps, even in the most friendliest discussions/disputes.

Cheers and good luck.

Chris


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GLENN MCBRIDE WITHENSHAW
Mexico
Local time: 01:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
PAYMENT IN ADVANCE Jan 16, 2007

I GET PAYMENT IN ADVANCE FOR ALL TRANSLATIONS. SOMETIMES IF IT IS A LARGE JOB, I CHARGE HALF IN ADVANCE, DELIVER PART OF IT AND THEN CHARGE THE OTHER HALF BEFORE FINAL DELIVERY. I HAVE NOT LOST ANY JOBS BECAUSE OF IT.

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Business smarts Jan 17, 2007

Is this a long-time customer? Is there potentially a lot of payoff in the future? Do they always pay on time? Would using their name on your client list add to your prestige? Can you meet other clients through this one?

In principle you are right, of course. However, what actions will lead you to having the most prosperous business, which often leads to happiness.


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pma
Spain
Local time: 08:10
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
No reason for a discount, but look ahead Jan 17, 2007

There are many reasons you can produce not to accept this generous offer:

- The terms were fixed before the job was taken and you probably have a PO.

- You might also tell them that you always expect a number of reps when you quote for a job. This time you could not even benefit from many of them because the job was split.

- It was Xmas and you didn´t apply any extar charge.

- And last, but not least, the repetitions issue is a very funny one. You pay a hell of a money for translation software every year, and at the end of the day you only get reduced income from it -okey and a little help-. Repetitions ease the work load only if you pay for a tool. The client did not pay for it; you did, why should you apply discount?

I would simply reject the "offer" politily on the grounds above. However, just for the sake of good commercial relations, you might want to promise the client something like a one-time 5% off ON NEXT assignment, just because you understand their budget limitations. That should keep all parties happy.


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:10
Member (2004)
English to French
What about a discount for extra proofreading? Feb 13, 2007

I just got an email from a major US agency that asks if I can give them a discount for extra proofreading fees they incurred in my work. That has never happen to me before. Should I agree? It's not much, barely 18$ over a couple hundred $. It's just that I'm not home now and I can't read the contract I signed with them. I just don't want to agree blindly on something I'm not sure I agreed upon originally. They send me this exactly a day after I ask them to fill in my willingness to work again template. They told me before they were satisfied with my work.

I welcome your comments.

Nina


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Anibal Feder  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 03:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Be careful with percentages Feb 13, 2007

Bill

The 30% of discount you suggest is more than the 30% of surcharge; Catherine will lose money!!:)

Anibal Feder
Trans Team


William [Bill] Gray wrote:

cbolton wrote:

Tell them, sure, you'll give them a discount for repetitions, though the PO says otherwise. Then tell them that you're adding a 30% surcharge for working over the Christmas holidays (though the PO says otherwise).
After all, if they can change the rate after delivery, so can you.
Catherine


This is a very interesting suggestion, Catherine. It just might make them have second thoughts! But NO guarantee, I think!

Bill


[Edited at 2007-01-16 22:31]


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