Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
My troubled relationship with the Blue Board
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:29
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jun 15, 2007

This is just a confession. When I receive a job offer from an agency I haven't worked with before, the first thing I do is to look up their Blue Board record. I take it very seriously and my decision often depends on it.
But – I have never made a single Blue Board entry, positive or negative. My justification is this: If I have a positive experience with a client, I feel that if I write a positive entry, the client may interpret it as an attempt to ingratiate myself to them, so that they may come back to me with more jobs.
If I have a negative experience, I'm also very hesitant: a) I worry that this may be my own one-off negative experience, and that I may put an otherwise good agency in a bad light, and b) I worry that the agency's reply may be something like: "She didn't get paid because she did a terrible job", and it will be my word against theirs. I know I read similar replies to translator's negative comments before, and I admit thinking "The agency may well be telling the truth".

So really, the reason I'm sharing this with you is because I would like to hear from those who do contribute to the BB (thus doing people like me a very noble service). How did they get over these worries, or did they never have them? And how can they convince someone like me to give back some of what I've taken from the Blue Board?

Have a nice day!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Mafalda d'Orey de Faria  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:29
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Always check Jun 15, 2007

Hi Nesrin,

I would advise you to always check, even if you had a problem free relation with any agency.

It happened that after a good period with X agency, they stopped sending work and when they came back about 2 years later, I did not check and I had trouble getting paid. By then their BB was not that good...

So, it is always worth checking.

Regards,

Mafalda


Direct link Reply with quote
 

gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:29
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Your concerns are probably shared by many... Jun 15, 2007

Nesrin, I believe that you are not alone, actually, you may be together with the majority of ProZ.com users, not contributing to the BB for all sort of reasons.

I would say, to convince you, that outsourcers are not so easily impressed by a simple positive feedback, but more likely to come back if you provide a quality service.

Regarding the negative feedback, the BlueBoard helps to pull together all individual cases, where each contributor may think of being the only one-off case, and only when they are seen together in the BlueBoard we discover that several one-off cases create a meaningful profile that says "bad payer", or "bad business practices" and possibly "Danger! stay away".

When looking at a BB record I try to figure out if one or two incidents may be isolated cases, or rather an alarm bell, and the more feedback is posted the more complete and faithful is the resulting picture.

Every translator who has benefited from this resource should feel the duty to contribute to it, with feedback on as many outsourcers as possible.

It may be helpful to know that the Blueboard contains right now a little over 35,000 entries, and these have been made by about 8600 members, averaging 3 entries per contributor.
No small numbers, by any standard, but considering how useful is the BB to all of us, imagine what it could become if contributors were at least 15-20,000 and if they contributed an average of 5-10 entries each!!
And we can do it...

bye
Gianfranco


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:29
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
Hi Nesrin Jun 15, 2007

I too, take BB very seriously and often, like you, my decision to work with an agency depends on the BB rating. Usually I never make negative entries. Not because I don't want to hurt them -- though I really hate hurting people -- but rather because I never have long experience with bad payers. If a company doesn't pay me, I don't work with them any more, and one order is not enough to judge publicly about a company. As to positive entries, I do often make them and I'm never concerned that the company may think I am flattering them to get more jobs. I am certain that a company returns to me because I have done a good job, not because I made a positive BB posting. Sometimes my positive entries may even have an opposite effect. There are companies that work with me for years, and suddenly, after the 50th or 70th order I remember that I haven't made an entry about them. I can imagine how surprised they are to see my entry made after 7 years of cooperation. To them it must look something like making a marriage proposal on the silver wedding.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
An element of risk remains Jun 15, 2007

If you are acting in public like in the forums. Isn't there always your word against theirs or ours? I mean you can never convince everybody that you are right. Especially if people do not know you. An element of risk to make a fool of yourself remains always if your opinions reach the public. To answer a Kudoz question or to participate in the forum is also a risk.
Nesrin wrote:
If I have a negative experience, I'm also very hesitant: a) I worry that this may be my own one-off negative experience, and that I may put an otherwise good agency in a bad light
You have the choice, Nesrin.
Express yourself in a fair and diplomatic way. Did you notice the different tones used in entries?
"They are bad payers" (not allowed anyway) or
"payment practise could be better"

Nesrin wrote:b) I worry that the agency's reply may be something like: "She didn't get paid because she did a terrible job", and it will be my word against theirs.

