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Thread poster: - your Swedish translation partner
Blacklist unreliable translation agencies and clients

Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:07
German to English
+ ...
Blacklist alone not good Oct 15, 2001

I agree with Robert Pranagal insofar as a blacklist alone is counterproductive. But I think that just pointing out the good guys is not enough.

I don\'t agree that just because there is \"no blacklist of translators\", there should not be a list that states if an agency is constantly causing problems. The agencies are in the stronger position in relation to the translators after all.

We should have a grading list with parameters that have to be discussed. This is not easy, because business customs in various regions are quite different.

E.g. Robert\'s proposal of payment grading does not work in Japan. All my customers would fall in the 1 or 0 category, because I never get my money earlier than 1 or 2 months after billing at the end of each month. The agencies in turn get their money even later from the customers, so they actually buffer these long payment terms for the translators. So they are \"good guys\".

I have discussed the question of litigation already above. It all depends on which procedure we implement. The safest way would be that before anything is published the agency should be informed about a complaint and have the opportunity to reply within a given period (2 weeks?) and inform us about any pending dispute with the translator. Only then the complaint should be published.

I guess, no translator in his right mind would dare to file a complaint against an agency about a disputed case in public.

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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
English to Swedish
+ ...
Yes, HALL OF FAME! Oct 16, 2001

Dear Robert,

I fully approve of the positive thoughts expressed in “HALL OF FAME instead of BLACK LIST”.

The method you propose does however leave space for improvement:

A. There is really only one relevant criterion, “Would one accept another job from them”. Anything else is false precision.

B. By working binary one automatically creates what we need, by mirroring.

I envisage the following:

1. ProZ members send names of agencies they want listed to ProZ.

2. ProZ invites these agencies to participate.

3. ProZ publishes two lists (List1: Agencies declining and List 2: Agencies not responding to the invitation) and one spreadsheet (Agencies accepting on one axis and translators on the other).

4. Proz members (Named!!!) mark the agencies “1” for “I have worked for them and would do it again” or ”0” for “I have not worked for them”. Agencies without mark do then, by default, fall in the category ……

5. ProZ processes the spreadsheet by adding the “1”:s, multiplying with 100 and dividing by the number of (total of participating translators – total of translators that have not worked for the agency).

Now we have a very sharp instrument, and no legal problems.

Examples (assuming 1000 participating translators):

The good agency: 20 of us work for it and all are happy with it >20*100/(1000-980) > Score: 100.

The rotten agency: 40 of us worked for it and 2 would do it again > 2*100/1000-960) > Score: 5.

Nobody ever marks any agency as bad. Any agency or translator can contact any translator who did not mark a particular spreadsheet cell and ask why.


What do you think?


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David Moran
Local time: 13:07
Swedish to English
Discussion Group Oct 18, 2001

There is a discussion group at Yahoo on this topic with over 4000 mails posted relating to different agencies around the world.

Here\'s the address to subscribe

The agency I work for is not on it

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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
English to Dutch
+ ...
Compromise: Payment/Business practices info page Oct 26, 2001

The good thing about these forums is that anyone can start new topics and that consequently lots of ideas, suggestions etc are being voiced on the most diverse topics.

As for this subject (blacklisting, whitelisting), please note that we have discussed this at great length last year on the Moderator\'s list and that it was finally decided (after weighing lots of pros and cons) that we should go for a:

Payment/Business practices info page

a page describing common-sense business practices and methods freelancers can take to protect themselves.

This page already exists (somewhere ).

Last but not least, please do not forget you agreed to the following when you registered(for very obvious reasons): is Only a Venue===

We\'ll say it again. is only a venue. We are not involved in the actual transaction between outsourcers and freelancers. As a result, we have no control over the quality or legality of the services, the truth or accuracy of information posted, the ability of service providers to perform services as represented or of service consumers to properly evaluate finished services. We cannot and do not control whether or not the parties to a transaction will perform as agreed. In addition, note that there are risks of dealing with foreign nationals who may not fall under the laws of your area, minors, and people acting under false pretense. Because user authentication on the Internet is difficult, Netconomics cannot and does not confirm that each user is who they claim to be.

It is up to you to communicate directly with anyone you meet at, with whom you are considering entering into a contract. Ask for any information you feel you may need to evaluate his or her trustworthiness.

