Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Bad experience with an agency
Thread poster: Teresa Bento

Teresa Bento  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:54
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mar 6, 2007

Last year I've replied an ad of a well-known company of good reputation (BB LWA 5/5). It asked specifically for Portuguese translators and subtitlers. They've contacted me and I had to do a test, which had 8 pages and took me 15 days to do (for free!).
After that, I had to write them several times, in order to get the test results. It took me about three months to get some feedback, but at last I got a reply. It was positive, they said they were recruiting me because I had passed the test. Naturally, I got excited and I've agreed with their rates. Afterwards, they've put me on hold, telling me I would be contacted by someone in recruitment. A month and a half went by and I got no reply until I wrote them again. They said they were going to evaluate my computer, so that they could see if it was suitable to get their software, but at first try, it didn't pass the test. So I've upgraded my computer and I did a second test as quickly as I could (it took less than a week) and I've sent them another report. They didn't reply until I wrote them again, about a week later and they told me they had lots of work and that they would deal with my report later. They told me to wait and if I would not be contacted within a week, I was instructed to e-mail them again. After waiting for about five months, they now tell me they're going to put me on hold, because they have a drop of work volume. They're going to keep my details, but they don't know when they'll contact me, because now every new application is being put on hold. I've upgraded my computer mainly because of them, because this is a company of good reputation and now I get this e-mail. Besides being disappointed, I truly feel like going to the Blue Board... Can you believe this??

They didn't say they were not going to contact me again, but I feel as if they're shutting the door. I feel silly, so I wrote them an e-mail in the most polite way I could.

"I understand your reasons but this is a very unfair situation. I've come across *** when I replied an advertisement at ProZ.com, specifically asking for Portuguese translators and subtitlers. It was unfair that it took me almost three months to get my test results and it still is unfair that I get to be put in hold after writing you several times about my computer report. I should have been notified that you were going to put new translators on hold before receiving instructions to evaluate my computer hardware and software and before agreeing with your rates.
I'll wait for your contact, for an opportunity to work with you in the future because you have a good reputation as a company. However, I must honestly say that this lack of organization doesn't match it. I'm sorry to say this, but that's how I feel."

I had to share this with you. Has anyone had any similar experience??

[Edited at 2007-03-06 16:35]

[Edited at 2007-03-06 16:38]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:54
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Unpaid tests and other demands Mar 6, 2007

Hi Teresa,

Sorry to hear about your experience with the agency. It is not nice to be taken for a ride and unfortunately that is exactly what has happened to you.

Translation tests do not take 2 weeks to complete and computer upgrades without solid contract are a big no-no unless you have been waiting for an excuse to upgrade anyhow. Even if we overlook the size of the test, the fact that they did not get back to you and you had to chase them show that they are time wasters obsessed with showing how important they are. Pity you had to learn it the hard way, but you have to derive something positive out of this negative experience and in this case it should be a good lesson.

I would not accept an unpaid test that is bigger than 200 words (that is assuming I would accept a test at all which I usually do not tend to do). My computer is up to date and should somebody demand I update it at extra cost, I would first get them to sign a contract promising me certain work load. And if company is not getting back to me, I just forget about them providing they do not owe me any money - they are unprofessional and are not worth my time.

Unfortunately according to rules you cannot leave any comments on the BB as you have not actually worked for them (test is not considered work) which is a pity. This story speaks volumes about the agency.

Take care,
Ines


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evija Rimšāne  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 03:54
Member
English to Latvian
they are simply deceivers Mar 6, 2007

Teresa Bento wrote:

I had to do a test, which had 8 pages and took me 15 days to do (for free!).
I did a second test as quickly as I could (it took less than a week).



Dear Teresa,
I am sorry you had such an experience and that it costed you a lot (both time and money).
However, I am pretty sure they wanted to use your services for free because a test consisting of 8 pages is not a test. No one asks to do a test for more than 1.5 - 2 pages. So it is obvious this was a real project they got translated completely for free...:(
Please do not trust anyone if they offer you to translate such "tests" again.
Take care and good luck in the future.

[Edited at 2007-03-06 17:14]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:54
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
How reliable are B-B ratings? Mar 6, 2007

This company has a rating of 5 on the Blue Board. Would it be possible for agency management people to join ProZ purely for the purpose of writing glowing references about their own company on the Blue Board? I hope ProZ has some safeguard against this sort of thing, and I would like to know what it is.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:54
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
How did you know the identity of the agency? Mar 6, 2007

Jack Doughty wrote:

This company has a rating of 5 on the Blue Board. Would it be possible for agency management people to join ProZ purely for the purpose of writing glowing references about their own company on the Blue Board? I hope ProZ has some safeguard against this sort of thing, and I would like to know what it is.


How did you know the identity of the agency, Jack? Its name was not given in the thread - we're not allowed to do that. I'm curious, that's all.
It's certainly against the Blue Board rules for companies to make entries about themselves, but I don't know how the moderators would stop it happening.
Kind regards,
Jenny.

[Edited at 2007-03-06 18:59]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:54
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
We're all in a market... Mar 6, 2007

selling and buying...

Depending on one single source of orders is not sound. Getting some alternatives would not hurt you (and the agency discussed) in any way.

I am sure you will eventually get their business. It's just that - appears like this to me anyhow - they are somewhere in the middle of the food chain as well, trying to establish their position. "standing on the shoulders of giants", as the saying goes...

Be patient and look around - there's other agents as well I am sure. You're in a winning situation: you have invested and whatever the value of it is, either a) they come back and you start to get a return on it or b) they dont come back but you can get your ROI somewhere else.