You can anticipate.
"Although they had no complaints about my job, they paid just after two reminders."
Henrik wrote:
If a company doesn't pay me, I don't work with them any more, and one order is not enough to judge publicly about a company.

I am glad that not everyone shares your opinion. Otherwise the Blueboard would be rather empty. One order is enough to tell about your experiences about this special situation.
If somebody simply forgot to pay. Ok, I can cope with that.But if they want to take me for a ride.... I do not want this to happen to a fellow translator.
Regards Steffi


[Edited at 2007-06-15 11:20]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:29
English to German
+ ...
I agree with Henrik Jun 15, 2007

It takes a number of jobs or a year of continuous collaboration before I make a BB-entry and those entries are honest (all positive). If a company turns out to be one great and recommendable business partner, why not advertise it? It has nothing to do with kissing up.

However, I do have a problem when reading entries such as: "I did one small job for them and they paid on time!". Shouldn't this be standard?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
My original reason for joining ProZ Jun 15, 2007

Nesrin wrote:

This is just a confession. When I receive a job offer from an agency I haven't worked with before, the first thing I do is to look up their Blue Board record. I take it very seriously and my decision often depends on it.
But – I have never made a single Blue Board entry, positive or negative. My justification is this: If I have a positive experience with a client, I feel that if I write a positive entry, the client may interpret it as an attempt to ingratiate myself to them, so that they may come back to me with more jobs.
If I have a negative experience, I'm also very hesitant: a) I worry that this may be my own one-off negative experience, and that I may put an otherwise good agency in a bad light, and b) I worry that the agency's reply may be something like: "She didn't get paid because she did a terrible job", and it will be my word against theirs. I know I read similar replies to translator's negative comments before, and I admit thinking "The agency may well be telling the truth".

So really, the reason I'm sharing this with you is because I would like to hear from those who do contribute to the BB (thus doing people like me a very noble service). How did they get over these worries, or did they never have them? And how can they convince someone like me to give back some of what I've taken from the Blue Board?

Have a nice day!


Dear Nesrin,
The Blue Board was my original reason for joining ProZ and I find it most helpful. Since then, I've discovered many more of the delights of ProZ. I'd had an appalling experience with an agency in France (that has since gone bankrupt) and was determined not to let that happen to me again. Now, I'd never accept a new client without first checking their record on the Blue Board and other websites.
It never occurred to me that the Blue Board could be misused until I read some recent forum postings. I'd only make a "bad" entry if I had had repeated bad experiences with an agency and am happy to make a "good" entry whenever I've had long experience of a good and reliable one. According to a recent forum, a "bad" entry can lead to the translator being bullied into retracting it and to other translators being persuaded to make "good" ones.
Agencies do change over time, of course. They can be taken over by new management with different attitudes, payment practices and lists of translators, so I guess it's a good idea to check the Blue Board from time to time.
I wouldn't be without it.
Kind regards,
Jenny.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:29
French to English
Blueboard doesn't assess important points Jun 15, 2007

Personally I don't find the blueboard very useful and even find the long list of 5s with reciprocal thank-yous annoying.
I don't think the delay in being paid is the best criteria of how good an egency is.

The two most important things for me are the rates that agencies offer and the clients they work with. I don't mind waiting an extra month to be paid when the rates are really good and the agency has really top class clients. I like an agency that gives me jobs right in my field.
Two other very important points about agencies are also not often evaluated.
1) Do they really revise your work so you have a safety net or do they just send it directly to the client?
2) Do they expect you to do all the secretarial/typing work?

In short I think the blueboard could be reorganized to provide a more objective assessment of an agency
Rates/Clients/Revision/Secretarial work


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Willingness of working again - one job is enough Jun 15, 2007

Hi Nicole,
I see it in a very different way.
You wrote
It takes a number of jobs or a year of continuous collaboration before I make a BB-entry

Well, it's about my willingness of working again. If an agency does not behave well, no excuses and/or was not honest I do not want to work with them again. One project is sometimes enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. For me.
I do not state that they will not change or how they are in general. I just tell about 1 experience I have had with them.
And I'm so grateful that other translators do so as well and do not tolerate deceptive business acts (sorry I depend on Leo.dic).


