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Banned outsourcer operating on Proz
Thread poster: Helen Shiner

Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Dec 31, 2010

In November 2010 I was contacted by a outsourcer from a translation company based in Paris and Szeged with a request to do a translation at short notice. I did not know the individual or company concerned, but since the Proz system said he was not a registered user of the site, I did not check the Blue Board. I didn't find anything untoward elsewhere and since he was very polite and business-like, I took a chance on what was a relatively short translation. The person concerned agreed to my terms (including my explicit statement of strictly 30 days payment after date/receipt of invoice). I sent a reminder for payment earlier this week, only to be told by this person that he would "try and pay by 45 days". I told him that this was not what he had agreed to, and asked for immediate payment. At this point, I think because I had forgotten that Proz had told me that he was not a registered user of the site, I checked the company on the Blue Board, only to discover that they do actually have a record. Unfortunately, I also discovered that Proz had banned this company from operating via the site in August 2006. Bizarrely, however, I also found that 9 Proz translators have been able, and chosen, to rate the company since they were banned (most have given them 5s with some 4s).

How can this happen? I would have hoped that individuals from banned firms would not be able to contact us, particularly where they use company e-mail addresses, such as in this case. I have submitted a support ticket querying this situation and asking if there is any way Proz can tighten up the system to prevent this happening again to anyone else. Has anyone else had experience of such a situation? And does anyone have any views about translators continuing to be able to rate banned outsourcers?

[Edited at 2010-12-31 11:48 GMT]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 11:59
French to Dutch
+ ...
Being banned by proz only means that the profile is disabled Dec 31, 2010

It doesn't mean that the company is out of business.

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:59
French to German
+ ...
Found this... Dec 31, 2010

Last comment on the linked blog post: http://tinyurl.com/38hp48c

(.../...)
I would expect the same in this case, so the message (which is a general message that comes up in these cases) on our site might better read “Job postings are not currently being accepted from this company.”


[Modifié le 2010-12-31 13:39 GMT]


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Disabling the profile Dec 31, 2010

NMR wrote:

It doesn't mean that the company is out of business.



Thanks, NMR. The problem seems to be that the profile has not been disabled, or fully disabled, if 9 translators have been able to rate the company since it was banned. I suppose I am surprised that e-mails from that company have not been blocked/barred, but perhaps this is not possible.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:59
French to German
+ ...
Two different things Dec 31, 2010

Not accepting job postings from company X does not mean that the company's profile is or will be completely removed.

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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reinstatement Dec 31, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Last comment on the linked blog post: http://tinyurl.com/38hp48c

(.../...)
I would expect the same in this case, so the message (which is a general message that comes up in these cases) on our site might better read “Job postings are not currently being accepted from this company.”


[Modifié le 2010-12-31 13:39 GMT]


Thanks for providing that, Laurent. Perhaps that is the reason. Although if the company had been reinstated/had redeemed itself, would the banner re banning still be visible at the top of its Blue Board profile? I hope Proz.com will clarify shortly.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Helen Dec 31, 2010

Helen Shiner wrote:
1. ...but since the Proz system said he was not a registered user of the site, I did not check the Blue Board.
2. Bizarrely, however, I also found that 9 Proz translators have been able, and chosen, to rate the company since they were banned (most have given them 5s with some 4s).


1. AFAIK a company does not have to be registered on ProZ.com to have a Blue Board record. AFAIK any translator can add a translation company to the Blue Board even if that company is not registered on ProZ.com. Can anyone confirm?
2. Being banned from posting jobs doesn't mean being banned from getting further ratings on the Blue Board.


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Being banned Dec 31, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Helen Shiner wrote:
1. ...but since the Proz system said he was not a registered user of the site, I did not check the Blue Board.
2. Bizarrely, however, I also found that 9 Proz translators have been able, and chosen, to rate the company since they were banned (most have given them 5s with some 4s).


1. AFAIK a company does not have to be registered on ProZ.com to have a Blue Board record. AFAIK any translator can add a translation company to the Blue Board even if that company is not registered on ProZ.com. Can anyone confirm?
2. Being banned from posting jobs doesn't mean being banned from getting further ratings on the Blue Board.


Thanks for clarification re your point 1. That is probably the case. As for point 2. I wasn't aware that being banned meant solely being banned from posting jobs. It should also mean being banned from offering work in whatever form, I should hope. And as for professional translators rating banned companies, since banning stems from non-payment of other professional translators, words fail me....

[Edited at 2010-12-31 15:01 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
How would ProZ.com police that? Dec 31, 2010

Helen Shiner wrote:
I wasn't aware that being banned meant solely being banned from posting jobs. It should also mean being banned from offering work in whatever form, I should hope.


How would ProZ.com prevent a banned outsourcer from offering jobs via ProZ.com, unless the outsourcer is banned from ProZ.com itself? Check for us again whether the outsourcer was banned from ProZ.com or banned from posting jobs on ProZ.com.


