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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Do you occasionally offer free translations to regular clients?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:28
SITE STAFF
Dec 22, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you occasionally offer free translations to regular clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Blanc. View the poll results »



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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:28
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Sometimes Dec 22, 2011

if the clients are really regular (more than 1 job per week) and if the free translation is very small - lets say not more than 20 words.

Best Regards
S


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:28
Member
German to English
+ ...
Sometimes Dec 22, 2011

Where regular clients have translations that are just a handful of words, I will give them a freebie for the sake of goodwill (and because I can't be bothered doing the accounting for just a few euros). They will often turn this down and tell me to charge anyway, on the basis that they're charging the customer ...

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member
English to German
+ ...
For regular clients of the right caliber Dec 22, 2011

The ones that fork over the monetary equivalent of a brand-new medium-size car per year. I will translate their Christmas cards, a bunch of extra lines during the process of getting a website live on the web and what not. They always send POs for such mini-jobs but I never send an invoice.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:28
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Yep Dec 22, 2011

I don't charge regular clients for those one- or two-line translations, especially when it's their own material and so there is no end client. It's only a few minutes of my time and it gives the right impression (i.e. someone who is not going to quibble over a few cents).

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member
English to German
+ ...
Addendum Dec 22, 2011

Sometimes I might help my clients with new business acquisition and I will provide a test translation at no charge. But as soon as some (newly employed and not yet broken-in) PM comes up with the bizarre idea that "test" is a synonym for "automatic freebie", I will stall.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on who and how much Dec 22, 2011

If I've had a sizeable job from a client, I'll often times discount the smallest job I also did for them in the same month. Smallest meaning a page or less. I'm perfectly aware that they'll charge the customer some minimum fee, but I write it off as a benefit to them. Hey, everyone loves a discount and it creates goodwill.

If the work load drops in any particular month, I charge everything because I want it understood that the freebies are handed out when I feel that my back is being scratched too.


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Lisa Simpson, MCIL MITI  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:28
Member (2010)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Nothing for tiny jobs Dec 22, 2011

I voted 'No' but if a client that I do a lot of work for were to ask me to translate less than 20 words I'd waive my min. charge. I've never been asked to do so, but it's always been gratefully received when offered. A bit of goodwill invariably gets repaid in one form or another.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member
English to German
+ ...
When mini-jobs get out of hand Dec 22, 2011

For various clients I have charged flat fees by the end of the month - from USD 50.00 up to USD 250.00 for "Miscellaneous". They always paid without any comments and probably were glad that I didn't bombard them with time-consuming extra bookkeeping.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:28
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
If it takes longer to make out an invoice than do the job... Dec 22, 2011

And it is always necessary to fill in and check a lot of details on the invoice... date, VAT number, word-count, amount... no matter how automatic your invoicing system is.

I do have an agreement with one or two clients that we accumulate jobs, because they send a lot of small ones, but I still let one-liners slip through if I don't have to set up Trados for them!

Those are the clients who streamline jobs and are there for me immediately if there ever is any problem, and it goes both ways.


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Sara Maghini  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:28
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
I completely agree Dec 22, 2011


Simon Bruni wrote:

I don't charge regular clients for those one- or two-line translations, especially when it's their own material and so there is no end client. It's only a few minutes of my time and it gives the right impression (i.e. someone who is not going to quibble over a few cents).


Sometimes it's just easier to do it for free (e.g. 20-50 words), you save time and they save money...and everybody's happy at the end of the day


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:28
French to English
As long as I do the offering Dec 22, 2011

What I mean is, it should not be asked for!

With one good regular client, he suddenly had lots of 10 liners in succession. He asked me to invoice at the end. That is the sort of cleint I like. Clear, honest and pays on time.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:28
German to English
+ ...
I never offer it Dec 22, 2011

but I often do it unasked if it's short and the effort of feeding it into the accounts system and writing bills is jost not worth it.

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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:28
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
for a few very regular clients Dec 22, 2011

I've got one client that I do a lot of business for, where the files are often in the 10-200 word range (often 2 or more a day), with a few longer files each week. I do bill a fairly small minimum fee for most of the small jobs, but there's been times where I'll leave the >10 word files off the invoice. I hope it doesn't mess up their accounting! In fact, I just did a 2-word GB>US English localization file for them today, which is the shortest project they've ever sent me.

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Isabell Scherg  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:28
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No fees for small jobs Dec 22, 2011

I have to agree with many of you. I also voted "No" but I do small (up to 40 words) translations for free for good clients. But some of my clients rather pay for the translations and have me open an invoice and carry it over into the next months - they appreciate my offer and sometimes ask for my opinion of a translation of a peer or a quick check of other translated material....We seem to get along this way....

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Poll: Do you occasionally offer free translations to regular clients?






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