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Poll: Do you work with agencies about which you cannot find much information regarding reputation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:14
SITE STAFF
Aug 1, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work with agencies about which you cannot find much information regarding reputation?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Aug 1, 2013

In the absence of info from colleagues or friends, I tend to rely on my own instinct and judgement when dealing with potential new clients or agencies.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:14
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, I start with a small job Aug 1, 2013

I do try and check them out, and on several occasions the small amount of information I have received has in fact been a recommendation from a colleague.

Sometimes the small, quiet agencies are the very best to work for and with. It is not necessarily a bad thing if they do not set up a big, flashy website, and if no one complains about them, that is absolutely positive. icon_wink.gif

If a client approaches me, and the mail shows none of the obvious signs of a scam, I make an offer. Some of them run away screaming when I mention my rates, so I can drop them! Most of the others pay well and promptly.

If they send me the text anyway, I try to fit the job in. I have only very rarely regretted it.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:14
Member (2006)
German to English
No Aug 1, 2013

tripped over twice with smaller orders, and have decided never again

 

tilak raj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:44
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
It depends Aug 1, 2013

As you know if an agency have no freelance id on one site we can find on other site otherwise google search can help us better. whether it is little risk to work without much information but small risk you take, that can make that agency long term client sometimes. It doesn't always happen with you that you know proper information about all clients. Dealing depends upon trust of each other mostly.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:14
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends! Aug 1, 2013

If I cannot find much information about a potential client (which, in any case, in this day and age, is easier than 30 years ago when I started freelancing) I tend to trust, like Neil, my own instinct and judgment. This approach has served me well throughout the years…

 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends where it is based Aug 1, 2013

If they are an internet company, I would refuse the work. If they have premises, I would be more trusting. I tend only to work with local agencies, so I would trust a local agency. If the agency is not located either in Madrid or central Barcelona, I would not trust them.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:14
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
It all depends Aug 1, 2013

Every agency starts out from nowhere -- no translators and no reputation.
So I try to give newbies a little slack until we have both felt each other out.

Otherwise, if I sense something is just not right, I wouldn't touch them with a Barcelona. icon_smile.gif

Julian H.


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:14
German to English
Yes, but... Aug 1, 2013

...if little information is available I would require immediate or even advance payment for the first few orders. I have done this recently with no problems. Just ask a few polite but probing questions and you will soon get a "feel" of whether the agency is genuine or not.

Steve K.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:14
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Aug 1, 2013

As had been mentioned before, newbies simply cannot have a reputation or a large "portfolio" on the Net. No or hardly any information available doesn't make an agency a bad payer or uncomfortable to work with.

I start out with a small job (no free test translations!) and see how the cooporation works and if payment is on time. If I'm happy with the way the business went and other small jobs follow, rendering the same results, then I'd be the first to provide information about them.
And if they have an entry in their country's Commercial Registry, then the first "hurddle" has been passed.icon_wink.gif

Just think back when you started as a freelancer, except, perhaps, if you had held an in-house position. What if agencies and/or direct clients would have said: there's no or very little information about this LSP, so we'd better not work with her/him.

Even agencies (sometimesd LSPs, too) with a good reputation can sometimes become a problem to work with.

Everybody deserves a fair chance.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2013-08-01 12:36 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
If the website looks dodgy... Aug 1, 2013

...as in No physical address, keep clicking your browser.

Some of my reputable clients have outdated designs or really poorly designed websites, but they have full contact information and a physical address to write to if necessary.

I know a headhunting company headed by Indian professionals in California with a curious website: it looks like one of those generic snazzy, Flash-laden websites, but there is no company history, no bios or descriptions about the principals, all of which are red flags for me. They did offer me a job with a North Carolina bank, and I declined it in part because of those red flags.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:14
Member (2008)
English to Italian
it depends Aug 1, 2013

If I cannot obtain enough info, I usually ask for the following:

- 50% of the amount due in advance if the total amount is over € 500
- the remaining part due upon delivery

Usually serious agencies accept it or they ask for a reduction of the payment in advance, but at least when they write you can understand a couple of things:

- are they really interested in my skills?
- are they serious? you know an email can show much more than information

After this first contact, my instinct says if I can accept the job or not.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:14
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I feel the same way Aug 1, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:
Sometimes the small, quiet agencies are the very best to work for and with. It is not necessarily a bad thing if they do not set up a big, flashy website, and if no one complains about them, that is absolutely positive. icon_wink.gif

Sometimes, the agencies with big, flashy websites have a BB record as long as your arm, mainly 5s, and so they would seem to be a really good bet. But why do they have so many happy freelancers writing in to say "I did a job for this agency and they paid on time"? Just one? Was the translator unwilling to accept such a low rate a second time? Was the translator unwilling to wait 90+ days for a second time?

On the whole, I prefer to work with agencies who get their clients however they like (doesn't matter to me, after all), and find me here without posting a public job. The ones that don't scream "cheap translations here!!!" from the rooftops. Has it ever occurred to you that these agencies might be so good that their translators don't want to share them?icon_smile.gif


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:14
English to Polish
+ ...
It depends Aug 2, 2013

It depends. I have some minimum requirements:

– must more or less verifiably exist as an agency, especially for more valuable orders,
– must not show any scam signs,
– said scam signs including especially non-native use of the language suggested by the individual sender's name and surname,
– no grammatical mistakes of the kind that makes communication unreliable in any case, scam or not,
– obviously no using MT to communicate with me,
– impolite remarks lead to refusal, same as with established agencies.


 

Marc Cordes  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:14
English to German
+ ...
It depends Aug 2, 2013

I usually try my best to do due diligence on new clients. I usually ask new prospects to provide me with more information on how they work with vendors. Their replies usually give me enough insight to be able to judge if I am dealing with professionals or potentially troublesome clients. The rest of my decision is based on whatever info I can find proactively online or from fellow colleagues working with that particular client (blueboard entries etc.).

Last but not least: I trust my gut.


 
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