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"Send your docs for our EU tenders"
Thread poster: MariusV

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:08
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Oct 9, 2007

Hi people,

I just have one issue. Last week I received NUMEROUS requests from unknown translation agencies like "Would you be interested to take part at an EU tender with a possibility to win dozens of thousands of pages of translation per year? Can you send your CV, reference letters, and all other papers for tomorrow?". A lot of them went via proz (got contacted via proz contacts page)

OK, to look for people for tenders (to have good CVs to win the tender) is nothing bad. Nor to ask if people want to cooperate. And free-lancers are NOT obligated to take their proposals nor send any docs.

But when the low-grade agencies (just established, having no knowledge neither of business "abc", nor simple ethics) start email attacking you with requests "give us your docs" from all sides even being unable to introduce themselves briefly, it makes me a little bit irritated. Let alone they do not even bother reading and answering related questions about how they can guarantee me that they will really give me the work promised if they win the tender uding my docs and the docs of my colleagues ? Nothing. Just bombing from all sides "Give us your docs" and even several requests for the same tender.

Well, you can say I can simply delete these emails as spam. Yes, I can. But I think think that "collection of documents for EU tenders" is becomming an abuse already. OK, I myself had a very good lesson earlier when one (and a reputable) agency promised very good conditions JUST to have my documents and only later on it turned out that "they did not win the tender", i.e. they won the tender using my docs and the the docs of my colleagues, and found someone at half the rate. But what about new, unexperienced translators who will see "WOW, I can have 5000 pages per year from them for 3 years" whom such agencies simply cheat? Let alone about the list of clients, references, etc. etc. that is a sensitive commercial information - many people can simply not have time to think about it and seeing those 5000 pages in the screen and the best rate offer in their life, can lead to unpleasant situations. Or, at least, time wasted?





[Edited at 2007-10-09 19:56]


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Deschant
Local time: 20:08
Same happened to me Oct 9, 2007

Something similar happened to me in mid-August, with 4 or 5 agencies sending me this kind of "Send us your docs immediately" messages over 2 or 3 days. Honestly, I thought it was a not too professional approach: how can they think of putting my name down in a list for a SERIOUS, COMPLEX project without ever having worked with me (and I'm talking about quite common language pairs, not that they needed to complete their team with an Icelandic > Rumanian freelancer or something like that).

Is this a common practice? Why, the whole situation made me think that even I (no agency) could post a couple of job ads asking freelancers in every pair to send their documents and then apply to the tender!

Best,
Eva

[Editado a las 2007-10-09 20:12]


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:08
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I wonder if Oct 9, 2007

emoreda wrote:

Something similar happened to me in mid-August, with 4 or 5 agencies sending me this kind of "Send us your docs immediately" approach. Honestly, I thought it was a not too professional approach: how can they think of putting my name in a list for a SERIOUS, COMPLEX project without ever having worked with me (and I'm talking about quite common language pairs, not that they needed to complete their team with an Icelandic > Rumanian freelancer or something like that).

Is this a common practice? Why, the whole situation made me think that even I (no agency) could post a couple of job ads asking freelancers in every pair to send their documents and then apply to the tender!

Best,
Eva


the agency that requests the papers from me (where a day or so needed to prepare) will work for a day for me for free just for "a possibility of a very serious cooperation in the future IF all goes OK"...I am not even speaking about the irrelevant official requirements from the EU itself - to send INVOICES for previous jobs made to other clients as a proof of an expertise. So, maybe we could send the whole database of the clients to them? What about the real proof of quality? And how is the work and its spefics done for corporate clients relates to EU translations (having in mind that EU translations are a specific area)...

Well, we can always disregard or simply ignore these proposals. But these are like spam offering to buy viagra already. Yes, and well noted, you can "establish" an agency with a gmail email address and collect as many papers as you want (just i depends on the luck of finding fools)



[Edited at 2007-10-09 20:13]


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, I also received some emails regarding that Oct 9, 2007

Most of them have identical texts and required copies of all diplomas, certificates, references and everything should be send in a rush.
This is really strange. And among all the offers, only in one single case I did receive feedback, saying that the company didn't win the tender.

Do you really think this could be a scheme to collect information about us and about our clients?

Who can we trust these days??


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:08
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
worth playing the game - can get even 10 EUR per page :) Oct 9, 2007

Elisabete Cunha wrote:

Most of them have identical texts and required copies of all diplomas, certificates, references and everything should be send in a rush.
This is really strange. And among all the offers, only in one single case I did receive feedback, saying that the company didn't win the tender.

Do you really think this could be a scheme to collect information about us and about our clients?

Who can we trust these days??


Well, I do not think it is kind of scam just for collecting the info (not like a Prince from Africa with diamonds worth 15 million looking for a person to help).

In think it is either of the two - 1) agencies (even reputable ones) want to have docs for EU tenders and they wash the brain of free-lancers with huge "possible projects" just to get these papers and then they wash off telling "we did not win the tender, sorry"; 2) there are people who have nothing to do with translations, but they establish agencies having high dreams to collect papers of naive persons and have thousands of pages of EU projects awarded (one of such even proposed a good rate!!! of 0.04 EUR, per source word, i.e. even 10 EUR per page, for very highly techical EU texts). OK, if you count 10 000 pages per year, it is almost a fortune!!! Esp. if you live at some cheapest country in the world

In any case, it becomes an irritating tendency. Same like spam. Moreover, we do not distribute our diploma copies, CVs, client lists to people from the street (who cannot even care/are able to intruduce themselves in a decent manner).





[Edited at 2007-10-09 21:06]


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Joanna Rączka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:08
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
A good agency Oct 9, 2007

Well, I also got a few offers for this tender last week.

