client behaviour
Thread poster: Ronald van der Linden

Ronald van der Linden
Mexico
Local time: 20:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
Feb 12, 2010

I recently encountered clients who act a bit strange.

Client #1 I performed a translation, then the client reviewed the document and performed some lay-out technical changes, which he could have easily asked me to do. Without previous agreement he wanted to charge ME his time dedicated to the review, with of course a nice priced fee, more expensive than mine. This I was able to resolve without any problems.

Client #2 is an agency that currently has an enormous project, also a new client. Recently, I noticed difference in word count analyses, beneficial towards the client, as somehow more repetitions were calculated, while I had a lot more no-matches. So, based on my calculations I had to return the job, as I was promissed 6,000 words, but I calculated 9,000, a big difference in price and volume. Also, the agency clearly states in his emails that I MUST make sure to receive acknowledgement of receipt from them regarding my translated work. When I ask for a simple acknowledgement email, they don't understand what I'm talking about, asking me whether I don't receive their emails, stating that they have many more translators, basically that I'm a pain. Payment has not been overdue, as I agreed on a 60 days term.

I am not sure what to do in this particular situation. It could be that I'm too strict in my ways, as this is an Italian agency, but southern European ways are a bit more relaxed than let's say Dutch/German attitudes. However, I'm not feeling very happy about this situation. My question is, should I act now, or should I simply wait and see what happens?

Any thoughts?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 03:43
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
BB ratings on second agency? Feb 12, 2010

Did you check them at all before accepting this job?

Have you passed the deadline, and is your client asking for the translated doc(s)?

Have you tried to ask them in different ways whether or not they received your translated documents? Politely, obviously ;o)

If you suspect foul play, have you tried telling them: "Oh dear, it seems I have made a terrible mistake - did the translated file contain [this or that error, picture whatever you could think of]?" This could perhaps make them, inadvertedly, confirm receipt.

Hopefully, there is nothing wrong.
As you say, in souther European countries the way of doing things can be a bit different than what we are used to further north. ;o)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ronald van der Linden
Mexico
Local time: 20:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Feb 12, 2010

PCovs wrote:
Did you check them at all before accepting this job?

I think I did, but when I checked the agency again, I saw a past not too pretty, although the last 12 months were around 4.

PCovs wrote:
Have you passed the deadline, and is your client asking for the translated doc(s)?

No, I didn't pass any deadline. But I do remember that they sent me an email whether I could deliver earlier. So that's evidence of work in progress.

PCovs wrote:
Have you tried to ask them in different ways whether or not they received your translated documents? Politely, obviously ;o)

Yes, and I got an annoyed respons, saying why I needed so "many" confirmations. That other translators weren't causing so much problems as I did (not literal put this way...) But as soon as I asked work-related questions, they had no problems answering my questions.

PCovs wrote:
If you suspect foul play, have you tried telling them: "Oh dear, it seems I have made a terrible mistake - did the translated file contain [this or that error, picture whatever you could think of]?" This could perhaps make them, inadvertedly, confirm receipt.

That's a good idea to use. Thanks.

PCovs wrote:
Hopefully, there is nothing wrong.
As you say, in souther European countries the way of doing things can be a bit different than what we are used to further north. ;o)


I hope there's no problem either. We'll see... Although, I have experience with other clients in southern europe, never had problems before, except that 45-60 days payments are pretty standard.

Thanks for your tips.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:43
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
My experience is different Feb 12, 2010

PCovs wrote:
BB ratings on second agency?

Did you check them at all before accepting this job?
s you say, in southern European countries the way of doing things can be a bit different than what we are used to further north. ;o)

[/quote]

My experience of which I have more than 6 years:

1. Quite a large percentage of agencies is rather difficult or at least disappointing in their behaviour, despite a flawless or near-flawless payment record
2. #1 applies to agencies from all four corners of the earth in equal portions - no difference between North and South, East and West

Solution: win direct clients instead! Problem: direct clients generally prefer awarding jobs to agencies because these can make any deadline dream come true plus only need to be contacted once for translation into multiple languages (so-called one-stop shop principle).

So sometimes I think there's not a way out, really.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:43
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
.....cloggies Feb 12, 2010

..... but you're still getting..[bleeped].. over 3000 words, say you charge 0,10 euro / source word and the client pays 6000 words while you count 9000, that means you are now working for 0,066 instead of 0,10.... right,?,

So if you're the only smart translator to complain, I guess their busines model is based on fraud and you are not a model freelance translator in their eyes...

If you like the job and can live of 0,066 just continue, otherwise stick to your guns - Cloggies are not very likely to accept any fees lower than that....
(despite the offers we've seen here recently...., but that's a whole different discussion all over again)

Ed


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ronald van der Linden
Mexico
Local time: 20:43
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it's a job... and remains a job Feb 12, 2010

Sebastian Witte wrote:

So sometimes I think there's not a way out, really.


Well, it's after all a job, although I enjoy it a lot, it remains a job, with the ocassional problems. But sharing this made me feel more comfortable with this particular situation. Maybe, the agency is doing it's business the way it shouldn't, or maybe I'm just seeing an elephant where there really is a mouse.

To clear things up, #1 client was from Germany, so yes, it doesn't matter where the client originates from.

There is another solution. I met a notary here in Mexico, and he's trying to get some kind of system, where notaries are your guarantee when working internationally. Company A does business with company B. Company A signs contract with notary in country of A, and B does the same, money is deposited on a bank account over which the notary have control. If all the tasks according to the contract are performed, the money is transferred to B. Now, don't think of the current notary system, going to the notary, but imagine an online system and max 1 hour to have everything settled.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Act - to not work with these people again Feb 12, 2010

I'm not sure what you can *do*, but if I were in this situation, I would probably decide not to work with these particular clients again. They sound very unprofessional to me, and I don't think in this particular business that should depend on what country you're in.

1) With the first issue, were you specifically asked to perform layout work? Was this defined in a PO, agreement, or job description of some sort?

IMHO, whether or not you could have implemented the changes is completely irrelevant - what matters is whether this activity was part of your defined assignment. Of course, if you were asked to turn in a translation in the same format and layout as the original, and if you did not do this, then you did not complete the translation as it was assigned to you. That would be considered an error of sorts, and you could be expected in some cases to provide a corresponding discount.

If that's not the case, then I really don't understand what the client would have to complain about. It sounds fishy.

2) As far as word count, if there is a discrepancy and you don't catch this when the document is sent to you for initial review (assuming you do this prior to confirming the job), you could still mention this after you have accepted but before starting the translation. Your argument would then be that you were offered the job without being given correct information on the full scope of the assignment, and that your terms have to change accordingly before you can proceed.

If you did not find or mention the discrepancy before starting your work, I think you still have a case for being paid for the higher word count, but it is much weaker. You can't really plead "I didn't know" at that point, because you should have at least been aware of the situation when you started the actual work. Whether you want to try to make your case now is up to you, I'm not completely sure I understand the details of what happened.

3) As for being told (or even if it is implied) that you are bothering the agency when you ask for confirmation of receipt - that is just rude. I'm sure there are agencies that are working their associates to death (probably because they're too cheap to hire the staff they really need), and they may indeed "not have time" at the drop of a hat to answer your eMail.

But AFAIK, it is standard procedure in this business - where timing can be so critical and every step of the process usually needs to be documented in some way - for both parties to request confirmation of their communications, especially a finished piece of work.

I'm not sure what action(s) you're contemplating, but I think you already have good reasons to consider steering clear of these clients in the future.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

client behaviour

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search