How to avoid being ripped off?
Thread poster: xxxihd

Local time: 14:47
Apr 5, 2010

Hello Proz members
Do you have any tips on how to avoid being ripped off?
There's a translation company that I applied. The company sent me a trial test, which I passed easily.
When I asked whether they have any contract to sign, the person in charge told me that they will be sending me translation jobs, and I'll get paid each time I complete a job.
Hmmm..... No contract? Is it safe to simply skip this company, or should I tell them that I cannot work without a proper contract?

If you have any other tip on how to avoid being ripped-off, it will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Best regards,

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Local time: 07:47
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Not unusual Apr 5, 2010

Most agencies and direct clients I work with do not have a contract, that's not unusual.

About avoiding rip-offs, I suggest you read through the forums. Here you will find loads of good advice about how to avoid swindlers etc., and then there is of course the Blue Board, which is a Black-and-White list over outsourcers where you can what experiences other translators have had with a specific agency.

Good luck in this business.

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Local time: 07:47
German to English
+ ...
not unusual but keep records Apr 5, 2010

This is the way it has been for any client I have ever had.

Keep records of emails, so should you ever need to raise a complaint, you have evidence. Check the blueboard entries where you can, and the website, and generally what is said about them on the web.

[Edited at 2010-04-05 13:11 GMT]

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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:47
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes, no contract Apr 5, 2010

indie_hunk wrote:
Hmmm..... No contract? Is it safe to simply skip this company, or should I tell them that I cannot work without a proper contract?

I work all the time without a contract. This, as far as I know, is standard practice in the freelance translation business.

What is more common, but far from universal, is for the company to ask you to sign an agreement, usually just a confidentiality agreement. Similarly, it makes sense for you to tell the company your terms of business. For example, if you are a member of a translators' Association, they may have standard terms of business on their website, and you could draw the company's attention to these terms by adding the URL to your invoices.

But at the end of the day what matters is mutual trust and confidence.

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