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Can outsourcer with previously open non-payment report give service provider a negative WWA rating?
Thread poster: Thao Tran

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 00:39
English to Russian
+ ...
Bad advise Sep 5, 2018

Jo Macdonald wrote:


That said if they really publicly accused you of blackmail and breach of NDA, and you haven't committed blackmail or breached any NDA and they have no way to prove it, if it was me I'd already be taking them to court


Breach of NDA is the only indisputable "material witness" in this whole mess, and this weapon is not in Thao's hands. Publishing emails between her and the client in public forums is as "breachy" as it comes. NDAs cover not just the job proper but every beep and character of any verbal or written business exchange between the parties.


 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:39
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Accusation of blackmail is defamation Sep 7, 2018

IrinaN wrote:

Thao, I didn't want to add an insult to injury last time because you were quite upset first and very happy afterwards. But I'm afraid you didn't hear the colleagues who were trying to say the same as gently as possible.

You won a few bucks and lost a client in the UK, a client you referred to as “great” before this unfortunate predicament. Was it worth it? Apparently, on their side they decided that it was not. You did not defeat them, they got rid of you for a very small price, that’s all. Sounds like Pyrrhic victory to me. Please, for your own sake stop going around the world with this story.


I really disagree with the above and, quite honestly, I find the tone somewhat bullying. The main point of this Forum post is (or should be) whether giving an agency a negative rating risks a tit-for-tat retaliation on WWA. That actually does matter. If an agency deserves a poor Blue Board rating, then I want to be able to see that rating if I'm doing due diligence on them. It's right that a claim of non-payment should be deleted once the payment is made, but the translator should be able to still give information on the Blue Board about an excessive wait for payment. Because I know that there is pressure on translators not to give low BB ratings, I don't rely on good Blue Board ratings for agencies and always do further checks. One low BB rating and I check out who gave it and why; several low ratings and I look no further.

Fortunately, the negative WWA rating from this agency has been deleted from Thao's profile. I don't know how long it took ProZ moderators to delete it and hope they did so swiftly. In England and, probably, other jurisdictions, blackmail is a statutory offence. To falsely accuse someone of blackmail is, therefore, defamation. So, such accusations should not be permitted on ProZ unless proof is provided.

Thao says that this agency changed the rate for the job on their platform after the job was agreed. That is a serious allegation of fraud and shouldn't be made without proof. However, she says that after she escalated her complaint to the agency about this "very soon the CFO [sic] issued an apology and settled the payment". So, perhaps it wasn't a fraudulent change; perhaps it was a computer glitch? I must admit that the possibility of information on online platforms being fraudulently altered has occurred to me and that is one reason why I don't like to use them. It's advisable to back up any agreement in a secure format or, at least, take screenshots. Thao hasn't provided information about how overdue the payment was.

I've already checked to identify the name of this agency and made a mental note not to accept any work from them because of the blustering and defamatory WWA entry they made about Thao. So, thanks Thao. There are plenty of other clients out there.


Thao Tran
Daryo
 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:39
Serbian to English
+ ...
really? Sep 8, 2018

IrinaN wrote:

Jo Macdonald wrote:


That said if they really publicly accused you of blackmail and breach of NDA, and you haven't committed blackmail or breached any NDA and they have no way to prove it, if it was me I'd already be taking them to court


Breach of NDA is the only indisputable "material witness" in this whole mess, and this weapon is not in Thao's hands. Publishing emails between her and the client in public forums is as "breachy" as it comes. NDAs cover not just the job proper but every beep and character of any verbal or written business exchange between the parties.




"Our NDA must be obeyed, even if we couldn't care less about our obligations"

Really?

That doesn't sound to me like a foundation for a normal working relationship, more like a recipe for conman's paradise ...

"Breach of NDA is the only indisputable "material witness" in this whole mess"

As it happens, it's not. There is surely a trail of emails, dates of payments etc ...

This kind of approach would the same as this burglar who complained about "breach of privacy" because he was caught on hidden cam stealing.

I'm talking of a real case that ended up in the EU Court of justice (who sent the burglar packing, BTW)

IF you ignore your obligations, you can't expect your rights to be untouchable / elevated to the status of unalterable dogma. Basic principle, and it applies even in the case of one silly little translator dealing with a big agency...

