Asked to reduce wordcount after job is completed.
Thread poster: Jana Teteris

Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:03
Latvian to English
+ ...
Mar 30, 2005

I was contacted by a client today regarding I job I completed a few weeks ago. It was a fairly large job (c. 12,000 words) and the client is not one of my 'regulars'. We agreed on a rate and wordcount (source) before I started the job and the client (who has a high rating on the blueboard) issued a PO. So far so good.

Today the client asked me if I would consider decreasing the wordcount by 1000 words, as they are over budget on this project.

I am tempted to say that maybe they should delete 1000 words from the text, but there is probably a more tactful way of getting out of this situation. Like I said, PO/rate/wordcount were agreed up-front and I received no negative feedback on my work. Any suggestions?

[Edited at 2005-03-30 20:44]

[Edited at 2005-03-30 21:15]


Bosnian to English
+ ...
Reduce source word count?? Mar 30, 2005

If the rate was agreed on the source word count, it seems to me that there is no reason why the agency should be over budget, except for poor planning on their part, which shouldn't result in you not getting paid the agreed amount.

I would say that maybe if your rate is for the target word count, and it expanded significantly from the source count, you could think about reducing a bit, if you think that there is the potential to work with the agency on big projects again. This should be done only on a one-time basis, though.

If the rate was for source count, then they should have known what the translation would cost, and they should bear the burden of their own mistake, and learn from it for the next time they estimate their project costs.

Best of luck to you!!



Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
French to English
Ridiculous. Mar 30, 2005

I agree with Vera. That's a ridiculous request. No reason you should have to sacrifice income for poor planning on their part. Should you lose this new client by refusing, at least you have the consolation that no such requests will be made of you again.



TesCor -
Local time: 06:03
French to English
no Mar 30, 2005

Do you think your credit card company would knock some items off your bill because you were over budget this month? Definitely not. Then why should you? Besides, even though 1000 words may not seem like an awful lot, you'd be setting a precedent with this client. Maybe you can offer an extension on payment for the extra thousand words.


sarahl (X)
Local time: 03:03
English to French
+ ...
Bad news! Mar 30, 2005

I would stick by my guns! The way I see it, they're trying to renegotiate a deal that is already closed. Bad sign. I would say no and steer clear from them in the future.




Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:03
Italian to English
+ ...
outrageous! Mar 30, 2005

If I've understood you correctly, you've already completed the work and the agency is asking for a discount?

It is 100% up to the agency to bear the cost of their own error, especially as you were going on the basis of source word count, which is pretty much set in stone once you have your PO and are given the go ahead.

Please, please add your experience to the Blue Board.

Good luck, Jana.


Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Right on, Teresa! Mar 30, 2005

"Maybe you can offer an extension on payment for the extra thousand words."
This is the most I would offer to do. It is a tactful way to deal with the situation as it does not alienate the client (just in case there is some future possibilities with them), and you do not lose any money. A discount after the fact is definitely out of the question.


Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:03
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Since you agreed on a source word count, there is absolutely no need to decrease it Mar 30, 2005

Jana Teteris wrote:

We agreed on a rate and wordcount (source) before I started the job and the client (who has a high rating on the blueboard) issued a PO.

That should be the end of it: if the agreed-upon word count had been target, and you had run significantly over the estimated word count, I could see their point, but since the word count in question is the SL word count (which presumably has not changed), there is absolutely no reason for you to give them what would amount to an ex post facto discount.


Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:03
Spanish to English
Or to take it from another angle... Mar 30, 2005

Some businesses have the practice of offering discounts for early payment. Tell them that you might be willing to accept their request, if they are willing to make immediate payment (i.e. you will offer a discount for early payment). If they can't pay within one week, then don't bother offering the discount.

This could be another approach, if you aren't happy with offering them more time to pay the balance. Who knows, you might have the money in your pocket quicker!

Best of luck!



Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:03
Italian to English
+ ...
Tell them... Mar 31, 2005

... that if you reduce the job by 1000 words then you'll be UNDER budget. After all, you probably had to turn down other work to do theirs.
Perhaps you could send them a complimentary calculator since they clearly have math problems.icon_wink.gif


Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:03
Latvian to English
+ ...
Thanks! Mar 31, 2005

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and support! I'll try the option of offering extended payment on 1,000 words and see what happens.



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

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

Asked to reduce wordcount after job is completed.

Advanced search

memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
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 »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search