[Edited at 2007-06-15 11:49]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Blue Board is for information that is not available ahead of time Jun 15, 2007

NR_Stedman wrote:
The two most important things for me are the rates that agencies offer and the clients they work with. I don't mind waiting an extra month to be paid when the rates are really good and the agency has really top class clients. I like an agency that gives me jobs right in my field.


These are factors that are part of job offer, so if you are considering an offer by a new agency you can make your decision on the basis of information that the agency is already providing you in the offer.

But what good is it that they offer good rates and a job precisely in your field if later you are not paid? This is where the Blue Board is useful; you can benefit by other people's experience with the agency.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 21:29
German
+ ...
When to make a BB entry Jun 15, 2007

I'm not sure if everybody realizes you can actually make multiple entries for a single company (two per year, IIRC).

Therefore, I don't see why you would want to wait before giving a company an entry to their BB record.

Regards,
Benjamin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:29
English to German
+ ...
One entry every 12 months Jun 15, 2007

Thanks, Benjamin,

I'm not sure if everybody realizes you can actually make multiple entries for a single company (two per year, IIRC).

Close... here's the related FAQ entry:


Can I make more than one entry per outsourcer?

Yes, you may make one entry per outsourcer per year--provided that you have worked for the outsourcer again before adding an additional entry. You may not make multiple entries on the basis of a single experience.


Best, Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
WWA says it all Jun 15, 2007

Really, the BB says it all from the Prozians that had any experience with a specific outsourcer. It's just a matter of stating how "willing to work again" with them each one is after the experience.

Some agencies take only a few months to collect a series of 1's with "never got paid" notes. In many such cases their domain is already shut down. One can't fake it for too long, at least under the same name.

Whenever I see a few low ratings among an overwhelming quantity of high scores, I check the "low" comments. As the agency has a chance to respond, in most such cases I see explanations like "our PM was injured in a traffic accident", "the invoice got lost", "our accountant botched it up", complemented by "paid in full on [date]". So I take these as eventual mishaps.

The mid-range bothers me. It usually involves the agency's contempt for the quality of the job delivered and a consequent reduction in payment. This is a red flag for me. My business ethics makes me turn down pronto any job I see falling beyond my capability of delivering high quality for any reason. So if they dislike it afterwards (hasn't happened to me yet), it doesn't justify a reduction on the previously negotiated price. It was simply the result of lack of communication throughout the process. The agency should bite the bullet, pay what was agreed, and choose better next time.

So I think BB is a good indicator of the risk involved in working for a specific outsourcer. I think everyone should post their experiences there, however exclusively based on FACTS.

I don't trust inputs where one translator says "rude PM" while another says "nice people to work with". It makes me wonder what kind of input aroused such rudeness. So it's better to leave personalities aside, just the FACTS, please.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 21:29
English to German
+ ...
Blueboard is a good way to start... Jun 15, 2007

I must admit that I have not made great use of the Blueboard before. This started to change quickly once I had a bad payer and regretted not having read the Board before.

I had three unpaid jobs and a fourth one I had not returned when a colleague drew my attention to the negative BlueBoard records.

I immediately started to panic thinking xxxx is not going to pay me. I kept my fourth translation and told xxx I would not return it before the other translations were paid. We exchanged very emotionally charged emails for about two weeks. It was always xxxx's word against the negative BlueBoard records.

I got paid because I was a pain in xxxx's neck, but found that this would not be a good basis for an ongoing business relationship of trust.

In the end, I removed my negative entry, thinking perhaps xxxx has changed....

So I am somewhat divided on this issue. I also found for one company that has predominantly negative entries that they may not pay that much but they pay me after two weeks.

So sometimes these entries can be misleading, particularly if we don't go to the trouble of listing the positive points.

Normally, I tend to complain instead of concentrating on what is positive...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 17:29
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
BlueBoard really pays! Jun 15, 2007

GoodWords wrote:
These are factors that are part of job offer, so if you are considering an offer by a new agency you can make your decision on the basis of information that the agency is already providing you in the offer.
But what good is it that they offer good rates and a job precisely in your field if later you are not paid? This is where the Blue Board is useful; you can benefit by other people's experience with the agency.

I agree with GoodWords.
It is always good to have that vinculation between your experience and the outsourcers.
Please, Nesrin, be so kind and contribute to the good health of the system! It works!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

My troubled relationship with the Blue Board

Advanced search






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs