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PO without the name of the company on it
Thread poster: Shirley Lao

Shirley Lao  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
May 18, 2009

What do you think if you receive a PO with only the amount of the payment and your name on it? In other words, information such as the name of the company issuing this PO, the name of the person issuing this PO, the contact details of this company and other information is missing from the PO.

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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:22
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
suspicious May 18, 2009

I wouldn't accept it. If it only shows your name and the amount to be paid, it's useless.

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Shirley Lao  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much May 18, 2009

Hi Maria,


Thanks for your suggestions!


Regards

Shirley


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:22
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Ask for a complete PO May 18, 2009

I would write back to them saying that the details mentioned on the PO are precise, but the PO is incomplete without the following details: (here you give a list of what you would need). If they are reluctant to provide that then it is very suspicious, and I would not take the job.

Even if they provide a complete PO, the incomplete one sent in the first place is a bad start, so make sure their reliability in the Blue Board and elsewhere -- however, if they seem to be OK, you probably don't run an extra risk if you accept the work with the complete PO.

Kind regards,
Attila


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Ekin Ay  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:22
English to Turkish
+ ...
another question May 18, 2009

What if the PO contains all the necessary information except the word count and the amount to be paid? Because all the other POs from other clients contain the word count information and total amount as well. There is only the unit price on this PO. Also, it is not a PDF but a word document.

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Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 01:22
French to Greek
+ ...
It depends May 18, 2009

Hello Ekin,

I have had POs where the word count is not mentioned, simply because the agreed pricing was based on the target word count/line count, which of course, they do not know until the translation is completed and delivered. In that case, the client either mentions a provisional word count, based on the source text, which they then happily correct when I communicate the final word count, or they don't fill anything in, only the agreed price/target word or line, and they then complete the missing word count, as well as the total price, of course. I then get an updated PO.

If the agreed price is based on source data, then you should simply ask them to include the agreed terms in the PO, otherwise the mere existence of the PO doesn't make sense: the PO is supposed to clarify the terms of your collaboration, before it starts

Good luck
Yanna


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:22
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It is a question of business risk May 18, 2009

Ekin Ay wrote:

What if the PO contains all the necessary information except the word count and the amount to be paid? Because all the other POs from other clients contain the word count information and total amount as well. There is only the unit price on this PO. Also, it is not a PDF but a word document.


Hi Ekin,

The ideal PO would contain all these items as well -- and it is good practice to have have it included in the first couple of cases. Once you have a well established relationship with a client, and you feel that the missing information does not imply practically any business risk -- e.g., disagreement on whether the word count refers to the source or target language, disagreement on the actual word count (is Word's word count tool used or something else, are text boxes taken appropriately into account, are numbers counted, etc.), whether any discounts or surcharges apply, and so on -- then you may prefer to just send back an email with a confirmation of receipt and the word count (and full price), asking for a confirmation of the latter.

It is up to you to decide when you consider that the trust has been fully established. A good client would understand that you prefer to have everything clarified in a written PO -- it is in their interest as much as in yours.

Sometimes even a phone call is fine. Recently I had a proof-reading assignment, and the PM wrote "about 3 hours" on the PO. I phoned her and explained that in that case I can just check the translation for typos, grammatical mistakes, etc., without comparing it against the original (i.e., proof-reading, not editing), and even then, it may take more than three hours. She said it was fine. As it is a long-standing client, I did not insist on rewriting the PO. When I delivered the file, I added a line saying that as agreed, the spelling, punctuation, etc. of the translation has been verified, but problems with incorrect terminology, missing sentences etc. were outside the scope of this revision, so I waive all responsibility for them. Had it been a new client, I would have insisted that this information is included in the PO -- but here I felt that the chance that any disagreement could arise were so slim that the risk I ran was grossly outweighed by the advantages of showing a certain level of trust to the client.

This should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a new agency contacts you with a minimum-fee assignment and most but not all criteria mentioned in Ralf's article are met, you may say, well, there is a 15% chance that some problems arise, and that I eventually may lose my minimum fee. The company's profile is interesting and if it works out well it will lead to a very fruitful relationship for the future -- so I can win quite a lot. It is worth taking the risk, which is quite reasonable. So, you may prefer to clear up some points but still take on the job if you are not 100% sure. Still, if the same company comes back with a 50 k word project next time, you may prefer to take extra measures -- like partial advance payment -- simply because the risk you run with this particular assignment is higher than what with you are comfortable to take.

Kind regards,
Attila


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Ekin Ay  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:22
English to Turkish
+ ...
Thank you both so much May 18, 2009

Hi Ioanna and Attila,

In my case, the agreed price is based on source data and I myself calculated the number of words on the source document and specified this information with the total price on my invoice. The client contacted me via ProZ.com and I checked their BB records which look fine and they made me sign a couple of documents, a confidentiality agreement and such before we started working. They ask for my invoice immediately after I deliver each assignment. They agreed on everything I have specified on the invoice and it has been a good amount so far and maybe I am late to ask all these questions but other than this missing information I trust this client.
I also checked their website and in short everything seems highly professional. That’s why I just wondered if it is a normal practice not to mention the word count and the total amount on the PO and to leave it to the translator.

Thank you so much for your help!

Best regards,

Ekin


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Shirley Lao  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much May 18, 2009

Hi Attila,


Your suggestions are helpful. I will try them.


Regards


Shirley



Attila Piróth wrote:

I would write back to them saying that the details mentioned on the PO are precise, but the PO is incomplete without the following details: (here you give a list of what you would need). If they are reluctant to provide that then it is very suspicious, and I would not take the job.

Even if they provide a complete PO, the incomplete one sent in the first place is a bad start, so make sure their reliability in the Blue Board and elsewhere -- however, if they seem to be OK, you probably don't run an extra risk if you accept the work with the complete PO.

Kind regards,
Attila


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
shortly May 19, 2009

Shirley Lao wrote:

What do you think if you receive a PO with only the amount of the payment and your name on it? In other words, information such as the name of the company issuing this PO, the name of the person issuing this PO, the contact details of this company and other information is missing from the PO.




send them to the hell
do not waste your time


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
another strange question May 19, 2009

Ekin Ay wrote:

What if the PO contains all the necessary information except the word count and the amount to be paid? Because all the other POs from other clients contain the word count information and total amount as well. There is only the unit price on this PO. Also, it is not a PDF but a word document.


this paper equals a piece of another kind of paper for significantly different use ...***
(you can either think about love letter, toilet paper or tissue)


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 01:22
French to Dutch
+ ...
No, this isn't true May 20, 2009

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:

Ekin Ay wrote:

What if the PO contains all the necessary information except the word count and the amount to be paid? Because all the other POs from other clients contain the word count information and total amount as well. There is only the unit price on this PO. Also, it is not a PDF but a word document.


this paper equals a piece of another kind of paper for significantly different use ...***
(you can either think about love letter, toilet paper or tissue)



A PO without full name and address of the company issuing it, is not a PO and is illegal. All documents a company issues should contain officicial data (name, addres, place where it is registered, etc.). In fact this is also true for e-mails. If not, you'll never can prove that the company issued this purchase order.

A PO which contains a unit price is valid: 1 translation = XX,00 euros, for instance if you have a minimum amount. Personally I would like to invoice unit prices because invoices for a a number of words are ridiculous: we do not translate and deliver 345 separate words but one translation of 345 words as a whole.

The fact that the PO in this case is in Word is completely irrelevant. Even an e-mail can be a purchase order, and even handwritten toilet paper. In some circumstances, oral "purchase orders" are valid, for instance if you buy something in a shop. If a client brings you a birth certificate, you won't ask for a PO, he asked you to translate it and that's all.

It is up to you to choose if you want to work with or without PO. My best clients don't sent any, just e-mails with "can you do this". I say yes and know that I can begin my translation.


[Modifié le 2009-05-20 10:08 GMT]


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Ekin Ay  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:22
English to Turkish
+ ...
relief May 20, 2009

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:

Ekin Ay wrote:

What if the PO contains all the necessary information except the word count and the amount to be paid? Because all the other POs from other clients contain the word count information and total amount as well. There is only the unit price on this PO. Also, it is not a PDF but a word document.


this paper equals a piece of another kind of paper for significantly different use ...***
(you can either think about love letter, toilet paper or tissue)



After reading your post I would die of a heart attack! I have sent messages to other colleagues who had entries on BB for this agency and they said they had never had payment issues with that agency. What a relief!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do not accept it May 20, 2009

It really looks like this will bring trouble to you later on... :-/ Ask for a full PO with all business details.

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conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:22
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Get all the details in writing. May 22, 2009

If it is a client you have successfully worked with multiple times, it may not be necessary to have a written PO every time.

But if it is a new client, get everything in writing. The PO should have all the following information, at least:

Company name
Company address
Company phone number
Project manager's name
Project manager's email address
Project manager's phone number
Project name
Job number
Purchase order number
Name of document
Estimated (or fixed) word count
Whether the pricing will be in source or target words/characters
Rate
Estimated (or fixed) total cost
Currency
Payment method (PayPal, etc.)
Payment terms (X days after invoice date, etc.)
Date/time/time zone you will receive the document to be translated
Date/time/time zone the document is due

Protect yourself!

Also, before you work with any new agencies, check the Blue Board on ProZ to see if the client pays on time. And get the company's website URL, so you can check that too. If the person is using a hotmail email address or other webmail email, this is a warning sign. If there is no company website, or if the project manager will not tell you the name of the company, run away as fast as you can.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2009-05-22 20:53 GMT]


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