Password protected delivery to speed up payment?
Thread poster: Wolfgang Jörissen

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Jul 31, 2008

Hi there!

Saw this here: http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_job_systems/111419-question_on_how_to_deal_with_abusers_of_the_prozcom_site.html?action=Reply"e=1&post_id=908584&forum_id=51&start=&float=

Paula Tizzano wrote:

Dear friend:

Either if you get an advance payment or not, when you finish your translation you can use encryption or password protection for your file. You send the encrypted file. If your client does not pay at all, then you don't release the password, and he won't be able to open the file.
If he paid 20 per cent of the assignment on advance, then you send the equivalent part of the translation as non-encrypted regular file, and the rest in a separate encrypted or password-protected file.

(...)

Besides, you can explain this to your client as a basic policy of your bureau, saying that you encrypt files for their own security.

If your client is honest and intends to pay on time, he or she will not feel offended. So many things you buy or contract today have security passwords, and everyone accepts them quite naturally, as a way to validate authentic transactions.

Of course, if they don't pay you will have lost your time and devoted work anyway, but at least you won't feel totally cheated, as they won't be able to profit from your translation.



I wonder whether some of you have actually applied this and what did it lead to. Not that I have a particular need for it right now, I'm just curious.


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 19:32
English to Russian
I have used this technique with direct end clients Jul 31, 2008

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:

I wonder whether some of you have actually applied this and what did it lead to.


I have used this technique with direct end clients several times. They paid, I sent them the password to the encrypted files. No problems at all.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 18:32
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I find this rather agressive Jul 31, 2008

It has "I-dont-trust-you" written all over it. And if I were in the sorry position of not trusting my business partner - oh well...

My gut feeling is it would be understood as an escalation - "encrypted - in your face". Possibly the other side would have a good laugh and spend coffee time on the subject of retaliation. Like sending you the payment the encrypted way - asking for a picture of you holding high the sign - "I encrypt my deliveries"... But on the balance of probabilities ("how many bad apples to a barrel") you would get a sloppy but honest agency reeeeeally incensed...

Regards

Vito


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:32
Flemish to English
+ ...
Translations under lock and key? Jul 31, 2008

I used this in the past to make the owner of a translation agency who I knew that she would pay late again run to the bank and pay the same afternoon..
Never heard of that lady again, but why bother????
Word 2007 offers a variety of possibilities to lock your document: If you push on the Microsoft Office symbol >prepare>you can restricti permission, encrypt the document, etc...
A second option is : Click on the Review tab, Protect document in the most righthand corner (symbol with a lock)>strict permissions>choose only read document /make remarks. That way the customer knows what (s)he is buying and can make remarks/corrections, but can not sell the document to the end-customer.

This has nothing to do with trust. There are so many services where the service-provider wants to see money after delivery of service. Read the document, make remarks and after we finally convene that this is the final version, pay for with moneybookers/paypal/bank-transfer.
Those without not enough cash to prefinance one big project would be left behind, but is that a problem?



[Edited at 2008-07-31 09:42]


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Niels Stephan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:32
Member (2009)
English to German
Difference to regular pre payment? Jul 31, 2008

I fail to see the difference to regular payment before delivery.

Basically that is what it is:
Give me the money, I give you the work.

One might argue that it gives the client sort of safety, that he has something, but who guarantees that the encrypted file does not contain just garbage or you never send the key anyway.

It is pretty fancy, but I completely miss the point.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never needed a safety net Jul 31, 2008

I've never used this system and probably never will, but it might be useful for first-time or one-off clients. I'd make certain to profusely explain that it´s just a first-time procedure and once an on-going relationship was to be established, it would be dropped for a more "trusting" approach as Vito mentions.

Personally, I've never needed such a system because I trust my first impressions of clients. Other translators may have had different experiences, but my experience is that clients who start off with a professional approach are just that, and will be professional when it comes time to pay. If someone approaches me in an overly informal way, I assume they´ll be informal in all their other dealings (like paying on time), so I don´t even waste my time on them, or on coming up with "safety features" for getting paid.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:32
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Dubious and impractical? Jul 31, 2008

I also think that it might ruin your business relations with those clients that pay on time and believe in trust in cooperation...

Besides, delivery of encrypted files is for all practical purpouses equivalent to non-delivery - if the client is an agency, they cannot send it further to the end client. If the end client requested a certain deadline to be observed, it is often because they need the translation at a particular time, therefore receiving a file they cannot use at all will not make them happy...

