Poll: Have you ever by mistake emailed something to the wrong client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:52
Sep 28, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever by mistake emailed something to the wrong client?".

View the poll results »


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:52
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, never Sep 28, 2014

But one of my old customers did once. They were playing both sides of the fence, doing technical writing and DTP for two top manufacturers in a particular sector of industry over here. And both of the companies specifically told the customer that they were to work exclusively for them and not for others, i.e. competitors, in that same sector.

Well, what did one of the tech writers do? He sent a draft of a manual that was being written for Company A by mistake to Company B. Tee hee! icon_smile.gif The proverbial hit the fan and the second in command at my ex customer (workforce of over a 1,000!) was hauled in front the directors of Company B. Apart from an angry talkdown - they'd broken an exclusivity agreement - they were given the option of choosing one or the other. My ex customer opted to continue working for Company A because they were longstanding and had greater name value. Once again, this was a bad move. icon_biggrin.gif Company A's sales plummeted while company B gained an even bigger share of the market and developed and manufactured lots of products which needed a whole lot of technical documentation.

Sometimes mistakes have a big ripple effect. Something to ponder over your morning cuppa


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, twice Sep 28, 2014

One time I sent an invoice to the wrong client. Their names are almost identical and so are the emailadresses of their respective accounts depts.
I felt terrible when I discovered it, but they just said it could happen to anyone.

Second time was when I delivered a job to a PM with the first name Anne; but in reality it was the wrong Anne (you know how the browser is very 'intuitive' and if you don't watch out you may hit the wrong namesake.

Fortunately, no serious harm done. But it taught me to be more careful.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No Sep 28, 2014

But a while back I thought I had sent an invoice to the wrong client, that is, 2 clients seemed to have received each others invoice. Upon doublechecking...after the facticon_eek.gif, it turned out that each customer has received the right invoice. Hmmmm time for a vacation?icon_smile.gif


Mariel Varjão Azoubel  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
+ ...
Unfortunately, yes Sep 28, 2014

Julian Holmes wrote:

Something to ponder over your morning cuppa

Wow, food for thought indeed!

Sadly, I must confess I've almost done something like this -- not sending files, but I copied the wrong client in an e-mail about invoice info. But then one of the parties involved had already done the same to me (copied me by mistake in a message) in the past, so no harm, no foul.

Luckily there was no exclusivity contract and no disasterous effect whatsoever, as in Julian's case.


Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:52
German to English
+ ...
I hope not, but Sep 28, 2014

I did once address the client (in an email) by another client's name, which was embarrassing enough that I had to send an immediate apology.

On the other hand, I have on 2 occasions and from 2 different clients accidentally received other translators' invoicing information in an email thread that I obviously was not supposed to see. So I ignored it.


Elina Sellgren  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:52
Member (2013)
Finnish to English
+ ...
Yes, sort of Sep 29, 2014

Once I returned a translation to the wrong PM of the same company. Another time I sent an invoice to a PM with the same first name (a rare one!) within the same company, they were just in different branches, or subsidiaries.

So not really to a completely different client but embarrassing enough.


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Have you ever by mistake emailed something to the wrong client?

Advanced search

Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search