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"Reputable" outsourcer - no ProZ profile - refusing to pay
Thread poster: Stefanie Reinhold

Stefanie Reinhold  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
Sep 12, 2014

Hello, everyone!

I have been "had", I assume... An outsourcer with an impressive client list, according to their website, but no PROZ profile contacted me a few weeks back for an EN>GER translation job.
Since I had not worked with them before and no PROZ profile, they agreed to my terms: 50% up front, 50% upon delivery.
They followed up with a second job immediately, now the terms were supposed to be 10 days.
After about a week, they informed me that their client did not 'like' my first translation and I would therefore not be getting paid for the second. I have been in the business for over 20 years and over 20 positive client entries...
Always open to criticism, I asked to see the corrections and was confronted with a multitude of preferential changes.
Important to know: I used the existing website of the client to reflect current terminology and style. Part of the translation was a 'poem', which was already translated into German on their website and which I simply copied. This poem was then also 'corrected' and 'disliked'.

The agency is in the UK, I am here in the US. After my refusal to accept their right to withhold payment due to preferential changes (they do not employ a proofreader, mind you...), they now have simply stopped communicating.

What can I do to get my money, since they are in the UK and I am in the US? Any suggestions?

The amount owed is $500. I am hesitant to name the agency but will if this would be helpful.

Thank you for any suggestions.

PS: Learned my lesson. Never again without PROZ profile!


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:23
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blue Board... Sep 13, 2014

No ProZ profile doesn't mean they're not listed in the Blue Board. And if they aren't, by all means, create a Blue Board record for them. Either way, be sure to post your experience there.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:23
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Create their BB Record Sep 13, 2014

Yolanda Broad wrote:

No ProZ profile doesn't mean they're not listed in the Blue Board. And if they aren't, by all means, create a Blue Board record for them. Either way, be sure to post your experience there.


I agree with Yolanda. You need to create a BB record for this company and enter your experioence with them there. You can also inform the agency of their BB record here on ProZ.

That the didn't like the poem that has been on display on their website for however long sounds very fishy.

The idea to just simply not pay you for the second job carries an air of payment fraud. You always have the right to correct your translations in case the client is not happy with your work. Was this ever offered to you? Was the second job for the same client? Did the client also "dislike" the second translation?

You have the right to get paid for the work you did, even if this requires correcting your translations. You should point out to your client that you have followed the terminology on their website. If your client has only "preferential complaints", then this doesn't justify withholding payment(s).

It's always the "easy way out" to stop communication. IMO this is/could be a sign that they know that you have rightfully earned your pay. You should contact them again outlining the points above and asking them to pay you immediately. If there's no reply - as can be expected under these circumstances -, then send them a registered letter in which you ask for immediate payment and state that late payment fees will apply. Just don't forget to inform them about their Blue Board record.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I agree Sep 13, 2014

Yolanda Broad wrote:

No ProZ profile doesn't mean they're not listed in the Blue Board. And if they aren't, by all means, create a Blue Board record for them. Either way, be sure to post your experience there.


I agree. I speak from a certain amount of experience: there have been three or four occasions on which different agencies have tried not to pay me, but in the end, the course of action I adopted has always resulted in them paying me.

Getting paid is a step-by-step process.

Step one: decide cooly and rationally in your own mind, that you are going to be paid in full. Take all emotion out of it. This is just another task.

Step two (which you have already begun): open a public discussion of the matter in the Proz discussion forums. This is important because the agencies do read these forums even if they never identify themselves in public.

Step three: let the nonpaying agency know that you have started this discussion. It doesn't matter if they don't reply.

Step four: as has already been suggested, create a Blue Board entry for the agency and give them a strongly negative rating. Be careful in how you word your comments so that they cannot rebut them, should they choose to respond.

Step five: tell the agency about the Blue Board entry. In your message to them, say that they now have X number of days to pay you in full (i.e., all of the money must be received into your bank account by a date that you specify in the same message).

After that, there's a lot more you can do. But with any luck steps 1 to 5 will produce a result for you. This is because if there's one thing that agencies care about more than anything else, it's their Blue Board record. They rely on this website to find translators, and if they get banned, they no longer have access to the skills they need.

P.S. a word of warning: after you've made the Blue Board entry it's possible that the agency may offer to pay you on condition that you then change your negative entry to a positive entry.

If that happens, I suggest you come back here and discuss it.

[Edited at 2014-09-13 08:27 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Create a Blueboard record Sep 13, 2014

Create a BB record and add your willingness to work again with them. That will be enough information to others about whether they are interesting business partners or not.

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:23
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A least doubtful. Sep 13, 2014

As Thayenga pointed out 'sounds very fishy'. The right/regular/normal thing is if job is not good, client should send it back for review, it is par for the course.

