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

Thao Tran
Vietnam
Local time: 16:48
Member (2017)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Sep 1, 2018

Hi everyone,

I recently had this UK client who greatly disappointed me in my last two projects with them.

On the last project, they changed the amount on the PO via their platform while I was working on the project. When I saw the change, I notified the PM, nothing was resolved. The matter was escalated to the CEO of the company, very soon the CFO issued an apology and settled the payment.

On the second to last project, they were late in the payment and di
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Hi everyone,

I recently had this UK client who greatly disappointed me in my last two projects with them.

On the last project, they changed the amount on the PO via their platform while I was working on the project. When I saw the change, I notified the PM, nothing was resolved. The matter was escalated to the CEO of the company, very soon the CFO issued an apology and settled the payment.

On the second to last project, they were late in the payment and didn't proceed payment until I filed non-payment report via Proz.

After they made the payment, I notified Proz, thus, the non-payment report was closed and my rating for that client on their Blue Board disappeared.

I then had to issue a new rating on their Blue Board. I still gave the outsourcer a very low rating because their action of changing the PO amount while I was working is a very serious matter.

I've never given any client such low rating.

Normally, my lowest rating for outsourcer is 3/5.

I'm wondering whether it is possible for a client who (1) possibly abuses / has unfair trade tactics toward translators, and (2) was once filed a non-payment report by a particular translator, can get back to that translator and give him/her a negative review as well?

When you guys gave an agency a negative review, did it cross your mind whether that agency could get back to you and do to you the same thing you did to them?

Regards,
Thao
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Joe Ly Sien
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Reatalliation Sep 1, 2018

Thao Tran wrote:

I'm wondering whether it is possible for a client who (1) possibly abuses / has unfair trade tactics toward translators, and (2) was once filed a non-payment report by a particular translator, can get back to that translator and give him/her a negative review as well?

When you guys gave an agency a negative review, did it cross your mind whether that agency could get back to you and do to you the same thing you did to them?

Regards,
Thao


Hi Thao,

well, of course the outsourcer has the option to give you a low LWA. However, this needs to be justified, yet even if ProZ can't do anything about it, you can always provide a reply to the low rating.

Being rather reluctant to provide a low rating, also because of the possible consequences for the outsourcer, I only had to give two very low ratings thus far. It never crossed my mind to even wonder whether that ex-client would retaliate or let the matter rest. Not because I was being "careless", but rather because I was able to back up my low rating 100% while - and this I was/am certain of - the outsourcer had nothing to back up/justify their low rating.

But even if they gave you a low rating, your reply can clarify the situation, and then it might become obvious to all that said entry was only a pay-back. If a prospective client sees such an entry, then they are also likely to read the reply and possibly detect the nature of that entry, and before making a decision.


Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Teresa Borges
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Jari Vesterinen
 

Thao Tran
Vietnam
Local time: 16:48
Member (2017)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank God, I had back up too Sep 1, 2018

Hi Thayenga,

Yes, I have the CFO's apology email and late payment communications to back up too.

I shouldn't be worried too much but since client has just deleted a positive review they gave me before and visited my profile for nearly 100 times (I was able to know because of their Bulgaria location) over the last month, I'm bit concerned.

Thao


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No worries Sep 1, 2018

Thao Tran wrote:

Hi Thayenga,

Yes, I have the CFO's apology email and late payment communications to back up too.

I shouldn't be worried too much but since client has just deleted a positive review they gave me before and visited my profile for nearly 100 times (I was able to know because of their Bulgaria location) over the last month, I'm bit concerned.

Thao


Hi Thao,

I did think that you had kept all communication documentation. Good.

They can visit your profile as often as they like or think they have to. That generates some more interest in your profile and might draw traffic to it. Perhaps even the right people.

Frankly, a formerly given positive entry from an outsourcer who acts like you've described, isn't worth the (cyber) paper it's written on. So just forget about it and move on.

Best,

Thayenga


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
French to English
Balance Sep 1, 2018

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.

Teresa Borges
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:48
Member
English to Italian
Imbalance Sep 1, 2018

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.


