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Advise on DTP(Power Point) charge
Thread poster: Jay Kim

Jay Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 05:24
English to Korean
+ ...
Jan 4, 2008

Happy New Year to all,


I am seeking advise on payment issue for Power Point job done in Dec. I completed rush project(ENG>KOR) of 3500 words in Power Point for UK agency specializing in cosmetics. Assistance asked me about my experience in this field and said total word count was approximately 3500 word with much repitition. She did not know exact total word count and net word count but promised she would tell me once I proceeded with. Turnaround time was 3 days. After receiving files, I gave her my quote would be 0.12 Euro/word for 3500 words regardless of repitition. My base rate is 0.1 Euro/0.07 GBP for European/UK agencies(general subject in word or excel). For specialized subject like medicine, technical, cosmetics, I quote 0.12 or higher depending on nature and complexity of material. For Power Point DTP, I was supposed to charge extra per hour. Though I suggested 0.12 per word for total 3500 words which I thought was reasonable as this was first collaboration. But I forgot rush charge -- my 1st mistake. She okayed. I was hesitant to start because even PO was not issued but Blue Board showed LWA average 5. So I went off. There were 11 files in all. 10 Power Point and 1 Word. Biggest one in Power Point was with 98 slides to work with, next one with 21, 8 others with 3 each. Word file of 483 words. There was much repitition. About 75 slides required complete DTP editing, typesetting, translation. Rest of slides could be basically handled by 'copy and paste' but some required extra editing. Average complexity was moderate for linguist with experience in cosmetology. Two days later, she came up with 1582 word count and asked about DTP and rush charge. I explained her if I charge DTP per hour, payment could get much on high side and suggested rush charge of 0.02 Euro. She agreed and PO stated 490 Euro(0.14 x 3500 words). It was leading costmetics brand marketing study for 2008/2009 which was urgent but I could not complete before deadline -- 2nd mistake. I stayed all night and work through afternoon next day and completed first 4 files wiich include 2 largest ones. Then came another disaster. When I received files, I did not scroll down and missed 7 other Power Point ones below -- 3rd mistake. Nor she reminded me number of files before I comfirm which I think many other companies do. Shame on you, Jay! I was at a loss.. She blaimed me for how unprofessionally I handled 'imperative assignment'. I managed to deliver 7 small ones and minor revisons for delivered work within 48 hours from deadline. I sent her apology card by EMS that weekend as small gesture of heart-felt apology! No response from her. I e-mailed her about sending invoice and bank tranfer arrangement twice. Received silence. I felt she was rude(she might be on vacation?) and had a hunch that something was going on with them against me. Before sending invoice per PO, I thought of withholding rush charge due to slipped deadline and was going to discuss this with her. I could not because she did not write me back. I forwarded invoice for 490 Euro. I was confident of quality of translation and Power Point editing I achieved. They received neat, decent translation packed in immaculate DTP editing.

On Jan 2, I picked up e-mail in regard to my invoice from a lady who claimed to be managing director. Lengthy e-mail was full of extreme criticism plus mockery. Yes. She literally played me down and beat me up. She insisted her company never paid for repeated words.... only one regular vender with over 20 years of experience in this field charges 0.12 Euro per word(not counting repeated words and no mention about DTP charge!).... average charge is around 0.08 to 0.1 Euro per word for this type of simple project(again not counting repeated words and no mention about DTP charge!).... her company handles some 40 to 50 projects of this type per week.... After a series of lies, barlonies and bragging, bottom line was she was not willing to pay this amount of money for a project which she considers
'disastrous' and wanted me to propose another proposal. What I gathered from her was she wanted to pay me less than 189.84 Euro(0.12 x 1582) for this project. Certainly taking advantage of my weakness WAY TOO MUCH!

My best proposal is withholding rush charge of 0.02 Euro which makes total 420 Euro in accordance of PO I received. I am not entitled to rush charge because delivery was late. Her company seemed to get so used to cheap rates quoted by too reserved Asian venders and they charge clients for repeated words for sure. This is typical business practice of "Charge clients as much as we can. Pay venders as little as we can. We are on top of them." Can renegotiation be so easily made once PO is issued? I also like to know if 420 Euro for 3500 word translation and Power Point editing in this field is too much and lastly, how much you charge for Power Point editing for this type of project. Before sending e-mail to managing director, I need your advise on how to best settle this payment issue. Any and all inputs will be much thanked.


