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agency said "translation stinks" but did not send a revision
Thread poster: Kelly Gill
Kelly Gill
Italy
Local time: 09:24
Italian to English
Jul 2, 2007

An agency called me and asked me to do a translation for them.
I sent in the translation (40 pages) on Friday (at first they told me it was for Monday but then said they needed it by Friday as it was very urgent)
On Sunday I recieved an email saying that the translation was full of spelling errors, sentences making no sense, incorrect terminology, grammar errors and so on and so forth.

This agency had sent me a list of terms ( which I used) and a rough draft of the paper (which I used as a reference for some words)

I called the woman and asked her to send me a revision or at least to send me the first 3 pages so I could see where all the mistakes were.

As of today - over a week later - I have not received anything.

I am more than willing to accept that I screwed up royally but shouldn't she send me some proof?

How do you handle these situations?
How do you get your money?

PS: This woman has a bad track record with translators ( I had an inkling on this before accepting the job but I figured I would try the same - knowing that something like this could happen)


[Edited at 2007-07-02 07:04]


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xxxUndoer of Ba  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:24
English to German
Probably the fault lies with them altogether Jul 2, 2007

Could be they are just trying to make you feel guilty so they can pay less or nothing at all. If they already have a bad reputation, maybe it is time to punish them by mentioning their name and keeping other translators from wasting their time on them in the first place.

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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:24
English to German
+ ...
Unless they give you sound proof Jul 2, 2007

that you messed up your work, you charge your full rate and send your invoice right away, so time begins ticking.

Unless they prove anything, don't let yourself get intimidated. If you are already in doubt, have a friend check your translation to get back to your normal self.

If they don't pay, put them on the Blue Board accordingly and go to court or to a company that's specialised in bringing your hard earned money home.

If they send you proof, handle the situation. Normally, you have the right to correct mistakes before having to accept a price reduction. If they do not give you the chance by telling you the mistakes, they failed to fulfil their part so they cannot reduce the price.

And think very hard, if you ever wish to work for them again.


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Giedrius Ramasauskas  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 10:24
Member (2007)
English to Lithuanian
Be sure - they are trying to reduce the price Jul 2, 2007

Your case - the way to reduce the price. Be sure - if they send You the list of errors, You could find only daubtful errors of style or something like that there.
So You have Your first record on You Bad Clients List.

Good luck.


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Jenny Duthie  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:24
French to English
MORAL SUPPORT Jul 2, 2007

hello yes I agree with what everyone else says here - you certainly need them to send you a list and explanations of the mistakes so that you have a chance to put them right. It does sound like they're trying to get out of paying you; insist on proof of the alleged mistakes, offer to correct/revise them, don't back down and finally, put them on the BB if you don't get anywhere with them - sounds like a company to steer clear of in future.

Good luck!

Jenny


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Kelly Gill
Italy
Local time: 09:24
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
I've asked 3 times now Jul 2, 2007

I asked 3 times by e.mail and twice by phone.

nada - niente - nothing.
This morning I sent the invoice - which was suppose to be 30 days but I imagine this may be paid in 6 months or so if ever.

I sent the invoice by e.mail - is it a good idea to send by registered mail as well?


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:24
German to English
+ ...
No BlueBoard entry possible if complaints about quality? Jul 2, 2007

While I agree with Claudia in principle,

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:
...
If they don't pay, put them on the Blue Board accordingly...


this could be problematic. The BlueBoard rules clearly say:
http://www.proz.com/bb?viewPage=faq#blueboard_clientreview

3. What are the conditions for making an entry concerning your likelihood of working again with an outsourcer?
You may only make entries for clients with whom you have worked on a project and to whom you have delivered work on time and *without complaints related to quality*....
(my emphasis)

Whether this rule is fair, or good, or whatever is open to debate, but I think it's going to be difficult to post on the BlueBoard under these circumstances. Maybe a Moderator can clarify this.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:24
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
in the meantime Jul 2, 2007

I agree that it sounds pretty fishy! But in the meantime, why don't you have a trustworthy colleague take a look at it so you have a second opinion. That way, you can also support your position if (more like WHEN, from the sound of it ) tries to pull a fast one.
Catherine


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 09:24
Dutch to English
Make them prove it Jul 2, 2007

As someone else said, send the invoice immediately, don't wait around for them to contact you, whether regard to the allegedly bad translation or otherwise. If they insist on a price reduction, I would insist that they send me the text with mistakes marked (or at least part of the text). It's very easy for them to say the translation is bad and not provide proof.

