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Poll: What's the minimum Blue Board rating you accept without considering an outsourcer risky?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:43
SITE STAFF
Aug 15, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What's the minimum Blue Board rating you accept without considering an outsourcer risky?".

This poll was originally submitted by Csaba Ban

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
There's more to it than numbers Aug 15, 2007

I voted "4.1 - 4.5" but there are times when I trust an agency with a lower rating or worry about one with a higher rating.

I look carefully at who is providing the ratings and what they are saying. I give more weight to comments from people who have been members here for more than 2 years and who have larger numbers of KudoZ points, since they are more likely to be actual translators and less likely to be, for instance, the outsourcer's third cousin who signed on just to give a high rating.

I also read the comments associated with low ratings. Sometimes they are valid complaints, and sometimes they seem petty and silly (e.g., the translator is complaining about payment terms that were specified clearly in the project description and which they chose to accept).

Sometimes, even an agency with a rating in the 3's inspires confidence once I discount one or two unreasonable complaints.

[Edited at 2007-08-15 14:30]


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Elena Robles Sanjuan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:43
English to Spanish
Happiness is relative Aug 15, 2007

I normally check if an agency has a Blue Board entry before accepting a job. If it does, I like to see all sorts of comments, especially those related to whether they have good business practices in place and whether their rates are acceptable.

Last night I was offered a job with an impossible deadline and a very low rate.
To my surprise, when I checked the agency´s entry on Blue Board, it was rated 5 by 18 people. They were all delighted with the ageny and not one of them mentioned very low rates. Funnily enough, not one of them seemed to work in Europe !

I should conclude then that the rating should be carefully analysed and that it won´t always suit everyone´s needs.


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 08:43
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Quite agree with Stephen Aug 15, 2007

I am a relative newcomer, and I find the Blue Board is very useful. It is a good idea to look at the comments and not just the ratings, because some comments are obviously unreasonable, and others are obviously fake.
The very fact that a company has had several comments entered over several years is also a point in their favour, unless all the comments are complaints.
1-2 comments from unregistered people are worthless, be they positive or negative.


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Eliza-Anna  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:43
Member (2002)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends Aug 15, 2007

I agree with Steven. I look very carefully at the reasons why people have given a company a low rating.

I also look at the date which could reflect a certian individual working for that company at a given time. Translators are as human as people working for agencies - unfortunately people may tell untruths when they have a grudge. I have done regular work for one company in particular with an average rating of 3 and I have found them perfectly all right. That company has a series of 1s and then 4s and 5s. However, if the rating is unanimous over a long period of time I tend to veer towards caution.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
I voted other ... Aug 15, 2007

... and base any decision on (1) who gave the rating (2) the reason for the rating, (3) progressive ratings - i.e. are they steadily getting better or worse - and (4) any indication of payment terms and then create my own rating from there.

If payment terms are indicated in the rankings (as is often the case), they can have a perfect 5 rating from countless colleagues but if terms exceed 30 days, I'm simply not (and fortunately don't need to be) interested.

That said, I hardly ever use Blue Board - although it's good to know it's there - as I have a close-knit circle of colleagues for each language pair with whom I share information. If one of us is approached for work, we check with the others first for any pointers.

It's only if there's no information via that route that I start to look on fora like Blue Board.

Example: I was approached by a Portugese agency yesterday and since most of my colleagues are on holiday I checked the BB ratings. Someone on this site who translates from German to English had given them a 1 rating, but judging from his/her inability to string together a coherent sentence in English in these forums, I was hardly about to pay much attention to his/her complaint that his work had been rejected - my initial thought was that surely goes without saying!


[Edited at 2007-08-15 17:33]


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 08:43
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
worthless? comments from "unregistered" people are worthless? Aug 15, 2007

Hilde Granlund wrote:

I am a relative newcomer, and I find the Blue Board is very useful. It is a good idea to look at the comments and not just the ratings, because some comments are obviously unreasonable, and others are obviously fake.
The very fact that a company has had several comments entered over several years is also a point in their favour, unless all the comments are complaints.
1-2 comments from unregistered people are worthless, be they positive or negative.


