Translation done but Outsourcer does not reply , so I gave up
Thread poster: Khalid Nasir

Khalid Nasir
Iraq
Local time: 13:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
Dec 17, 2006

I have joined Proz recently, not a member yet. I used my BrowniZ to quote at a job. A sample has been translated and sent. Every thing went well and the outsourcer agreed and sent me his text. He said he would arrange someone to collect the translation for it was very confidential. I sent him more than 2 E-mail reminding him that I already had completed his text but no reply.
Finally I gave up. The text was about 2000 words full of medical terms.
I have a few questions to you
How often dose this happen?
Can such deceit be avoided?
Do you have any recommendations on this subject?
Thanks for all of you


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-12-17 11:51]


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:08
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Assalamualaikum, Khalid Dec 17, 2006

In general, a test translation consists of about 300 source words. About one or two days after the test, the agency will tell us the result - if they are satisfied or not with our work.
2000 highly medical words seem to be too large for a test translation. A sample translation of about one page is enough to have a clear picture of a translator's skill.

I think this is a case of deception. However, take it as a precious lesson. Such cases may make us do better in the future.

Wassalam

Hipyan Nopri


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:08
Portuguese to English
very strange Dec 17, 2006

Khalid,
I think you were right to give up when the outsourcer did not reply to your emails. I can only guess that the outsourcer's end client cancelled the job after you received the text but that the outsourcer did not tell you, for some reason.
I don't know anything about Libyan business culture, but in Europe we would expect the outsourcer to pay, even if the job was cancelled, because the contract is between you and the outsourcer and he asked you to go ahead with the translation.

I would advise you not to deliver the translation to the outsourcer until you are sure that he is going to pay. He may never pay you, but don't give him the translation for nothing.

To try to answer your question "How often does this happen?", I would say very rarely. Outsourcers are only middlemen between the client and the translator, and depend on the translator delivering the text in order to get their commission/markup. A serious outsourcer will get confirmation from the client before asking the translator to go ahead with the job. A possibility is that your outsourcer said to himself "This is only a possible job, but let's get Khalid working on it now in case the client says yes".

I would write one more email to the outsourcer to remind him that the job is ready for collection, ask why he has not replied to your emails and ask for payment. If you get no reply, don't work for that outsourcer again, and accept that you have learned something from the experience.

Good luck!


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Khalid Nasir
Iraq
Local time: 13:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Dec 17, 2006

Thanks Hipyan Nopri .The sample was sent with my quote and the outsourcer gave me the Client address to contact him for whom I translated a text of 2000 words after we had agreed about payment.
I appreciated your advice and very grateful for your help contribution of all our colleagues.
والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Thanks Lexical for your kind comments. I will take what you said in consideration in future, not to deliver the translation to the outsourcer until you are sure that he is going to pay. He may never pay you, but don't give him the translation for nothing.

Khalid M Nasir


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:08
English to German
+ ...
Why not get legal on the customer? Dec 17, 2006

lexical wrote:

I would write one more email to the outsourcer to remind him that the job is ready for collection, ask why he has not replied to your emails and ask for payment. If you get no reply, don't work for that outsourcer again, and accept that you have learned something from the experience.



Well, I would not simply accept, that I have been cheated and let the customer have his way. This way you support dishonest agencies.

I do not know the legal environment in your country, so you have to research the rules and regulations. Normally, if you agreed on some kind of service for money, than the money has to be paid, once the service is completed, whether or not your customer still needs it.

If this is the case in your country as well, then you should let the customer know one last time that the translation is complete, that you wait for them to pick it up as agreed by e-mail dated ...2006, and that after their long silence you insist on payment on delivery. Give them a deadline to make things right and tell them that you will take legal action if they do not comply.

Maybe this will strengthen their motivation. Whether or not you then really take legal action - well this depends on the sum involved and your estimation of your leagal position. There are this people who can get your money for you, debt collection agencies...

What you should also do is inform the Proz.com team about the bahaviour of this outsourcer. As far as I know, outsourcers who frequently behave like this, can get banned from Proz to protect other translators.

And please make an entry into the BlueBoard about this outsourcer and their behaviour, so other translators are warned.

Before I quote for a job I try to learn as much about the outsourcer as possible. The Proz BlueBoard and company websites are good places to start with. If there is something unclear, strange or confusing in the given data I contact the outsourcer and ask them about it. If they do not like that you ask questions, do not work for them. Do not work for them if you do not have their real address. Do not work for them, if they only have some yahoo or gmx or other free mail account. Some PMs have this as a second account to work from home, but professional outsourcers will explain this in a very friendly and patient manner.

You can never be 100% sure but you can try to get as close as possible.


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Khalid Nasir
Iraq
Local time: 13:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will take that in consideration thaks alot Dec 17, 2006

Dear Claudia
I indeed intend to contact the outsourcer and at the end I will do what you said regarding informing the Proz.com team about the behavior of this outsourcer.
In my case I don’t have any means for contact the outsourcer except via e-mail.
Your last paragraph is truly valuable. I should know as much as possible about the outsourcer and secure my payment before proceeding with any job.
Thanks a lot for your kind contribution.


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Sean Linney  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:08
French to English
+ ...
Spam filters Dec 17, 2006

Another point to bear in mind is that if an agency has installed an over-zealous spam filter, your email may never reach the recipient's inbox. This has happened to me on several occasions, and I have only discovered the problem by phoning the client. Curiously, I have found that emails to certain clients arrive when I send them via the web interface, but not when I send them via Outlook. With other clients, I have found that emails containing attachments are less likely to arrive than those without attachments. As a general rule, if you don't receive a reply to an important email, it's always worth following up with a phone call. You may even arrange to have your email address placed on a 'safe list' on the client's mail server. This should ensure that your emails always get through the spam filter.

[Edited at 2006-12-17 17:14]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
Spanish to English
This is not common practice Dec 18, 2006

I'm sorry this happened to you when you are just starting out in translation, but this does not happen very frequently. As far as I can see, there is a large element of trust between outsourcers and translators that is, fortunately enough, rarely betrayed. You can take some steps to lower the risk of this happening but not be overcautious as you may lose good clients that way.

I hope it is many more years before you have a similar experience.

Regards
Lesley


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Patrice  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:08
Member
French to English
+ ...
Unfortunate but not common Dec 18, 2006

I find, as Sean does, that on extremely rare occasions my email is filtered out as spam, and to get around that I rely on the website interface for email.

I continue to be surprised and delighted that I have had such good fortune as to never have a problem getting paid. I have taken on some (smaller) assignments from completely unknown clients and developed superb ongoing working relationships with them. Never say never, I know, but one can only do so much due diligence. Which reminds me, big project in progress right now, must get back to it...Don't lose heart. Consult the Blueboard, take a small chance or two...It looks like you have a very marketable language combination.


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Khalid Nasir
Iraq
Local time: 13:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many points were cleared, Thanks Dec 18, 2006

Sean, Lesley and Patricia I owe you all and our previous colleagues my gratitude. First you highlighted many points which are not very clear in my mind as the relationships between the freelancer and outsourcers and those between the latter and the client and to use website interface for email. And I will quote from Lesley I hope it is many more years before I have a similar experience. I hope.

Khalid M Nasir


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