In short, you might as well ask that they pay upfront - whether you have "delivered" encrypted files before or not does not make any difference, does it (unless they have a good password cracking software )? In our business (where the typical period between delivery and payment is over 30 days) there are not many clients that will go along with that...


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 19:32
English to Russian
It makes some difference... Jul 31, 2008

Jabberwock wrote:

In short, you might as well ask that they pay upfront - whether you have "delivered" encrypted files before or not does not make any difference, does it (unless they have a good password cracking software )? In our business (where the typical period between delivery and payment is over 30 days) there are not many clients that will go along with that...


It makes difference as when I send an encrypted file I make a part of it visible to a client in a not editable format.

The typical period between delivery and payment is over 30 days? Why? I'm speaking here about the DIRECT END clients. In our time the payment can be sent in MINUTES. If one wants it.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:32
Flemish to English
+ ...
Immediate payment. Aug 1, 2008

Who determines the rules in our sector? Indeed, it does make a difference if you deliver the text visible and with the possibility to make remarks for you to correct. Once the final product is finished and the customer likes the product, why doesn't he have to pay for it immediately. The work is done and both parties agree about the content. One has delivered and the other likes the product=payment. Your bank may give interest, but not for free and I am not a credit-institution who has to finance the livelihood of agencies. If you don't have the money to start one, remain a translator. If you don't have enough on your account to pay for at least one project without having to wait for the end-customer, continue to translation and don't act like agency.
Agency: enough cash on their accounts to do business.

[Edited at 2008-08-01 07:13]


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:32
English to Finnish
+ ...
If the client can read it, he can do what he wants with it Aug 1, 2008

I would like to add that anything a client can read, they can also edit, forward, and generally handle as they please. This issue has been extensively covered in security forums.

If nothing else, the client can take a photo of the screen, and feed it to OCR software. I mention this method only in order to illustrate my point; usually, “copy-protected” texts can be taken into use much more easily.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:32
Flemish to English
+ ...
Microsoft Digital Rights function. Aug 1, 2008

Thor Kottelin wrote:

I would like to add that anything a client can read, they can also edit, forward, and generally handle as they please. This issue has been extensively covered in security forums.

If nothing else, the client can take a photo of the screen, and feed it to OCR software. I mention this method only in order to illustrate my point; usually, “copy-protected” texts can be taken into use much more easily.



Not with the Microsoft Digital Rights Function in Word2007.
This is not only copy-protection, but contains also editing, printing-restrictions and a function whereby the user "can ask permissions from"abc@ xxx.com" to change the document.
Of course, he would get these permissions after payment.

With regard to OCR. I did not have time to have a look at the Prepare and Digital Right Management Function and the Review function, in detail.. If I am not mistaken the review function in word2007>protect document has an option to limit formatting, editing, regions of a document a reviewer can edit and formatting restrictions.
If you push "start enforcing protection", user authentication : "authenticated users can remove document protection. The document is encrypted and restricted access is enabled".
How to get encryption code: go to moneybookers or paypal and pay for your service.

Otherwise:
Good luck in copy and print-screen+OCR with at the other hand an impatient end-customer.

In God we trust, all others (first-time customers) pay cash. Immediate payment or short term payment is still the best way for a business to grow. The Southern-European (+60 days) way causes too much headaches and who wants to be a credit institution.
For those with ethical and holding client for ranson objections : How many services in daily life you would not get if you did not pay immediately?
Try the translation payment practices at a gas station. Your car would not get far. If you don't pay the rent, you will be put on the street, don't pay your utility bills/telephone bills/isp-bill within the period of time on your invoice and you will be cut off after a second invoice, ...
What happens if you want to become a member of Proz.com, payment after 30 days or 60 days or immediate payment and upgrade of membership a couple of days later?


[Edited at 2008-08-01 16:03]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Holding the client for ransom Aug 1, 2008

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:
I wonder whether some of you have actually applied this and what did it lead to. Not that I have a particular need for it right now, I'm just curious.


I've never done it, and for me it comes down to the same as pre-paid translations. If the client can't use the file, then he hasn't received it yet, as far as I'm concerned.

If you want payment upfront, don't do the work first and then hope the client will pay because you're holding him for ransom. If you want payment upfront, wait for payment to come in before starting on the job. Does this make sense? I'm sure it does


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