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Thread poster: Ursula Peter-Czichi

Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:39
German to English
+ ...
Jun 30, 2003

I am probably not the only translator who has ever wondered whether a request for information or a test comes from a legitimate agency.

There are obviously all kinds of schemes out there. It is quite possible to spot repeat offenders (such as translators who let more specialized translators do test translations for them to get large contracts). However, now and then even translators who have been around the block a few times may actually wind up "helping" a fraudulent pretense agency.

The BlueBoard and other lists are helpful but by now a few stinkers easily navigate around them. Doing that is their specialty.

I wonder whether it would not be more helpful to have a listing of agencies and outsourcers who



  • are known to at least [number] of translators

  • have a known record of POSITIVE experiences with translators

  • honor contracts as well as other agreements

  • have a record of reliable quality control (not only for their sake)



Fraudulent people are impatient! Why not use that to keep them off an "Agency Excel List". They would never keep their greed in check long enough to establish positive relationships with translators or peers.
Who knows, one or the other pirate may find out that it is more fun to make money the old-fashioned way.

A positive listing would suffer fewer legal restrictions than a negative one.

I wonder what your opinions are.


Ursula


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:39
English to German
+ ...
Who? Exactly. Jun 30, 2003

Hi Ursula,
You have touched upon an issue that is of concern to quite a number of participants, freelancers and outsourcers alike.

As I have indicated in a few other threads, we're in the process of enhancing and restructuring the ProZ.com Jobs Area. A crucial part of this redesign will be the definition of criteria that will qualify participants as being trustworthy (couldn't think of a better word right now - let's be realistic: we'll never be able to conduct a full check on an agency or a freelancer, but we can defined certain criteria that can be verified). The VID system that's being rolled out is one of the building blocks involved (although VID'ing can be used for other purposes); a code of conduct for those participating will be another. To avoid misunderstandings: we're not thinking of reinventing linguistic credentials - this is being tackled from an economic/business angle.

Note that this will not only require quite a lot of conceptional work, but also involve a significant amount of programming. Please bear with us as work is in progress - thanks for your patience.

Best regards, Ralf


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:39
Member (2002)
English to German
Why not use the Blue Board? Jul 1, 2003

I may be overlooking something obvious, but I would think that the Blue Board can already be used as a positive list: positive comments are allowed and encouraged, and in fact many of the agencies listed have high ratings. Actually I already use it this way: if a prospective customer is not included (and there is no response from the PP list), I treat them with (almost) the same degree of caution than agencies with negative ratings.

Obviously people are more likely to make a Blue Board entry after a negative experience, but this is human nature, and a purely positive list would suffer from the same lack of enthusiasm as the "positive part" of the Blue Board.

Endre
EB Communications

[Edited at 2003-07-01 19:27]


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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:39
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ProZ Seal for Agencies Jul 1, 2003

Endre Both wrote:

I may be overlooking something obvious, but I would think that the Blue Board can already be used as a positive list: positive comments are allowed and encouraged, and in fact many of the agencies listed have high ratings. Actually I already use it this way: if a prospective customer is not included (and there is no response from the PP list), I treat them with (almost) the same degree of caution than agencies with negative ratings.

Obviously people are more likely to make a Blue Board entry after a negative experience, but this is human nature, and a purely positive list would suffer from the same lack of enthusiasm as the "positive part" of the Blue Board.

Endre
EB Communications

[Edited at 2003-07-01 19:27]


You are right about the BlueBoard entries. Personally, I would feel more at ease to make a positive entry than a negative one.


My idea was to give agencies with a certain level of positive feedback an easy way to show this status. What I had in mind was something similar to the SquareTrade symbol on ebay for example. This may make it faster to assess risks and establish a relationship of trust with agencies.

There is an incentive for agencies to ensure positive feedback. That could make a positive list work. More bids from better translators give agencies a better chance to keep their clients.

Last but not least, a positive list can be published openly anywhere (another incentive for outsourcers).

Ursula

[Edited at 2003-07-02 03:03]


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