Actually all my relevant - EU related experience has been gained with one agency I have been working with for a few years on a regular basis. I have not received anything from them about the tender. So I called them last night and asked - What's up, you guys not taking part in the EU tender? And the person I called - one of the owners of the agency, told me not to worry because they were working on it.

Today, finally I got an official email from this agency, addressed to the whole team that had worked on previous EU projects informing about the tender. They will complete all docs for all translators by themselves - I do not need to furnish them any invoices or whatever because they have it all in their database. I can only supplement the information they have with anything relevant from other clients if I want. And it's not just "a possibility of a very serious cooperation in the future IF all goes OK", I am sure if they win it will be not only lots of hard work but also very good support from the agency - terminology databases, instructions "how to" and nearly 24/7 hot line with help - as in their previous project.

A good agency applying for a project like this does not need to hunt for unknown translators in the Internet. A good agency has their proven, experienced team of translators that can be trusted and who can trust the agency.

Wish you all work only with good agencies,

Joanna


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:08
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
yes, but... Oct 9, 2007

Dear Joanna,

Youe words are reasonable. But I have one more question.


Let's say an agency (good or bad - whatever) asks a freelancer for the docs for a certain EU tender. The freelancer agrees to provide these docs and to fill in all papers, etc. Then what? He/she sends the papers to the agency and HOW (in real life) the freelancer can know that the agency won or did not win the tender? Say, it is a decent agency and they play a fair game telling "we did not win - thanks for your cooperation and let's try other tenders". Normal - they can either win the tender or not win it (and the probability for winning is really a small one as the competition is very tight). But what about those agencies that win using the collected CVs and these people who provided the papers are only interesting till the moment the agency gets their papers? They say "we did not win" (even if they say something) and that is it. How can one check if they are telling the truth?

As far as I know (well, maybe I am wrong) - EU also has a certain policy on tender winner confidentiality. I do not want to have conspiracy theories, but I think there is a lot of space for manipulations if it is not possible to get an official confirmation (say, a EU letter copy) that the agency did not win the tender...Or is it possible to ask for some formal letter copy? The agency corresponds with EU officials in any case.

One more issue about the confirmation if the agency used the CV and papers of this and that freelancer to win the tender - well, they do not make any "criminal offence" just collecting the CVs and they can tell "well, we won the tender, but we did not use your CV and papers for it, nor did submit these to the EU, we used the CVs of others - thanks a lot for your time and effort"...What can you do here? Simply nothing.

This is a little bit weird




[Edited at 2007-10-09 22:09]


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:08
Latvian to English
+ ...
Agencies that win tenders Oct 9, 2007

Dear Marius

You can find information on the contract award notices on the DG for Translation website

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation/workingwithus/freelance/tender/close_tender_en.htm

and I'm sure I've seen the information elsewhere on the internet.

Whilst some agencies may be unscrupulous and end up using 'cheaper' translators after they've won a tender, the professional agencies won't, because they risk losing their reputation and ultimately, the volume of work they actually receive. Tenders are awarded to a number of agencies offering the same language combinations. There is no guarantee they will be given any work, because these agencies have to actually submit a bid for every job. The EC then evaluates the bids against various criteria, which include prices, reliability, accuracy of previous translations etc. Sub-standard work and a failure to meet deadlines will count against agencies when it comes to receiving jobs - therefore, the professional agencies will not cut corners.

As for the 'g-mail' agencies - well, that's why we have a delete key


[Edited at 2007-10-09 23:52]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:08
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Ignore Oct 10, 2007

Its the time of the year again. Experienced translators will hardly react to these inquests from unknown people. The home page of the cdt at www.cdt.europa.eu is a nightmare. Seems to be infected by some worm, when the page opens, a plate opens with "Hello. Do you want to play?" opens up. Very funny indeed.
We were discussing this last year: http://www.proz.com/topic/53788
Nothing seems to have changes so far, except this nice little "Would you like to play?".
Cheers
Heinrich


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dkalinic
Local time: 21:08
Croatian to German
+ ...
Ned nua amoi ignoriern Oct 10, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Its the time of the year again. Experienced translators will hardly react to these inquests from unknown people. The home page of the cdt at www.cdt.europa.eu is a nightmare. Seems to be infected by some worm, when the page opens, a plate opens with "Hello. Do you want to play?" opens up. Very funny indeed.
We were discussing this last year: http://www.proz.com/topic/53788
Nothing seems to have changes so far, except this nice little "Would you like to play?".
Cheers
Heinrich


With such agencies, I do according to the good proven Austrian way: Ned nua amoi ignoriern.

Greetings,
Davor


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:08
Flemish to English
+ ...
Is an intermediary necessary. Oct 10, 2007

Jana Teteris wrote:
As for the 'g-mail' agencies - well, that's why we have a delete key


[Edited at 2007-10-09 23:52]


A bit off-the-cuff, but I find gmail a very handy and practical tool, more practical than the ISP of my regular service provider. Even hotmail (5 gig storage capacity) and yahoo (2.5 gig storage) have become more useful. I prefer to have my emails stored somewhere on-line with a backup at another e-mail provider.
---
Those "call for tenders" have been around for quite a while. I remember getting one offer from an intermediary for an EPAR. Minimum requirements as a translator were 3000 pages of proven translation in the field and as a health professional 1000 pages, proof of paying taxes, proof of being established as a freelancer or a company, proof of paying social security contributions and taxes, a description of the equipment you use, a bank-statement....
So, why do you have to go through an intermediary who makes money on your work? If you comply with the requirements, why not bid directly?
On the list of the winners of the tenders, there are are some freelancers too!


[Edited at 2007-10-10 09:21]


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