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What do you charge for a booking?
Thread poster: Oriol Vives

Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:16
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for patronizing, but no Sep 9

Teresa Borges wrote:

What can I say if you don’t understand the difference between a job cancelled on the spot and a few days before? Anyway, I have never been in your position as my long-standing customers only book me for longish projects. Very occasionally these have suffered small delays but I’ve been informed in due time. I must say that I hate urgent assignments and I avoid them as much as I can.


Thank you for your very positive comments, Teresa. Where is the difference when it hurts you the same way, i.e. the booking keeps you from another booking? Your questions still stand unanswered. Why? I honestly just don't see why it matters -and none of you have provided a valid answer. It's not like they booked me 3 years in advance and canceled two days later. We are talking, obviously, of a matter of hours, as the "for example" suggested.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Another thing Sep 9

If you’re as aggressive towards this agency as you are being here towards people who are taking time out to try to help you, you’ll be even less likely to get any compensation (or any work from them ever again).

Teresa Borges
Kevin Fulton
writeaway
Mervyn Henderson
Sheila Wilson
Thomas Pfann
Philippe Etienne
 

Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:16
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My apologies. Sep 9

Chris S wrote:

If you’re as aggressive towards this agency as you are being here towards people who are taking time out to try to help you, you’ll be even less likely to get any compensation (or any work from them ever again).


I have never tried to be aggressive, and I apologize if any of you have perceived this from me; it was never what I intended.

That should not suggest that I accept everything with closed eyes, and if asking a question or asking someone to clarify something that I don't understand (and being ridiculized for it) is what you refer to as "being aggressive", then I don't know what to tell you. In all honesty, though, I forgive Teresa -we all have bad days.

Thanks to everybody who participated with a positive attitude, like I did, and I hope this thread and all the posts there are useful to all the freelance translators out there who may find themselves in a similar situation. To those who might have been offended for whatever reason, my apologies -I am honest and passionate. That should not be confused with aggressiveness. You can check the meaning of each word here:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/honest
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/passionate
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/aggressiveness

Thanks!


 

Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 16:16
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
uh Sep 10

Oriol Vives wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

Did they cancel on the spot or several days before? How long was the translation?


I don't see how this is relevant. Care to explain why do you think these questions are important after making my case? Thanks!


But of course this is relevant: the question of how much notice you had for the cancellation determines how much opportunity you had to rebook your time. This is exactly the same reason many e.g. hotels allow free cancellation months in advance, and gradually increase the costs of cancellation as the chance of them rebooking your bed reduces.


Chris S
Kay Denney
ahartje
Dan Lucas
Teresa Borges
Viviane Marx
Sheila Wilson
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:16
Member (2018)
French to English
. Sep 10

I've only very rarely had advance bookings and each time I've been sitting around waiting for texts that dont materialise. Once it was when working for the agency, and on the weekend. I had to log in every half-hour to see whether the text had arrived (no smartphone beeping to alert me in those days) and couldn't go out shopping or anything while I waited, so I told my boss I wanted it to count as a full day's work.
A client recently asked me to remain on call for when she finished writing
... See more
I've only very rarely had advance bookings and each time I've been sitting around waiting for texts that dont materialise. Once it was when working for the agency, and on the weekend. I had to log in every half-hour to see whether the text had arrived (no smartphone beeping to alert me in those days) and couldn't go out shopping or anything while I waited, so I told my boss I wanted it to count as a full day's work.
A client recently asked me to remain on call for when she finished writing the source text - I pointed out that I would need a retainer fee since it was Easter weekend. Suddenly the text wasn't quite as urgent.
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ahartje
Portugal
Local time: 15:16
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Similar jobs? Sep 10

What do you mean by "similar jobs"? Some with the exact word count, time frame, subject? Or just small projects for Friday? In the first case it is at least very suspicious and seems to be the same very small project (of about 500-600 words?), for which several agencies have been asked to make a quote. In the second case (small projects booked for the same day), there should be enough flexibility to combine different "mini-projects" to be done in the morning or afternoon.

By all mea
... See more
What do you mean by "similar jobs"? Some with the exact word count, time frame, subject? Or just small projects for Friday? In the first case it is at least very suspicious and seems to be the same very small project (of about 500-600 words?), for which several agencies have been asked to make a quote. In the second case (small projects booked for the same day), there should be enough flexibility to combine different "mini-projects" to be done in the morning or afternoon.

By all means, declining projects because of double booking, but without any PO received, is imprudent, but, imo, does not give you the right to claim anything, if you did not mention your respective terms before your acceptance of this job.
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Teresa Borges
writeaway
Kevin Clayton, PhD
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:16
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Perhaps some hitherto unknown definition of the word "positive"? Sep 10

Oriol Vives wrote:
Thanks to everybody who participated with a positive attitude, like I did

To be blunt, multiple people (myself included) feel that you didn't.

When you launch a thread asking for advice or information you are - like it or not - in the role of supplicant. As such a little humility is appropriate even, or perhaps especially, when others tell you things you might not want to hear. Otherwise what's the point in asking in the first place?

To those who might have been offended for whatever reason, my apologies -I am honest and passionate. That should not be confused with aggressiveness. You can check the meaning of each word here:

File under "Pouring oil on burning waters". I'm with Chris on this one. If you take the same passive-aggressive tone with clients that you've taken on this thread you'll struggle to keep them.

Going back to your original question, presumably you cancelled or declined the other jobs because this promised project was too large and you didn't have the capacity to do both, correct? Speaking pragmatically, when dealing with a new client I would not accept a job so large that it sucked up all my capacity unless some kind of payment were made in advance, so the problem would not arise with big projects. Also, I arrange my schedule so that I usually have enough capacity to absorb a minor job of a few hundred euro and would not have to decline other jobs. So the problem would not arise with small projects either.

What if it's not a new client but an existing client? Well then you have to trust them. Most of my existing clients do book projects in advance and I accept those bookings on the understanding that things happen and schedules change. Last week an agency client booked a slot with me for several thousand euros of work. It was meant to come in tomorrow. This morning they tell me that the manuscript has been delayed by the end client. They think it will appear, but probably not until the middle of next week.

What should I do? Who should I blame? Who's the bad guy? There isn't one. Certainly not the agency, which has kept me informed. The end client is a serious company and I'm pretty sure that their staff are also working long hours trying to finish the manuscript. Not their fault either. Plans get derailed. Delays occur. Sometimes it happens that - as in your case - you prioritise one booking over another, and eventually you lose both. Unless you suspect incompetence or bad faith, all you can realistically do is shrug phlegmatically and move on.

In this case I thanked the agency for the update and told them I'll be happy to have a weekend off for a change. Which is no more than the truth.

Regards,
Dan


Teresa Borges
Sheila Wilson
Vera Schoen
Kevin Fulton
writeaway
Ana Vozone
Michele Fauble
 
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