Rate ranges vs. specific rates in job ads
Thread poster: Mirko Mainardi

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:26
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
May 3

Yesterday I noticed a job ad whose title ended with "0,05 EUR / word for translation". In the job posting itself a budget "range" was specified by the poster: "€0.01 EUR to €0.05 EUR per word", but then the poster added that the first rate was for proofreading and the latter for translation, so not a range at all, but two specific rates.

Now, my question is: is that allowed? Since those are clearly specific rates set by the outsourcer, I reported it to support, which replied (a day later), linking http://www.proz.com/about/ipetition/changes and saying the ad was fine, as the rates had been entered in the budget section (clearly not so). Basically, no action was taken, and the ad is still there with specific rates mentioned in both title and budget section.

So maybe I did misunderstand the rules about outsourcers not being allowed to set specific rates (as opposed to "ranges")? I already thought those changes actually did very little to answer the concerns of those who first raised the issue with the "ipetition" and to empower translators to actually set their rates and negotiate with outsourcers, instead of having outsourcers dictate rates, terms, etc. and have their own way with "applicants", but if they're allowed to do such things (or even set "ranges" such as 0.049 - 0.050, for instance), then that would be nothing short of a farce.

BTW, more than 70 quotes received on that job, and counting...


UPDATE: After reopening the support ticket I received a reply saying "Rates information has been removed from this job posting", however, while "0,05 EUR / word for translation" was removed from the title, the ad still reads "Further payment details: We pay 0.05 EUR / word for translation and 0.01 EUR / word for basic proofreading" in the budget section. So, I guess that means outsourcers are in fact allowed to set rates as they please, which kind of makes the whole "soft ban" approach even more pointless than I thought, and not in line with (my interpretation of) the goals and wording of the aforementioned "ipetition", as implemented by ProZ.

[Edited at 2017-05-03 15:01 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Rate rangs vs. specific rates May 3

It’s up to the translator to set his/hers own rates, but you can’t negotiate if you don’t know what rate the outsourcer is willing to pay. I think job ads should have some kind of price indication, be it a proposed rate or a range, in order to avoid wasting time (both for us and for the client).

P.S. I rarely bid for jobs because rates are generally low, but I get contacted through my profile…


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:26
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Controversial issue May 3

Teresa Borges wrote:

It’s up to the translator to set his/hers own rates, but you can’t negotiate if you don’t know what rate the outsourcer is willing to pay. I think job ads should have some kind of price indication, be it a proposed rate or a range, in order to avoid wasting time (both for us and for the client).

P.S. I rarely bid for jobs because rates are generally low, but I get contacted through my profile…


Yes, I know this is a controversial issue and I did not want to reopen the endless debate about rates, market, bidding, etc. I for one think that seeing rates fixed by the outsourcer in a job post also has a negative educational value for the hundreds of newcomers that see such ads and are ready to accept those rates without question, with a subsequent negative impact on the market as a whole, but that's just me...

However, my post was more concerned with understanding the existing rules about this, as the answer I received from support clearly contradicts what I thought I knew (and read) about them...

P.S. Yes, same here Teresa. Although I still do bid when I see an interesting project/client. But that is yet another matter.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Sometimes they are one and the same May 3

I recently saw a job ad with the generous offer of US$ 0.02-0.03 per word that also stated any proposals quoting a rate higher than the ones proposed will be ignored. So no need to wonder there. They also announced their rates for "matches". So nothing - nothing = ???
Low rates don't seem to deter people from bidding, especially if the job appears to be large.

[Edited at 2017-05-03 12:42 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't understand the reply you got May 3

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
my post was more concerned with understanding the existing rules about this, as the answer I received from support clearly contradicts what I thought I knew (and read) about them...

The rules are quite clear, AFAIK: no specific rate may be mentioned in the title or in the text. They can say things like "low budget" or "best rates'" but they can't say €0.05 or $15/hr etc. All they can do is enter a budget in what is presumably a specific area of the job posting screen, and then it appears in blue, but only to those who have requested to see budgets.

Whenever I report jobs - using the "report specific rate information" (or words to that effect) link on the post itself - they always get edited, pronto. There must have been some misunderstanding, surely.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:26
Member
English to Italian
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TOPIC STARTER
Neither do I May 3

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
my post was more concerned with understanding the existing rules about this, as the answer I received from support clearly contradicts what I thought I knew (and read) about them...

