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Lowering the pay because the earlier work was so good!
Thread poster: Jussi Rosti

Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:48
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
May 22, 2006

Hi all!

I just got a mail from a regular client of mine who suggested that I should get less than agreed (only 5% of full price) of the 100% matches, because the overall quality of the work is so good (and I could trust the matches).

Several reasons to get mad:
1) Since I (possibly among others, depending on the project) have been producing those high-quality translations, I feel treated unfair. Should I get more pay now, if I translated badly earlier?


2) If later, after trusting the matches, problems are found, I am the one who fixes them (with no extra pay, as my quality guarantee). Rework is always interrupting and I consider then I would be doing rework for work I have not been paid for.

3) For me the partial pay for the 100% matches is not only the price of proof-reading. It's also a price for overhead that comes from working with huge files with earlier translations included. This overhead comes from many sources, such as opening a huge file just to translate one, two missing sentences, or fixing the Trados problems that tend to arise frequently proportionally to the size of the text etc.

What do you others think?

(BTW, I disagreed, I didn't accept the assignment)

-jr


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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:48
Member
English to Spanish
It would make more sense the other way round May 22, 2006

Tell them your standard rate for 100% matches assumes trustable previous translations and you would actually be applying a surcharge if foreseeing that could be not the case.

In fact, I have no problem with CAT discounts when they apply to my previous work but I am very reluctant to accept them for pre-existing work.


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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:48
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Have others been pushed, too? May 22, 2006

Nice to hear that you agree, Ana!

It would be interesting to hear, if such pressure is put on other translators as well. I'm very much afraid that some translators may agree (although reluctantly). I wouldn't like to see this to become a common practice.


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:48
French to English
+ ...
absurd rate May 22, 2006

5% is simply absurd, regardless of the quality of the underlying text.

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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:48
German to English
+ ...
Say what?! May 22, 2006

Richard Creech wrote:

5% is simply absurd, regardless of the quality of the underlying text.


Need more be said?


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:48
English to French
+ ...
Just a reminder May 22, 2006

Who paid for your Trados? You did. So why should the fact that you have Trados allow the client to give themselves rebates on your work?

I know some of you will disagree, but I am COMPLETELY against CAT rates. I was forced into buying Trados because it is a requirement now, and you will not get access to most jobs just because you don't have Trados. I also bought it to make my work easier for ME and to be able to provide quality translations to my clients, because Trados has functions that help a lot with terminology. However, I didn't invest that money to be able to be paid less for my work in the future. If I wanted to sell my services for less, I could have easily done that without investing into anything - Trados or anything else.

Don't get me wrong, I do give discounts - on repetitions and 100% matches. I never have and never will charge fuzzy matches under 100% of the rate. And I will only give rebates on 100% matches and repetitions if I don't have to deal with them - this means I don't proof them, I don't fix them, and I definitely don't search them for terminology that the client wants me to apply.

In light of this, for a client to ask for rebates for the reasons described above is already insulting. But 5%??? I think it's time the client invested in an automatic translation software thingy and leave the translators alone. They will definitely get their money's worth...

[Edited at 2006-05-22 19:42]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 16:48
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Oh, it happens from time to time, unfortunately! May 22, 2006

I usually tell me clients that there are only two ways around this:

1 - I get paid (my usual rate) for ALL words except for 100% matches, which I will then not even take a glance at - and I remember to state that obviously I will therefore not be liable for any mistranslations or other things that may occur in these segments;

or (if I have already seen the attached TM and have estimated that it's not a bad translation or an MT they have sent me)

2 - I get my usual rate for ALL words except for 100% matches, and then my proofreading rate for 100% matches if I am to check them in any way.

And my proofreading rates are around 30% of my translation rates, so this would never come to 5%!!!

I guess some clients will always keep trying to up their own takes

[Edited at 2006-05-22 20:19]


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Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:48
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
Same client?? May 22, 2006

Hi Jussi,

I was so surprised when reading your mail just know, since today I received the same e-mail from one of my regular clients.

I have been trying to make heads and tails of their explanations, but I just get madder by the minute. I just can't understand the reasoning behind all of this, but what to do?

Apparently the "final client" has decided upon this, so the agency's hands "are tied"...

Go figure!


