Thread poster: Estelle Demontrond-Box

Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:54
English to French
+ ...
Sep 13, 2007

Hi all,

One of my clients forwarded me an e-mail from a translation agency offering their services. She is a friend of mine and this is how I came to translate for her. She has therefore never advertised that she needed translations at all and on top of it, she is American.

Still, this agency which is located in England, contacted her.

I am pretty sure that I had replied to an ad posted by them for new freelance translators and have provided her name as a requested reference but cannot find any evidence of it.

Could anybody advise me on what to do next?
(I am pretty infuriated).



Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nothing, just learn from the experience ... Sep 13, 2007

... and don't give references in future.

[Edited at 2007-09-13 16:24]


Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:54
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Despicable Sep 13, 2007

Hi Estelle,

Welcome to the club! You're at least the third person here to post about this agency (I'm 90% certain it's the same one who did this to a friend of mine for whom I served as a reference).

Earlier theads/posts:

My personal take on this: they should be despised and avoided like the plague.

Unfortunately, we cannot mention the name here, but anyone who's interested to know who this is, please contact me for the name of my agency, and - I would presume - Estelle for the name of hers.

[Edited at 2007-09-13 16:09]


Irene N
United States
Local time: 22:54
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, don't talk to strangers... Sep 13, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

... and don't give references in future.

Yes! Never give any references. This reference thing is serving one purpose only - to collect and compile lists of competitors and their projects to undercut you. Excellent "marketing tool" for dirty outsourcers.

An honest professional agency needs no "references" (some unexperienced direct clients might be making an honest mistake) - your resume and a test is all they need. Some can be satisfied with your previous published work instead of the test, or, when they really care and especially in case of interpreting where human and team skills and personality also play a big role, they might ask the interpreters they already know and trust.

Your answer should be simple - I am bound by the confidentiality agreements with all my existing clients and you can rest assured that all your assignments will receive the same treatment.

In your specific case - just forget it. You don't want to work for them anyway. Consider yourself lucky (sorry, don't mean to be cynical) that you've learned your lesson about their business practices not by means of fighting for the payment.



Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:54
English to French
+ ...
Thank you Sep 13, 2007

Thank you all for your very useful comments. I just wish they could be all named so that it would not happen to other translators!
Thanks again!


Local time: 05:54
French to Dutch
+ ...
Just keep in mind Sep 13, 2007

that asking their (potential) translators for references is a easy and cheap way, for an agency, to find new clients. It happened to me too. Besides, this is the reason why I don't refuse tests. Instead of giving references I prefer wasting an hour or so.

And when talking about application forms, you can't imagine how much information they contain and how interesting they are. Some translators really become overzealous when filling in forms.


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Live and learn Sep 13, 2007

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:
Could anybody advise me on what to do next?

There is nothin much you can do. Just live and learn, and... never give a direct client's name as a reference.

When potential clients ask me for references, I give them the names of the PMs of translation agencies I worked for recently (with their permission, obviously). A client who really wants to have a reference, will be satisfied with that. A poacher won't gain anything either.


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