The rest is suspect.

According to Proz, if the outsourcer does not have a Blue Board record, you may add one for them here:

http://www.proz.com/blueboard/?sp_mode=add


Good luck. You will get paid.


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Stefanie Reinhold  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all of you! Sep 13, 2014

I will try your suggestions. Was unaware that a translator could create a profile for an outsourcer. Thanks again, I will update this post with my progress.

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finnword1
United States
Local time: 00:23
English to Finnish
+ ...
862 entries on Blue Board Sep 13, 2014

That's how many a certain agency has, almost all of them 5's but some 1's as well. They approached me about a job and I questioned them how it is possible to get so much positive feedback, 11 in the past June alone. They did not very convincingly explain their secret. They are supposedly an UK based company, but all of the emails came from Romania. I started Googling and found them from a well known black list of translation companies.
My point is that I sort of lost faith in the Blue Board.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
I would not state this as a general rule Sep 13, 2014

Stefanie Reinhold wrote:

PS: Learned my lesson. Never again without PROZ profile!


When I started out, many years ago, there was of course no BlueBoard, not to speak of Internet. And yet I have always been paid since then without any problem, except once, when the customer disappaered.

Still today, there are many outsourcers that don't even know ProZ, so why should they be registered here? I would not be so categorical, and indeed, I am not myself when it comes to accept a job from an outsourcer that has no BB record.

You need to be cautious, of course, but you need to be cautious anyway, even if they have all 5's in the BB! Never rely on your first impression! For me, it became a habit to read between the lines and to read very thoroughly every single entry, checking if necessary also the profile of the translator.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Another thing you can do Sep 13, 2014

Christel Zipfel wrote:

........For me, it became a habit to read between the lines and to read very thoroughly every single entry, checking if necessary also the profile of the translator.


Another thing you can do, if you recognise the names of any of the people who have posted on the BB about that particular agency, is to contact them privately and ask them what their experience was.


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:23
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Have you ended up taking the job? Sep 13, 2014

finnword1 wrote:

That's how many a certain agency has, almost all of them 5's but some 1's as well. They approached me about a job and I questioned them how it is possible to get so much positive feedback, 11 in the past June alone. They did not very convincingly explain their secret. They are supposedly an UK based company, but all of the emails came from Romania. I started Googling and found them from a well known black list of translation companies.
My point is that I sort of lost faith in the Blue Board.


Presumably, from your explanation above, you haven't, but it might be worthwhile to alert Proz staff about this.


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Stefanie Reinhold  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Blue Board entry created - outsourcer has 'disappeared' Sep 16, 2014

After the contact email address for the outsourcer (Bob Ross) has now been deactivated, the contact form on their website has been deactivated, the email addresses listed on their website do no longer work...

Here the link to their Bue Board entry http://www.proz.com/blueboard/43115.

Is there such a thing as "Better Busines Bureau" or "Chamber of Commerce" or "Small Claims Court" that I can contact int the UK?

Any tips appreciated. Thanks


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:23
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No BB either. Sep 16, 2014

Stefanie Reinhold wrote:

After the contact email address for the outsourcer (Bob Ross) has now been deactivated, the contact form on their website has been deactivated, the email addresses listed on their website do no longer work...

Here the link to their Bue Board entry http://www.proz.com/blueboard/43115.

Is there such a thing as "Better Busines Bureau" or "Chamber of Commerce" or "Small Claims Court" that I can contact int the UK?

Any tips appreciated. Thanks


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Teresa Cristina Felix de Sousa
Brazil
Local time: 02:23
English to Portuguese
"Reputable" outsource Sep 16, 2014

Hi Stephanie
I have just submitted a support ticket, and Yana is creating a record for the agency that dd not pay me too.
But, pls, Stephani, could you inform us the name of that agency so reputable that did not pay you and treated you like a trash?
Tks for this info.
Teresa Cristina Felix de Sousa - member 20101


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:23
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Eliminate this kind of thing or at least minimize it. Sep 16, 2014

Teresa Felix de Sousa wrote:

Hi Stephanie
I have just submitted a support ticket, and Yana is creating a record for the agency that dd not pay me too.
But, pls, Stephani, could you inform us the name of that agency so reputable that did not pay you and treated you like a trash?
Tks for this info.
Teresa Cristina Felix de Sousa - member 20101


Hi All,

We gotta find a way to sort out these issues. Today I received a proposal and had to refuse it as I did not have any relevant references from outsourcer. This is becoming some kind of trap.



And Stefanie Reinhold, let's not give up. When you get paid you buy us some dinner at a fancy place...:)
Just kidding.


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