Interpreting- travel day fee
Thread poster: xxxjenbikkal

xxxjenbikkal

Local time: 07:21
French to English
+ ...
Nov 22, 2011

Hi all,

I am preparing a quote for a job in California. I live in Georgia.

The client says that they will pay for travel and accommodations but I know that some people charge a "day travel" fee in addition to their rate, for the actual time spent travelling...and I would like to do since CA is pretty far from GA (in essence I would be travelling for two full days.)

Is this a common practice?

How much of the total quote should the travel fee be?

Thanks for your help!

-Jen
http://translationsbyjen.wordpress.com/


[Edited at 2011-11-22 20:20 GMT]


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Travel Days Nov 22, 2011

Your fee for travel days should be the same as your regular daily fee for working, because you are forgoing all possibilities for productive work on those days. If not traveling, you could be working and earning your regular rate. Your time is worth the same regardless of what you are doing. The same is true when you show up for an interpreting assignment and there is no need for the service, but you remain for the duration at the client's request just in case. Your charge for waiting time is the same.

You should normally charge for the two days. However, if it is an attractive assignment and you can do a bit of tourism in addition to working, and can consider it to be a "working vacation" of sorts, then feel free to be more flexible.

I can assure you that there have been many travel assignments I have taken at a loss, because I did not charge for travel time and lost other, more lucrative work. But then again, if I enjoyed the trip, it was an interesting assignment and I got to see new places and new faces, then on that basis it was worthwhile.


 

The Misha
Local time: 07:21
Russian to English
+ ...
It is all the art of the possible Nov 22, 2011

Sure, it's nice to get paid for your travel time, and Henry is right here, time spent traveling is still time spent. However, personally, I have never been able to pull this off, and I kind of doubt you will either. Unless, of course, you have your market totally cornered. I'd look at the overall attractiveness of the assignment instead, all things considered.

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 19:21
Chinese to English
Not sure if you can get full fee Nov 23, 2011

I've never seen full fee myself - half seems to be standard around here.

 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Realities Nov 23, 2011

I have tried to detail the ideal situation, with the realization that things are not always ideal. I see you are a "student" member, which must mean that you don't have a world of experience yet. Therefore, at that level, you could consider yourself quite lucky to get an assignment where a client is willing to pay travel costs to have your services. Normally a client would look for a local interpreter so as to avoid travel costs, which can get expensive.

So in this case flexibility on your part would probably be best. Take what you can reasonably get, enjoy the trip and remember that the fact that you have had a travel assignment because a client found you valuable enough to pay your freight looks good on your resumé.


 

xxxjenbikkal

Local time: 07:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thankful for all of the advice and feedback! Nov 23, 2011

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your advice and feedback.

Turns out the client is being extremely agreeable (possibly a little too agreeable) to all of my rates, and even my travel day fee! I feel as though they are being quite pushy to get me to book the days (they would need me for 5 days).

They are not cooperating with me so I can find out some basic information. I keep asking them to call me so I can ask them some questions before I send my official quote just so I know more about what I'd be getting myself into (type of event, who the other interpreter is, who THEY even are in regards to the Chinese company who is the client...) and they have yet to call. I have no way of calling them.

One day I get an email from "Robin" and the next day it's from "Robert". Their email address is from a yahoo address...

I smell something fishy here. What do you all think?

How do you all handle situations where you do not feel comfortable but at the same time don't want to miss out on an opportunity?

I have already heard of so many scam stories that I just want to cover my behind and make sure that I feel comfortable with a situation before committing to anything.


-Jen
http://translationsbyjen.wordpress.com/

[Edited at 2011-11-23 22:53 GMT]


 

Paula Gordon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:21
Bosnian to English
+ ...
absolutely smells fishy Nov 23, 2011

Hi, Jen,
Jumping in late, but from the few details you included in your last post, this sounds like a scam.
Check the Payment Practices scam database (free, no registration required) to see if you can find any addresses or names there: http://www.paymentpractices.net/Scams.aspx (scroll down if the top of the page is blank). You can also add details of these folks to the database.

If they offer to send payment in advance and then ask you to refund some of it, run. Or, you could gather as much information as you can and report the scam to your state's attorney general's office. Although I doubt there is anything the AG can do, since these people are probably not located in the US.

Or, if you have time to fool around, you could play the game for a while (but do not cash the check or get on the plane). There are lots of sites to look at for examples, including 419eater. But be prepared to waste some time. Baiting scammers is not for the faint of heart (after all, they have your contact information and might start making threats if threatened).

Anyway. It sounds like a scam to me. Too good to be true.

Good luck, trust your gut.

Paula

(Edited for link to work)

[Edited at 2011-11-23 23:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-11-23 23:54 GMT]


 

xxxjenbikkal

Local time: 07:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not Nigerian Nov 24, 2011

Hi Paula,

Thanks for the link. I'm already on Payment Practices but didn't know about that scam page. They do not seem to be on there.

The company is some Chinese textile company.

I just found this scam alert though...so no more wondering!

http://scamfraudalert.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/payment-officer-needed-nanjing-textiles-import-export-corp/


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
There's a difference, though Nov 24, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

Your fee for travel days should be the same as your regular daily fee for working


... between what one earns comfortably in front of his/her own computer screen and what one earns interpreting in the field. I simply make sure I have that covered, because it's lost opportunity.


 

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Have them arrange the travel and pay you part up front Nov 25, 2011

I agree it does smell fishy and you should apply caution but don't turn this down as yet as nothing bad has actually happened.

I would suggest having the client make the travel arrangements for you, i.e. book the flight and the hotel and pay for them (you can easily check this as you won't get a ticket if it's not been paid and you can call the hotel to make sure the room has been paid for), also and to make doubly sure you could have the client pay you part of your fee upfront.

If they are willing to do all this and you actually receive the payment for your fees (this is where you have to be wary of Nigerian type scams) you should have no problems, there is no reason why they should not be willing to do this if they are a legitimate client.


 

Atlas Trans
Local time: 12:21
English
+ ...
It is a scam! Nov 28, 2011

As an agency we get a lot of these, and some are very clever and we also quote initially as we sometimes can not be sure. What happens is the client agrees to all your terms and prices (the first clue!) and then they send you a cheque. All looks good. You pop the cheque into your bank account. Then they contact you again - it's been cancelled. But don't worry, you can keep half the money, just send them a cheque for half the amount and sorry for the inconvenience! So you write a cheque or do a payment of some sort, happy to have got money for nothing. Then your bank calls to say there has been a problem with the cheque you paid in - it's a dud. (your bank will have taken ages to discover this). The "client" has banked your cheque no problem. You are out of pocket.

See also http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/172271-interpreter_cheque_fraud_was_contacted_via_proz-page2.html


 


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