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Risk with outsourcers with no Blue Board?
Thread poster: Dianne Berest
Dianne Berest
Bolivia
Local time: 20:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 7, 2008

Hi. Just getting started in this field. Wondering if you recommend accepting jobs from outsources who have no blue board record at all? Seems kind of risky. How does one know if they will
pay upon receipt of the translation?
Thanks a lot!


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:14
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
You could post a "call for entries" on the Blue Board Aug 7, 2008

amesmom wrote:

Hi. Just getting started in this field. Wondering if you recommend accepting jobs from outsources who have no blue board record at all? Seems kind of risky. How does one know if they will
pay upon receipt of the translation?
Thanks a lot!


The fact is, Amesmom, that you don't know. It's a risk. You could try posting a "call for entries" on the Proz Blue Board and wait to see if anyone answers. You could also search other translators' websites to see if the agency is listed there. I'm not allowed to mention their names here, I believe.
You could risk accepting a small job initially and wait to see if they pay you before accepting more, but even then, a few dodgy agencies will pay you on time to begin with and then become tardy later.
Best of luck,
Jenny


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
'Credit score' Aug 7, 2008

Just as banks use credit reference agencies to assess your credit risk, sometimes NO credit history is worse than a bad credit history, since they have nothing to go on. And neither do you when there is no BB entry.

I would view the blue Board as something similar to a bank's scoring system. So you have to assess the risk some other way.

Not all outsourcers, companies etc use ProZ.com for a start. There are other places you can check (can't mention them here).

Or you can create a call for entries for your particular query.

Or they might not have a BB rating as they are a new company/agency. Lots of reasons.


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Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 03:14
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Other options Aug 7, 2008

You could also ask someone who's a member of ITI (UK) or other national translator associations to check that agency out on the members forums of these associations. I know ITI has such a forum (called "Bad payers").

There's also an excellent website called Payment Practices (www.paymentpractices.net) which specializes in giving information about translation agencies. It cost a little to join, but it's worth it in the long term.

Try searching the web for that agency's name, and go beyond the first Google page to see if there's any negative feedback someone may have posted.

Also, it's OK, I guess, to risk a relatively small amount of money, if your gut feeling is that the agency is an honest one.

Good luck, Doron


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:14
English to German
+ ...
Some information Aug 7, 2008

The highest paying clients - direct clients - will not be listed as outsourcers in the Blue Board section.

Another thing: I have no idea where this global hysteria about not being paid comes from. I never, ever had any problems with any client.

Regarding payment on receipt of the translation: Clients usually have a 30-day policy which might vary among outsourcers and countries. Insist on a purchase order in written form, where all such details will be stated for reference before you start the job. You must send your invoice, of course.

Verify all the contact details (Google, make a test phone call) before you start work.

Have fun and deliver flawless work. Enjoy!

Best of luck,

Nicole


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Put it this way... Aug 7, 2008

Why should an agency pay you if they do not have to?

Primary good reason: They will never require your services again.

Aside from the scenario that they do not like your translation, the main reason why they would never require your services again is that they very seldom have work in your language pair, AND they are in a different country from you!

2nd good reason: one of the above, i.e. EITHER they hardly ever have work in your language pair and do not expect it to happen a second time within the next few years, OR they are in another country, making it difficult for you to chase them for the money.

3rd good reason: They are in your own country, but not local (where you could knock on their door), and the amount involved is too small for you to chase them for it through your country's legal systems.


One reason why they should, after all, pay you is to preserve their reputation. Are they listed on Proz.com, for example, and do they have to fear a bad reputation being spread around the translator community if they do not pay you? For example, they have no Blue Board entries so far. If they pay you, and in good time, they might just acquire a 5. However, if they do not pay you they will almost certainly acquire a 1. This should mean that the fact that they are listed on the Blue Board at all makes it safer to deal with them.

There are some underhand agencies who never pay anybody at all. I have personally worked for at least two of them. They keep a low profile, make sure not to get anywhere near a place like the Blue Board, and advertise on their web page, to their customers, prices lower than the rate they have agreed to pay you!


Well, these are the factors that you have to weigh up, anyway. My conclusion is to check their web site, check that they deal regularly in your language pair, check the prices they offer to the public, and, if these factors seem to be OK, and they are listed on the Blue Board, risk doing a small job for them to begin with.

Astrid

P.S. If they are not listed on the Blue Board at all yet, you could first list them, and then agree to work for them! That should give you some security.

[Edited at 2008-08-07 15:52]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:14
English to German
+ ...
Wow, Astrid, that's plenty of gloom and doom. Aug 7, 2008



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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Nicole, you are so lucky to have always been paid! Aug 7, 2008

However, there are loads of us who have not always been paid for every job we have done.

Astrid


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:14
English to Finnish
+ ...
Credit reports Aug 7, 2008

John Paul Weir wrote:

Just as banks use credit reference agencies to assess your credit risk, sometimes NO credit history is worse than a bad credit history, since they have nothing to go on.


Not just banks—any business can research a potential client. For example, my local market leader charges 40 € for a report on a European company.


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