[Edited at 2018-09-08 02:57 GMT]


 

Thao Tran
Vietnam
Local time: 12:39
Member (2017)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
CEO apologized and matter coming to an end Sep 8, 2018

Dear Thayenga,

Thank you very much for your point on back up documents. I was able to stay strong knowing that I have evidence to support my claim.


Dear Jo Macdonald,

Thank you for sharing your view on my matter.

Throughout my incidents with client, I consulted with a few senior translators / outsourcers on Proz, they advised me not to delete my review / rating in order for the Proz community to have a fuller picture of the client. Their
... See more
Dear Thayenga,

Thank you very much for your point on back up documents. I was able to stay strong knowing that I have evidence to support my claim.


Dear Jo Macdonald,

Thank you for sharing your view on my matter.

Throughout my incidents with client, I consulted with a few senior translators / outsourcers on Proz, they advised me not to delete my review / rating in order for the Proz community to have a fuller picture of the client. Their advice resonated with me.

However, when the CFO apologized on the PO amount changing matter and settled the payment (for that project) immediately, client still had to settle one last invoice (for another project) with me and I planned to improve client's rating a bit if the remaining invoice was paid on time.

Nearly a month later, the final invoice's due date came and went without me receiving the payment. After about 10 days with payment reminders yet receiving no response or update from client, I had to file non-payment report. The payment was settled immediately after.

When my rating was deleted (after non-payment report was closed), I had to give client a negative review because client had disrespected me not once but twice, and I strongly believe some PMs and the Vendor Management team from client need to change their way of working with linguists.

Regarding the untruthful comment that client's vendor manager placed on my account, the CEO provided me her apology again and I'm still having it contested. I don't know yet how site staff will decide but I'm positive that this matter is coming to an end.


Dear B D Finch,

Thank you very much for recognizing my action. Yes, my rating for the client was no longer about me, it was about helping Proz linguists have a fuller picture of client at the present time.


Happy translating!

Sincerely,
Thao







[Edited at 2018-09-08 04:41 GMT]
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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:39
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
AirBnB model to feedback Sep 9, 2018

I'm glad that the negative WWA rating has been taken down. I doubt a translator would be able to leave a similar BB comment without it being removed and they are the sort of claims that would need to be backed up with legal action.

To the Proz staff, perhaps it would be worth looking at something like AirBnB's "double blind" style approach to feedback, whereby both parties have a specific amount of time to provide a rating and cannot see the rating provided by the other party until
... See more
I'm glad that the negative WWA rating has been taken down. I doubt a translator would be able to leave a similar BB comment without it being removed and they are the sort of claims that would need to be backed up with legal action.

To the Proz staff, perhaps it would be worth looking at something like AirBnB's "double blind" style approach to feedback, whereby both parties have a specific amount of time to provide a rating and cannot see the rating provided by the other party until they have done so? I can't remember, but I think if you don't respond within a certain time, then you can no longer leave feedback. It's designed to avoid exactly this type of issue.
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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:39
Member
English to Italian
Objective/subjective parameters Sep 10, 2018

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I suppose that if a translator can assess the value of an agency, then it only seems fair that an agency can assess the value of a translator. Theoretically, at least, this probably tends to favour measured evaluations and comments.


That would be fair, theoretically, if both parties stood on equal footing and were assessing the same parameters.


Exactly, for the equal footing bit. There is obvious inequality of bargaining power. That said, agency and freelancer are never going to be assessed on the same criteria as they do not occupy the same function or role. Assessing on the same parameters would serve no useful purpose.


And that is part of the reason why translators shouldn't (have) be(en made) "rateable" at all (just because outsourcers asked for it...). We both agree there is an "obvious inequality of bargaining power" that also naturally exerts undue pressure on one party and gives a very different specific weight to a rating left for a client vs. one left for a service provider. Furthermore, the fact that the stronger party can only be assessed based on objective parameters (payment), while the weaker one is open to subjective (and basically unverifiable) evaluations does nothing but further reinforce this inequality and the risk of "ratings" being misused and abused.

And let's not forget the BB is a risk management tool for service providers (us), while this new system will be advertised and used as a "quality indicator" for clients, so not only different parameters, but also different goals and uses, thing which will further promote the weaker party's "domestication", IMHO...


Natasha Ziada
Georgie Scott
Jo Macdonald
 
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