Poor BB Rating - do you tell them?
Thread poster: Susanna Garcia

Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
Italian to English
+ ...
Feb 26, 2010

On several occasions, the latest this morning, I've been offered work by agencies with BB scores of 1 and negative comments on other sites. I've turned them down but told them the reason why as I felt it was only fair to let them give their side. Only once was I contacted by a partner who said they would pay in advance and supplied references from other interpreters (genuine as I knew one of them), the others appeared surprised but offered no opinion.
What I was wondering is what do you do when approached by poor payers - give them a chance, refuse and say why, or just say no?


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:21
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some anecdotes Feb 26, 2010

I've told several agencies off, and they took it like a champ! These were obvious non-payers/scammers, with 1 to 2 average WWAs, and they wasted no time with me after that - not even an angry reply!

With another, I appealed to their less-than-excellent Blue Board ratings, full of late payment claims, and was assured my invoice would be settled no later than agreed. We worked together several times, and they were 70+ days late in paying.

With yet another, I appealed to their WWA rating of around 3.0, only to be scolded for being a part of ProZ.com and told "we don't need any of you snobs, who do you think you are anyway?"

But mostly, if the WWA's not up to scratch, I just save myself the hassle and don't reply.

[Edited at 2010-02-26 23:53 GMT]


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
BB Rating Feb 26, 2010

In fact, they contacted me as I too don't bother with low scorers.

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
English to Japanese
+ ...
Yes, most of the time. Feb 27, 2010

Regarding your question, my answer would be yes most of the time, since I have had same outsourcers with low ratings on BB and on other sites or being banned from posting jobs at Proz who have the audacity to contact me many times for jobs with ridiculous rates. I hate to be bothered in that way, and when I speak out and tell them, 95% of those kind of outsourcers never get back to me. However, I must admit that there are the remaining 5% who continuously try to get in touch with me due to the reason that the PM who tries to get in touch with me is a different person every time. In those cases, I just add the email address of the agency into the list of no-no list (sorry, I don't know what the function is called) in my Outlook Express. There is a function in the "Message" tab where you can add an email address to reject or delete the message in the server where you would not receive a message from a particular address. And I never get bothered again.

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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:21
French to German
+ ...
Only once... Feb 27, 2010

I replied to an agency with a poor BB rating once, asking for a 50% advance if I were to accept the job. Needless to say I never heard from them again...

Usually I just use the delete button. A reply would be just a waste of time, and since those offers normally seem to go hand in hand with low rates, I would not even consider them anyway. I would not say no to reliable new clients, but I have a nice client base as it is so I don't feel tempted to waste my time on those fly-by-night companies.


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ludovic touitou  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
Japanese to French
+ ...
We should reply and tell them Feb 27, 2010

Telling an agency that your are turning their business away because their BB record is poor is showing them that the BB and other scoring systems actually work and are efficient.

They lose a sense of impunity and there is a chance that they will improve their business practices... or remain stuck with translators as good as they are because no one serious will even consider their offers.

Therefore, I believe it is important to make that point.


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Katarina Delic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 04:21
Member (2008)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Yes, I always mention the BB Feb 27, 2010

When I'm contacted by an agency with low BB marks, I reply with asking about the low marks. They usually don't reply, but on one occasion I was assured by the PM that I would be paid on time and that the reason for their low marks was the poor business of the previous PM; they did pay as agreed.
So, it is a good idea to mention the BB. It is probably less likely, but maybe they changed their manner of conduct. Also, maybe even more importantly, for those still practicing non-payment and the like, it is very important to let them know, because they should be aware that they are suffering the consequences of their poor business practices.

[Edited at 2010-02-27 11:19 GMT]


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:21
Italian to English
Exactly Feb 27, 2010

Ludovic has beaten me to it. My thoughts exactly. It shows the agencies that freelancers have muscle if they act collectively.
When new agencies contact me now, I always take it as a danger signal. Does it mean others won't work for them?

