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Poll: Have you ever reduced your quoted rate after seeing that the source text was easier than expected?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:12
SITE STAFF
Feb 19, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever reduced your quoted rate after seeing that the source text was easier than expected?".

This poll was originally submitted by Dave Bindon. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:12
Member
German to English
+ ...
From memory, no Feb 19, 2011

I pretty much have a flat rate which doesn't depend based on difficulty, so there would be no logic to reducing it. By the same token, I wouldn't increase my rate if the text were more difficult.

I have reduced my final price when it's transpired that there is a great deal of repetition within the text, but that a whole different can of worms.


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Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 11:12
Member (2010)
Greek to English
Too many 'no' options Feb 19, 2011

Apologies for the 'No' option. I don't recall having that as a separate option when I suggested the poll, and I think someone at Proz may have edited it. To my mind, 'No but might' and 'No and wouldn't' cover all the possibilities.

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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:12
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
No but.. Feb 19, 2011

Once, a customer demanded a fast translation. It was very very easy, but a ''1 day working job''. Normally I would do it for 200 EUR. Thanks my client I have been earned 550 Euro in one night.


Saludos desde Anatolia
Anadolu'dan selamlar

[Edited at 2011-02-19 12:53 GMT]


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Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 11:12
Member (2010)
Greek to English
I offered to a couple of times, in a way Feb 19, 2011

I often have to quote on jobs based on sketchy info about the source text. In one case, the "legal documents" a new client asked me to translate turned out to be very simple tax registration forms. Rather than offering a discount on that project, I told the client that the text had been more straightforward than expected and offered to give a discount on the next project. The happy client did come back with more projects, but actually turned down the discount when I reminded her of my offer!

On another occasion there was a lot of repetition in the source text so I offered to give a discount if the client were to give me another similar project. The next project turned out to be almost identical, with just a few changes to names and dates etc. I didn't need to translate anything, or even format the document: I just transliterated names from the Greek alphabet, and changed a few numbers. When I offered a discount on that job the client turned it down, saying that it was a different end-client who wouldn't be aware that it wasn't translated from scratch and, since the end-client was paying the full rate, they were happy to pay me in full too.

I seem to be lucky with my clients!


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:12
German to English
+ ...
No- wouldn't: "easier than expected" is subjective. Feb 19, 2011

A translation may seem easier than expected simply because I have eaten or slept enough! Or because I have done 100 others like it.

As no-one in their right mind is going to agree to pay me more for a job just because I found it more difficult than expected (and after the rate has been agreed), I do not see any wisdom in applying a sliding scale to a non measurable variable in an activity already seething with so many other non measurable variables.

In most circumstances, I would think that such a rate reduction would be unprofessional. It would have to be a very good client of long standing for such a possibility to even begin to be considered.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:12
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, but only for non-profit clients Feb 19, 2011

I cannot imagine reducing the quoted rate for professionals.

I have occasionally reduced the actual price for a job when I could see that a large proportion was repetitive and Trados would 'eat' it fast.

In the long run, it is often worthwhile explaining this sort of thing to clients who can work it out for themselves anyway. They are more likely to come back with more work.

The reduction is for chunks of text where in the early days I would have proofread them carefully the first time, and then done a 'cut and paste' job on the repeats.

But I do not put the rate down.

I have a regular non-profit client, and do small jobs for them free. But they occasionally send larger jobs, and there I negotiate a bit, depending on factors like how much I have done for them within the last year among other things, and what type of job we are dealing with. These things vary a lot, and they understand.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Feb 19, 2011

You never really know what a text is going to be like in terms until you actually see it. Occasionally a client whose texts are usually highly technical or complicated may send a much simpler one, so I might apply a discount. I also tend to allow discounts for prompt payment.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:12
English to German
+ ...
I absolutely agree with Allison Feb 19, 2011

Allison Wright wrote:

because I have done 100 others like it.

As no-one in their right mind is going to agree to pay me more for a job just because I found it more difficult than expected (and after the rate has been agreed), I do not see any wisdom in applying a sliding scale to a non measurable variable in an activity already seething with so many other non measurable variables.

In most circumstances, I would think that such a rate reduction would be unprofessional. It would have to be a very good client of long standing for such a possibility to even begin to be considered.



I yet have to find a doctor who will charge less for my visit because I only have a common cold. Or a dentist who will lower his fee for the examination because he couldn't find any cavities.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:12
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Just plain No. Feb 19, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Allison Wright wrote:

because I have done 100 others like it.

As no-one in their right mind is going to agree to pay me more for a job just because I found it more difficult than expected (and after the rate has been agreed), I do not see any wisdom in applying a sliding scale to a non measurable variable in an activity already seething with so many other non measurable variables.

In most circumstances, I would think that such a rate reduction would be unprofessional. It would have to be a very good client of long standing for such a possibility to even begin to be considered.



I yet have to find a doctor who will charge less for my visit because I only have a common cold. Or a dentist who will lower his fee for the examination because he couldn't find any cavities.


I do agree with Nicole 100%. We, as translators, provide a service just like doctors, lawyers etc. do. Therefore, we should get paid our "work's worth".


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 10:12
English to French
+ ...
No Feb 19, 2011

I set prices, customers know it. It is a take it or leave it deal. No rebates, no surcharges.
When I do a favour, I do it for free (some beneficiaries reward me with a bunch of flowers, dinner out, ...).

=> Dave Bindon: not so long ago, I was the first of several to complain about the implied judgement of the "no" options. I just wanted to say no, plain no, not in favour, not against... blogs I think it was.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only once under an unusual circumstance Feb 19, 2011

A corporate client sent me a job that I initially quoted based on the word count. But once I started doing it, I realized it was a very slight rewrite of a document I'd translated for them before. They'd only changed a couple of sentences in a text that was thousands of words long.

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Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 11:12
Member (2008)
Greek to English
Yes Feb 19, 2011

I can think of two occasions when I did this. One was when part of the job involved retyping some PDF pages with a complex table that contained a lot of numbers. When I pointed this out, the client said she would do that part and send it to me ready formatted. So I dropped my rate.

The other time was with an end client who offered to make herself available for consultation about some items of terminology, which I would otherwise have to have spent time researching and checking. Again, I dropped my rate.

I always quote based on difficulty, anyway, after viewing a sample, so this doesn't often arise. If, for any reason, the client won't give me a sight of the source I'll quote my top rate. Word count is a very poor guide to the amount of time and expertise needed for a job.


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 11:12
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Dave has got a good point though Feb 19, 2011

I would not normally go back to a client and offer a discount on the rate just because the translation was easier than expected. Just as I would never claim a higher rate when the translation turns out to be a nightmare of difficulties.

But I do like Dave's suggestion of mentioning a discount on "future similar jobs", it seems to be a good business suggestion!

Dinny


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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
Other, too Feb 19, 2011

I have never reduced a quoted fee after agreeing to it with the customer (I haven't raised a quoted fee, either, after coming to an agreement). I do sometimes have this niggling feeling that I can get the order if I show willingness to negotiate: many clients are sensitive to that because it gives them a feeling of being in control, and if that is the case I start quoting my highest fee and word my offer in an inviting manner, so that negotiations may commence. But once a fee is agreed upon, it stays that way - for better or for worse. The suggestion of offering a slight discount on future assignments is good, though, why didn't I think of that before?

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