Poll: Has any of your indirect clients turned into a direct end-client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:59
SITE STAFF
Mar 2, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has any of your indirect clients turned into a direct end-client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mariam Osmane. View the poll results »



 

Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:59
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
@ Mariam Osmane Mar 2, 2011

Has any of your indirect clients turned into a direct end-client?
____________

Dear Mariam,

Would you give more info/explanation about this question?


Essalamu Aleykum ecmain, best wishes from Anatolia

Adnan

[Edited at 2011-03-02 08:37 GMT]


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 04:59
German to English
+ ...
Ethics Mar 2, 2011

I feel that taking an indirect client (an agent's client) over as a direct client is a breach of ethical principles unless there really is a huge gap between the last job for the agency and the client contacting me directly. I would certainly never ever try to acquire clients actively in this way.

 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:59
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not often, but it's happened Mar 2, 2011

This happened to me with three clients through three different agencies, always at the agency's suggestion.

In two cases, there had been repeated personality clashes between the agency PM and the end client, and the owner of the agency thought that a direct-client arrangement was the best solution. In both cases, I already had a strong working relationship with the agency, which continued to send me other projects.

The most recent case was different: The end client hired an agency specifically to find them a freelance translator, with the understanding that the agency would act as intermediary for the first few jobs and then step out of the way. This was made clear from the start.

On other occasions, end clients have approached me about working for them directly and I've turned them down. But if the change in status is the agency's idea, I'm fine with that.

[Edited at 2011-03-02 09:15 GMT]


 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:59
Italian to English
+ ...
Only one Mar 2, 2011

Only one and it was a tourist magazine. The owner had tried various agencies and was not satisfied with the service provided. I worked for two of these agencies and occasionally got the articles to translate, but there was also another translator who made glaring howlers ...

In the end he approached me directly and I worked regularly for him for about 15 years.
All good things come to an end, my client died and his family closed the magazine and the publishing business.


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Twice Mar 2, 2011

In the first case I worked for an agency that went out buisness owing me money.
I made contact with the end client in an attempt to recover something of my loss.
I never got a cent.
Sometime later the end client company contacted me directly with translations.

The second case is the same like Stephen's I worked for an freelancer/agency who having recruited me wished to hand over the client to me, which they did.


 

xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 04:59
English to French
+ ...
Other Mar 2, 2011

Not as such: an agency turned an end client to me for the translation of a "private life" document.
His company (and his business retaled documents) stayed with the agency, through which I continued translating them.

A friend who works for a large company asked me to accept direct work from them. I declined: 1) I was working for that company through 2 agencies already (happens often); 2) I did not want to make myself available and give them priority whenever they wanted, without getting any work when I need it!



[Modifié le 2011-03-02 12:18 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:59
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
An important point Mar 2, 2011

David Wright wrote:

I feel that taking an indirect client (an agent's client) over as a direct client is a breach of ethical principles unless there really is a huge gap between the last job for the agency and the client contacting me directly. I would certainly never ever try to acquire clients actively in this way.


I have considered this in a special situation where the agency concerned went out of business. But when I asked for legal advice, I did not get a conclusive answer, and I was too busy at the time to press the point further.

I knew another agency had taken over the client portfolio, and although I had not worked for this second agency for a longish time, I did not feel it advisable to approach clients whom I knew were likely to be on that agency's books.

Another consideration is that clients who work with agencies often do so for good reasons. They may need many different languages, or larger volumes than a freelancer can handle, with backups for holidays and illness etc. etc.

So my answer to the question is no.

Ironically, I have recently done a series of jobs for a former client of the agency that went out of business, sent to me by a third agency. Times change - instead of positive feedback, someone at the client's end has been questioning every other sentence!
(They asked for real English, then wrote back in Danish asking why the translation was not more literal...)
In that sort of situation it is quite useful to have an agency to deal with the situation - I can be civil to PMs when I know it's not their fault, but I'm no diplomat!

icon_smile.gif


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:59
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I do agree! Mar 2, 2011

David Wright wrote:

I feel that taking an indirect client (an agent's client) over as a direct client is a breach of ethical principles unless there really is a huge gap between the last job for the agency and the client contacting me directly. I would certainly never ever try to acquire clients actively in this way.


 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:59
English to French
+ ...
I totally agree Mar 2, 2011

David Wright wrote:

I feel that taking an indirect client (an agent's client) over as a direct client is a breach of ethical principles unless there really is a huge gap between the last job for the agency and the client contacting me directly. I would certainly never ever try to acquire clients actively in this way.


and I apply the same principle when I hire personel from an agency. So, it works both side of the fence.


 

gad
United States
Local time: 22:59
Member
French to English
Yes, agree that this is a breach of ethics Mar 2, 2011

David Wright wrote:

I feel that taking an indirect client (an agent's client) over as a direct client is a breach of ethical principles unless there really is a huge gap between the last job for the agency and the client contacting me directly. I would certainly never ever try to acquire clients actively in this way.


Well said. I agree with this, in any business.

[ETA]: Regarding those who posted on this thread about instances where they can answer "yes" to this poll question...IMO, those do not even come close to breach of ethics. In one case, the agency knew about it, and in other cases where the agency goes out of business then that also makes this irrelevant. JMO, though I'm not a lawyer so I'd have to do the proper legal research to say whether or not that is legally true in the latter case.

[Edited at 2011-03-02 14:55 GMT]


 

Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 04:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
Other Mar 2, 2011

@Adnan Özdemir

One of the intermediates turned into another indirect (with more than 2 years gap) I knew he was of my clients only by coincidence. [via BB, Proz.com makes it a small worldicon_biggrin.gif ]

In another occasion, my client put me in contact with one of the intermediates because he was going on holiday, and after this contact I was sent to some others till I was put in contact with the end client, who was shocked by the number of outsourcers (1 vs 4) in this project (and the problem was due to the format he send and the format I receive)

He asked me to put all these people aside and work together . Well I understood his frustration but at the same time I couldn't accept it as one year or so should be allowed after the date of last project I did for my client to this client.

That's when /why I posted this question, wondering how people manage to have end client without breaching professional ethics, is it only about waiting few years to come?


 

Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:59
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
@Mariam Osmane --Thank you very much Mar 2, 2011

Thank you very much for your deep explanation Mariam.

Best wishes from Anatolia to Al Iskandariyya


Mariam Osmane wrote:

@Adnan Özdemir

One of the intermediates turned into another indirect (with more than 2 years gap) I knew he was of my clients only by coincidence. [via BB, Proz.com makes it a small worldicon_biggrin.gif ]

In another occasion, my client put me in contact with one of the intermediates because he was going on holiday, and after this contact I was sent to some others till I was put in contact with the end client, who was shocked by the number of outsourcers (1 vs 4) in this project (and the problem was due to the format he send and the format I receive)

He asked me to put all these people aside and work together . Well I understood his frustration but at the same time I couldn't accept it as one year or so should be allowed after the date of last project I did for my client to this client.

That's when /why I posted this question, wondering how people manage to have end client without breaching professional ethics, is it only about waiting few years to come?


[Edited at 2011-03-02 19:36 GMT]


 

Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:59
Member (2010)
Greek to English
Not yet Mar 4, 2011

I'm pleased to see how many replies have mentioned 'ethics' rather than 'legality'. What a decent group of people we are!

I quite often work on multi-language international projects via agencies. If an agency were to lose a contract for some reason (e.g. because of unacceptable translations in one of the other languages), I would consider asking their permission to contact the end-client directly (depending on the circumstances, of course).


 


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