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Banning Dec 31, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Helen Shiner wrote:
I wasn't aware that being banned meant solely being banned from posting jobs. It should also mean being banned from offering work in whatever form, I should hope.


How would ProZ.com prevent a banned outsourcer from offering jobs via ProZ.com, unless the outsourcer is banned from ProZ.com itself? Check for us again whether the outsourcer was banned from ProZ.com or banned from posting jobs on ProZ.com.


This is the banner above the outsourcer's profile:

August 27, 2006, 12:21 pm This outsourcer has been banned from ProZ.com

As to how they might do it, I am no technology expert, but I would imagine in the same way as one bans any other e-mail address or suffix (ie anything with xx@outsourcer.com) but maybe that is not possible.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:59
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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How did they contact you, Helen? Jan 1, 2011

Did they contact you via your profile, using the Profile mail function, or did you get an email directly to your email address?
Katalin


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:59
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
To Samuel Jan 1, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:
1. AFAIK a company does not have to be registered on ProZ.com to have a Blue Board record.

Correct.

AFAIK any translator can add a translation company to the Blue Board even if that company is not registered on ProZ.com. Can anyone confirm?

Yes, this is correct, too.

2. Being banned from posting jobs doesn't mean being banned from getting further ratings on the Blue Board.

And this is correct, too.

So, three points for you!

Katalin


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Banned Jan 1, 2011

Helen Shiner wrote:
This is the banner above the outsourcer's profile:
August 27, 2006, 12:21 pm This outsourcer has been banned from ProZ.com


Thanks. The Blue Board is indexed by Google and that line is googleable, so now we know who the outsourcer is (unless more than one outsourcer was banned on that date).

I notice that the outsourcer's name has xxx prepended to it. This normally happens when an user had a profile, but the profile was deleted by ProZ.com staff for some or other violation -- but it is not necessarily payment related. I'm not sure if forum rules allow me to speculate about why the outsourcer was banned, but... I wonder if it is significant that the outsourcer wasn't merely banned from posting jobs, but banned altogether.

The Blue Board entry for this outsourcer shows that they have a very good payment record, but that simply means that the translators were happy with the payment arrangements -- it doesn't mean that they paid quickly or that they paid a lot of money or that they were eager to submit to the translator's own payment terms.

Nothing prevents a banned outsourcer from doing searches in the ProZ.com directory for potential freelance translators. Also, any member of the public can send an e-mail via ProZ.com's message system to freelancers, even if the sender is not registered at ProZ.com. Such an e-mail will state that the sender is not a registered member of ProZ.com, and I can understand that this might create the impression that the person has never been a member of ProZ.com either.


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Contact Jan 3, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Did they contact you via your profile, using the Profile mail function, or did you get an email directly to your email address?
Katalin


He contacted me via the Proz mail system hence the information that he was not a registered user of the site. He did, however, do so using a company e-mail address, rather than a private one. My suggestion really is that, if the Proz system can scan to say a person is not registered to the site, perhaps it might also be useful (and prevent such things happening again), if it were possible for it to say, "this person is contacting you from a company with this profile on the Blue Board: xx" or "this person is contacting you from a company which has been banned from operating on Proz.com". If that is possible, I would consider it an improvement and it would have the added benefit of giving the Blue Board a higher profile.


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Samuel Jan 3, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

Helen Shiner wrote:
This is the banner above the outsourcer's profile:
August 27, 2006, 12:21 pm This outsourcer has been banned from ProZ.com


Thanks. The Blue Board is indexed by Google and that line is googleable, so now we know who the outsourcer is (unless more than one outsourcer was banned on that date).

I notice that the outsourcer's name has xxx prepended to it. This normally happens when an user had a profile, but the profile was deleted by ProZ.com staff for some or other violation -- but it is not necessarily payment related. I'm not sure if forum rules allow me to speculate about why the outsourcer was banned, but... I wonder if it is significant that the outsourcer wasn't merely banned from posting jobs, but banned altogether.

The Blue Board entry for this outsourcer shows that they have a very good payment record, but that simply means that the translators were happy with the payment arrangements -- it doesn't mean that they paid quickly or that they paid a lot of money or that they were eager to submit to the translator's own payment terms.

Nothing prevents a banned outsourcer from doing searches in the ProZ.com directory for potential freelance translators. Also, any member of the public can send an e-mail via ProZ.com's message system to freelancers, even if the sender is not registered at ProZ.com. Such an e-mail will state that the sender is not a registered member of ProZ.com, and I can understand that this might create the impression that the person has never been a member of ProZ.com either.


I am not sure where the 'x's are which you mention. I don't see them on the Blue Board entry for this company.

I don't agree that this company can be described as having a good record (payment or otherwise) when translators have rated it, 1, 2 and 3 (amongst the 4s and 5s that have appeared since the banning).

Please see my comment to Katalin with regard to the information provided by the Proz.com search function when one receives an e-mail via Proz.com mail.


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