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Removal of Negative Feedback Entry on BB due to Ambiguity of TimeFrame regarding Complaints
Thread poster: Yasutomo Kanazawa

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
English to Japanese
+ ...
Sep 25

I would like to hear your opinion about an incident I came across a few days earlier on Proz.

I entered a negative feedback on BB for a certain outsourcer, but my entry was removed due to BlueBoard’s rule, specifically “2 Certain conditions must be met before Blue Board entries can be made. Entries concerning the Likelihood of Working Again (LWA) with given outsourcers are allowed only when (1) commissioned work has been completed in full and delivered on time, and (2) there have not been complaints related to quality shortly after delivery. Entries may not be made on the basis of negotiations, test translations, or other preliminary or non-commissioned interactions.”

The part in question is (2), mentioning that there has not been complaints related to quality shortly after delivery.

Now my question is:

What is the exact timeframe for this word “shortly”? Is it a day after delivery, one week, or maybe even a month?

I did a job for this particular agency which I wrote above and agreed on a payment terms of 30 days from date of invoice. When payment was due, they sent me a message claiming that the end client was not satisfied with my work, and that they would only be able to pay 1/3 of the agreed amount. They also informed me that the source text is being re-translated at the moment. So, I asked them to show some proof that their end client was not satisfied, i.e. my original proofread and translated text with red marks or track changes or whatever their reason to prove that the work was unsatisfactory.

My point is, is a timeframe of one month “shortly after delivery”?

I have delivered the commissioned job in full and on time without any delay, so (1) is not an issue here.

IMO, this “shortly after delivery” is very vague and could be interpreted in many ways. On my Proz profile, I clearly mention that I will not accept any claims or complaints after 7 days after delivery. The job was a 3447 source words job of proofreading and 250 source words of translation, which could be completed in a day or two. The quality of the translation was quite good, and there weren’t many corrections to be made. Assigning the job to me means that they have accepted my terms and conditions, and I too had agreed to theirs. Then one month later when payment is due, they abruptly claim that the client was not satisfied. I have asked them to submit some evidence to support their claim, but to no avail.

This is not the first time I have encountered this kind of issue (with a different outsourcer, of course), and I have given up on other similar cases where my BB entries have been removed due to complaints shortly after delivery.

If this kind of thing happens, the credibility of the BB would be more unreliable. I know that many of you take the BB entries with a grain of salt, but I think this is outrageous.

What do you think, and what would be the best solution?


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Manuela Ribecai  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:17
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Keeping all emails Sep 25

Hi Yasutomo,

When I experienced this kind of issue, I always have sent to ProZ all the email received and sent.
With this material, the team can see that there was no complain against my job's quality BEFORE I contacted ProZ.

I think the key is always organisation and structure.
With no place for approximation, there is no place for unjustified complain.

Kind regards,
Manuela


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I have all the correspondences Sep 25

Hi Manuela,

Thanks for your suggestion.

I have all the correspondences exchanged with the outsourcer, submitted as proof to Proz still decided to remove my entry because there was a "complaint" from the client.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:17
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Shortly Sep 25

30 days after delivery is definitely not "shortly". In fact, even 14 days after delivery is in a gray zone. A week is more realistic.

It is hard to believe that any complaints about the quality of your translation only arise when it's time for the agency to fulfill its part of the contract, that is, when payment is due. Not knowing the agency in question, such behavior does raise a red flag.

You might try to contact your customer one more time to somehow clarify the issue. If no consent can be reached, contact ProZ and insist on making your BB entry. After all, your complaint (seems to be) is fully justified and in accordance with ProZ.com's rules.

[Edited at 2017-09-25 08:31 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:17
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Shabby behaviour? Sep 25

It looks pretty dodgy to me that the outsourcer didn't "discover" the end client's dissatisfaction until the time came for the outsourcer to pay (at least 30 days after delivery of the work). I also think it's pretty shabby of Proz to refuse to admit your negative entry about the outsourcer on the grounds of very late and unsubstantiated "quality issues". This diminishes the general usefulness of the Blue Board.
The outsourcer must show you evidence of what the end client didn't like.
Blue Board entries are supposed to indicate the translator's willingness to work with the outsourcer again. If you are not willing to work for them again, you should be allowed to say so. Have you tried giving the outsourcer a low score but leaving no comment? Proz usually allows that.


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:17
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
No way it is shortly Sep 25

When quality issues are reported at the time of payment and never before, it is not 'shortly' - it is a nasty attempt to save bucks at your cost.

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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 07:17
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
shabby indeed Sep 25

Jenny Forbes wrote:

It looks pretty dodgy to me that the outsourcer didn't "discover" the end client's dissatisfaction until the time came for the outsourcer to pay (at least 30 days after delivery of the work). I also think it's pretty shabby of Proz to refuse to admit your negative entry about the outsourcer on the grounds of very late and unsubstantiated "quality issues". This diminishes the general usefulness of the Blue Board.
The outsourcer must show you evidence of what the end client didn't like.
Blue Board entries are supposed to indicate the translator's willingness to work with the outsourcer again. If you are not willing to work for them again, you should be allowed to say so. Have you tried giving the outsourcer a low score but leaving no comment? Proz usually allows that.


