strange customer behavior - 40 Emails instead of putting one work-order and a PO
Thread poster: Brandis (X)

Brandis (X)
Local time: 04:52
English to German
+ ...
May 10, 2004

Hi! I have a very strange customer. He would rather describe the job to be done via 40 Emails instead of putting one work-order and generate a PO. Instead he says, I could use the mail correspondence as basis for work order and PO. What to do.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-05-11 05:43]


Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:52
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Create you own May 10, 2004

Hi Brandis:
Create your own P.O. stating terms and conditions, name of customer, payment requirements, etc. and send it to your client with a polite but firm letter indicating that unless you receive the document signed via fax, you cannot proceed with the assignment.
If the customer still refuses to sign, pass on the work, as it is highly likely that you will not get paid for it.



Rebecca Lowery  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
French to English
Send him a written quote May 10, 2004

Send him a written quote if you have already seen the document to be translated. Your quote should detail exactly what the job entails and what your total price for this would be. You should state that any amendments to the translation requirements may entail a revision of this price.

If you haven't yet seen the document send the client an estimate. State that a full quotation will be given once you have seen the document. That way you're not bound by a price given on the client's description of the work.

Finally make sure you receive written confirmation to go ahead with the work. This can be by e-mail. At least then you have proof that an order was placed in the event of any dispute!


Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Innocent until proven ... May 10, 2004

At the beginning I wanted everything done properly but I learnt that sometimes it does not happen. If it is a small job I go ahead with no problems and wait to see if they pay, etc; if it is a big job something needs to be done....probably advanced payment ...


sarahl (X)
Local time: 20:52
English to French
+ ...
unorganized or dishonest? May 10, 2004

Either way, you will have to be extra careful and be sure to document everything as Ricardo suggests. Unorganized clients can be a nightmare too, and you have to be organized for two.


Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Be very, very careful May 11, 2004

I would just like to underline everything said above, based on my own experience. Is this the same customer who wants you to buy expensive software called 'translators instinct'; the programme you ask about under a separate thread? This guy spells trouble. I've had a customer who sent loads of emails from the start, sent too much money 'to say thank you' and told me about personal problems. If I would have used my 'translator's instinct' from the start, I would have extricated myself from the situation before it got out of hand. When the job was finished and I stopped replying to his tiresome mails, he became a complete nuisance and tried to damage my professional reputation. These people are manipulative and you must be careful.


Pat Jenner
Local time: 03:52
German to English
+ ...
Charge them for your time May 11, 2004

If you are going to have to spend time dealing with this rather than be presented with a text ready to translate, tell your customer that you will bill them for the administration. That might get them to be better organised. I've had similar experiences in the past, usually from clients who don't know what is involved in commissioning translation work. Of course, I wouldn't go straight in and say 'this will cost XXX', but submit an estimate or quote and terms as suggested above. What I'm suggesting is just a fallback position in case they won't cooperate and you still want to take the work. Again, I'd go with your gut feeling on that as some of the other posters have suggested.


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strange customer behavior - 40 Emails instead of putting one work-order and a PO

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