Poll: Are your clients willing to provide recommendation/reference letters?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:07
Mar 12, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are your clients willing to provide recommendation/reference letters?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:07
German to English
+ ...
I haven't asked Mar 12, 2013

I haven't asked because I don't think it would be fair to ask them to recommend me to their competition.


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2006)
German to English
I have not asked Mar 12, 2013

And seeing as they are not my "emloyers", I will not ask.


XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:07
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Less and less Mar 12, 2013

Professional associations ask for references if you want to join them and most major international organisations require the names of referees. This is the only occasion when I would ask for a reference, but I find that clients are becoming increasingly reluctant to put their necks on their line. Having spoken to colleagues on this, I gather that it is almost impossible to get a reference in certain industries (e.g. financial) these days.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Haven't asked for donkeys Mar 12, 2013

I haven't asked anyone for references for ages, whether clients or not. I had to ask a colleague to countersign my passport renewal application last year though...

PS: I'm pretty sure most, if not all of my clients, would be happy to give me a reference were I to ask.

[Edited at 2013-03-12 12:52 GMT]


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2008)
English to Italian
I have asked only once Mar 12, 2013

and my clients had no problems with it. I felt happy, cause their first answer was: yes, but as long as you will accept our translations!

After that I promised myself I would never ask again.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Haven't asked or No Mar 12, 2013

I have not asked for a long time, and I have stopped asking, because on occasions when I did ask, the answer was generally no.

Even then I found it difficult to think of a client I was happy to ask. I am not comfortable giving information about any of my clients to potential competitors.

I simply tell agencies that want references that they can use the WWAs on my profile if they like.

I did have a very nice letter of recommendation from my former employer, but it is now ten years old...

I wish people would use the old adage from the baker's shop:

"If you like our cakes, please tell your neighbours.
If you don't like them, just tell us!"


Teresa Borges
Local time: 17:07
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Mar 12, 2013

I have been asked for references on the odd occasion. I suppose when a potential client contacts me he/she already knows me by reputation. But when asked I mention a few long-standing clients whose permission I have secured in advance. I always tell my references the names of persons to whom I have given their names and I thank them in writing for their assistance.


Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
All of them Mar 12, 2013

They are all pretty ok with that. The main issue is that those coming from big companies come from people who don't really know me. They know i have been working for them for like 10 or 11 years, they ask project managers they get a good feedback and provide references. However the references they provide are often "robotized". Small companies instead provide very good ones and i think it's thanks to them that i got more customers.


Local time: 18:07
English to French
I asked and they agreed Mar 12, 2013

I did ask some of my main clients to provide me with references when I was building up my website. I targeted clients I have a particularly good relation with. They all did agree at the time. I made sure they could check what would be online before it went live. And of course, I did thank them again afterward!

I think most clients would be ok to give recommendation or reference letters as long as there is no confidentiality issue.


Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:07
English to Arabic
+ ...
This is not it! Mar 12, 2013

Mary Worby wrote:

I haven't asked because I don't think it would be fair to ask them to recommend me to their competition.

I beg to disagree.

You're not asking them to help their competitors make success with your assistance. If that's what you meant.!

You're simply asking them to rate the experience they had working with you.

Whether the party requesting reference is a competitor or not, it's irrelevant.

Every prospective employer wants to hire the best candidate, and they often take the reference's word as a testimony that you're that candidate.

So, if a current employer already hired you by virtue of a reference's recommendation, why would they deny you the right to get their recommendation too.?

In our daily life as humans, we always resort to other people's opinions IN FAVOR OF or AGAINST things we buy, things we use. You might try something for the first time just because someone recommended it to you.

Who exactly is supposed to rate your work? Your family......your friends? Certainly not. It's your clients, your employers, the people who "tried the product".?

If it were for the test only, that wouldn't be a problem. But, they always ask for references....ALWAYS.


Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
No one's complained... Mar 12, 2013

I do make an effort to recommend good clients with BB ratings and the like. If the clients decides to give me a WWA or reference, that's up to them. I'd rather have repeat business than a reference.


Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:07
German to English
I'm not applying for a job, I am a service provider! Mar 12, 2013

See above.

Steve K.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:07
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't like to ask Mar 14, 2013

While I hate to ask them and don't want to impose on them, I have asked a couple of times, and they have been nice about providing the requested reference.

I think references are a bit silly because obviously you're going to give the names of the client you can count on to speak well of you.


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Poll: Are your clients willing to provide recommendation/reference letters?

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