Poll: Do you work with clients when you can't find much information regarding their reputation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:27
SITE STAFF
May 21, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work with clients when you can't find much information regarding their reputation?".

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Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:27
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
It depends May 21, 2015

on the contents of the e-mail (first impression, information given) and the volume.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:27
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, definitely, but I do some investigation. May 21, 2015

Reputation is a relative term—some of the so called ''reputable companies" may play tricks at times, especially when they experience financial problems.

[Edited at 2015-05-21 08:37 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends! May 21, 2015

No real change from the last time this poll was taken (2013)...

http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/282208-poll_do_you_accept_jobs_from_clients_even_if_you_cant_find_much_information_about_their_reputation.html


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 01:27
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes May 21, 2015

In most instances, I'll start off with a few small jobs to test them and see how things go. If communications are poor, or the PM gives me the runaround or is totally inefficient, creating more work than necessary, I'll know better in the future.
Or if the customer/client is late paying, the damage will be minimal. And, I'll call that my 'tuition fee.'

In Japan, however, they have to have a land line and a real office as opposed to a 'virtual' one with an answering service. I generally call them to establish voice contact or I might even visit their premises if I'm in their neighborhood.

I'd rather value hard-earned trust rather than 'reputation' for the reason that Lilian gives above.


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:27
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
It depends May 21, 2015

A certain amount of risk is inevitable in this job. Most of the jobs I do are conducted entirely over the internet and face-to-face contact is a rarity. With experience, I have gradually learned to spot tell-tale signs, but there is also a certain amount of gut instinct involved. I have had my fingers burned a few times, but I have also found some of my best customers by taking a leap of faith.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends May 21, 2015

Most of my clients come to me by word of mouth recommendation. I'm usually wary of approaches from new unknown or unverifiable sources.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm learning May 21, 2015

I fell for a scam a couple of years ago, so now I'm more cautious. A couple of cases in which I'm particularly watchful:
- I also lost money on three different "starving" graduate students who wanted help translating their scientific papers, so I'm very careful now with students.
- I don't translate books when approached by individual authors because there are too many potential hazards (plus I don't typically accept such long jobs).


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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 17:27
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
it depends May 21, 2015

I go on my gut feeling when approached a lot of times but I do try to investigate (at least IP lookup/Google the website/e-mail/name) and sometimes I might ask them to give me some way of verifying them such as contactable references if nothing else shows up such as BB entries.
A particular example of this occurred last year where the initial e-mail was nice and well-written but I could find out nothing about company. So started with small job and partial up-front payment. All was well and they became a good client.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:27
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It still depends May 21, 2015





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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:27
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends... a lot May 21, 2015

Experience proved me I engaged several clients with very little information about their reputation, above all direct clients, who are always better than agencies, and who do not offer a lot of "reputation" information.

As to agencies, if the reputation is not clearly positive, first of all in the Blue Board, and mostly Indian and Chinese agencies, or people who send me e-mails that do not start with my name, are simply ignored.


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Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Cuba
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Of course it depends... May 21, 2015

If after some research I come up with little information, I may accept the job if it's small or if the way of approaching me makes me inclined to take a leap of faith.
This is a risky business, so at some point you have to take chances.
Fortunately, I've suffered very little from scammers (biting my tongue, as we say here).
I did a job of considerable volume 30 days ago for a client I've never met, but so far no red flags have arisen. Payment due date is tomorrow, so I'm crossing my fingers and my face is blue from holding my breath, but no risk no gain.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:27
German to English
+ ...
Definition of client May 22, 2015

A lot of my customers are end clients who may need a handful of translations done in their lives. When they need a certified hard copy then payment and delivery go hand in hand. "Reputation" isn't a factor. Others - translation companies - usually start with small translations until we get to know each other. They are not the kind that seeks translators on the Internet in platforms or places like ProZ - I never see anything at all written anywhere about my regular agency clients.

I do look up agencies to see if anything negative is written about them in various forums such as this one, and if the info is negative then I am cautious. But if there is no information, that does not make me decide *not* to work for them.

(If any of this makes sense).


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