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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:48
Member
English to Spanish
Is 5% the rate agreed or the lowering sought? May 22, 2006

Richard Creech wrote:

5% is simply absurd, regardless of the quality of the underlying text.


I took it that they wanted to lower Jussi's rate for 100% matches/repetitions by 5% (of the full price), from 30% to 25% for example. Otherwise I agree it is just a joke rate to start with.

[Edited at 2006-05-22 20:56]


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David MAROTE
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:48
Member (2006)
English to French
The earlier you realize you're good the more money you can make May 22, 2006

[quote]Jussi Rosti wrote:

Hi all!

I just got a mail from a regular client of mine who suggested that I should get less than agreed (only 5% of full price) of the 100% matches, because the overall quality of the work is so good (and I could trust the matches).

Exactly Jussi!

An old client/customer called me last time and said : now we know each other very well, I'll give you less.
He thought he could get away with it, with a nice pat on the back, no way!

Then again, the volume of translation work was larger...

But it has become an argument in the negotiation now, think about it, you're q company and you use an other translator whose memory is bad, what do you get?

A bad deal!

So they call you because you're the A-team and can fix it, don't be put off, it's a good sign!

[Edited at 2006-05-22 22:44]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:48
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Its the whole approach that sucks May 22, 2006

By the way, I charge 0% for 100% matches and use translate to fuzzy and export the unknown segments before I start translation in Trados.
This practice will of course result in translations that are not optimal, but why should I care if the customer doesn't?
Before the customer started to use Trados the procedure was: mark the segments that are new or changed and leave the unchanged untouched, NOT translating them again.
But now we translate every time everything again, from the TM. This will automatically introduce errors, since the same text in different context is not necessary the same anymore in the target language. We know that, but do the customers know it too? I wonder.
The whole consept of replacing translation units from memory is unsound in this respect.


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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:48
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clearly the same client May 23, 2006

Cintia Pecellin wrote:


Apparently the "final client" has decided upon this, so the agency's hands "are tied"...



Cintia, the final client can't jsut decide upon this.
We decide, and I said no. I hope you others do so, too, unless you consider the deal is ok.

If you are in the same situation as me, I have a written contract for the year 2006, so this is outrageously rude.


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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:48
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No, it's about going down to 5% May 23, 2006

Ana Cuesta wrote:

I took it that they wanted to lower Jussi's rate for 100% matches/repetitions by 5% (of the full price), from 30% to 25% for example. Otherwise I agree it is just a joke rate to start with.

[Edited at 2006-05-22 20:56]


No, from 20% down to 5%.


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Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:48
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
Of course I said NO! May 23, 2006

Totally with you on this one, Jussi! And, despite the signed contract I also have, it was just plain outrageous!

I'm sure you've just received their new mail, though... what do you think of that??

FYI, our client has now informed us that, and since apparently we shouldn't even touch the 100% matches, their engineers will apply these matches to the original file for translation. They believe this would be so much better for us, translators, and "cost effective" for the agency.

Now, that's a solution to our complaints, I'd say! (can you feel the sarcasm all the way from Madrid?...)


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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:48
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good May 23, 2006

Cintia Pecellin wrote:

I'm sure you've just received their new mail, though... what do you think of that??



First of all, I'm not sure what kind of engineer solution they are thinking about.

I'd say our client is probably digging their own grave. As a long-term IT worker I know that this kind of quick-and-dirty kludge systems will often fail to produce the wanted effect (or product an unwanted side-effect). The end-client will not be happy then, I guess. It may work this time, but then they get greedy and start applying this process to future projects as welll...

But as for us, it's probably not our responsibility, problem or work any more... until this backfires and they will ask us to clean up the mess.

Anyway, I think this particular client is giving too much pressure as for the rate they give, so if they in someway reduce the pay with technical magic, I will renegotiate my prices. I take that this suggestion of changing the contract indicates that the price agreement is not fixed, as I thought.

Sometimes I would hope we could have some kind of informal union for translators where we could unite in order to have numbers on our side.

I guess lot of similar kind of pressure may be succesful because poor, lonely translators think "but what if I say no and others say yes, so I must agree just to make sure they will assign me more jobs in future..."

Of course, ProZ.com forums are in a sense this kind of informal union and peer support, but it does not help very much in specific situations, i.e. it may not bring all the pushed individuals into contact (I'm sure we are not just two!).


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