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non-payer outsourcer with 5.0 LWA - is Blue Board useless?
Thread poster: Katarzyna Müller

Katarzyna Müller
Spain
Local time: 20:18
Member (2013)
Polish to English
+ ...
Aug 24, 2013

I did a translation for a highly-rated outsourcer from the Blue Board. The communication was excellent and they promptly answered my e-mails when the project was on.

However, they did not pay on time and I sent two reminders to no effect and did not even receive any reply why they are late.

I have not qiven my feedback to them yet (not before I get paid) but if this situation is not resolved, I will give them the lowest score possible on LWA.

This leads to a question - is the Blue Board and LWA of any use really?

One of the feedbacks reads 'prompt payment'... I understand some unforeseen circumstance may cause late payment, but definitely not a complete lack of response to emails.


 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:18
Member
French to English
+ ...
No, BB is NOT useless Aug 24, 2013

One simply cannot generalize like that; there are many reasons why a payment may not arrive on time, most often simply caused by some 'hiccup' in the customer's accounts system. There can also be the situation where the translation delivered is in some way unsatisfactory, in which case the customer's priority is quite naturally going to be to save the situation before getting involved in wrangling about payment issues.

You don't specify HOW overdue the payment is? What are your own terms, and are they the same as those on the customer's purchase order (you did get one, right?)? All too many agencies sadly practice 45-day settlement terms, but this fact is not often prominently indicated on their P.O.s.

Any outsourcer may have occasional issues — for example, here in France, accounts departments are often closed or short-staffed during August, so payment can get held up. And sometimes, normal staff changes can mean that your invoice gets held up. So I don't think one should start jumping to conclusions if a normally-reliable payer has a momentary 'glitch'.

One thing that does stand out over and over again from the B.B. is how often a poor note / unfavourable comment posted does lead to immediate resolution of the issue; so I think your idea of waiting to post may be counter-productive; in my own case, with one outsourcer, I wrangled for weeks to no avail, but my negative B.B. comment resulted in immediate response and payment followed. It did also open me to all sorts of 'emotional blackmail', which I just ignored icon_wink.gif


 

Farzad Akmali  Identity Verified
Member
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
I've had the same issue! Aug 24, 2013

K_Muller wrote:

I did a translation for a highly-rated outsourcer from the Blue Board. The communication was excellent and they promptly answered my e-mails when the project was on.

However, they did not pay on time and I sent two reminders to no effect and did not even receive any reply why they are late.

I have not qiven my feedback to them yet (not before I get paid) but if this situation is not resolved, I will give them the lowest score possible on LWA.

This leads to a question - is the Blue Board and LWA of any use really?

One of the feedbacks reads 'prompt payment'... I understand some unforeseen circumstance may cause late payment, but definitely not a complete lack of response to emails.


Hi,

Surely they are of use. Actually I had the same issue with few clients, and when checked the case with the other colleagues I found that one of them only pays the invoice via Paypal Invoice since they had changed their payment terms and policies.

As for another one with the same issue, it was revealed that the chief manager had left the company and they were having not a good situation and that had led to a late payment. Of course, the outsourcers with such cases started to pay when I recorded a lowest score.

I hope you get all pending invoiced paid soon.

regards


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, BB is not useless, far from it! Aug 24, 2013

As Tony says you cannot generalize like that: one tree does not make a forest! Going by my experience with negative feedbacks in the BB (two instances of delayed payment, both solved) the sooner you make them, the sooner you will be paid! But please, first of all, make sure that there is no valid reason for the delay…

 

Katarzyna Müller
Spain
Local time: 20:18
Member (2013)
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Farzad Aug 24, 2013

I am not quick to judge, but at least they could reply to my emails and say what's the hold-up.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is not useless Aug 24, 2013

Add your low rating to ensure that the rest are careful about this outsourcer.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:18
Hebrew to English
It's not useless...BUT.... Aug 24, 2013

It's not infallible either.