Álvaro Espantaleón Moreno
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Thayenga
Dmytro Nehrii
B D Finch
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:48
Member
English to Italian
Assumption Sep 2, 2018

Thayenga wrote:

But even if they gave you a low rating, your reply can clarify the situation, and then it might become obvious to all that said entry was only a pay-back. If a prospective client sees such an entry, then they are also likely to read the reply and possibly detect the nature of that entry, and before making a decision.


Are they really "likely" to do that? I wouldn't be so sure. And even if they did, I very much doubt they would be able, or willing, to spend time pondering, speculating and investigating whether a rating to someone they don't even know is the product of a "retaliation" or whatnot, rather than just skipping to the next, unblemished, service provider.

And what about searches where rating is used as a filter or ordering parameter? In that case, a low rating could simply make you "invisible" to clients, regardless of whether such rating is justified or not.

[Edited at 2018-09-02 07:35 GMT]


Joe Ly Sien
B D Finch
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:48
Member
English to Italian
Opting out? Sep 2, 2018

@OP - Nobody mentioned this so far, but AFAIK, you can decide not to be subject to "ratings" (as opposed to WWAs) by not participating in the "pools" thing...

 

Thao Tran
Vietnam
Local time: 16:48
Member (2017)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Client just left a false WWA rating Sep 2, 2018

Hi everyone,

Client just left me a false WWA rating as below:

Blackmailed and breached all her NDAs with us for making fallacious comments publicly and privately to our clients as her payment was not yet overdue as per the payment terms she has read and signed.

I'm contesting this WWA rating because they just didn't tell the truth. It was them who violated their own payment terms and now blamed it on me...

Regards,
Thao


Vadim Kadyrov
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
French to English
Inequality of bargaining power Sep 2, 2018

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.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
French to English
Bad news Sep 2, 2018

Thao Tran wrote:

Hi everyone,

Client just left me a false WWA rating as below:

Blackmailed and breached all her NDAs with us for making fallacious comments publicly and privately to our clients as her payment was not yet overdue as per the payment terms she has read and signed.

I'm contesting this WWA rating because they just didn't tell the truth. It was them who violated their own payment terms and now blamed it on me...

Regards,
Thao


Thao, that's a very damning rating indeed. It is awkwardly expressed. Maybe it's just me, but I am not certain that I can fully understand what they are saying. As written, I read it to mean that your client is saying that it made fallacious comments publicly and privately to [its] clients", yet I think that is part of what they are alleging you did.

One way or another, if I were in this situation, I would defend myself, but try to take the sting out of it. A public mud-slinging match could turn a bad situation to worse. I'd probably go with something along the following lines:

"that there was some major misunderstanding [without saying any more about who, what, etc.] about terms and conditions and that it was not resolved in what you consider to be an amicable and professional manner."

Rightly or wrongly, making the situation go on could end up doing your public image more harm than good in the long run.

[Edited at 2018-09-02 16:08 GMT]


IrinaN
 

Natasha Ziada  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 19:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
NDA Sep 3, 2018

Thao Tran wrote:

Hi everyone,

Client just left me a false WWA rating as below:

Blackmailed and breached all her NDAs with us for making fallacious comments publicly and privately to our clients as her payment was not yet overdue as per the payment terms she has read and signed.

I'm contesting this WWA rating because they just didn't tell the truth. It was them who violated their own payment terms and now blamed it on me...

Regards,
Thao


Regarding the overdue payment - was it a couple of days or was there a substantial delay? I usually allow a few days ‘processing time’, especially where international transfers/weekends/public holidays are involved, which can cause payments made on time to arrive late (although ideally clients shouldn’t leave it that last-minute).

I do wonder if you did indeed reach out to their clients regarding the overdue payment, as they claim? This would be quite a serious breach of most agencies’ NDAs and something they would be justified in mentioning in their WWA, IMO.


 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Both sides being a bit heavy handed perhaps Sep 4, 2018

Hi Thao,
Sorry to hear about this nasty experience but perhaps both sides have been a bit heavy handed.

