Fed up with ftp sites?
Thread poster: PCovs

PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 19:19
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Sep 20, 2011

A client of mine has recently increased its use of ftp sites to the extent that I now often reject small jobs from this client. My reasons for doing so are, that small jobs take more or less forever in comparison, because I need to log on to the ftp site, locate the specified folder, locate the specified file download and unzip it...to even see if I can handle this specific job.

Then, if I want to take on the job (which I would more or less have to now to at least make a little money from the time I have now spent on even finding the text in question), I need to locate the accompanying TM (in most cases), and download and unzip this as well.
Then, I will be ready to start translating.

Today, my client got rather annoyed with me, because I told her straight out that for this 15 minutes review job, she was offering, I simply did not have time to go find the file on the ftp site.

Am I simply getting too comfortable in my job refusing to always spent 10-15 minutes retrieving potential jobs from some cyberspace folder?
Of course, for larger jobs I do check, and I do not mind as much - it's the smaller jobs that annoy the beep out of me.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Client should give you links Sep 20, 2011

PCovs wrote:
My reasons for doing so are, that small jobs take more or less forever in comparison, because I need to log on to the ftp site, locate the specified folder, locate the specified file download and unzip it...to even see if I can handle this specific job.


The client should give you a direct download link and a link to the upload folder. It should not be necessary for you to hunt down the files on the client's FTP server.

That said, one of my clients do provide direct URLs but they never work (they might work for the client because of relative and absolute paths), so I have to hunt for them anyway.

That said (2), downloading and unzipping a file from an FTP site does not take me much longer than downloading and unzipping it from my Gmail account. Surely the client's username/password stays the same, so you can simply run your FTP program and go directly to the usual folder, right?

Today, my client got rather annoyed with me, because I told her straight out that for this 15 minutes review job, she was offering, I simply did not have time to go find the file on the ftp site.


You are very brave.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Educate the client Sep 20, 2011

Ask your client to give you the exact folder in which the files are in.

I use FTP sites very often and I actually prefer FTP sites to other kinds of repositories or systems. However, each kind of media has its tool. Are you using a proper FTP client (I use LeapFTP, which is both easy and powerful), or a browser to use the FTP sites?

A proper FTP client will let you define the sites only once, and then you are just two clicks away from a customer's site and your files. Browsers provide an appalling service on FTP sites.


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 19:19
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 20, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Ask your client to give you the exact folder in which the files are in.

I use FTP sites very often and I actually prefer FTP sites to other kinds of repositories or systems. However, each kind of media has its tool. Are you using a proper FTP client (I use LeapFTP, which is both easy and powerful), or a browser to use the FTP sites?

A proper FTP client will let you define the sites only once, and then you are just two clicks away from a customer's site and your files. Browsers provide an appalling service on FTP sites.


Okay, so I guess something can actually be done about this mess

I will try to educate the client, although in this specific case I have little faith that that would ever work
But the browser vs ftp client thing is worth looking into, I think. I use browsers, and they suck big time! Thanks for this tip.


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 19:19
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Time and space requirements Sep 20, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

The client should give you a direct download link and a link to the upload folder. It should not be necessary for you to hunt down the files on the client's FTP server.

That said, one of my clients do provide direct URLs but they never work (they might work for the client because of relative and absolute paths), so I have to hunt for them anyway.

That said (2), downloading and unzipping a file from an FTP site does not take me much longer than downloading and unzipping it from my Gmail account. Surely the client's username/password stays the same, so you can simply run your FTP program and go directly to the usual folder, right?



The folder hunting is a real pain, yes, and as such it takes longer to use the client's ftp site than if the file(s) simply come as an attachment to the mail.

Also, I need to download, save and then unzip the fil(s) to see if I would like the job. This takes time and space on my computer. I also need to remember to delete any files I reject (like that ever happens).

If the files come as a zipped attachment to the mail, I do not need to switch to the browser, log on to the site etc., and I can open the zip file without saving it to my computer to have a looksee.

I guess this will simply always annoy me


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:19
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Minimum fee? Sep 20, 2011

I can only second the others suggesting the use of a proper FTP client. I use FTP Explorer (an old software, but I got used to it and it works very well), but FileZilla is good, too.
It shouldn't be that hard to get the files you need.
That said, your client should provide you with the proper path to the files.

