Min. service charge (another laugh from the Proz job postings)
Thread poster: Kevin Pfeiffer

Kevin Pfeiffer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:10
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Jan 8, 2007

Received today...
"Dear fellow colleagues,

I have a short text to proofread .... Word count is 100 words x 0.02 EUR = 2.00 EUR."

Dear fellow colleague,

My mimimum service fee is €36.00. If this is acceptable to you, I would be happy to proofread your document.

Regards,

[Needless to say, €2 would not even pay the cost of submitting a response. There is a reason for minimum billings; anyone who has ever spent the weekend answering letters, preparing bids, doing billing, etc., understands this.]


-Kevin [Edited : In accordance with the forum rules, I've "anonymized" the quote above a bit more.]

[Edited at 2007-01-08 17:27]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:10
Flemish to English
+ ...
Another one Jan 8, 2007

Another one :
we need a translator tomorrow for lunch time in Barcelona for the company
for about 3 hours and the paiment ist 15 €/hour
required language pair is English/Spanish or Spanish/German,
Volume and pricing:
15 EUR per hour
Payment 14 days after date of delivery.
---
Interpreting at 15 euro per hour. Are they kidding or what?


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 11:10
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Really Unbelievable Jan 8, 2007

Hi Kevin and William,

The offered rates are really unbelievable. I wonder if the agencies are European, American, or Asian. So far, my rates are very good (by Indonesian standard, of course) with European and American agencies.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:10
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
What a bargain... Jan 8, 2007

Williamson wrote:
Another one :
we need a translator tomorrow for lunch time in Barcelona for the company
for about 3 hours and the paiment ist 15 €/hour


They probably spring for lunch too
Catherine


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:10
Flemish to English
+ ...
A plumber at €15/hour. Jan 8, 2007

It comes from a wastewater treatment company based in Berlin (not exactly a cheap city either).
I guess that they pay their technicians more than that.
A plumber at €15 per hour?


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:10
English to German
+ ...
No outsourcer discussions in the ProZ.com forum, please Jan 8, 2007

Hi all,
I would like to remind everyone of forum rule #8:


Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically
Posts or comments regarding a specific outsourcer (identified by name, reference, link or other means), whether positive or negative, are not permitted. (To indicate their likelihood of working again with a given outsourcer, site users should use the ProZ.com Blue Board.)


Thanks for complying with the forum rules.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:10
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
there is no such thing as a small job (only small pay checks) Jan 8, 2007

Hi Kevin,

In general it doesnot pay to do small jobs, HOWEVER, if you do a lot of small (and often repetitive) jobs for a particular client, it does amount to something at the end of the month.
Personally I have a few of these clients, and I charge them by word, for every job, big or small.
That is my service to them.
These jobs are not a lot of work, and it keeps the total amount spend on translations to a minimum. It "connects" to the way they work, making modifications in existing texts as they go along..

What do I get from it? Steady work flow and references to other clients.
It's also fun to translate something else in between other translations..
If I would charge a minimum fee of 36 euro for every phrase or modification they would certainly go somewhere cheaper, or end up on bothering the secretary or placing them on the Kudoz board.

And when there is a lot work to be done, I usually tell my clients to contact whatever contact I used directly, this way I cut out "the middle man" (myself) and everybody can negociate their own fees.

Of course we can say "it's not worth it", "people are working at rediculous prices", "the agencies try to rob us". But if you don't want to invest in new clients, there is nobody that forces you. Just delete the e-mail and continue to work with your regular clients....

Ed


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Kevin Pfeiffer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:10
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
skinning chickens (now that's a subject line you don't see every day) Jan 8, 2007

Edward Vreeburg wrote:
If I would charge a minimum fee of 36 euro for every phrase or modification they would certainly go somewhere cheaper, or end up on bothering the secretary or placing them on the Kudoz board.


I don't do that, either. But I don't start a new project (i.e., open a new document) for less than my minimum -- or if I do, I do it as a favour, gratis, for exactly the reasons you mention: as a service to faithful clients and to avoid the hassle of billing for something too small to bill.

Off-topic in response to Williamson: I wouldn't agree that Berlin is an expensive city. Whether one looks at food or at property, prices generally compare well with other large European cities.

To all, all the best; as I am always learning, there is always more than one way to skin a chicken.

-Kevin


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:10
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
That's exactly what minimum fees are for... Jan 8, 2007

It certainly does not pay to do small jobs for "per word" rate especially for a new client (or one that sends little work), but that is exactly what the minimum fee is for. It does not take long to translate 50 words, but it's just a ridiculous idea to make an invoice for, let's say 5 euros...

Good, regular clients are, of course, a different thing...

[Edited at 2007-01-08 17:32]


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Abunch of little chunks make a good sized chunk Jan 8, 2007

I agree with Edward. A minimum fee might put off customers who infrequently have smaller jobs. I have a very good client who has such little ones, sometimes a lot of them in one month and then nothing for a few months.

I keep a running bill for him for the whole month and then bill him at the end of the month. Sometimes the amount at the end of the month is very small, so them I bill him at the end of the quarter. And he pays immediately after receiving the invoice. He has been a regular and loyal client for years.

What is wrong with that? Had I charged him a min. fee each time, I know that he would have gone elsewhere.

I have much more of a problem with the folks who want to pay one cent or two cents a source word. Or those who have the job done and then conveniently forget to pay.

I rather have a number of these small jobs each month which puts bread on the table than the exasperation of the aforementioned.

Lucinda


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