Because we do not and cannot be involved in user-to-user dealings, in the event that you have a dispute with one or more users, you release Netconomics (and our agents and employees) from claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed, arising out of or in any way connected with such disputes. If you are a California resident, you waive California Civil Code Sec. 1542, which says: \"A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor.\"

Some people may post information that is offensive, harmful or inaccurate, and in some cases will be mislabeled or deceptively labeled. We expect that you will use caution--and common sense--when using

In short, if you have a question about an agency etc, you should indeed refer to TCR or any other list available for that purpose.

It\'s far too difficult and dangerous to get mixed up in a dispute between an agency and a translator as you hardly ever know what actually really happened.

Have a nice weekend,

Evert Deloof-Sys

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Non-Payment Jul 25, 2011

Nikki Graham wrote:

Does anyone know of other blacklists like this? I have a problem with a client (company, not agency), cannot take them to court as it would cost me more than what they owe me, and would, as a last resort, like to add them to such lists if all else fails.

Thank you

The idea of a blacklist has come to my mind as well after not being paid by a German client, which surprises me because German companies, agencies or direct clients do pay on or before time. My personal solution in this particular case is: the amount owed by the client is not worth hiring a lawyer - yet. Each reminder to that agency, after the first 2 free ones, includes a separate late payment fee. Since this agency doesn't even answer emails, and is therefore no objecting to the added fee(s), the amount they owe me will soon be large enough to hire a lawyer.

However, a blacklist can also backfire, especially when the client feels that s/he's being wronged. And it works both ways. Still, I fully agree that some agencies, also those who send out hundreds of "test translations" to just as many translators. Of course, unpaid, which is a "great" way of getting the translation without having to pay anything. There are a few like that around.

This issue should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Local time: 13:07
Spanish to English
Documenting the truth may not be enough Jul 25, 2011


There have been postings on this issue on the Italian forum in the past. It's not enough that what you're saying is true and even demonstrable, - you have be able to stand your ground if an agency threatens legal action (as some do as a matter of course, against the poster rather than the owner of the site ), and hope that it's a bluff. The agencies in Italy are counting on you being scared by the cost and time involved in settling civil cases in that country.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Blue Board Jul 25, 2011

Apart from the potential legal consequences of a "blacklist", I would much prefer expanding the existing Blue Board with a 3-point or 4-point rating system.

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Irene McClure
Local time: 13:07
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Check date on these posts Jul 25, 2011

This thread seems to have been resurrected from 2001, perhaps before the Blue Board was started.

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United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Drat! Jul 25, 2011

I've just wasted five minutes of my life reading this thread and thinking: Why on earth is no one mentioning Blue Board? Thanks to Thayenga for reviving the thread after ten years - which must be a record.

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Local time: 13:07
Albanian to Italian
+ ...
NO button Jul 30, 2014

I do not find the button NO!
NO, I would not work again with this service provider. I outsourced to him but I am not willing to work again with this service provider.
There are translators they submit machine translations, provide poor quality translations and do not deliver translations on time, or at all.
Please add the NO button.

Best regards,

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
English to German
+ ...
Hall of Shame Jul 30, 2014

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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:07
Lithuanian to Portuguese
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Also Yes to blacklisting Jul 30, 2014

Let's call the things their real names - if someone is brave enough for a foul play, then the other party shouldn't start looking for nice words, nice terms etc. thereof. Some transparency in our field is more than welcome.

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Chien Nguyen  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2014)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
good to new comers Jul 30, 2014

I think the blacklist is especially useful to me members or who are not to familiar with the BlueBoard or other forums threads.

Vietnamese - English translator
English - Vietnamese translator.

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Local time: 14:07
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
How to blacklist a translation agency? Dec 19, 2014

Hello everyone!
I've browsed the site, but I couldn't find the list of blacklisted agencies. Where is it?
How can I notify everyone of a non-paying agency?

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Tony M  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
French to English
+ ...
Not a 'blacklist' as such, bu the 'Blue Board' Dec 19, 2014

As has been stated previously, an actual 'blacklist' would be fraught with problems, but the equivalent is the Blue Board, here:

You can add a comment about an existing listed company, or, if the company isn't yet listed, you can create a listing for them and then invite others to add their comments too.

When considering working for a new agency, it's always a very wise step to check out if they have an entry on the Blue Board already.

Do also consider adding your favourable comments to agencies with whom you have had good experiences, since it obviously helps them, as well as putting any negative entries you may make into a better perspective.

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Blacklist unreliable translation agencies and clients

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