Moderator topic

Wordcount issue with the client
Thread poster: Dora Evagelinaki

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
May 3, 2012

Dear colleagues,

I've been having an issue since yesterday and I would like to ask your opinion about this. I have a firm opinion about this but well, maybe I'm wrong (I hope not!).

Recently, I have delivered a job to a new client, I have the PO clearly stating the rates as well as some other instructions. The thing is that yesterday when I issued my invoice and sent them to them, they told me I will have to revise it and reduce the wordcount by 300 words because that was the WC of the final file they sent to their client. Does this make any sense to anyone? Not to me, especially since I haven't agreed on this.

This is not about the WC or me being paid less, this is about me feeling that my work is not respected.

I would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Best,
Dora


 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 08:09
English to German
Misunderstanding? May 4, 2012

Dora Evagelinaki wrote:

they told me I will have to revise it and reduce the wordcount by 300 words because that was the WC of the final file they sent to their client.


An idiotic argument. They have to pay for what YOU delivered to THEM.

Does this make any sense to anyone?


Maybe there is a misunderstanding somewhere?

this is about me feeling that my work is not respected.


Business is business, feelings are feelings. Did you ever think of your car dealer's the feelings?


 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Rolf May 4, 2012

No, I don't think there is a misunderstanding, I think they are trying to paying less for an urgent job delivered on time and with no quality issues.

 

Dr. Matthias Schauen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:09
Member
English to German
No opinion without further information May 4, 2012

Were you supposed to get paid by source WC or target WC?
Did you agree on a specific WC before?
Were you supposed to omit certain parts from translation (tables, footnotes, references...)?
Were the three items above agreed on in writing?
What did the agency delete from the file you sent them?


 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarifications May 4, 2012

They agreed to pay me according to the target WC so we haven't agreed on a specific WC in advance.

No, I wasn't supposed to omit anything, I had to translate everything, even what was included in the stamps.

I have the PO where it is mentioned that I will be paid according to the WC of the target files. Nowhere is it mentioned that I was going to be paid according to what the agency would deliver to the end client.

No, I haven't compared the documents you mention, I really don't have time for this, this was quite a long job.


 

Dr. Matthias Schauen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:09
Member
English to German
Then... May 4, 2012

Rolf Keller wrote:

Dora Evagelinaki wrote:

they told me I will have to revise it and reduce the wordcount by 300 words because that was the WC of the final file they sent to their client.


An idiotic argument. They have to pay for what YOU delivered to THEM.



...since this was according to your agreement.

It also isn't simply an issue of using different word-count methods (Word vs Anycount etc.)?


 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So typical! May 4, 2012

Actually, they had been contacting me for jobs for quite a long time now but this was the first time I agreed to work with them. The reason I refused in the past was simply that the rates they offered were very low. This time, I managed to negotiate a quite acceptable price (which they even asked me to reduce by 0.005/word, which I did). So maybe this was my fault after all, having agreed to work with them!

 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No different wordcount methods! May 4, 2012

Dr. Matthias Schauen wrote:

Rolf Keller wrote:

Dora Evagelinaki wrote:

they told me I will have to revise it and reduce the wordcount by 300 words because that was the WC of the final file they sent to their client.


An idiotic argument. They have to pay for what YOU delivered to THEM.



...since this was according to your agreement.

It also isn't simply an issue of using different word-count methods (Word vs Anycount etc.)?


No, the file I delivered was a Word document, so I don't think this is the case.

Thank you both for your answers!


 

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:09
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask where the difference is May 5, 2012

Have you asked where they get their word count from?

What percentage of the overall job are these 300 words? you say it was quite a long job

Just because you sent the files in MS Word does not mean that is how they count their words, they may well have word counting software or use the word counting feature of a CAT tool.

One thing you should always agree on is how the word count will be determined (i.e. which program will be used to count the words).


 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your answer, Alex May 5, 2012

Hi Alex,

yes, they sent me the file they delivered to their client and this was also a simple Word file with 300 words less than the one I had delivered to them. So, no different word count methods.

The percentage is 10%, that is the file I delivered was around 3,000 words. What if their client decides to use the first pages of the file (which are the "useful" ones as this was a legal document and they were interested mostly in the parties involved), does that mean that I will have to be paid even less? All these make no sense to me at all!