I fully agree with Jenny. And "shortly" should be within a week max. expecially when you have this included as part of your T & C. And, of course, any client complaints should be substantiated by showing tracked documents.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Case is closed according to the outsourcer Sep 25

Thayenga wrote:

30 days after delivery is definitely not "shortly". In fact, even 14 days after delivery is in a gray zone. A week is more realistic.

It is hard to believe that any complaints about the quality of your translation only arise when it's time for the agency to fulfill its part of the contract, that is, when payment is due. Not knowing the agency in question, such behavior does raise a red flag.

You might try to contact your customer one more time to somehow clarify the issue. If no consent can be reached, contact ProZ and insist on making your BB entry. After all, your complaint (seems to be) is fully justified and in accordance with ProZ.com's rules.

[Edited at 2017-09-25 08:31 GMT]


In our last correspondence, the outsourcer clearly stated that this case will be closed and put to rest. I don't think they would write me back even if I did so.

The outsourcer probably notified Proz about my entry, hence removal of my feedback.


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inesec  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
This is not the first Sep 25

and obviously will not be the last case of outsourcer-oriented attitude. This is the reason why I consider BB as well as KudoZ and forums (except technical) a joke.

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, seconded Sep 25

Jenny Forbes wrote:

It looks pretty dodgy to me that the outsourcer didn't "discover" the end client's dissatisfaction until the time came for the outsourcer to pay (at least 30 days after delivery of the work). I also think it's pretty shabby of Proz to refuse to admit your negative entry about the outsourcer on the grounds of very late and unsubstantiated "quality issues". This diminishes the general usefulness of the Blue Board.
The outsourcer must show you evidence of what the end client didn't like.
Blue Board entries are supposed to indicate the translator's willingness to work with the outsourcer again. If you are not willing to work for them again, you should be allowed to say so. Have you tried giving the outsourcer a low score but leaving no comment? Proz usually allows that.


I feel mistreated by Proz not letting me leave a negative feedback working with this outsourcer, and I 120% agree with you regarding the general usefulness of the BB. Isn't BB's primary purpose letting other people know if a certain outsourcer is honest or not? The outsourcer CLAIMS that the translation is redone by somebody else, but up till now, no proof submitted.

I can't give names here, but the biggest mistake I made was working with this outsourcer, who was banned from posting jobs on Proz in 2009. I should have checked it more carefully before accepting a job from them.

I tried re-entering a feedback, but could not due to the following reason:

"You have already made an entry in this blueboard record. You cannot make another entry."

Of course, my first entry has been removed, so there is no record of my entry at present.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Grey zone created by Proz Sep 25

Gallagy wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:

It looks pretty dodgy to me that the outsourcer didn't "discover" the end client's dissatisfaction until the time came for the outsourcer to pay (at least 30 days after delivery of the work). I also think it's pretty shabby of Proz to refuse to admit your negative entry about the outsourcer on the grounds of very late and unsubstantiated "quality issues". This diminishes the general usefulness of the Blue Board.
The outsourcer must show you evidence of what the end client didn't like.
Blue Board entries are supposed to indicate the translator's willingness to work with the outsourcer again. If you are not willing to work for them again, you should be allowed to say so. Have you tried giving the outsourcer a low score but leaving no comment? Proz usually allows that.


I fully agree with Jenny. And "shortly" should be within a week max. expecially when you have this included as part of your T & C. And, of course, any client complaints should be substantiated by showing tracked documents.


Hello Gallagy,

Thanks for your comments.

Within a week, I could buy that.
But the problem lies in the Proz rules, where it does not clearly state up to how many days but just "shortly". That's why I'm facing (and I believe many others have experienced the same thing) this situation.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:17
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, Sep 25

Maija Cirule wrote:

and obviously will not be the last case of outsourcer-oriented attitude. This is the reason why I consider BB as well as KudoZ and forums (except technical) a joke.


and I wonder why.

BB is the first and foremost reason why I stay a member, but I must reconsider renewing my membership next time which is next month.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:17
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Issue a support ticket Sep 25

If you haven't already done so, I'd issue a support ticket and ask Proz to reconsider their decision not to allow your entry for this (already banned?) outsourcer. Offer to send Proz all the evidence you have (purchase order, dates, emails, etc.) - I wish you luck and please keep us posted here.

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inesec  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Yasutomo, if I were you, Sep 25

I would visit the URL http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm and submit a detailed description of your experience with the scammer and its protector, or http://www.paymentpractices.net/Register.aspx.

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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:17
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Reply from ProZ Sep 25

IMO a reply from ProZ here would be of interest not just to Yasutomo, but to everyone, also considering that the reliability and usefulness of the BB is in question (once again).

That said, I believe that 'shortly' should be better defined, and I agree that 30 days for a 3.5k proofreading project can be hardly considered a 'short' time frame, and the fact that quality issues were mentioned only after payment was due is more than a little suspicious.


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