Subcontract translator contacted my client - what should I do?
Thread poster: Doris Fukuda

Doris Fukuda
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 14, 2003

If a subcontract translator contacts my client directly, after expressly being told not to, what actions should I take? All opinions welcome.


Klaus Dorn (X)
Local time: 10:55
German to English
+ ...
Is there anything in writing? Jan 14, 2003

If you have a signed agreement, in which the subcontactor is explicitly told not to contact the client, then the subcontractor is in breach of the agreement - it should also state the penalty for such behaviour (ie. non-payment).

If there\'s nothing in writing, you should talk to the client and ask them not to negotiate with the subcontractor and hope for their co-operation.

Ideally, you would also have an agreement with the client, which states that they cannot talk to the subcontractor unless you explicitly allow it.


Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:55
Dutch to English
+ ...
Subcontractors Jan 14, 2003

It depends why the subcontractor contacted your customer. If he or she required information to do the translation, I would just ignore it.

However, if the subcontractor wishes to work directly for your customer you could tell him or her that this is not very ethical. Have you got a contract with the subcontractor? Was it signed? Or did you have a verbal agreement? How do you know that the subcontractor contacted your customer?

I don\'t think there is much you can do if the agreement was verbal. You could discuss it with your customer but the chances are that your customer will not use either of you in the future.


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:55
English to German
+ ...
More background is needed, I'm afraid... Jan 14, 2003

To really help you in your judgment, we would need to know more background information - I do get the feeling that this will be difficult and/or controversial to post...


Andrew Poloyan
Local time: 10:55
Russian to English
+ ...
It really depends... Jan 15, 2003

Depends mostly on purpose of contacting the customer. If the subcontractor had been told, for instance, that the project was extremely urgent and could not contact you it would only be natural to try to contact the customer directly. The same applies to cases, when some explanations and/or feedback are essential for translation. However, if the purpose was just malicious stealing of customers... well, I think, you know the answer already. It is not easy to tell between those situations, so why not ask the subcontractor? If the reasons s/he provides are satisfactory, then you probably should even thank the person for going an extra mile and doing your job. icon_wink.gif If not... well, the choice is yours. I usually give such people a second chance (provided the translation is really good). But no thirds..


Doris Fukuda
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks to all of you! Jan 16, 2003

Thanks for your comments!


Arthur Borges
Local time: 15:55
+ ...
I have this Turkish friend, a very broke and lively Ottoman aristocrat Jan 17, 2003

...who had her family jewels stolen one day and there wasn\'t the slightest trace of ill-ease on her face the following day.

When I asked her why she wasn\'t upset she just said, \"Oh in Turkey we say that when someone robs you, he takes away your bad luck.\"

If, as other colleagues have already aptly noted, her/his intentions were of moderate honesty, you may seek consolation in this worldview.


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Subcontract translator contacted my client - what should I do?

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