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Sehr geehrter Damen und Herren! Agencies without any imagination
Thread poster: Narasimhan Raghavan

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
Nov 22, 2006

The other day I received an email from an agency asking me to send them a quote for future collaboration. Accordingly I sent them a quote. As they had approached me through my Profile page in a translator portal (not proz com), I did not have to give them a presentation of myself and therefore proceeded directly with the quote.

This is the reply I got from them.

"Sehr geehrter Damen und Herren,
wir bitten um Verständnis, wenn wir aus kaufmännischen Gründen unsere Lieferanten in der Reihenfolge Ihrer honorarbedingten Ranking-Position beauftragen.
Ihr Honorar ist jedoch höher als der Tarif unserer übrigen Mitarbeiter weltweit, so dass eine künftige Beauftragung zu Ihren Konditionen leider nicht möglich ist.
Beachten Sie die Punkte 6 und ggf. 4 unseres Formbriefes
Wir wünschen Ihnen dennoch weiterhin viel Erfolg.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen"

The email contained two attachments and on downloading they proved to be template letters with various replies and the agency had ticked a para as reply to my mail. This is my reply to them.

"I am amazed at your reply and at the haphazard way you go about getting offers.
You are writing:
"Wir danken für die o.g. Bewerbung, die wir leider nicht berücksichtigen können, da uns in Ihrer Sprachkombination bereits Kollegen zur Verfügung stehen, die bei einem günstigeren Zeilenpreis für alle Textarten alle Qualitäts- und Zuverlässigkeitskriterien erfüllen. Wir bitten Sie daher, falls Sie in unsere Übersetzerdatei aufgenommen werden möchten, uns ein deutlich niedrigeres Angebot zukommen zu lassen."
When I make an offer to you and you find it too high, it is expected that you make a counter offer. On the contrary, you invite me to quote a clearly lower price. Come on sir, we are not playing any games. Please come out with your rates. That is the normal procedure.
You seem to be setting much store by letter templates. Otherwise what shall one make of your address " Sehr geehrter Damen und Herren," a clearly wrong formulation from the viewpoint of German grammar.
You have a set of standard responses and invite my attention to one of them. Sorry, I am not interested in working with you as you seem to be quite disorganized and are lacking in spontaneity.
You could have saved yourself a lot of time by straight away intimating the rates you offer to your translators.
Anyhow, all the best for your successful business venture."

What do such agencies think of themselves?

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Another mail from the same agency received just now Nov 22, 2006

Just now received another mail from the concerned agency, showing their "command" over English language.

"You are right, but still too expensive!
We have order to give in free lance, you no!
We will change our mistake, you no!
I am not interested in working with you
It would'nt change anything if you were interested!
Regards"

So there!!!)))))

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
you no, me yes Nov 22, 2006

Good riddance to bad rubbish I would say!

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Ingo Dierkschnieder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I had the same offer Nov 22, 2006

I had the same offer from the same company, received the same standard reply saying that my rates were too high and decided to simply ignore this. It is clear that they are simply fishing for the lowest rates and even if you reduce your rates by half (which of course is not an option) they might still find them too high.
It looks as if said company is actually based in France and have just opened (or pretend to have opened) an office in Germany that is run by someone who doesn't speak neither German nor English very well and also doesn't know or doesn't care about the rules of the translation business.
These companies don't deserve anything more than being ignored.


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xxxlena_m
Local time: 06:56
Was für eine Frechheit!!! Nov 22, 2006

I have never heard anything like that. But I think it is just a very amusing story to tell.
Zum Lachen, aber wirklich!
Where does this agency have its HQ?

Regards,
Lena


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's right Ingo Nov 22, 2006

But please take care, do not reveal the agency's identity. It is sufficient that the concerned people know, including the said agency, in case it happens to browse proz.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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CathyFS  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
German to English
+ ...
Scam artists or what! Nov 22, 2006

How rude that person was in response to your e-mail. Yours was very honest and they should have left it at that, rather than digging themselves into a deeper hole.

I recently received a mail from an agency/company (I can't remember which) through my ProZ page, asking me for my rates and availability and wondering whether or not I could do a test translation. I replied saying that I am currently too busy. The lady replied and said that she'd wait until my next available date (which I had given her in my mail) and would like me to do a test translation. Fair enough. But then then test translation arrived arond 10 days before my available date, asking when I could return it ... I again pointed out my next available date. She was very eager that I do this test, and told me that I had come highly recommended. But she called my Cathy in that mail, an no-one would ever recommend me using the name Cathy. That's what my husband calls me - everyone else calls me Catherine. I had even signed my mail Catherine. The woman found me through my ProZ page, for Heaven's sake. How could she then say that I came highly recommended?? It eventually transpired that she was trying to put together a team of translators to work on a large project, which didn't interest me anyway. I pointed out that my availability was scarce over the coming months and that I really didn't see any point in doing her test translations, which totalled around 1,500 words ... and which wouldn't earn me any money for my time. She then said that the test translations would be paid for ... whatever. I told her to sling her hook. The website was impressive and the crowd she worked for seemed very legitimate, but everything about this contact person seemed odd.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 02:56
English to Spanish
Priceless! Nov 22, 2006

"we have order to give in free lance, you no!"