Imo if the client apologised for the reduced PO and then paid the full amount and your negative feedback was deleted because the situation was settled, giving them negative feedback again could be interpreted by the client as a bit of a kick in the nuts when they're not looking.

If they apologised and made payment why would you want to give them very negative fe
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Hi Thao,
Sorry to hear about this nasty experience but perhaps both sides have been a bit heavy handed.

Imo if the client apologised for the reduced PO and then paid the full amount and your negative feedback was deleted because the situation was settled, giving them negative feedback again could be interpreted by the client as a bit of a kick in the nuts when they're not looking.

If they apologised and made payment why would you want to give them very negative feedback, again?

I don't know how late they paid the second job but unless it was seriously late I don't think it’s really worth making an enemy out of a paying client just to teach them a lesson. If it was seriously late and they stopped answering reminders or made up excuses or something like that I definitely agree negative feedback is the way to go.

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 although you probably won't get any damages out of it because as far as I know to be awarded damages for libel you have to prove economic damage was done such as a potential client coming forward and declaring as a witness in court that they didn't give you a 10 thousand bucks job because they read this libellous/false accusation of blackmail and breach of NDA.

Btw I checked your profile and couldn't see any negative WWA so maybe it's been deleted by the powers that be.

If this is the case perhaps the best thing would be to move on, not work with these people again (something you could have done already after they tried to reduce the PO) and handle late payments, if just slightly late, by counting to 10 especially if the client has already solved previous problems by apologising and paying the agreed price.


[Edited at 2018-09-04 13:21 GMT]
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Josephine Cassar
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Very balanced view Sep 4, 2018

Jo Macdonald wrote:

Hi Thao,
Sorry to hear about this nasty experience but perhaps both sides have been a bit heavy handed.

Imo if the client apologised for the reduced PO and then paid the full amount and your negative feedback was deleted because the situation was settled, giving them negative feedback again could be interpreted by the client as a bit of a kick in the nuts when they're not looking.

If they apologised and made payment why would you want to give them very negative feedback, again?

I don't know how late they paid the second job but unless it was seriously late I don't think it’s really worth making an enemy out of a paying client just to teach them a lesson. If it was seriously late and they stopped answering reminders or made up excuses or something like that I definitely agree negative feedback is the way to go.

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 although you probably won't get any damages out of it because as far as I know to be awarded damages for libel you have to prove economic damage was done such as a potential client coming forward and declaring as a witness in court that they didn't give you a 10 thousand bucks job because they read this libellous/false accusation of blackmail and breach of NDA.

Btw I checked your profile and couldn't see any negative WWA so maybe it's been deleted by the powers that be.

If this is the case perhaps the best thing would be to move on, not work with these people again (something you could have done already after they tried to reduce the PO) and handle late payments, if just slightly late, by counting to 10 especially if the client has already solved previous problems by apologising and paying the agreed price.


[Edited at 2018-09-04 13:21 GMT]

I like the reasoning and agree, thanks Jo


 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 04:48
English to Russian
+ ...
I was hoping not to use this part I wrote for the previous forum on the subject Sep 4, 2018

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,
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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 guarantee you that this global exposure already causes you loss of more clients and referrals than you may think; the effect is diametrically opposite to the one you desire. You may be a brilliant writer and marketeer, well-educated, and well-versed in many subjects on a general level, as a marketeer should be. There is plenty of money there, especially in your pair, and some of it must be ready already to end up in your pocket, but the clients will always refrain from dealing with a proven and relentless hellraiser who, I’m sorry to say, is not squeaky clean herself. They’ve learned to read Proz forums… You’ve collected the opinions, let your steam out. Let it go.

In my world, I do know a couple of excellent translators and interpreters who lost every chance to be invited by colleagues for a good assignment worth between 500 and 800/day only due to their known inadequate and unpredictable (or rather predictable) behavior toward the clients and/or the assignment partners. Also, there is always a point when people stop caring about who is wrong and who is right, everyone just feels tired and irritated and longs for peace and quiet at any cost. Don’t bring your clients to that point.
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Jennifer Forbes
 
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