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No more anonymous outsourcers, please !!!!
Thread poster: Catherine GUILLIAUMET

Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
English to French
+ ...
Jul 12, 2008

Hi dears,
I think that's enough with this anomaly : How can an outsoucer place a job offer on ProZ while not COMPULSORILY indicating at least the company's name, address and URL ??
This is not imaginable, but it does happen too often.
My last experience (among too many) will demonstrate better what I try to mean in my bad English.
(please note that, by discretion, I have changed the "identity" of this outsourcer. However, Jared, if you need the true one, I am at your disposition) :
Two days ago, I receive in my mail-box the following message :

----- Original Message -----
From:
To:
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 2:55 PM
Subject: [ProZ.com mail] job offer


>
> -----------
> You have been sent a message via your ProZ.com page.
> Author: Italian outsourcer
> Author's Profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/XXXXXX
> Author's IP address: XX.XX.XX.XX
> Message type: Job-related
> -----------
>
> Good morning,
> we are a translation agency and we have a vet text of 2200
> words. Deadline: 15.07.08. Can you translate it?
>
>
> -----------
> Your profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/313
> Login at: http://www.proz.com/profile/
> Edit your profile mail preferences: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&show_mode=profmail


Certainly, "good morning" sounds strange - even for an Italian - a 03:00 PM)
But the real problem is that there is no identification. When you click on the "outsourcer profile", you obtain the "said profile" of a freelance translator, not of a company as claimed in the message, but an absolutely EMPTY profile !!!
When you are a rather not too stupid person, you use the name of the outsourcer to make a search on the ProZ Blue Board. Result : nothing. This outsourcer doesn't exist !! Then, when you are not a beginner, you search for this entity on other Translators sites, and then ...
you find it !! On TranslatorsCafé : no longer as a freelancer, BUT AS A COMPANY, with full data (address, URL, etc.). Then, you discover that the only reference to this entity is A COMPLAINT for NON-PAYMENT after 6 months of reminders !
So, I understand that, as this entity is "Wanted" (as in the old Far West) on TranslatorsCafé, it comes "anonymously" to ProZ and try to capture translators.
THIS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE !
ProZ must accept job offers, and any direct contact of a free or paying member through ProZ.com. mail, ONLY from outsourcers (companies of freelancers, paying or not) with COMPLETE PROFILES.
It's my experience which saved me, but what would have happened to a younger professional ?
This is our collective responsibility !!

Just for fun , please find below my answer to this entity - Useless to say that the "entity" never replied at all))) :
From: "cgtradmed"
To:
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:56 PM
Subject: Re: [ProZ.com mail] job offer


> Dear Sirs,
> Thank you for contacting me. I shall be glad to help you with the
> translation of a vet document, with delivery on July 15th.
> However, please note that
> 1) I appreciate that my potential clients give me their full address and web
> site.
> 2) Nevertheless, I have found your company, not on ProZ, where you did not
> enter any data, but on Translators Cafe - where you appear as a bad payer.
> 3) If you want that I work for you, I ask you to pay in advance (before noon
> French/Italian time, tomorrow Friday July 10th) by PayPal 100 per cent of
> the invoice, i.e. 220 Euros.
> Be assured that you will receive your translation on July 15th. Please note
> that this is my normal rate, while the next week-end is a holiday week-end
> in France, which could deserve a "plus fifty per cent" rate. I offer you
> this special price, if you pay straight by PayPal.
> Please, be so kind to let me know your decision. Thank you.
> Best regards.
> Catherine GUILLIAUMET - France
> Clinical Medicine & Pharmacology - EN,SP,PT>>FR
> +33 (0)4 75 88 01 87
> Moderator of the Medical_Translation mailing-list for professionals

Thank you, dear Jared, to "actively" take this issue into account.
Catherine Guilliaumet





[Edited at 2008-07-12 10:57]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 06:04
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
ProZ does not censor or even read emails Jul 12, 2008

sent to you via your profile.

One thing you can do is to go to your profile, Settings-Email Preferences and check "Allow only ProZ.com members who are logged in to send me messages via my profile".

Uldis


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 05:04
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
That's a private offer, no board job Jul 12, 2008

Hi Catherine,

you have received the offer via your profile, so the job was not "posted on ProZ.com". Job posters are required to indicate their contact data, but are free not to disclose them publicly when posting jobs (board jobs).

The quality of the offer depends on the author of the message and could be as good or as bad as any message received directly and privately - from anyone knowing your email address or contacting your from any site or mailing list.

