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Business email practices
Thread poster: TranslateEL

TranslateEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
English to Greek
+ ...
Feb 15, 2012

Hello everyone!

I have a dilemma and was hoping I could count on your experience for some adviceicon_smile.gif
Some days ago I received an email from a translation agency that went something like this:

"Dear translator,

Some months ago you sent us your CV and we included you in our database. We would like to collaborate with you in future projects that we receive from our clients. However, we need to establish the translation rates per source word.

We usually pay xxx euros per source word for the translation from English into Greek. We would like to know if this rate is acceptable for you. If not, please let us know your best translation rate.

Thanks a lot,

The xxx team."

I ignored the email since there was no information provided in its body that helped identify who it was from and if it was real.

Today I received the same email, this time with an empty subject matter!


The sender address contains no identifiable name (i.e. the address is something like "kca1@companyname.com")
There is no address in the body of the email and no other data on which I could base some research on the company. Just the message I posted.

I would normally under no circumstances ignore an email from a potential client, even if it was to decline an offer, but I feel uncomfortable answering to a potential spamer, or providing sensitive data such as price, to someone who doesn't even bother identifying himself.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? What would you do?

Thanks for any answers!


 

Miranda Drew  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:57
Italian to English
you're right Feb 15, 2012

I think you're right to be cautious. I would suggest writing them back to say something like:

"my rates depend on the type of document/field. Can you give me some details about the possible projects?"

Then you'll see if they can give you more information or not. Usually if it's a serious client, I think they would at least give you their name and contact info.


 

Kate Chaffer
Italy
Local time: 20:57
Member (2009)
Italian to English
Did you send your CV? Feb 15, 2012

Elissavet Tomprou wrote:

Some months ago you sent us your CV and we included you in our database.."


I suppose the first question is did you send your CV to this company a few months ago? Was the e-mail address the same?


 

Claudia Brauer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:57
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Do not touch it Feb 15, 2012

I would not touch it with a 10-foot pole. Everything in it shouts foul play! Respectable agencies usually send a NAME and phone number if you need to contact someone to ask a question. The absolute least I have seen is a link to their website, where you can actually fill out an online information sheet.

Leave it alone. You don't need the headache.


 

TranslateEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Business email practices Feb 15, 2012

Actually I did send a CV to a company with the same name some months ago BUT:

1. The email address I sent it to was different.

2. When they replied, the email contained a project manager's name and at the end of the email there was information about the company

3. The project manager that replied asked for my prices and I sent them to her last February (I found my email)

Regards,
Elisa


 

TranslateEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Business email practices Feb 15, 2012

Thank you all for answering!

I decided to ignore the email again.
I trust my instincts and your advice. The least a serious company can do (if it is indeed a company) is provide some essential information.

Have a nice day!


 

Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:57
German to English
+ ...
Elissavet, Feb 15, 2012

Why don't you ask them for their full contact information?

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:57
Chinese to English
Ask & warn the company Feb 15, 2012

We've seen companies getting hit by scams like this on the forums before. You could email the person you corresponded with a couple of months ago, tell them that there are strange-looking emails coming from them. If it's a scammer, they'll be grateful for the warning. If they have an employee with poor email etiquette, they should be glad of the reminder!

 

TranslateEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Business email practices Feb 15, 2012

Hello Phil,

you're right, I'll do that in case it is a scam.

Thanks!


 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:57
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Fishy Feb 15, 2012

I got the same email for my language pair and replied with my rates. No response so far, except that today I got the same email again, but for another one of my language pairs and with a slightly lower rate. I did wonder about the lack of any contact person name, address etc. but I answered the first time because I had exchanged some emails with a company of the same name earlier. But I agree now that it definitely smells fishy.

I contacted the agency in question to make them aware of the issue, and I also referred them to this thread.

[Edited at 2012-02-15 20:05 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:57
Member (2008)
French to English
Use email address to get web address Feb 15, 2012

If the email address is "kca1@companyname.com" then you can go directly to the company's website by changing the email address into a web address thus: www.companyname.com.

It might just be someone who doesn't have much of an idea of email netiquette and possibly a bit disorganized. With the company's website information you should be able to check them out by other means, such as the BlueBoard and other similar. I have had some similar clients and they turned out okay, but you still need to do due diligence on them.

[Edited at 2012-02-15 19:45 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
netiquette Feb 16, 2012

Actually I also ran into a similar more than uncomely 'letter' a few times, so I forwarded it to the company contact to make sure and it appeared to be a real PM, who started working on a new PC and had his automatic signature and credentials not specified...

Later he admitted this awkward chance error did cost him dearly because they had lost a few good clients and translators who just rejected or even blacklisted his messages and the domain as spamming.

Yet in a case of doubts I look the sender's IP up at WhoIsicon_wink.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Forgot to set up signature? Feb 16, 2012

Elissavet Tomprou wrote:
I have a dilemma and was hoping I could count on your experience for some adviceicon_smile.gif
Some days ago I received an email from a translation agency that went something like this...


Could it be that a new project manager was tasked with the simple task of getting rates from potential translators, and that that PM had sent the mail without checking whether the signature or template is in place (or in use)? If someone is used to writing e-mails within a template that already contains all the contact details etc, they will not include that information in the body of their mail.


 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:57
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Legitimate Feb 16, 2012

Well, in this case the email turned out to be legitimate - the agency replied to my message and confirmed that they did indeed send the emails. Very possibly it's as Samuel said, they simply forgot the signature.

[Edited at 2012-02-16 12:10 GMT]


 

TranslateEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still waiting for a reply Feb 16, 2012

Hello everyone,

I contacted the project manager of the company I exchanged emails with a year ago, informed her of the email and asked her to please get back to me and tell me if it was the real deal.

Still haven't heard from her but I won't reply to the email until she verifies that it is indeed from her company. I don't want spammers knowing my account is active only to eventually send me more such emails.

Thank you all for your input!
Elisa


 
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