Poll: Do you increase your rates for urgent translation work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:34
SITE STAFF
Feb 13, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you increase your rates for urgent translation work?".

This poll was originally submitted by jbhatia. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Feb 13, 2014

Not usually. In Spain, many clients tend to designate ALL their work "urgent", whether it really is or not...

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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:34
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes, if... Feb 13, 2014

If it means I will be working when I can work, but was not intending to (eg during a weekend), I will charge more.
Sometimes, this makes a customer reconsider and extend the deadline. Other times, they agree. Of course if they are unwilling to do either, they will try to find another translator.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 13, 2014

It depends! First of all, I do agree that the word "urgent" lost its meaning in translation and nowadays everything is urgent or super urgent! Secondly, I don't apply a surcharge rate to some of my regular clients, but I will increase my rate for sure (or refuse the job) if it's a new client or one that gives me work once in a blue moon. I have a long-standing client, who very regularly requests (every week or even every day) small but urgent translations (never on Fridays). We agreed some time ago that I would give priority to his work and invoice accordingly.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Feb 13, 2014

Somewhere between sometimes and often. Two of my contracts with clients pay 10% extra for RUSH work, defined as more than 2,000 words a day.

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Gil Michel  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:34
Member (2013)
English to French
+ ...
Maybe? Feb 13, 2014

Damn it, I always answer these polls with the first thing that comes to mind and regret it later because I start thinking about it and gradually disagree with my answer.

Let's see. First, I thought that an urgent project means that they're asking more from the translator, ergo why wouldn't you charge extra for it? But then I analysed it in practical terms: if the client says that the project is "urgent," does that really change anything for me? I have a daily average which I try to beat whenever possible: it allows me to get more work done and also makes clients happy because of a (sometimes) early delivery. If I can't beat my average, saying that it's "urgent" will not affect my work in any way because if they're trying to give me 5000 words to complete in one day because it's supposedly "urgent," it doesn't matter whether it's "urgent" or not, I simply cannot do it (unless of course quality work is not expected, in which case it may be feasible, but still, the point stands).

It just seems to be an agency thing. I was an intern at an agency for almost a year and my experience just backs up this theory: "everything" is urgent as far as the translator is concerned because the agency itself never wants to move the deadline so that they don't look bad. It begs the question: does "urgent" really mean anything anymore?


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:34
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
I don't take on rush jobs Feb 13, 2014

I don't usually take on rush jobs because I'm not often in a position to be able to do them. I tend to work on long-term projects, so my work time is generally already booked up, and my evenings and weekends are taken up with family commitments.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not any more Feb 13, 2014

I used to extend the Brazilian law on sworn translations to my standard work, i.e. 50% extra for rush, 100% for weekend/holidays work. One day I realized that this caused more havoc to my schedule than an actual contribution to my income.

As my translation rates are fixed, variations on them being purely financial (e.g. hefty PayPal fees, longer payment term coupled with high local interest rates), I prioritize my clients by the shortest payment term being served first.

Anyone wanting top priority from me may get it by prepaying for the entire job. While I'll only take one prepaid job at a time, I'll only set it aside when I'm done. The beauty of it is that nobody can time-travel to the past in order to prepay earlier.

This is simple to explain, and leaves no room for argument. In one entire year I've been doing it, NO client/prospect has challenged this reasoning. On the other hand, I only had two prepaid jobs in this entire period, so it clearly defuses the "ALL my jobs are ALWAYS urgent" attitude some people in our market have.

Most clients nowadays prefer to pay me COD outside PayPal for both cost and speed reasons, and those wanting to pay beyond two weeks from delivery are made fully aware that their turn may never come, so they seek services elsewhere. Most enjoy the fact that my normal cycle time is usually faster than the urgency they would request.


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Gil Michel  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:34
Member (2013)
English to French
+ ...
Thank you José Henrique! Feb 13, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

As my translation rates are fixed, variations on them being purely financial (e.g. hefty PayPal fees, longer payment term coupled with high local interest rates), I prioritize my clients by the shortest payment term being served first.

Anyone wanting top priority from me may get it by prepaying for the entire job. While I'll only take one prepaid job at a time, I'll only set it aside when I'm done. The beauty of it is that nobody can time-travel to the past in order to prepay earlier.


Thank you so much for sharing this idea. It makes a lot of sense and will make things a lot easier. Love it!


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Feb 14, 2014

I've never understood this one.

If I can do it within normal working hours they pay my normal rate.
If it goes outside working hours they pay double.


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