Agency is not ready to make a reference
Thread poster: Ata Arif

Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:45
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
Jul 21, 2011

Hello,
For the previous three years I have been collaborating very well with a known translation company. So far I have translated more than one million words for them and I did not have any issues regarding quality, delivery etc.. However, when I asked for a reference for a professional body they said they cannot comment on:
'level of expertise, quality, delivery, ability to communicate etc..'
Do you think this is appropriate?


[Edited at 2011-07-21 19:07 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is appropriate Jul 21, 2011

They can do as they wish since I reckon no previous agreement or contract forces them to issue such a reference.

Having said that, I think it would have been a nice gesture from them to issue a reference. I had a similar situation in the past (registering for the ATA certification exam) and the two customers I asked were very kind indeed and wrote very nice references. I will always appreciate that.

[Edited at 2011-07-21 11:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:45
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Their answer does not make sense to me Jul 21, 2011

Wasn't the ''level of expertise, quality, delivery, ability to communicate etc..'' demonstrated by the delivery of more than one million words for them without ''any issues regarding quality, delivery''???

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 11:45
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
An honest answer is great Jul 21, 2011

It's great that they told you this, because surely you wouldn't want them to say this to a potential client of yours!

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:45
French to German
+ ...
Same as with WWA... Jul 21, 2011

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

It's great that they told you this, because surely you wouldn't want them to say this to a potential client of yours!


I would not be that certain about the supposed innuendo of the agency's reply.

Many agencies won't post any WWA rating even when asked for it on a purely personal and confidential basis, the explanation being that every translator having worked with them *may* in turn ask for a WWA, thus 'forcing' the agencies to leave low WWAs about not-so-brilliant translators, who by nature think they are of course close to perfection.

Those agencies thus make the choice of not rating anybody, whatever the purpose may be.

Certainly not kind and maybe a tad unprofessional to some among us, but a great way to protect one's back: "No comment!"

The problem, of course, is that such an attitude will trigger a negative impression rather than a positive one about the translator.

[Edited at 2011-07-21 11:53 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:45
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Jul 21, 2011

Thank you all for your kind replies and sympathy but just I have a quick comment about the supposed 'honesty' of the agency.
I got the following reply from them when I asked why?

Hi Ata

Yes, it does sound a bit strange, but I have been advised that we should not give out any information other than the very basics, despite the fact that you have worked with us for years and we know the level of quality you provide.

This tighteneing of our policy will apply to all our subcontractors regardless of how long they have worked for us etc.

Sorry I cannot be of any further help.

Kind regards
****

[Edited at 2011-07-21 12:55 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-07-21 12:56 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stefano Nicola D'Amato  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
In the US, at least, this has been standard practice Jul 21, 2011

Hello Ata,

In the US, at least, this has been standard practice for quite a few years now.

When requesting a letter of reference/recommendation, companies are unwilling to write something other than just the facts of your employment.
I guess there were a lot of problems with liability issues, i.e. the company later being sued for writing something that was more of an opinion rather than verifiable data.

If you were to approach an individual (maybe someplace you have volunteered, a professor, or even an experienced translator that you have worked with), they won't have the same liability issues that a company might face.

I lived almost a year in the UK and found that a lot of business practices were similar in both countries.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
For precisely this reason I am never willing to ask for references. Jul 21, 2011

I do not see why any agency should collaborate in this way with its competitors.

How many other professionals have to give references before clients will work with them? Lawyers? Dentists?

Your qualifications and credentials should be enough. Endorse the Code of Conduct on this site and any other professional association you belong to, and if any clients are kind enough to give you a WWA, then refer to those.

I point out that I have signed NDAs with most of my clients, and am bound by them. On a couple of occasions, after clients have given me (very good) references, I suddenly found that the volume of work coming from that client dropped to practically nothing. Others have simply said sorry, no when asked to give references.

I am willing to do short test translations, if it helps.
But I regard all information about my clients as confidential, and would certainly not disclose anything without their permission.

That is my take on it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:45
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Not so sure that doctors and lawyers don't need references Jul 21, 2011

Christine Andersen wrote:
How many other professionals have to give references before clients will work with them? Lawyers? Dentists?


Well, they don't have to give formal references, but testimonials sure help.
At least here in the US, and especially for complex or elective procedures (i.e., when the time and opportunity for choice exists), patients are usually encouraged to ask specialists about their rates of success and complication with the particular procedures being contemplated. My family have come to all our doctors (at least initially) by way of recommendations, and I've referred several patients to my dentist, who was also recommended to me.
I've never needed a lawyer, but my first instinct would be to contact a few lawyers I know and whose judgement I trust and ask "if this isn't in your field of expertise (criminal, probate, personal injury, what-have-you), and you were in my situation, whom would you YOU want handling your case"?

Perhaps the situation is different in other countries...?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:45
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
References in our business Jul 21, 2011

I think the idea of references is not bad in itself, but it really makes sense in industries like construction, networking etc. There, they complete a large project for their customers and will probably not work for them again, because how many buildings or networks can you build for a single customer. In our line of business we are expected to provide references from customers for their competitors, which makes things very awkward. Plus, our current customers might suspect we don't want to work for them any longer and start looking for a replacement.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:45
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
NDA strictness Jul 21, 2011

Christine Andersen wrote:
I point out that I have signed NDAs with most of my clients, and am bound by them.


Surely we are all, but I believe that most of the clients do not require being silent about the arrangement? Thus, most of the clients have no reason to reject giving references for an exam entrance?


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 »

Agency is not ready to make a reference

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »



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