Rush fee
Thread poster: Lisa Wetzmueller

Lisa Wetzmueller
Austria
Local time: 16:42
Member (2018)
English to German
Mar 24

Apologies if this has been discussed already, but I couldn't find a discussion on the topic.

An agency I am signing up with wants to know whether I charge a rush fee. Would you guys recommend doing so? And if so, how much (in relation to usual fee) should it be?

Thank you for all advice!


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
0%-150%-300%-1000% extra Mar 24

Hello Lisa,

1) a high-priority job requires postponing/rejecting the other offers;
2) intense [almost] nonstop work/deadline still includes researching and proofreading;
3) let alone sitting all/late at night and without weekends/holidays;
4) a timeout is required after very tiresome rush jobs;
and so on.

Just weight what you gain and what you lose, considering the usual turnout and risks.


Note that all those pro
... See more
Hello Lisa,

1) a high-priority job requires postponing/rejecting the other offers;
2) intense [almost] nonstop work/deadline still includes researching and proofreading;
3) let alone sitting all/late at night and without weekends/holidays;
4) a timeout is required after very tiresome rush jobs;
and so on.

Just weight what you gain and what you lose, considering the usual turnout and risks.


Note that all those promises to give more jobs at better rates is but empty words, unless written in a contract/PO--especially in the service sector (ant. goods), where its price instantly falls unilaterally right after the delivery. Or treat and promote your services as IP/uniquely tailored products.
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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:42
English to Russian
+ ...
Why not? Mar 24

If the agency asks about the rush fee (rather than blindly assumes you don't charge one), it's a good sign. I think it makes sense to charge extra if the job encroaches on your normal rest time. The amount of this fee may change in proportion to the inconvenience this job causes - for example, I would not hesitate to charge 100% extra if the job required me to work 24 hours non-stop (and it did happen once or twice in my life). In milder situations, you don't have to establish a specific percent... See more
If the agency asks about the rush fee (rather than blindly assumes you don't charge one), it's a good sign. I think it makes sense to charge extra if the job encroaches on your normal rest time. The amount of this fee may change in proportion to the inconvenience this job causes - for example, I would not hesitate to charge 100% extra if the job required me to work 24 hours non-stop (and it did happen once or twice in my life). In milder situations, you don't have to establish a specific percentage rate - personally, I negotiate it with the project manager in every individual case.

On a related topic, you may also reserve your right to charge extra in other cases when the job becomes more onerous than usual - e.g. when it requires more than a token amount of technical work (complex formatting, etc.), or for handwritten originals.
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Christel Zipfel
ahartje
Dan Lucas
Vera Schoen
MollyRose
Joanna Posylek
Korana Lasić
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Absolutely! Mar 24

Lisa Wetzmueller wrote:
An agency I am signing up with wants to know whether I charge a rush fee. Would you guys recommend doing so?


IMO, our minimum fees and rush fees are both as important to our businesses as our standard fees (per word, per hour, and per anything else that's mutually agreed).

And if so, how much (in relation to usual fee) should it be?

That's more difficult of course and you'll probably get as many different percentages as you get responses. Personally, I have one rush rate for a job that requires me to shorten my lunch break, work a little late, etc. That's +25%. Then I have another for jobs that mean I have to give this job priority over others already accepted, as well as the above. That's higher, at +50%, because it involves some risk to other work. Then there's the rate that I invoke very infrequently, because it applies to me being required to work late into the evening or at the weekend. I accept that type of job very rarely and only ever for really good, regular clients as a favour; in return they have to pay +100%, i.e. double my usual rate.

I often waive the first and sometimes the second surcharge for regular clients, often not even mentioning the possibility (after the initial sending of my T&C, when I include it if I feel it necessary). And I always refuse rush jobs from totally new clients as they're too risky, so in practice I don't often impose them. Sometimes though, one regular client will have a spate of urgent jobs at the same time as I'm snowed under with work from other clients. Then I have to impose rush rates.


ahartje
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Lisa Mar 24

I apply a minimum surcharge of 25% to rush jobs, but I prefer to invoice those jobs on a case by case basis. I must say though that I do not charge extra for rush jobs from my long-standing customers, small assignments for next day are pretty much routine and most of my clients have reasonable requests.

ahartje
Dan Lucas
Robin LEPLUMEY
Laura Kingdon
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:42
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Rush fee Mar 26

I find that there are very few agencies willing to pay a rush fee, even when delivery is urgent.I have asked many clients with rush jobs how much of a rush fee they are wiling to pay. I never hear back from them. This makes one rather cynical

Fatine777
Laura Kingdon
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Lisa Mar 26

Lisa Wetzmueller wrote:
An agency I am signing up with wants to know whether I charge a rush fee.


Well, I don't. I don't charge extra simply because the client wants it sooner. I am either able (which includes: willing) to do it sooner, or not.

I have had clients offer to pay me a rush fee, but it is interesting to see what such clients think of as "rush". In some cases, "rush" is simply "project manager panic" and doesn't really mean they need it sooner than usual (or: they have no idea how long it normally takes, and they assume longer). In some cases, it appears that "rush" is a code word for "the deadline is a hard, HARD deadline" even if the deadline is days away.

Would you guys recommend doing so? And if so, how much (in relation to usual fee) should it be?


Unless you are a highly sought-after translator who can get away with charging ridiculous rates, your "rush" fee can't be more than a few dozen percentage points above your usual rate, which makes it a rather dull incentive.

And there is a cost to using rest hours for things other than resting. You know your own body best, but if you're not used to working long shifts, it would not be unrealistic to need e.g. 1-2 days of recovery for having skipped 8 hours of usual rest time. If working rush means you need to recuperate during more hours than the rush itself, a rush surcharge can be poor compensation for those lost hours.

Also, if you do decide to charge a rush fee, sooner or later you'd have to define what a rush is, and that can be rather arbitrary.


Chiara Foppa Pedretti
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Why leave it to the client? Mar 26

Michael Newton wrote:
I have asked many clients with rush jobs how much of a rush fee they are wiling to pay. I never hear back from them. This makes one rather cynical

I should think they feel rather confused at being asked the question. Have you tried simply telling them what your applicable rush fee will be? I find my clients like to know where they are with me, money-wise. If I were to make it into some sort of guessing game (How far can I push her? Dare I risk suggesting nnn?) I think most would disappear.


 

Lisa Wetzmueller
Austria
Local time: 16:42
Member (2018)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
@all Mar 26

Thank you all for the helpful comments & advice! I have solved the issue now by telling the agency that this would need to be negotiated individually, as there are so many different factors coming into play. I feel that this is the best solution for me, as it leaves me free to decide on an individual basis whether I need to charge more for a specific job or not.

Korana Lasić
 


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