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Blueboard pages of banned outsourcers should be visible
Thread poster: Nicole Schnell

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:49
English to German
+ ...
Jan 8, 2008

A few days ago an agency contacted me through my Proz.com profile and offered a quite attractive and largish job. There was no Blue Board entry. After some negotiating the agency agreed with my rate. Which was a little bit weird as my rates are t least four times higher than what is usually paid in this country... My gut-feeling screamed "Red alert" and I declined politely after all.

Two days later a translator friend of mine received the exact same email. At first the colleague couldn't find any Blue Board entries either, until last night when the colleague found in whatever left hand side box with "new companies..." that this particular wonder-agency had been banned from Proz a few months ago. BTW, I still haven't figured out where to find this box.

Of course I can't tell the exact reason why, let's just say that the few entries averaged "1", one entry was made after they got banned!

Shouldn't such statements be visible to all members at all times?

Those ladies and gentlemen probably never planned on paying at all and I or a collegue could have had the pleasure to write off about 5000 Euro.

TIA and best regards,

Nicole


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Something similar happended to me. Jan 8, 2008

Just before Christmas I got an offer with a really fine word rate and I accepted.
Short time later I found a thread here from a Greek colleague, who found out that this outsourcer had been banned due to non-payment.

I contacted the "customer", told him this fact in a politely way and asked for advance payment or I would decline the job. I never got an answer....


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
All paying members can see BB details, either good or bad Jan 8, 2008

Hello Nicole,

I hope I understood you correct: you looked for them and did not find them, but an other colleague found them listed at the home page, at the left side, at the small box "Recent Blue Board enquiries"? This is the only box I am thinking of, as the other ones, from top to bottom, at the left hand side of the home page, are:
1) Welcome to the new members (the ones that have just become paying members);
2) Featured Translator (each of us memebrs are shown for a certain numebr of seconds/minutes at the home page);
3) Featured Corporates (same as above);
4) Proz.com Exchange (people exchangin tools and or services);
5) Featured translation articles (articles written by members); and at teh end
6) Recent Blue Board enquiries. It could have been this last one.

Now, to start with, I would like to attract your attention to the http://www.proz.com/faq/blue_board_agency, as well as the site rules http://www.proz.com/siterules/blueboard, where you will see that any one can create a BB profile on an outsoarcer, if you do not find any data. After you have entered the data, a moderator will double check (to see if there is another profile of this outsoarcer, with a different name or address) and approve the profile. An enquiry has automatically been send to members about this outsoarcer.

As I said at the subject, any memebr can see the paying or the non paying outsoarcers, even if they are banned! Even if the outsoarcers wants to deleit the profile, this is not possible for at least 6 months from any decision or activity entry (see rule no. 10 of the BB site rules: http://www.proz.com/siterules/blue_board_bb_blueboard/10#10).

If this outsoarcer wasn't there before and it showed in the recent enquiries, makes me think of different possibilities:
1) Probably the search did not produce any result because of a possible error in the search criteria;
2) They were banned before, they tried to come back in business avoiding Proz.com, but some one else made a BB entry to check and the data came out from the records.
3) There are times when bad outsoarcers try to croll in with other data & names & conatcts. The moderators of the Blue Board do a wonderful job and keep their eyes opened to catch such cases. They do their best to keep the BB and the site clean.

Hope this has given you some info on the situation. I do invite you and all the users to contact a moderator if there is any thing that does not convince you or not clear about.

Have a good day,

Fabiana


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:49
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hello Fabiana Jan 8, 2008

Thanks so much for your prompt reply -

I am using the Blue Board on a regular basis am I am listed there myself. Don't know if it was a technical error and I hope that my colleague will forgive me for quoting from our email correspondence:

Nicole:
"Wow,
How did you find this one? I always check the Blue Board first - there was nothing!"

Colleague:
"Well, I am glad it wasn't just me -
I swear it wasn't there when I checked.
Then I saw it - 10 mins. before I sent it to you,
on the left hand side in the box with "new companies..."

Hm...

Edit: I forgot to mention that the colleague sent me the link to this Blue Board page via email.

[Edited at 2008-01-08 07:47]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:49
English to German
+ ...
If you cannot find an outsourcer, add a new BB record Jan 8, 2008

Hi Nicole and all,
Just to add to Fabiana's comprehensive comments: if you are contacted via e-mail, and you cannot find the outsourcer in the Blue Board, add a record yourself.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:49
German to English
+ ...
Just checked ... Jan 8, 2008

... I did a BB search for 2 known rogue agencies in Germany.
I found both of them instantly - both of them were banned from the site some time in 2005, and both records are still there (with all the damning detail).


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:49
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Har, the reason why I couldn't find them! Jan 9, 2008

I used their full company name for my search. They were, however, listed with an "abbreviated" version of their company name only.

Thanks a ton for your help, Proz.com staff, you are great!

My very best regards,

Nicole


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 18:49
German to English
I have a question ... Jan 9, 2008

What is the difference between an outsourcer being banned from the site for non-payment and an outsourcer being banned from posting jobs because of non-payment?

The later is still able to contact unsuspecting freelancers, and anyone clicking on his BB profile will see 2 "1"s and a subsequent "5", but alarmingly missing from the profile is any indication that he has been banned from posting jobs due to non-payment complaints!

Just wondering,
sylvie


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:49
English to German
+ ...
Termination Policy Jan 9, 2008

Hi Sylvie,
What is the difference between an outsourcer being banned from the site for non-payment and an outsourcer being banned from posting jobs because of non-payment?

Notes on Blue Board records state that an outsourcer has been banned from posting jobs, without stating specific reasons. Whether or not the profile(s) is/are removed depends (among other factors) on the number of non-payment complaints submitted.

Bans are often - but not exclusively - related to the ProZ.com Termination Policy.


The later is still able to contact unsuspecting freelancers, and anyone clicking on his BB profile will see 2 "1"s and a subsequent "5", but alarmingly missing from the profile is any indication that he has been banned from posting jobs due to non-payment complaints!

Anyone who has been banned from posting jobs will still be able to contact freelancers, in various ways. When job posting rights are blocked, access to profile messaging is also generally blocked. But even so, a banned outsourcer could attempt to send a profile message without being logged in, or contact a provider by means outside the control of ProZ.com.

Best regards,
Ralf


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 18:49
German to English
Thanks, Ralf, Jan 9, 2008

for the speedy reply and for confirming my suspicions.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:49
English to German
+ ...
Suspicions? Jan 9, 2008

Hi again,
sylvie malich wrote:

for the speedy reply and for confirming my suspicions.


Not sure what "suspicions" you're referring to.
So far, the message that someone has been banned from posting jobs has been pretty clear to everyone I have communicated with in the course of dealing with non-payment issues.

As regards potential contacts from outside, well, I'm afraid we cannot police the entire internet...


100% protection is an illusion, I'm afraid. As you know, the team of moderators does its utmost to prevent any fraudulent activities, but there are people who will work for a complete stranger, without any precautions whatsoever.

Best regards,
Ralf


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