The rules are quite clear, AFAIK: no specific rate may be mentioned in the title or in the text. They can say things like "low budget" or "best rates'" but they can't say €0.05 or $15/hr etc. All they can do is enter a budget in what is presumably a specific area of the job posting screen, and then it appears in blue, but only to those who have requested to see budgets.

Whenever I report jobs - using the "report specific rate information" (or words to that effect) link on the post itself - they always get edited, pronto. There must have been some misunderstanding, surely.


I hope so. And yes, whenever I reported similar cases in the past, with specific rates usually mentioned in the body of the ad, those were removed, however, I thought the main point of the rules about this was that outsourcers cannot mention specific rates anywhere in their ads, but only rate ranges in the budget info section, although the reply I received from support seems to suggest otherwise...

At any rate, here is what I wrote to support:


In the title: "[edited out] (0,05 EUR / word for translation)"

In the budget info: "Further payment details: We pay 0.05 EUR / word for translation and 0.01 EUR / word for basic proofreading"


The rate mentioned in the title is really really hard to miss, but, as I was saying, in my opinion even the note entered in the budget info should be removed, as that clearly is not a rate range, but two quite specific rates for two different services.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:26
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Inexperienced support person, perhaps? May 3

If the job was posted, as you wrote it was, it was not in line with the rules. It doesn't matter whether it is one figure or a range, it could ONLY be in the budget section (which is shown only to those who chose to see it).
Support should have taken it down or modified it. This is what they did every time when I noticed and reported similar issues with job posts. You can go back to the support ticket, and reopen it.

EDIT: Now I see the edit in your OP, that you did reopen the ticket and they straightened it out. It is in line with the rules if the budget info is stated only in the "budget" section.

[Edited at 2017-05-03 17:01 GMT]


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:26
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Don't see how May 4

[quote]Mirko Mainardi wrote:

...has a negative educational value for the hundreds of newcomers that see such ads and are ready to accept those rates without question, .../quote]

Imagine the proofreading wouldn't have been mentioned in the ad and the rate range would have been set up at 0,02 to 0,04 - all would have fallen strictly under the rules BUt how does it help to avoid the negative educational value for the newcomers, or anyone else, for that matter?


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:26
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agree May 4

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

...has a negative educational value for the hundreds of newcomers that see such ads and are ready to accept those rates without question, ...


Imagine the proofreading wouldn't have been mentioned in the ad and the rate range would have been set up at 0,02 to 0,04 - all would have fallen strictly under the rules BUt how does it help to avoid the negative educational value for the newcomers, or anyone else, for that matter?


I agree with you, so much so that I did write "I already thought those changes actually did very little to answer the concerns of those who first raised the issue with the 'ipetition'" and that this is "even more pointless than I thought". But, as far as the "negative educative value" is concerned, if outsourcers are in fact also allowed to set "specific rates", as in this case, then even the mere illusion that it should be translators the ones who propose rates to outsourcers (and not the other way around) is dispelled. So, not only are outsourcers totally free to post jobs with abysmal "rate ranges", but also to set "specific" abysmal rates. So, I'm left wondering what ProZ actually defines as a "rate range"...

On a side note, a somewhat useful piece of info (education-wise) is the notice "The budget entered for this job is below the rates charged by at least 80% of ProZ.com members", but for some reason that was not displayed for the job I was referring to here (despite the low rates, which I'm pretty sure are below the "minimum rate" mentioned in the "community rates" page...).

Anyhow, just to make the comparison theory vs. reality easier, here are the principles the job system here is supposed to uphold (as linked before):

1. Eliminate the potential for the ProZ.com job posting platform to be used to "popularize" low rates.

2. Reaffirm the fact that the translator is in the best position to determine what he or she needs to charge to deliver the quality required on any given job.

3. Enable the job posting system to be used by experienced members of the ProZ.com community to share useful information with job posters on rates (and how to estimate them).

4. Enable the job posting system to be used by experienced members of the ProZ.com community to share useful information with fellow translators on rates (and how to set them).

5. Improve the image of the ProZ.com site, countering the impression that it condones unprofessional practices.

6.Encourage further, ongoing cooperation among the community around these issues and translator livelihood in general.


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