Persistant project delays
Thread poster: Tai Fu

Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:12
Chinese to English
Sep 22, 2010


I finished a project with a software publisher (who doesn't outsource to agencies it seems) in Europe. I was told there are more projects the next day after the completion of the last job (which was about a month ago). However days turned into weeks, and week turned into a month, with promises from them that things would be ready "tomorrow or the day after" but then I hear nothing from them and was told that there would be a further delay week after week. I was told to be available for them and as a result I have not looked for any long term projects (and I don't really want to bid on short projects, because I felt it's not worth the trouble to bid and only get a few dollars for the effort).

However it has been close to a month and still no work, being told that there will be further delays. I am starting to wonder if the project won't happen at all, or are delays like this common in the localization circle?

I have begun the process of respond to other long-term project requests since I am beginning to think that this project isn't going to happen after all. However I don't want to accept a project, and then suddenly the project I had been waiting on comes online and I am met with more workload than I can possibly do (while maintaining acceptable quality).

Any advise here?


Local time: 09:12
French to English
Tell them Sep 22, 2010

that if they want to retain your services, they will have to pay you a retainer. Otherwise, you will start accepting other projects and their work will go to the back of the queue.

It's that easy.


Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:12
Italian to English
+ ...
Until it's on your desk, you're not booked Sep 22, 2010

That's my principle. Unless you're being paid a retainer, you are under no obligation whatsoever to keep your time free for when this mythical project finally arrives. They can't "tell" you to do anything - assuming you're a freelancer and not their employee.

I suggest you get out there and look for other work. If this project comes in, negotiate a deadline based on what other work you already have confirmed.


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Idem Sep 22, 2010

As others have indicated, learn this lesson: until you have the job in hand and a firm commitment (preferably in writing) from the client, you move ahead and put nothing else on hold. You should also tell the client that.


Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Local time: 22:12
+ ...
tell them Oct 4, 2010

There is a Russian proverb that goes "better a sparrow in hand than a crane in the sky", meaning that you are better off with smaller jobs that definitely pay, than a promise of a fat project in the indefinite future.

I've been burned on many projects before, for very many reasons, and until I have the files and a firm "go ahead", I don't make any definite plans. Besides, if it's a large project and you are getting overloaded, you can outsource some work or team up with a couple of colleagues.


Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:12
Chinese to English
Already bidding on other potential jobs Oct 4, 2010

Thanks for the advise... I am already bidding on other potential jobs. If this one does come around, then I will prioritize.


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Persistant project delays

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