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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:56
Member
English to Turkish
Ich ja, du neinst Nov 22, 2006

Narasimhan, I have always been amazed by your patience in client education. But, you do admit that some are uneducatable, right? Sie überhaupt nichten, that is

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It is more likely the person was trying to con you into doing a free translation Nov 22, 2006

1500-word test translation? Come on. We were not born yesterday. And then, after everything fails to persuade you, she reluctantly talks of possible payment to the piece's translation.

You did well to turn her down.

Regards,
N.Raghavan

CathyFS wrote:

But then then test translation arrived arond 10 days before my available date, asking when I could return it ... I again pointed out my next available date. She was very eager that I do this test, and told me that I had come highly recommended. But she called my Cathy in that mail, an no-one would ever recommend me using the name Cathy. That's what my husband calls me - everyone else calls me Catherine. I had even signed my mail Catherine. The woman found me through my ProZ page, for Heaven's sake. How could she then say that I came highly recommended?? It eventually transpired that she was trying to put together a team of translators to work on a large project, which didn't interest me anyway. I pointed out that my availability was scarce over the coming months and that I really didn't see any point in doing her test translations, which totalled around 1,500 words ... and which wouldn't earn me any money for my time. She then said that the test translations would be paid for ... whatever. I told her to sling her hook. The website was impressive and the crowd she worked for seemed very legitimate, but everything about this contact person seemed odd.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
English to Tamil
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Özden Nov 22, 2006

A cumulative experience of 82+ years (31 as German translator+28 as French translator+23 as electrical engineer) does give one an insight into the client's psychology.)))

And I agree, some are uneducatable or rather do not want to be educated. Please see: http://www.proz.com/topic/40693

Regards,
N.Raghavan
Özden Arıkan wrote:

Narasimhan, I have always been amazed by your patience in client education. But, you do admit that some are uneducatable, right? Sie überhaupt nichten, that is


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Ingo Dierkschnieder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
It's enough that we know who they are Nov 22, 2006

Thanks Narasimhan,

I know the ProZ rules and wouldn't reveal the agency's identity as this is not the place to shame agencies (if need be, the BlueBoard is perfect for that). In this context, it wouldn't surprise me if they will appear soon enough in the BlueBoard as an agency better to avoid if they are as nice to the translators picked by them for their low rates as they are to the ones that are allegedly to expensive.

By the way, I agree with Özden, your constant efforts to educate agencies are very impressive and certainly necessary. I myself most of the time don't bother as a lot of them, as mentioned, don't want to be educated.


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Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Shouldn't it be considered spam? Nov 23, 2006

Hi there

Monday I received an e-mail from what appeared to be another freelance translator looking to work as a collaborator. The fact that the message had been sent to my Spam box struck me as odd since it looked like another spontaneous potential job application, so I replied asking for the translator's CV and rates. I then got the same e-mail again later that day. Tuesday I got another e-mail from this person, but posing as an agency. Today I received that same message twice.

I guess it's another case of pseudo-agencies without imagination.

Greetings from Portugal!
Clara

edit: typo

[Editada em 2006-11-23 01:27]


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Jana Uhlik  Identity Verified
Belize
Local time: 23:56
Member (2003)
English to German
Sorry, but I am the client ... ?? Nov 25, 2006

I had a request from a person a couple of months ago, who asked for my rates and deadline for a project and the topic sounded interesting, so I replied asap with the requested information.

I was then sent a file, which was supposed to be a part of the whole project and which needed to be translated "... by tomorrow. Please confirm."

Well, as my rates hadn't been confirmed yet and I had in my initial e-mail asked for the clients' full address, phone number, how payment would be done (I offered PayPal, Moneybookers and wire transfer), and also how the entire (rather large) project was supposed to be carried out (valid questions, wouldn't you think so?), I replied that I needed all this information first before I start.

The very short reply was: "Sorry, but I am the client and I certainly did not ask as many questions from you."

OOPS. That sure startled me. I didn't reply to this, of course, as it was clear that this client was not really interested in a professional translator's services ...


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