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Asking for a quote, quote given then silent
Thread poster: Mohd Hamzah

Mohd Hamzah  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 03:19
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
Mar 24, 2016

Hi.

Does anyone experienced a client who was asking about a quote from you after they send us the text to be translated.

Then, we provide them translation fee (which is affordable) when they got it, they are just gone and never reply your email. I was wondering what could be the reason, being an agency/end client?

Thanks a lot.


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Elif Baykara  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 22:19
Member (2015)
German to Turkish
+ ...
"not so good manners" Mar 24, 2016

This is the first reason that comes to my mind. It is definitely not that difficult to send an e-mail telling that they are not interested or so.

Elif


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Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:19
English to Russian
They don't dare to confess Mar 24, 2016

When they ask for your fee, they show interest. When they disappear after getting to know your fee, they show no interest any longer. This means, your "too high" fee is the cause. How can they confess they cannot afford your services. The best way is to keep silence.
I also experienced here on proz a situation when I was approached by a potential client. I didn't discovere my rate in the first letter but provided a test translation. When I declared my rate later, they pretended that they didn't receive my reply for hours.
8 hours later I received their message stating that "We see that you are not interested because you do not reply soon. Farewell!"
When I argued and showed them a screenshot, their reply was "Oh, what a pity. I overlooked your message. Sorry."
That's it. Never contacted me again since then.

A good combination of artificially created circumstances...

[Edited at 2016-03-24 05:21 GMT]


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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:19
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
They're shopping around Mar 24, 2016

They're probably asking for quotes from several different translators and they preferred someone else's quote over yours.

You said your rate was affordable but money is not always the only consideration. If, for example, one translator seems to have more experience with that type of text, they may be more desirable over another translator who is slightly cheaper but not as experienced in that particular field.

Anyway it's my opinion that if the quote was not complicated and only took a few minutes of your time, they do not owe you a reply or an explanation, except perhaps a message to thank you for your quote.

Edited to add: if you are truly interested, you could always send them a message after about a week (give them enough time where it is clear that they did not choose your quote) asking for feedback. But keep in mind that they do not have to reply.

[Edited at 2016-03-24 06:09 GMT]


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 20:19
Member (2005)
English to German
Passive-aggressive behavior Mar 24, 2016

The interesting thing is that "passive-aggressive" is a word in American English (is it in British English)?, but there is no real translation into my language (German), and only Americans seem to talk about this concept.

Does anyone else have this impression? That there are passive-aggressive people everywhere in the world but only Americans have a word for it? Or is it just me?


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Mohd Hamzah  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 03:19
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot Mar 24, 2016

Thanks a lot my fellow freelancers. I am sorry Ricki, I have no idea about that. Possibly our fellows could help for it.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
The behavior exists everywhere.... Mar 24, 2016

Ricki Farn wrote:

The interesting thing is that "passive-aggressive" is a word in American English (is it in British English)?, but there is no real translation into my language (German), and only Americans seem to talk about this concept.

Does anyone else have this impression? That there are passive-aggressive people everywhere in the world but only Americans have a word for it? Or is it just me?


I guess passive-aggressive is just more of "technical term", but in other cultures they are just being called "rude"

OP, what about "Give us your quote, give us your quote. It's urgent", and once you do, you get a reply in about a minute "We are sorry but the client has just cancelled the project".

It's so easy to do all sorts of things when people are hidden behind the screen. We are doing a blind, or at least semi-blind business. I rarely reply to mass emails; I am not saying they may not be considering others when the message is addressed at me specifically, but it does make a huge difference.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:19
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Authors Mar 24, 2016

Someone who has written a novel and wants it translated may not have any idea of the cost of translation. My normal rate is not high and I always offer a lower one to budding authors, realizing they can't afford full rates, but even so, many never reply. One who did said she was expecting to pay about a third of what I was asking.

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Giovanni Scalisi  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 20:19
German to Italian
+ ...
They don't like discussions Mar 24, 2016

One explanation could be that some translators don't just accept that their quote was declined, but they start answering that no, we are really the best, others are too cheap and therefore the quality is bad etc. .... So some clients prefer not to answer, in order to avoid lenghty and inconclusive discussions. It's their right anyway.

But you are right too, it's frustrating not getting an answer. Optionally, you could write after 1 or 2 weeks and ask:

"Did you have a chance to have a look to our quote dated [date] regarding the translation of your document into [language]?

In case you didn't receive our quote or the quote did not meet your expectations, I would appreciate some feedback. Have a nice day."


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
What they may be thinking... Mar 24, 2016

Jack Doughty wrote:

Someone who has written a novel and wants it translated may not have any idea of the cost of translation. My normal rate is not high and I always offer a lower one to budding authors, realizing they can't afford full rates, but even so, many never reply. One who did said she was expecting to pay about a third of what I was asking.


They may be thinking you are just having a lot of fun copy/pasting words from one language to another, so why they should pay you for your little enjoyable Lego game?


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
Not my impression at all. Mar 24, 2016

Giovanni Scalisi wrote:

One explanation could be that some translators don't just accept that their quote was declined, but they start answering that no, we are really the best, others are too cheap and therefore the quality is bad etc. .... So some clients prefer not to answer, in order to avoid lenghty and inconclusive discussions. It's their right anyway.

But you are right too, it's frustrating not getting an answer. Optionally, you could write after 1 or 2 weeks and ask:

"Did you have a chance to have a look to our quote dated [date] regarding the translation of your document into [language]?

In case you didn't receive our quote or the quote did not meet your expectations, I would appreciate some feedback. Have a nice day."


I don't think they are avoiding discussion for the reasons you mentioned. They are just too busy discussing things with other potential translators, and their staff is limited, ie. they don't have one person to deal with your reply, and the other to negotiate with other translators. So they allocate their time to what's more important to them, ie. finding a more affordable translator.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Happens all the time Mar 24, 2016

Mohd Hamzah wrote:

Hi.

Does anyone experienced a client who was asking about a quote from you after they send us the text to be translated.

Then, we provide them translation fee (which is affordable) when they got it, they are just gone and never reply your email. I was wondering what could be the reason, being an agency/end client?

Thanks a lot.



It happens to me all the time. We should just assume that when someone asks for a quote they are also asking other people and will probably choose the cheapest one rather than the best one.

Shortly afterwards we'll get another request for a quote, this time to proofread/rewrite a badly done translation


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Really? Mar 24, 2016

They were so much busy that (1) found at least one potential translator, (2) sent him a text and (3) tried to negotiate (actually bend preconditions postscriptum)--just to disappear? That won't do: "I've been galloping for three days just to say I don't love you!"

If the project was relatively important, then they would avoid bottom-feeders to evade penalties.
So, unless a rep is rather unqualified/incompetent or the project is no more topical, I think they just were doing a preliminary market research)
Perhaps, instead of writing they did say 'Thank you!' very politely and softly.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Simple bad manners Mar 24, 2016

Simply let is lie.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Probably more often than not Mar 24, 2016

Who are we to say our rates are average and/or affordable? My own are bang on the average calculated statistically on this site from translators' published rates (see the Community Rates tool). But some outsourcers who do reply with a negative response say that those rates are double or even treble the rate they are prepared to pay. There seem to be quite a few of them out there.

Fortunately, there are quite a lot more who understand that getting it done right from the outset can save money. Agencies sometimes learn that a cheap translation often needs major revision and can risk nonpayment or loss of a client. And direct clients learn that their lack of success in new markets is due to the GT quality of their materials. I always try to educate potential clients if it seems worthwhile.


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