 

Ron Stelter  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:18
Member (2003)
German to English
I think it is not useless, but... Aug 24, 2013

I myself have raised an eyebrow many a time when I saw agencies that have really good ratings on the Blue Board when I know they are only OK at best or I didn't like them at all. I know there is at least one agency that practically begs its translators to give it a good rating. So if an agency pressures you (with the not-so-subtle threat of not giving you any more work), how credible can the ratings be?

So I think that there are translators who give certain agencies good (read: inflated) ratings to try to get into the good graces of the respective agency in a very tough competitive environment. Essentially to kiss up to them in a pretty shameless way. I've seen agencies listed as being praised for "a wonderfully uncomplicated working relationship" and I know they wanted me to fill out enormous amounts of paperwork. Apparently, "uncomplicated" means something different than I thought it meant.

I think also the bar is set so low in general that if an agency pays you at all that it is automatically nominated as "Agency of the Year".

So use it as guidance, but not as a Bible. There are plenty of agencies that have 50 good ratings that I wouldn't work for if I were starving.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:18
English to Polish
+ ...
BB restricts negative comments very heavily Aug 24, 2013

Hence, considering that positive comments will not be taken action against even if they were for some reason in violation of the rules, longevity is bound to produce high average ratings out of large numbers of ratings given in total. I have been raising this problem with the staff and requesting a rules change for weeks if not months now. If any of you guys could submit a support ticket voicing a wish for more negative feedback to be allowed where warranted, I would much welcome that. On the other hand, in fairness I need to point out that comments about non-payment are not among the discouraged types of comments.

 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 22:18
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Second that Aug 25, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:
It's not useless...BUT....

It's not infallible either.

To say the least.

Search the forums for 'BlueBoard abuse' and you will find more information about this topic.
Some suggestions for good on topic discussions to start from:
http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_job_systems/234718-blue_board_confusion.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/252959-payment_terms_+_blueboard.html


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:18
English to German
+ ...
Have you called the outsourcer on the phone? Aug 25, 2013

I am sorry to hear that, but a lot can happen when your contact person is on summer vacation.

 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:18
French to German
+ ...
But... Aug 25, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:
On the other hand, in fairness I need to point out that comments about non-payment are not among the discouraged types of comments.


Comments about non-payment seem to get all too easily removed after a while, so it is not really possible to make an informed decision. I am thinking about a particular outsourcer who used to have an overall rating of 3.2 (if I remember correctly) and is now up to 4.8 because all but one negative ratings were removed. I think I have said this a number of times before: a negative rating should remain visible, even if the translator does get paid in the end.


 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:18
French to German
+ ...
That's what I call unprofessional Aug 25, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

... but a lot can happen when your contact person is on summer vacation.


Then they should at least make sure that out-of-office notifications are sent automatically.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:18
English to German
+ ...
True - I tried to pick the least unpleasant scenario as an example Aug 25, 2013

inkweaver wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

... but a lot can happen when your contact person is on summer vacation.


Then they should at least make sure that out-of-office notifications are sent automatically.



The PM might as well have been fired on the spot. Fluctuation among PMs is tremendous. While working on-site for a direct client for a month, I had the dubious "pleasure" of witnessing true revenge by a disgruntled co-worker - no bills were paid, yet were marked as "paid", and the boss only learned about this when the phone was ringing off the hook by furious vendors.


Edited for typo:
"for A direct client"...

[Edited at 2013-08-25 06:14 GMT]


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
OT: Times have changed Aug 25, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:

inkweaver wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

... but a lot can happen when your contact person is on summer vacation.


Then they should at least make sure that out-of-office notifications are sent automatically.



The PM might as well have been fired on the spot. Fluctuation among PMs is tremendous. While working on-site for a direct client for a month, I had the dubious "pleasure" of witnessing true revenge by a disgruntled co-worker - no bills were paid, yet were marked as "paid", and the boss only learned about this when the phone was ringing off the hook by furious vendors.


Edited for typo:
"for A direct client"...

[Edited at 2013-08-25 06:14 GMT]


Wow, that's why I don't hear or read any news anymore these days about disgruntled co-workers barging into their (former) offices with rifles and machine guns. They use a PC button instead to take revenge...


 
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