An another note, do you have a minimum fee policy? If not, you may want to think about it. The purpose of having a minimum fee is precisely to cover the overhead that is there regardless of the size of the job. That includes time spent with communication with the client, retrieving files, sending files, invoicing, etc. This time is there, no matter how big the job is. For bigger jobs, you can absorb this, but for the 15-minutes jobs you mentioned, if you only charge for the 15 minutes you spend on the actual translation, then it is obviously not worth it. Most people I know have minimum fees, usually 1 hour, although I think it is OK to charge less if the job is really only a few minutes, and the client is a good client, providing you with many projects.
Having a minimum fee also encourages clients to bundle those small jobs together, which is always better for us.

Katalin

[Edited at 2011-09-20 12:46 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Before you make a decision Sep 20, 2011

Give LeapFTP a chance.

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IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:19
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Apply a minimum fee or refuse jobs which are too small Sep 20, 2011

I refuse small jobs from clients where there is no agreed minimum fee. I apply a minimum fee for most clients though.

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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:19
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Proper software Sep 20, 2011

Dedicated FTP client lets you configure not only the server, but also initial remote and local folder (or folders, as you can have many configurations for the same server). So, if the material is not shifted around much, you could one-click to connect to the "main" folder and start your hunt from there. Unzipping should also be always a one-click affair.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
In praise of FTP... Sep 20, 2011

PCovs wrote:

A client of mine has recently increased its use of ftp sites to the extent that I now often reject small jobs from this client.


I wish more of my clients used FTP to deliver files, especially large files, instead of emailing 30mb of attachments with no warning and clogging my inbox.

I dislike solutions like Dropbox or whatever it's called since I don't want to install an app that's always running in the background (plus who knows how secure it is?).

Secure FTP is better than email from a confidentiality standpoint.


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 19:19
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Sep 20, 2011

Steven Capsuto wrote:

PCovs wrote:

A client of mine has recently increased its use of ftp sites to the extent that I now often reject small jobs from this client.


I wish more of my clients used FTP to deliver files, especially large files, instead of emailing 30mb of attachments with no warning and clogging my inbox.

I dislike solutions like Dropbox or whatever it's called since I don't want to install an app that's always running in the background (plus who knows how secure it is?).

Secure FTP is better than email from a confidentiality standpoint.


For large jobs this is an absolute must have, and I do prefer this method to the attachment method.
The issue for me here is, when the client also uses it for small jobs taking much more time than I get paid for.

Perhaps, the issue is more that clients with ftp sites now tend to rely on me going to their ftp sites, downloading and saving/opening all kinds of files instantly to check word counts and text types before agreeing. Previously, it was customary that the client provided such info in the mail when sending over files.

I hope the suggested ftp clients can make this as hassle free for me as it now is for the client.


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:19
English to Czech
+ ...
Minimum fee for small jobs? Absolutely! Sep 21, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
An another note, do you have a minimum fee policy? If not, you may want to think about it. The purpose of having a minimum fee is precisely to cover the overhead that is there regardless of the size of the job. That includes time spent with communication with the client, retrieving files, sending files, invoicing, etc. This time is there, no matter how big the job is. For bigger jobs, you can absorb this, but for the 15-minutes jobs you mentioned, if you only charge for the 15 minutes you spend on the actual translation, then it is obviously not worth it. Most people I know have minimum fees, usually 1 hour, although I think it is OK to charge less if the job is really only a few minutes, and the client is a good client, providing you with many projects.
Having a minimum fee also encourages clients to bundle those small jobs together, which is always better for us.

Katalin[Edited at 2011-09-20 12:46 GMT]


Couldn't agree more...


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:19
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some clients are organized, others are not Sep 21, 2011

Some clients are organized, they have everything separated into a logical folders system on their FTP, so it's easy to find what you need. They provide clear instructions on what you are expected to download, and what for.

Others are self-centered. They are of the kind that considers a magnanimous favor assigning a job to any translator, who should be grateful to them for as long as they live. Their FTP site is organized as any dumpster. They have some folders, yet they won't tell you where your files are. You are expected to rummage that dumpster completely, download many files, and then check which files have already been translated, so you can eventually isolate that ONE they want you to translate.

A matter of choice.


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