On one recent occasion, an agency responded that the low scores were from translators who had provided very poor work; these were from people that I only knew from eloquent and intelligent forum postings here and elsewhere but were offset by "5" scores from translators I have worked with and respect.
On the second job for them, I was told that their regular (but anonymous) reviewer was critical of my English style - the first such criticism ever. I reworked a few things, trying to be cooperative. Only after submitting my invoice, was I sent a "revised" version and asked to deduct the reviser's costs from my invoice. Apart from a very few genuine improvements, there were several equally valid alternatives, many uses of poorer English and several actual mistakes.
Even though I stuck to my guns (mentioning ProZ.com) and was paid in full, I shan't make that mistake again.

[Edited at 2010-02-27 15:10 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 04:21
English to Croatian
+ ...
Low BB rating Feb 27, 2010

In my experience, you get a chance to see why they have the low BB rating right in the negotiation phase. You don't have to wait until the project realization and payment phase at all to see WHY. ( I'm talking about all 1s, 2s and 3s, not the agencies that happen to have an occasional 1 or 2)

There are so many good agencies out there, so I wouldn't waste my time with these anti-professionals.

As for whether to tell them or not, I think they don't care at all what you will tell them or how you feel about it. If they cared, they wouldn't have let it happen, i.e. having their professional image soiled with low marks on a public board.

[Edited at 2010-02-27 13:08 GMT]


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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
And tell the good ones too Feb 27, 2010

ludovic touitou wrote:

Telling an agency that your are turning their business away because their BB record is poor is showing them that the BB and other scoring systems actually work and are efficient.



When an agency with a BB 5 rating contacts me for the first time, I always start my reply with:
"Thank you for your inquiry. Your agency comes highly rated by my colleagues."
regardless of whether I can take the job.


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:21
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Tell them! Feb 27, 2010

I mention the poor rating as a fact and state that I'll be happy to work for them if they pay in advance. Silence is the usual answer, but I remember one Russian agency that said "sure, we can do that." I worked for them for quite a while and never had any problems.

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PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 08:51
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Agency with good ratings Feb 28, 2010

Here, I have an interesting stuff to mention.

I told one of my ex-outsourcer/employer that I would like to put a positive entry in Proz BB for them. Their answer was 'Having an entity in websites like Proz/Traduguide etc. is a professional necessity for them and they do not care whether a translator is posting a positive or negative feedback about them in such sites."

I instantly, got back to my old ideology "Never grant anyone anything unless being asked for." or "Help only the needy ones."

Or may be, perhaps their positive entries are fake or artificial ones!! I am just guessing and can't trust on my own assumptions here.

But after this, I believe that having a 5 pt. feedbacks means "indication of everything is o.k." do not always guarantee that agency or outsourcer is always a perfect one.

And in many a cases, agencies/outsourcers with much less BB rating can also prove to be beneficial and fruitful.

But yes, I do give a look to BB ratings before going ahead for a job as a part of my habit of verification.

Thanks!


Christina Courtright wrote:

ludovic touitou wrote:

Telling an agency that your are turning their business away because their BB record is poor is showing them that the BB and other scoring systems actually work and are efficient.



When an agency with a BB 5 rating contacts me for the first time, I always start my reply with:
"Thank you for your inquiry. Your agency comes highly rated by my colleagues."
regardless of whether I can take the job.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Tell them Feb 28, 2010

And demand 50% (or more) of the payment in advance, or 30% before starting a single words, another 30% upon delivery of 30% of the job, and the rest on delivery.

Of course these agencies never want to do that, so asking for an advance payment will in fact keep you from working from them, which will be good in the long run.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Feb 28, 2010

When approached by a new agency with a poor Blue Board record I would always tell them that that is my reason for declining their offer. I usually hear nothing further from them.
When approached by a new agency with a good BB record I accept (if I'm free to do the job) and mention their good record.
Our solidarity is a trump card for freelance translators.
Best wishes,
Jenny


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