Poll: Have you ever worked for an agency which asked you to contact the end client in case of questions?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:06
Jan 21, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever worked for an agency which asked you to contact the end client in case of questions?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rolf Kern. View the poll results »


Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
German to English
+ ...
Occasionally Jan 21, 2010

I can remember working on a fairly complex project once that involved quite a few questions. In the end, the flurry of e-mails between me, the agency and the end client became so complicated that the agency suggested I speak to the end customer directly, which worked out fine.

I've been asked to send a job directly to the end client on quite a few occasions (when delivery has been to a very tight schedule or out of hours) and sometimes I've had the end client come back to me directly with a query or two. Which I guess is a similar scenario, but not exactly the same.


Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:06
English to Japanese
+ ...
Only once and never again Jan 21, 2010

It was a real nightmare, since things got so complicated, the outsourcer was a non-payer. Apart from being a non-payer, it really makes your job difficult if there is a middleman or an end client involved.


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Only once, and it was very interesting and useful. Jan 21, 2010

I put "Sometimes", but as it was only once in 45 years of freelancing, it think there should be an option such as "Extremely rarely".
I was approached by an agency to do a translation for a government medical research establishment on treatment of those with legs blown off or injured by land mines. I refused, not having the medical expertise, but about a month later they came back to me saying they couldn't find anyone else, and would I do it in cooperation with doctors at the place which had ordered it? I agreed, and by discussing my difficulties with them, produced a translation that satisfied them. I found the subject interesting and increased my knowledge of it considerably.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:06
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Whenever necessary Jan 21, 2010

I always refer to the agency first, and quite often I get the answer back in a single mail after the PM has forwarded my enquiry to the client.

Although I have signed an agreement with my biggest client agency that I will never contact their clients directly without their consent, they do consent quite happily if the question is complicated, and then I call or send a mail with the relevant section of the text as appropriate.

On one or two occasions the agency has even referred clients to me with a query the other way. It is part of their deliberate policy of working directly with the client to tailor the translation precisely to their needs.

Going straight to the person who can answer saves a lot of googling and uncertainty. I have had some very interesting and useful conversations and mail correspondances with clients. They are often surprised and impressed when they learn about what we actually do in the process of translating, and it is all part of ´educating the client´.

I think I have called other agencies´ end clients too on occasion, but I do contact the agency first. It is well worth building up a relationship of trust with a good agency, and in the end it increases customer satisfaction enormously.


Mike (de Oliveira) Brady  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
No... and translator's notes can be complicated. Jan 21, 2010

I've never been asked to communicate with the client directly by an agency, but I have often raised queries about ambiguities/errors in the source text and pointed out decisions made in translating to be brought to the client's attention.

How best to communicate translator's notes can be complicated. I've put them as footnotes and endnotes and been asked to remove them. Sometimes I've put an opening page of queries and observations with the translation.

But generally, I now put my translator's notes in the cover email to the agency and it is up to them if and how they relay these to the client.


vixen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:06
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Terminology issues Jan 21, 2010

Normally, I send all my questions to the PM, who can then decide if the questions can be answered in-house or if they need to be forwarded to the end client.

I have done several projects for an end client that is very strict about terminology. In that case, the PM asked me to forward any terminology questions directly to a contact person within the company of the end client.

The agency uses a standard form for terminology questions and I always sent a copy of my e-mail and the answer to the PM.

This worked well and saved a lot of time.


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:06
Member (2008)
English to Italian
never Jan 21, 2010

my clients have always the answer for everything!
ok no jokes, simply theyhave always provided the answer, and once I have a written confirmation I am ok with it.


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:06
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
yes, extremely rarely Jan 21, 2010

i think like once, on a localization project because of all the emails etc going back and forth. But usually it's the PM I deal with.


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Poll: Have you ever worked for an agency which asked you to contact the end client in case of questions?

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