Extra for urgent translation or not?
Thread poster: Christophe Delaunay

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:10
Spanish to French
+ ...
Aug 6

Hello fellow translators,

I'm facing a delicate situation. Let's say that this company is paying me good money for my work.

Now they have a very urgent translation that has to be ready for tomorrow midday.

Would you ask for X% more because of the short delay or would you "absorb" it in the already high rate you have?

Thank you for your surely wise remarks...


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 05:10
Member (2016)
English to German
Any previous agreements on this? Aug 6

Do you have any agreement with them in place that expressly mentions rush rates?

Do you need to put in a night shift or to delay other assignments to get this done?

Or can you do this translation without much inconvenience to your overall schedule?

With some of my clients, small assignments on short notice are pretty much routine. Of course, they don't have a guarantee that I can take them, but if I can, I don't charge extra for that.


Valérie Ourset
 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:10
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good questions Aug 6

Do you have any agreement with them in place that expressly mentions rush rates?


Nope

Do you need to put in a night shift or to delay other assignments to get this done?


Not to that extent

Or can you do this translation without much inconvenience to your overall schedule?


Sort of. I got it tonite. It has to be ready by tomorrow 12pm.


With some of my clients, small assignments on short notice are pretty much routine. Of course, they don't have a guarantee that I can take them, but if I can, I don't charge extra for that.


Your deal seems quite reasonable. What would be your reason for charging extra for that then? Or you simply never charge extra as a rule?


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 05:10
Member (2016)
English to German
Overtime Aug 6

Sometimes clients have offered me a somewhat higher word rate in order to make me accept assignments that I had turned down before due to too much work. But as I said, getting work for "tomorrow at noon" is quite a routine event for me. I accept that if I can cover it without too much inconvenience, and I simply decline it if I can't.

I think I would charge extra for something that forces me to work long hours overtime if I accept it. But in most cases, I simply turn down this kind of work. Saying no is an art that did not come naturally to me but I finally had to learn it in order to survive in this job.


Vera Schoen
Marcus König
Ester Vidal
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some thoughts Aug 6

Is it the first such request from them? And how good are they as a client, other than the good rates? It isn't all about rates, is it? There's ease of the admin side, support, flexibility when you too have special needs (sickness, etc), and of course timely payment.

If you really like workng with them, you might want to just do it at the normal rate, at least this time. OTOH, it might be a great idea to tell them your usual rush rate is +n%, but you'll be happy to waive it this time. Or you could just charge the extra to avoid setting an "I work 24/7" precedent.


Kay Denney
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 05:10
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
My personal policy Aug 6

For a regular or semi-regular, no overcharge. If I have room to squeeze it in, the effort is the same whether it's for tomorrow or next month.

For a one-timer, no overcharge either, provided that they pay in advance (confirmation of payment works as PO).

In both cases I will add half-jokingly that if they charge extra to their client, I won't mind some of that extra trickling down to me. In a few instances it did trickle down, and was immediately spent on a nice dinner.

All this applies to occasional urgent assignments. If it becomes a habit, or if a particular client requires ultra-fast turnaround times because of the nature of the jobs (e.g., daily Forex news), I'd consider a 30% surcharge, but more likely turn down the offer - such a commitment kills flexibility.

[Edited at 2018-08-06 23:50 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't charge extra for rush jobs from my regulars Aug 7

I do not charge extra for rush jobs from my regulars, like Kay-Victor small assignments for next day are pretty much routine and most of my clients have reasonable requests. If I can’t translate what is being requested within the time frame I simply turn them down or negotiate for an extended deadline.

 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:10
French to English
Possible -vs - impossible Aug 7

I tend to charge a higher rate in that case. If it's a regular client who pays on time etc., then working late in the evening for a slightly higher rate seems fine. If it's a badly organized client sending stuff through on a Friday night expecting it done by Monday, then I tend to refuse. I used to accept that before, for a higher rate, but realized that these clients would say yes to anything just to get the work back on Monday. However, badly organized clients are also very often late payers. I refuse much more often nowadays.

Edit: the meaning of "urgent" is variable anyway. Some clients expect the impossible and at any price, impossible is not possible.

[Edited at 2018-08-07 12:55 GMT]


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
My basic principles for rush work Aug 7

1.
The greater the inconvenience involved in doing the job in question, the more I charge.
2.
The more attractive a job is to me at a given moment (i.e., if it is a high-volume assignment involving material that I know I can handle quickly under circumstances where I really could use the money), the more willing I am to accept a lower offer than I would for a smaller and less attractive job.
3.
If I consider what is on offer to not be worthwhile (because of some combination of the material involved, deadline demanded, and how I am feeling when I receive it) I refuse.

***
I do not have clients who have so regularly showered me with lucrative and regular work that I would feel absolutely obliged to accept jobs from them that involve great inconvenience to me.


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:10
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Sheila Aug 8



Is it the first such request from them?


There haven't been a lot like this, no.


And how good are they as a client, other than the good rates? It isn't all about rates, is it? There's ease of the admin side, support, flexibility when you too have special needs (sickness, etc), and of course timely payment.


They're on the average positive side.

I've done what you wrote about telling them about my rush rate but waiving it. They seem to have appreciated it. I hope they did!


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:10
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Daniel Aug 8


In both cases I will add half-jokingly that if they charge extra to their client, I won't mind some of that extra trickling down to me. In a few instances it did trickle down, and was immediately spent on a nice dinner.


I like your stratagem (but this is direct client)... and the tricklingicon_wink.gif


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:10
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Teresa, Nikki, Robert Aug 8

Thank you for your wise pieces of advice. I see you all basically point towards the same behaviour.

I really appreciate your quick response.

Thank you all.


 


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