Best,


Jay


PS. Sorry about long story, pals.





[Edited at 2008-01-04 20:27]

[Edited at 2008-01-04 20:35]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:07]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:35]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:45]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:49]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:53]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 16:54]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 17:07]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 17:10]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 17:54]

[Edited at 2008-01-05 17:59]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 22:54
French to Dutch
+ ...
You made a lot of mistakes Jan 6, 2008

The first one is not really a mistake - I think that in most western European countries 0.12 € is a normal price for cosmetics or marketing translation, I charge the same (+ 10-30% for Powerpoint: adjusting text boxes etc.). But in the UK the prices are lower, and I think that 0.12 € (whatever it is in GBP) is a bit too high. Several clients of mine prefer subcontracting in the UK and even manage to have decent translations at 0.06 €.

Secondly, it seems to me that there is no reason to quote a rush surcharge - 3,500 words can normally easily be completed in three days. But if you foresee that you cannot translate this amount of words within the stated deadline, you should not accept the translation, and if unforeseen things happen (illness, accident) you should immediately inform your client. All agencies HATE translators who don't warn and who don't pick up the phone or answer e-mails while terminating their translation. Quite normal, isn't it.

The biggest - and unforgivable - mistake is that you didn't see all the files and that you didn't quote for translation of the whole files + some surcharge for Powerpoint. For complicated job offers the first thing to do is to look into them, to make a list of the names of all files to be translated and the number of words in each file. Then you submit this list to your client and you quote a price for the total number of words. Either you get a PO which mentions this list of files and a total price, either you ask for a signed fax of your quote, but never begin translating without having a confirmation in writing.

As it is now, I think you should accept the proposal of your client, because you won't have much more. And then forget about it, it isn't worth the hassle.

Good luck!


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2005)
French to English
PowerPoint can be a "Corrie Vreckan" Jan 8, 2008

My commiserations, Jay. Although you were unfortunate and lacked caution in estimating the job, I think the supposed managing director was harsh and deceitful in her criticism of your work. If repeated words were not charged, this should have been stated very explicitly on the purchase order. Besides, repeated words need to be counted in full in presentations such as "PPT" files. I'll come to the exception to this later.

The main point I am making is that PowerPoint can be a death-trap for the unwary. As a rule of thumb for completion times, allow about one-and-a-quarter to one-and-a-half times the completion time for the equivalent wordcount in ordinary word-processing documents (Word, e.g.). It's worth examining the slides individually to try and pinpoint any formatting difficulties arising from differences in text length and character size. In this connection, I differ from "NMR", since we are not dealing with a Roman-alphabet target language, but with an Oriental character set. So repeated words are "in", not "out", and so are rush charges, if agreed beforehand with the client, as was apparently the case. Waiving [doing without] the rush charge was a gallant gesture of reparation, but client's failure to respond was clear evidence of its bad faith.

The exception: if you use Trados TagEditor to process PowerPoint slide sequences, repeated words are only counted once. This is perverse but true: instead of rewarding translators for their investment effort, clients pay according to a "weighted word count" calculated from a "Trados grid". I've even been incensed by one client's project manager referring to this "WWC" as "l'effort réel de traduction" - a fallacy, since client-supplied 100% matching segments can often prove to be "duff" [inadequate]. I soon sent an e-mail to put the girl right!

The upside to using Trados TagEditor - or an equivalent brand of XML editor - is that the going is faster and more reliable. However, a big, if obvious caveat when translating complex formats like Excel and PowerPoint using these tools is that you must re-read and correct your work by reference to the PowerPoint original. Things can get rather isolated in the TTX file [the working XML file in TagEditor], where you can't easily gauge the import or impact of the text by reference to the surrounding material. You therefore need to develop a standardised work flow for working with these tools, and they take a while to master. Use the help files and menus to find out about them if you do use them. It is also worth keeping a record of the actual completion times and other characteristics of your assignments to help you predict times for future jobs.