I'd see it a positve way: no time wasting, only one click away from my virtual dustbin


Giuliana


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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Loggedin/not logged in Jul 12, 2008

Dear Uldis,
Thank you for your answer.
But no, it's not really a good idea. Logged in or not is not the real problem.
The problem is that any outsourcer MUST fill in at least its postal address and real name.
A lot of true and reliable outsourcers are not "logged in".
In fact, this problem doesn't concern me really, but it does concern our youngest and more innocent colleagues. AFA I'm concerned, I have the arms to defend me after 26 years in this profession. But what about the less experienced translators ?
ProZ must not accept that a free member post a job, or is allowed to contact a colleague via Proz.com.mail, without being clearly identified. Dot.
All the best
Catherine


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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So, you say I can receive anything from my profile ??? Jul 12, 2008

Giuliana Buscaglione wrote:

Hi Catherine,

you have received the offer via your profile, so the job was not "posted on ProZ.com". Job posters are required to indicate their contact data, but are free not to disclose them publicly when posting jobs (board jobs).

The quality of the offer depends on the author of the message and could be as good or as bad as any message received directly and privately - from anyone knowing your email address or contacting your from any site or mailing list.

I'd see it a positve way: no time wasting, only one click away from my virtual dustbin


Giuliana

Dear Giuliana,
I am sorry, this is unacceptable. This entity is registered, but with an empty profile. So, this entity should not be ALLOWED to join any of us through ProZ.com.mail.
Here, we are exceeding the limits of a simple spam, this kind of messages enters into the categories of fraud and of false/misleading advertizing, regarding the French law.
Please see also my answer to Uldis to understand what is my main goal.
Thank you
Catherine


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:04
English to Finnish
+ ...
Contact information should be required—hiding it is unprofessional Jul 12, 2008

Giuliana Buscaglione wrote:

Job posters are required to indicate their contact data, but are free not to disclose them publicly when posting jobs (board jobs).


This policy is also unreasonable. I would like to see it changed.

Is there any reason why a bona fide outsourcer, or other client, should operate “under cover”?


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 00:04
SITE STAFF
Remember that the site is a venue Jul 12, 2008

Hello all,

Jobs which are posted via the site are carefully vetted by site job moderators and staff, to ensure the highest level of security possible. Profile email is not controlled to this extent, but just as with jobs, the service provider should be sure to investigate new potential clients fully before entering into any work agreement. Requesting full details is a reasonable step if one is interested in the job being offered.

Who may contact you via your profile can be controlled to a certain level in the "Settings" tab of your profile, "Email preferences".

Remember that the site is a venue, and a place where translators and outsourcers may connect, but it is up to you whether you communicate directly with anyone you meet at ProZ.com, with whom you are considering entering into a contract. Ask for any information you feel you may need to evaluate his or her trustworthiness.

If you do suspect fraud or abuse, the best step is to submit all relevant details via support request, to allow site staff to properly look into the matter.

Best regards,

Jared


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Roy Chaudhuri  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 08:34
Member (2006)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Not providing contact details Jul 12, 2008

Some job posters do not want their contact data exposed in their job posts, as many translators spam their profile into the email ID provided irrespective of whether they work in the job pair.

This was once told to me by a UK based agency I regularly work with. It seems that the particular mailbox got choked with resumes most of which were not relevant.


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CFK TRAD  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:04
English to French
+ ...
Catherine is perfectly right ! Jul 12, 2008

Hi everybody !

Catherine is perfectly right ! We are too often reached by "anonymous" outsourcers (who may, BTW, be quite honest, but who may not, too), and we face a kind of dilemma :
- either we refuse, because the outsourcer does not provide all their contact details, and we may lose a regular, honest and great client (just think about our colleague who begin, and who have bills to pay !) ;
- or we accept and... how many invoices (and for what amount ?) have we recorded in the P&L account, because the outsourcer had faded away ?

No, this is definitely something which is far (really far) away from one we can expect as a Proz member.

AND one more thing : as I am starting developing my "direct" clients, I am starting having translations in languages which I cannot speak or translate ; so I have published job offers (Chinese-FR and Japonese-FR) ; I had to give ALL contact details, otherwise the offer would not have been published (it took a couple of minutes for me to have it published, as I am a Proz paying member, but otherwise everything is said to be checked by Job Moderators).

So here, there's something I don't understand : if I publish a public offer, everything is, supposedly, checked (who I am, where I am, etc.) ; and if I contact translators directly, nothing is checked ?

That's completely illogical.

When I write an email to a fellow, I am warned that a moderator can control the mail and that if my emails are irrelevant (if I try to sell my services to outsourcer, namely), my account can be limited or closed.

But why is there a control in one way (when a translator writes to a translation agency to propose translation services), and not in the other way ?

Since a translator and /or an outsourcer FREELY decides to register, the least they can be required to do is to display their contact informations... an address, a phone number, an email...

Anyway, Catherine, you're perfectly right in posting this message !

Confraternellement à vous,

Coralie.


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 06:04
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Profile messages are not (and will not be) read or censored Jul 12, 2008

FORMATION CFK wrote:
No, this is definitely something which is far (really far) away from one we can expect as a Proz member.

