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Giving negative feedback on Agency Ratings not advisable
Thread poster: Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)

Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:17
English to Finnish
+ ...
Apr 22, 2002

Through Proz.com I was unfortunate to come across an agency who gave me a translation assignment for a technical manual end of January. This agency is based in Germany and I since have discovered that this company is linked to a Proz profile where there is no mention of them being an agency!



1.5 months after completing the job, as I hadn\'t been paid for the job (payment terms 30 days), I enquired about the payment via e-mail but got no response whatsoever from them. However, a week later I got an email requesting an additional (unpaid) proof read of the formatted document with a one day deadline - this hadn\'t been discussed or agreed in advance. I was very surprised of the tone in the email which just assumed that I was readily available for them without any previous agreement with me. At the time I was extremely busy with other projects so I wasn’t able to meet the requested deadline but I asked whether it was possible to return the job two days later at the weekend and the response I got from them was short and simple: “the user guide will be printed by Monday morning, with or without proofreading. Please make sure your translation is 100% correct.” Although I had already (as one of my standard procedures before returning a translation), made sure that my translation was, to my best knowledge, 100% correct, I was willing to do a second proof read (especially when, after having a quick look at the formatted file, I noticed that the hyphenation was in many places incorrect), but I needed more time. I asked them via e-mail to confirm that they were fine with a couple of days delay and, again, I got no response whatsoever! As they didn\'t bother to answer my e-mail I didn’t waste my valuable time for proof reading something that I had already researched and proof read to my best ability two months ago.



This incident left me with an impression of the agency being rather unprofessional so I added my contribution to Proz.com\'s Agency Blue Board: \"Unprofessional in the way they communicate with translator; slow payment\", which was my honest opinion. On the very same day, the agency added their comments under mine, saying that I am not cooperative and not willing to proof read my own translation. This is a completely and utterly unfounded statement.



I have received my payment for this job now and I will never ever in my life work for this unprofessional agency again. If I knew that I will get stabbed in the back by giving my honest opinion on the Blue Board, I would have never done it. I wonder what the purpose of the Agency Ratings is after all....?

From now on I shall still give my praise for professional agencies but will refrain myself from commenting bad ones. I would advice you to do the same.



This also makes me doubt the professionalism and the usefulness of the whole website, I have been a member of Proz for a couple of years now and I started paying for the platinum membership at the beginning of this year, but so far this particular job is the only job that I have received through Proz. And as you can see it wasn\'t a pleasant experience!



Also, I sent an e-mail to Henry about this giving the company details but he never replied!



If anyone is interested in knowing who this company is I am happy to give details by e-mail.



Best wishes,

Minna


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:17
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Unprofessional agencies Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 08:58, Minna wrote:







This also makes me doubt the professionalism and the usefulness of the whole website, I have been a member of Proz for a couple of years now and I started paying for the platinum membership at the beginning of this year, but so far this particular job is the only job that I have received through Proz. And as you can see it wasn\'t a pleasant experience!



Also, I sent an e-mail to Henry about this giving the company details but he never replied!







Minna





Dear Minna,

I\'m sorry about the bad experience with this agency, but this is the real world. ProZ has not made them rude or unprofessional and ProZ cannot cure them. Also, ProZ cannot take care of all individual cases. As you know the site works as a noticeboard for jobs, they are not offered directly by the site or checked in any sense.



In my opinion, the usefulness of the site goes further than your first bad experience with a small job, you may find better jobs in the future, and profit from other services, KudoZ forums, powwows and other features of the site.



My experience is much more positive, I have acquired a number of customers trough ProZ, and ProZ is just one of the several marketing channels that I use.

All of them can bring in good or bad business, it is up to us to recognize and discard the unprofessional agencies if we receive a business contact from them.



You can still amend your entry in the Blue Board to reflect, in just a few words, what happened.



Good luck

Gianfranco



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 11:23 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-22 11:29 ]

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Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:17
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Gianfranco Apr 22, 2002

Thanks for your reply, Gianfranco. I am sure people with main European languages do received lots of work through Proz, but this is not the case in Finnish. In my case, I have yet to be convinced that I get my money\'s worth for the 90 dollars I paid for the membership...



Quote:


On 2002-04-22 11:15, gianfranco wrote:



You can still amend your entry in the Blue Board to reflect, in just a few words, what happened.







I actually tried to edit my comment but it wasn\'t possible after the agency has replied! That\'s why I had to write to Henry and post this topic....



I would still like to get comments from other translators on what they think about giving negative feedback on agencies on the Agency rating list bearing in mind that the agencies can then post their (sometimes untruthful) reply.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:17
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Share your information privately Apr 23, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-22 12:16, Minna wrote:



I would still like to get comments from other translators on what they think about giving negative feedback on agencies on the Agency rating list bearing in mind that the agencies can then post their (sometimes untruthful) reply.





If I\'ll have a negative experience with an agency I would not hesitate to post my comment on the Blue Board. That\'s the reason for having it!!



If an agency is not professional or doesn\'t pay my work I want to make their life a little bit more difficult and, more important, I can warn other colleagues from falling into the same trap.



As to the possible answer from the agency, they can say whatever they like, but we can fight back sharing information about the facts with other colleagues.



I would invite all Blue Board users, when they need information about a specific agency, to contact privately the colleague translator that is rating low the agency and ask privately for more details.



The Blue Board can be used for ringing an alarm bell, and the relevant information can be exchanged privately between colleagues, person-to-person, and the agencies cannot interfere with it.



Gianfranco





[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-23 12:45 ]

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