I should emphasise that Trados does support Korean and its character sets.

I defer to NMR's wise and cautious words about thoroughly inspecting the documents when estimating complex assignments. Like NMR, too, I think you had better make the best of a bad job, settle for what the client is giving, and leave it and your misadventure behind, the wiser by your experience.

Happy New Year, these misfortunes notwithstanding.

Adam.


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Jay Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 05:24
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Adam and NMR. Before giving another proposal.. Jan 8, 2008

Like NMR said, I think UK rates are slightly lower than that of Europe. 3 months ago, I sent my CV and rate to UK media company as future vender on regular basis per their request. They had set rate of 65-70 GBP per 1000 words. I am supposed to provide them with satellite TV program listings in word/excel (ENG>KOR). I inquired my ProZ pals about moderate UK rate in my pair and their feedback was starting from 65GBP/1000 words. I nodded.

Said UK company specializing in cosmetics approached me, saying it was 'rush order' and sent me 10 PPT files with total 143 slides and 1 word files of 483 word(general consentment form). When I suggested 0.12 Euro for 3500 words to assistant who was very experienced in this field, she replied "... and the price you quoted was 0.12 Euros per word which we are very willing to pay." in e-mail. PO stated "Word count: 3500 words, Rate: 0.12 Euro per source word, Rush charge: 0.02 Euro". I am more than willing to waive rush charge. As Adam pointed out, to translate and edit 143 PPT slides required much more time than I estimated even considering 70 slides was basically managed by 'copy and paste'. With 143 slides, I had to be very careful not to slip or mix up each one in large files. I spent much time to compare and cross-check slides in taget and source languages. It was very colorful visual presentation for prestigious French cosmetic brand including charts and schemetics. I rather say translation took less than 1/4 to 1/3 of total hours I spent. Translation of 3500 words in word is a complete different story!

Managing director said she never paid for repeated words and paid 0.08 to 0.1 Euro for net word count. No mention about PPT editing charge. Then how could her assistance accept my quote? She did not mention directly in e-mail but she actually pressured me to propose around 0.08-0.1 Euro for 1582 words instead of 0.12 for 3500 words which was agreed on and shown in PO. If she wants somewhere around 0.08-0.1 Euro for 1582 words, she just rips me off. CORE of our dispute was charge for REPEATED WORDS and POWER POINT work. Hope I can settle thorny issue in the middle. If I propose 0.11 or 0.1 Euro for 3500 words, does it sound sensible to you? I know evertything is up to me but I am ready to listen to before going ahead. TIA.


Jay

[Edited at 2008-01-09 10:09]


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Jay Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 05:24
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
NIGHTMARE! Pressured me to cut 1/2 of PO price and non-payment. Mar 27, 2008

Things has gotten worse and worse. Meanwhile my last proposal was €350 after lengthy negotiations. 0.1 Euro for 3500 word translation and Power Point editing. They said they still could not pay this amount and pressured me to accept €250. PO stated


Word Count: 3,500 words
Deadline: 3rd December at 16.00
Rate: €0.12 per source word
Rush Charges: €0.02
Specific Requirements: Per Powerpoint layout provided
Delivery Instructions: E-mail
Payment Schedule: 30 days from date of invoice

Amount: TOTAL €490.00

After painful deliveration, I sent new invoice for €250. They did not confirm. I e-mailed a couple of times. Received silence. Payment was due on 21st. No payement up until now. I know their attitude and conclude they are not going to pay me. Last thing I can do is file non-payement claim on Blue Board. What can I do if they still refuse to pay? I am not familiar with non-payment in UK. However hiring debt collector is not a good option for this.


Jay


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Jay Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 05:24
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Paid in the end BUT May 19, 2008

They sent me 250 Euros by PayPal on 28th despite our previous agreement on payment by bank transfer. Another breach on payment method.

To wrap up my unhappy encounter with this particular UK agency, I conclude they are not TRUSTWORTHY folks !!!

Jay


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