Alex Lago wrote:

One thing you should always agree on is how the word count will be determined (i.e. which program will be used to count the words).


I've never thought about this before, as this is the first time I have encountered this issue in my six-year career as a freelance translator!


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:09
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Your agreement is with the agency May 5, 2012

Your payment has nothing to do with what the agency delivers to the end client, unless there is a quality issue. Perhaps they had the file proofread and the editor removed words, or changed structures, ending up with less words - it does happen. But it does not mean you get paid less. Changes in the text during proofreading is a normal part of the process.
Even if the end client pays by target word, the agency should have enough margin to cover the proofreading expenses and any differences between the translated and proofread documents. If they don't, than they have a problem with their business model.
A prefect example of why billing based on source count makes sense.

Katalin


 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My thoughts exactly! May 5, 2012

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Your payment has nothing to do with what the agency delivers to the end client, unless there is a quality issue. Perhaps they had the file proofread and the editor removed words, or changed structures, ending up with less words - it does happen. But it does not mean you get paid less. Changes in the text during proofreading is a normal part of the process.
Even if the end client pays by target word, the agency should have enough margin to cover the proofreading expenses and any differences between the translated and proofread documents. If they don't, than they have a problem with their business model.
A prefect example of why billing based on source count makes sense.

Katalin


Thanks Katalin,

I agree with you about the billing based on source word count. However, this was a scanned document containing many stamps, so they agreed to pay me based on the target word count.

[Edited at 2012-05-05 15:34 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:09
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
They're trying to cover something up! May 5, 2012

Dora Evagelinaki wrote:

I agree with you about the billing based on source word count. However, this was a scanned document containing many stamps, so we they agreed to pay me based on the target word count.


In my days as a PM before I managed to persuade the boss to bill source, I used to ask the translator to specify their WC on delivery, and unless I came back with another figure within 24hrs they were to put that on their bill.

(When I did get back to them, it was usually to point out that they had forgotten to bill something, like footnotes)

I often ended up with a lower WC after editing (one of my mottos being "cut the cr@p"icon_wink.gif)) ), and in that case the boss would charge the client the pre-editing WC. This was dishonest, of course and I was very relieved when I managed to persuade him that source would be easier all round.

It sounds to me like someone forgot to tell you not to translate the last page!


 

Dora Evagelinaki  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:09
Member (2009)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Another point of view! May 5, 2012

Texte Style wrote:

Dora Evagelinaki wrote:

I agree with you about the billing based on source word count. However, this was a scanned document containing many stamps, so we they agreed to pay me based on the target word count.


In my days as a PM before I managed to persuade the boss to bill source, I used to ask the translator to specify their WC on delivery, and unless I came back with another figure within 24hrs they were to put that on their bill.

(When I did get back to them, it was usually to point out that they had forgotten to bill something, like footnotes)

I often ended up with a lower WC after editing (one of my mottos being "cut the cr@p"icon_wink.gif)) ), and in that case the boss would charge the client the pre-editing WC. This was dishonest, of course and I was very relieved when I managed to persuade him that source would be easier all round.

It sounds to me like someone forgot to tell you not to translate the last page!


Thank you for this point of view!

I wouldn't really mind if we had agreed that in advance. They insisted on me changing my invoice to the WC they said, which I didn't.

There has been no further correspondence since the last time when I informed them that I was going to ask the opinion of my colleagues here at ProZ. So, I will have to wait until the payment is made and if they continue this kind of attitude, then my only "weapon" is the Blue Board, I think.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:09
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Hourly rate for scanned documents May 6, 2012

Dora Evagelinaki wrote:

Thanks Katalin,

I agree with you about the billing based on source word count. However, this was a scanned document containing many stamps, so they agreed to pay me based on the target word count.


In such cases (when the source wordcount cannot be obtained in an automatic way) the best is to charge by the hour, preferably giving an estimation of how long it would take. In essence, it could be handled like a fixed, lump sum job - that is probably the best.
If you work a lot with scanned documents, certificates, etc., you probably have a good idea how long it takes for you to produce the translations.
The point is to agree to the amount in advance, so there are no surprises at the end for either party. If you quote a fixed amount, the agency then can quote towards the end client, knowing what kind of margin they are going to make.
Of course, it takes a professional agency...

Katalin

[Edited at 2012-05-06 16:23 GMT]


 


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


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

Wordcount issue with the client

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
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 »



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