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Interesting dilemma I got myself into
Thread poster: xxxvwkl
xxxvwkl
Canada
Local time: 22:13
Chinese to English
+ ...
Mar 4, 2008

Hi all,

Recently I was contacted for a translation job by an agency, and
because the conditions were okay and I felt like doing it, I actually
made the following offer when asked for a "sample of a similar
nature":

I can offer to translate the first half page of your document for free,
for the purpose of evaluation, deliverable by xxx, under no obligation to use my
services. At that point you can then decide whether to do so or not.


So now, the agent brought up that the bill should not include
that first half page. I realise what I wrote in the offer was not clear
even though I never intended it to be that way (that I give a "discount"
on top of what is already a... humble rate).

I'm tempted to let it go because it is just a small amount, but then it is a
matter of principle.

Any advice?

Cheers,
Vikki


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
Take your loss Mar 4, 2008

You wrote that you would do the first half page for free. There can be no discussion about that. YOu might have _intended_ differently, but that's not what it says.
Take your loss, and next time, be more specific.


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Nitza Ramos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Let it go Mar 4, 2008

Dear Vikki,

If I were you I would let it go, after all you did say " I can offer to translate the first half page of your document for free", and even though you didn't mean it that way, it is confusing. We learn something new every day and I'm sure you know now what to say next time.

Best regards,

Nitza Ramos


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
For the purpose of evaluation Mar 5, 2008

Vikki Leung wrote:

I can offer to translate the first half page of your document for free,
for the purpose of evaluation

[/quote]

This is pretty clear to me. You did, after all, indicate clearly that the purpose of that first half page is evaluation. Now, the client is using that half page for a whole different purpose, and that purpose was not mentioned in your offer. It is clear to me - and to your client as well, I'd bet - that they were not to use your translation for anything else but evaluating the quality of your services. It is probably clear to them therefore that if they want to use that half page commercially, they'd have to pay you.

I'd say accept the loss - after all, it is not that big a loss. But I would be cautious with a client who tries to save that little money and takes the time to bug you about it. If they are so fussy about such little benefit, what will it be next time?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Take your loss, but... Mar 5, 2008

Vikki Leung wrote:
I can offer to translate the first half page of your document for free,
for the purpose of evaluation, deliverable by xxx, under no obligation to use my
services. At that point you can then decide whether to do so or not.


Even before I read the rest of your post, I already thought I knew what the above quote meant, and the way I interpreted it was exactly the way you meant it. But after reading the rest of your post, I must now agree with the client -- the offer you made does seem to leave open that door for him.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not worth it Mar 5, 2008

If they are cheeky enough to say they won't pay you for that half page as a part of the job, they probably won't pay you for the rest either.

Forget them and move on. You do not want clients like that.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:13
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
As the title to your posting says ... Mar 5, 2008

... you certainly did, Vikki. You got yourself into it, and not the customer. The fact that the customer is a cheeky article doesn't help, I admit.

But, mmm, the "conditions were okay"? You "felt like doing it"? So, er, why are you complaining?

All you had to do was say no. Like with drugs. Just say no. It's easy. N and then O. No. Try it. You can say it twice if you like. No, no. Three times, no, no, no. Or several times as you bin their smelly conditions. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You can be pragmatic and say "No, thank you very much", even

If they want things for free or next to nothing they can go to Oxfam, some NGO, a soup kitchen, let them ask someone they don't know for a cigarette in the street, bum a drink off somebody, go to their mum's for lunch and bring their dirty laundry with them to boot, whatever they like. Who gives YOU stuff for free, Vikki? It's a jungle out there.


Mervyn


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xxxvwkl
Canada
Local time: 22:13
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks -- I'll move on Mar 5, 2008

Thanks, all of you, for all the advice to calm the debate in my head

It's interesting, that what I thought was clear could still leave room for
ambiguity (and it seems like even among us, we are somewhat divided
about how to interpret what I wrote).

And to Mervyn: I'm not complaining about the giving the free evaluation
just to get things moving faster. To me it was just my way to get a
win-win situation because I only had that block of time available and
it would not have worked if the project started 2 days later. The only
thing I was "complaining" about was, my generosity was responded
by the client asking for more.

I'll consider this a lesson learnt, and be more careful about
tackling the "jungle" out there in the future

Cheers,
Vikki


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