Regards and keep up your spirits

smo


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Bento  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:54
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Vito Mar 6, 2007

You're absolutely right. Thanks for the positive perspective. I've decided it was the right time to upgrade my equipment not just because of the company (mostly because of it) but also because it was getting obsolete. However, what bothers me the most was the way they kept on making me wait for news. I know it can be due to a big workflow, but I've been working for several other busy companies and I always get timely replies.
But if nothing else, I've learnt a lesson, gathered experience, got new equipment and I still can be contacted by any other agents. In the meantime, I can get other things to work on...
Thanks for replying, you guys. I'm still a rookie and sharing this with you made me feel better.

[Edited at 2007-03-06 20:11]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:54
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sorry, it was WWA rating Mar 6, 2007

I didn't and don't know which company it is, I was just misquoting the original post.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:54
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Dear Teresa Mar 7, 2007

According to your original posting you have put in far too much work up front. Never do unpaid tests more than 300 words.
Never expect too much from one source.
But its not always the agency, that complicates matters. The end customers play there game too, maybe keeping more than one agency waiting for the "big order".
The project manager hardly ever knows more than we freelancers about the future. Thats why we should not bother to send inquiries but just sit and work on the projects we have and deal with new ones when they arrive.
According to my experience the more fuss an agency makes at the beginning (tests, registration forms, online forms, contracts etc.) the less they supply you with jobs.

cheers
Heinrich


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 03:54
English to Dutch
+ ...
the same test? Mar 7, 2007

Hi Teresa,

Is that a subtitling company which sends a test of pages and pages, in 3 parts of which you have to complete 2, with a lot of American slang in it? Because I'm doing that at the moment and I find it a pain. Not the texts themselves, but the fact that it's so long and they're asking you to complete it in a week, and I have other things to do! I haven't even done half in a week's time.

If that's your experience and it's the same company, I might just leave it!

thanks for sharing your experience,

Iris.

PS if it's the same test, it's definitely a test because I found many of the exact sentences back in Kudo's questions, stated that they had been taken from a translation test, so obviously they give the same test to everyone for years already. But it's definitely unfair to give such a long test!

[Edited at 2007-03-07 07:25]

[Edited at 2007-03-07 07:26]

[Edited at 2007-03-07 07:26]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Sylvano
Local time: 02:54
English to French
Good point, Heinrich Mar 7, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
According to my experience the more fuss an agency makes at the beginning (tests, registration forms, online forms, contracts etc.) the less they supply you with jobs.


And the less they pay, the more demanding they tend to be with quality, deadlines, side tasks, etc.
I think I worked for that mystery company. And it ended very badly. Well, if I'm right about their identity, they now pay 3 USD per minute (or even less), so why bother anyway?

[Edited at 2007-03-07 10:11]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paula Delgado  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Nunca aceite fazer testes tão grandes Mar 7, 2007

Teresa,

Vou responder em português por ser mais rápido:-)

Aceite o conselho de alguém que é muito cautelosa. Nunca faça testes com mais de 250/300 palavras. Quando começei a traduzir, há 8 anos, foi uma das primeiras coisas que aprendi com os tradutores mais experientes. E já deixei de fazer vários testes por desconfiar que, na realidade, não eram testes ou por não ter a certeza que a empresa teria trabalho para mim.

Lembro-me que há vários anos fiz um teste pequeno para uma agência espanhola, eles responderam-me passado pouco tempo a dizer que eu tinha passado no teste, mas só me ofereceram o primeiro trabalho passados dois anos. Eu recusei porque nessa altura já tinha muito trabalho e as tarifas daquela agência eram muito baixas.

Enfim, podia também alargar-me em considerações e dizer-lhe que não acredito muito nestas coisas dos testes pois tenho muitos clientes e não fiz testes nenhuns para eles. Mas percebo que quando se quer arranjar novos clientes se faça os testes. Mas, por favor, nunca mais aceite testes tão grandes Isso é o sinal mais evidente que o teste é uma tradução que vai sair a custo zero para a agência.

Boa sorte/Good luck,

Paula

[Edited at 2007-03-07 10:56]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:54
German to English
+ ...
Database filling Mar 7, 2007

I think this is just a case of an agency trying to fill its database. When I first started out I filled out a lot of forms to get into agency databases, but never got work that way, even when I did a test translation.

My rule of thumb is that if an agency puts out a general call for translators, they actually don't have concrete projects in the pipeline. However, I am often contacted through my profile by clients who have actual work in hand. I would suggest you write this off to experience and make sure your ProZ profile is up to date with good keywords - that's more likely to bring results.

[Edited at 2007-03-07 15:02]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not Even 200 Words Worth! Mar 7, 2007

I never do any samples that are longer than 4 or 5 sentences for translation agencies and only if I know other translators are doing the exact same test. Then I know I'm not being ripped off.

The only time I would consider doing more is when I know there will be ongoing work and I am sure I will get paid in a timely fashion (they have) or up front (they have). I find this is only the case with well-established corporations, law firms, and publishing companies, not translation agencies, in my experience.

I'm sorry to read about all these frustrating, exhausting experiences with translation agencies. I put all other business enitities needing my services first.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:54
English to French
+ ...
Ask to be paid for tests Mar 8, 2007

If an agency doesn't trust your skills, why should you trust that they will send you work?

Politely tell such people that you are willing to do the test but only if they pay for it. Then, if they give you actual work, promise you'll deduct the amount paid for the test from your first invoice.

This was suggested by someone in another thread - I think it's an excellent idea. I bet those "database" people wouldn't bother you with lengthy tests anymore... If someone really wants to find quality translators, they should be prepared to invest $20 in each of them - especially if they get those $20 back after the first job!

[Edited at 2007-03-08 08:01]


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 »

Bad experience with an agency

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »



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