Afaik, unregistered people can't make BB comments, so I assume you mean non-paying members. But why in heavens name be so blatantly dismissive of them? Where did you get this attitude as a newcomer?
The BB has to be taken with a grain of salt. Clearly, a string of bad reviews does indicate probs.
Raves are harder-some people rush to gush in the hope of getting more work. You have to read between the lines and perhaps see who is saying what. But good reviews usually mean no problems. even if they don't necessarily mean it's a great agency.
And a lot of people don't make blueboard entries in any case because they don't want others to know which agencies they are working for.

[Edited at 2007-08-15 17:52]


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 08:43
English to Norwegian
+ ...
important omission Aug 15, 2007

It is not the fact that they are unregistered that make them worthless. In those cases, more often than not - when I look at the profiles of those people, they are empty, and have done little else in the forum apart from praising one company to the skies.
In those cases, I tend to disregard their opinions.

PS:
And yes, I mean not registered as a paying member or verified. (I think you can be verified without paying??)

[Edited at 2007-08-16 07:34]


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Ring a bell ....... Aug 16, 2007

Hilde Granlund wrote:

It is not the fact that they are unregistered that make them worthless. In those cases, more often than not - when I look at the profiles of those people, they are empty, and have done little else in the forum apart from praising one company to the skies.
In those cases, I tend to disregard their opinions.


I know at least a couple of cases in which buddy giving buddy good rating, just to save their rating sank way too low.
BB is a good yard stick, but there seems a lot going on behind the scene.


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 01:43
German to English
Good point! Aug 16, 2007

writeaway wrote:

The BB has to be taken with a grain of salt. Clearly, a string of bad reviews does indicate probs.
Raves are harder-some people rush to gush in the hope of getting more work. You have to read between the lines and perhaps see who is saying what. But good reviews usually mean no problems. even if they don't necessarily mean it's a great agency.
And a lot of people don't make blueboard entries in any case because they don't want others to know which agencies they are working for.


This is so true! I always think BB entries are a bit like German references - it can be what you leave out that is most telling! I personally look for references that mention the things I care most about - good communication, payment within 30 days and interesting projects. If someone just says "great communication" or "really interesting projects", I wonder why they didn't mention speed of payment...


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
Ah, the payment. Aug 16, 2007

Hilary Davies wrote:

I wonder why they didn't mention speed of payment...


I never, ever, ever, ever mention the speed of payment. It sounds so needy. Timely payment is such a basic requirement, it's like: "I am sure the PM brushes his teeth on a daily basis"


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 01:43
German to English
Definitely a basic requirement Aug 16, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Timely payment is such a basic requirement, it's like: "I am sure the PM brushes his teeth on a daily basis"



It's definitely a basic requirement for me, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't pay on time! (I don't work with them again, but sometimes getting that original payment can be a frustrating process - and one we can all do without having to go through!).


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
I guess I am spoiled rotten Aug 16, 2007

Hilary Davies wrote:

you'd be amazed at how many people don't pay on time!


I cannot stress enough that translators should submit their invoices indicating that they are a legal entity. Which, if the translator feels like it, can sue lazy payers straight into hell and back.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
Deja vu ... Aug 16, 2007

writeaway wrote:

And a lot of people don't make blueboard entries in any case because they don't want others to know which agencies they are working for.


... I could swear I've discussed this before


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
Whilst there are no doubt some advantages ... Aug 16, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I cannot stress enough that translators should submit their invoices indicating that they are a legal entity. Which, if the translator feels like it, can sue lazy payers straight into hell and back.


... to incorporating a company or other legal entity, there's of course nothing stopping a translator suing anyone for payment in his/her personal capacity.


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