AND one more thing : as I am starting developing my "direct" clients, I am starting having translations in languages which I cannot speak or translate ; so I have published job offers (Chinese-FR and Japonese-FR) ; I had to give ALL contact details, otherwise the offer would not have been published (it took a couple of minutes for me to have it published, as I am a Proz paying member, but otherwise everything is said to be checked by Job Moderators).


Yes, right, so it is. By Jobs/BB volunteer moderators, all volunteers, mind you.


So here, there's something I don't understand : if I publish a public offer, everything is, supposedly, checked (who I am, where I am, etc.) ; and if I contact translators directly, nothing is checked ?

That's completely illogical.

When I write an email to a fellow, I am warned that a moderator can control the mail and that if my emails are irrelevant (if I try to sell my services to outsourcer, namely), my account can be limited or closed.

But why is there a control in one way (when a translator writes to a translation agency to propose translation services), and not in the other way ?


I'm afraid this is a misstatement on mail sending page, no moderator can check or read emails you send via Profiles. Yes, when members receive spam via their profiles, they inform us, forward details and then we act.

And are you aware what manpower it would take to censor/vet ALL profile messages sent via ProZ.com?

Besides, as ProZ.com is not a party in any bilateral relations between an outsourcer and a service provider, I don't see how from the legal point ProZ can start to check/censor bilateral messages exchanged between these 2 Parties. Profile messaging is just a service ProZ.com provides in order you don't have to publish your email address in the open on your Profile page, nothing more. If Profile messaging wouldn't be there, you'd have to publish your email address in open on your profile and then, when receiving Viagra and fake watches ads to this address would you also blame ProZ.com for this?

Uldis


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:04
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Some common sense Jul 12, 2008

Hi,
I'm very much surprised by this thread. Do you really reply to emails sent to you anonymously, with no signature and contact details? Do you consider them as "job offers"? Makes me wonder if you also reply to all these African bishops offering you millions of $$? Do you buy insurance from everyone who offers it to you by phone? Click every link which says "You won a million dollars"?? C'mon, let's be reasonable and apply some common sense to what we see in our mailboxes.


Magda


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 05:04
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
*Not showing publicly* is very far from *hiding* Jul 12, 2008

Dear Thor,

Is there any reason why a bona fide outsourcer, or other client, should operate “under cover”?


there is no hiding and no "under cover". Details are disclosed to site staff and Jobs/BB moderators, who as said do their best in order to make sure that contact data are truthful and correct.

Before entering any business relation with any unknown entity, service providers, as well as outsourcers, ought to make sure they have all contact data and information needed in order to reduce or manage the related business risk.


Giuliana


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:04
English to Finnish
+ ...
hide (v): conceal (prevent from being seen or discovered) Jul 12, 2008

Giuliana Buscaglione wrote:

Is there any reason why a bona fide outsourcer, or other client, should operate “under cover”?


there is no hiding and no "under cover". Details are disclosed to site staff and Jobs/BB moderators, who as said do their best in order to make sure that contact data are truthful and correct.


Dear Giuliana,

I meant under cover in relation to the message recipients, most of whom probably are not ProZ.com moderators.

Since corporate members pay higher ProZ.com membership fees than we do, I can understand that their opinion carries much weight in a case such as this. However, it appears to me that you would do both outsourcers and providers a favour by removing the under cover option, since it mainly seems to destroy the credibility of the messages sent by those outsourcers who—perhaps out of ignorance or carelessness—choose to use said option.

[Edited at 2008-07-13 02:23]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:04
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Short and simple: Who are you? Jul 13, 2008

As I don't want to "close my door" to any potential client I don't filter those who can contact me via my profile.

I have received many messages asking me if I could translate 3000 words in 24 hours and how much I would charge. If there's no valid and serious contact information I simply reply that I'll give all the information they want as soon as they send their contact details. Sometimes I don't even waste my time with a whole paragraph and I reply: "Who are you?"
The funny thing is that I never got a reply from this kind of "outsourcer".

I agree with Catherine on the fact that younger translators should be aware of this kind of potential scam, but I don't think that the solution is putting filters in private e-mails or "closing doors". They should read the forums and ask around before replying.

Claudia


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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The key of the problem Jul 13, 2008

Dear all,
I think that the key of the problem is not filtering the profile e-mails, or any mail generated through ProZ.com mail. What Proz shouldn't accept, in my humble opinion, is the total absence of data (mainly postal address and/or web site) on the profile page of any member - i.e. "corporate member", "freelance", and "paying member" or "registered only member".
In the case I have mentioned, obviously this "entity" didn't want to publish any information about it, because of its bad reputation on other translators sites.
Moreover, it declared itself as a freelance, while it is a company.
I do call that "fraud".
I am convinced that every stakeholder would benefit from a more strict policy.
Have a nice sunday.
Catherine


[Edited at 2008-07-13 06:18]


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