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xxxUndoer of Ba  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:24
English to German
Interesting link Jul 2, 2007

Michele Johnson wrote:

While I agree with Claudia in principle,

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:
...
If they don't pay, put them on the Blue Board accordingly...


this could be problematic. The BlueBoard rules clearly say:
http://www.proz.com/bb?viewPage=faq#blueboard_clientreview

3. What are the conditions for making an entry concerning your likelihood of working again with an outsourcer?
You may only make entries for clients with whom you have worked on a project and to whom you have delivered work on time and *without complaints related to quality*....
(my emphasis)

Whether this rule is fair, or good, or whatever is open to debate, but I think it's going to be difficult to post on the BlueBoard under these circumstances. Maybe a Moderator can clarify this.



If it is not allowed on proz.com, here is a link to a website where you can submit trouble with agencies:
http://www.translationdirectory.com/non-payers.htm


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 04:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation Jul 2, 2007

I agree with all the comments, they are very sensible. There is one thing that is missing though, besides the criticism of your translation (without any proof so far), in that email they sent you, they should have included the possible courses to follow regarding this problem. It's very suspicious that they should only criticize and not talk about how they plan to settle this, or did they?

First you need the revision of your translation and second find a way to charge your work as soon as possible. I would also contact my association to let them know about the situation and ask for legal advice because...

it takes all sorts to make a world...

Good luck.


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:24
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree! Jul 2, 2007

cbolton wrote:

I agree that it sounds pretty fishy! But in the meantime, why don't you have a trustworthy colleague take a look at it so you have a second opinion. That way, you can also support your position if (more like WHEN, from the sound of it ) tries to pull a fast one.
Catherine


I agree with Catherine: ask a colleague to review your translation - you still have a copy of it. You need a strong support to your position.

Regards

Clarisa Moraña


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Careful about review by a colleague Jul 2, 2007

Clarisa Moraña wrote:

I agree with Catherine: ask a colleague to review your translation - you still have a copy of it. You need a strong support to your position.

Clarisa Moraña


The ball is in the agency's court. Unless they provide proof of problems in the translation in a timely manner, they owe the full amount. Period.

Getting another translator involved could be seen as a breach of client confidentiality, and as another excuse for non-payment.


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:24
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
So, don't send the complete translation Jul 2, 2007

Steven Capsuto wrote:

The ball is in the agency's court. Unless they provide proof of problems in the translation in a timely manner, they owe the full amount. Period.

Getting another translator involved could be seen as a breach of client confidentiality, and as another excuse for non-payment.



I think you are completely- ABSOLUTELY - right.

But, if I'm curious about what I've done, perhaps, I could copy only a page, without Proper names nor direct references to the client, and ask a colleague to review it. If the translation really "stinks", as argued by the client, your colleague will know it, and can tell you. I'm sure that spelling mistakes -or other sort of mistakes - will be detected by a colleague.

Regards

Clarisa

[Edited at 2007-07-02 18:34]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 09:24
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"what we got here, is a failure to communicate" Jul 3, 2007

to quote the sheriff in Cool Hand Luke: theres unavoidably two sides to this story and the other side has not been heard - for whatever reason, with negative possibilities prevailing.

So hyperventilating, high-fiving, backslapping ... well, it helps the mood, but it does not resolve the problem.

All in all, I think you did all you could. When this kind of things happened to me and eventually turned 100% sour, I chalked it up under educational expenses:".... just dont let it happen again..."

[Edited at 2007-07-03 05:48]


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