Outsourcers' Rating vs My Own Experiences with Them
Thread poster: Hongmin Zhang

Hongmin Zhang
Canada
Member (2008)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Jul 28, 2017

I have 2 opposite experiences with 2 outsourcers. One outsourcer has a rating 5 but their payment to me is past due; the other outsourcer doesn't have a rating 5 but their payment to me is prompt.

Do you have similar experiences?


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 18:52
Member (2005)
English to German
Glassdoor Jul 28, 2017

Someone recently recommended to also check outsourcers on glassdoor to see what their internal employees say about them. Great idea!

 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 18:52
German to Serbian
+ ...
Not only Glassdoor Jul 28, 2017

There are external sites for feedback about outsourcers, such as LinkedIn groups, and some other websites where translators review agencies where you can get more information.

Not sure about Blue Board, you need to analyse reviews carefully. Yes, some people will give a 5 just for having gotten an opportunity to earn a few bucks, the 5 doesn't have to have a big meaning. Should be taken with a grain of salt.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Experience with outsourcers Jul 28, 2017

Experiences with outsourcers are always different: some are very friendly, others less; some have very interesting jobs, others less; some pay very promptly, others less (or worse not at all!); some have 5 stars, others less; some are on the BB, others never heard of Proz… It takes all sorts to make a world and everything is to be taken with a grain of salt!

 

Laura Kingdon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:52
Member (2015)
French to English
+ ...
How many 5s? Jul 28, 2017

I would check first to see how many ratings of 5 that first outsourcer has. In my experience, it's fairly rare for an outsourcer with more than a few reviews to have a full score of 5 as there will always be one small misunderstanding or one translator who doesn't want to rate higher than a 4, even if the agency is otherwise very good. If this first agency has only been rated a few times, its rating of 5 may not mean much.

Conversely, even agencies with horrific Blue Board scores usually have a few satisfied reviews. Maybe you were simply one of the lucky ones who got paid for whatever reason, while others are still waiting in frustration.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Limitations of the Blue Board Jul 30, 2017

Lingua 5B wrote:

Not sure about Blue Board, you need to analyse reviews carefully. Yes, some people will give a 5 just for having gotten an opportunity to earn a few bucks, the 5 doesn't have to have a big meaning. Should be taken with a grain of salt.


Totally agree.

It is very common for translators to post a rating of "5" after doing a single small job for an agency in the hopes of currying favor with, and getting more work from, that agency.

I therefore very much take Blue Board ratings with a grain of salt.

For me, the presence of a bunch of "5"s mainly indicates that the agency can be expected to pay me on time.

And any significant proportion of low ratings (especially if they are recent) constitute red flags re payment problems.



[Edited at 2017-07-30 13:22 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:52
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Check who posted the ratings Jul 30, 2017

Do you know any of the people who have posted them, if not personally, then from this site, your professional association, or other points of contact?

Where do they come from? Read the comments carefully - are they just standard, or is there a real hint between the lines that this is an outsourcer who deserves the 5, because they do more than just pay on time?
I try to give meaningful comments along with ratings, and I know some others do too.

A new rating system has been introduced recently, with ratings for five different aspects of working with outsourcers:
Easy to work with, consider quality, their onboarding procedure, adherence to terms, and reasonable payment terms.
We can hope it gives a more all-round picture of what agencies are like to work with. After all, anyone can pay on time if the agreement is a few peanuts 90 days after the invoice date, but that does not make them a top-rate agency. icon_wink.gif


 


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