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Poll: Do you prefer to work with end clients or agencies?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:36
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Jul 20, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you prefer to work with end clients or agencies?".

This poll was originally submitted by Carla Lopes. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:36
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 20, 2015

My preference goes to the ones that give me interesting texts to translate, pay well and are easy to work with. Some are agencies, some are end clients.

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Alexandra Villeminey  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:36
Member (2010)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Agencies Jul 20, 2015

Unfortunately, we are having a lot of trouble getting paid from Spanish end clients, so my preference goes to foreign agencies.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:36
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Mostly agencies Jul 20, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

My preference goes to the ones that give me interesting texts to translate, pay well and are easy to work with. Some are agencies, some are end clients.

Same here. However, several of my very good clients are colleagues who outsource - mini-agencies, I suppose, although I am close to the end client at times.

When I do work for direct clients, they are often private individuals or small businesses, and they make me nervous! I know I check as carefully as I can, but I feel there is no safety net between me and the client... What if I don't catch ALL the errors?!

I prefer the small to medium, often specialist agencies where I know the PMs and the procedures, and know someone will cast a final eye over my work.

I know from proofreading and checking other people's work - it IS simply easier to see the tiny flaws in someone else's work than the glaring errors in your own!


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:36
Portuguese to English
+ ...
End clients, hands down :) Jul 20, 2015

They offer good pay, reasonable deadlines, fast payment and cordial relationships. You're a professional and not just another faceless name in a database. Every now and then you also get to see their baby photos or get invited to their Christmas dinners. You're their equal.

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Billh
Local time: 22:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agencies don't pay my rates Jul 20, 2015

so they can go away. They are OK when you are starting out though.......you can screw up while learning your trade.

[Edited at 2015-07-20 10:00 GMT]


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:36
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
International, specialized agencies Jul 20, 2015

It is true they don't pay as well as direct clients, but they are professional and pleasant to work with and, at least with my regulars, work goes faster and smoother.

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Depends ... Jul 20, 2015

My favorite clients are a mix of end clients and agencies.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
End clients - no contest Jul 20, 2015

They have given me about 75% of my work since I started freelancing in 1992. They have always treated me with the utmost respect and they pay a lot better than any of the agencies I know. Furthermore, the work is almost always interesting (though agencies often give me interesting work as well).

Agencies are a lot more nitpicky. I've never had an end client challenge me about a decision I made in a translation, but agencies can get back to me with silly questions like why didn't I translate a street address.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:37
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other - they are all CLIENTS to me Jul 20, 2015

Diana Coada, PGDip DPSI NRPSI wrote:

They offer good pay, reasonable deadlines, fast payment and cordial relationships. You're a professional and not just another faceless name in a database.


I have both types - end clients and agencies - keeping a very cordial relationship with me. For them, I am a valuable business partner, and they are likewise my valuable business partners. We depend on each other to reach our goals.

I give them royal customer service, however I don't care much about what they offer. Call it "my way or the highway" if you wish. I make 'my way' to be the shortest and safest route to their goals. The highway, at best, will take them to the next town.

I set my price, and make sure that my delivery is well worth it. Weren't it so, I wouldn't have so many long-standing clients coming back all the time.

They may set their deadlines, if they wish, but mine shall prevail. While I'll try my best to meet their deadlines, I'll never promise anything I don't feel 100% sure that I can do.

On this count, a couple of Fridays ago, a very frequent client (agency PM) called me for an estimate. I gave it. Then she called me again a few times, trying to shorten the deadline. I didn't budge. At 11 AM she called me with an ultimatum: The client was desperate; willing to pay 5x (sic! - five times) the regular rate if I could deliver it (a couple of videos to translate & subtitle) on the same day by 5 PM. My reply was that I could TRY, but I wouldn't promise. Furthermore, I'd do it at my standard rate; if the agency wanted to charge 5x, it would be their chance to make some dough. The videos were in FHD using a somewhat rare combination of container format and codec, so several things could go wrong. I finished uploading the videos at 3:30 PM on that Friday. BTW, got some unrequested praise on my quality.

Payment terms? Thanks to the outrageously high interest rates in Brazil, I offer significant discounts for COD payment. Furthermore, instead of applying rush surcharges, I prioritize my assignments serving shortest payment terms first (I give them a choice). As 97% of my clients pay me COD, that's the way to go if they ever want to get served.

I give them every reason to want it my way, to make it worth it. Of course, I am just a number in countless agency databases, when not deleted already, who just want to make their way - no matter what - to a quick buck now and then, not a sustainable and profitable business partnership. I merely wish these agencies good luck.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:37
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Agencies that do all the work I don't like... Jul 20, 2015

Negotiating with clients, DTP, coordinating with other languages - sorting out CAT problems...
One even runs good training days and I get to meet the PMs and colleagues too.

I work with agencies who listen to me and accept my opinions - or who can convince me they have an even better reason for doing things differently. I try being nice - it works best as a rule, but I can be a stroppy bitch when annoyed, and then we tend to part company!

I literally don't have time for agencies that don't pay my rates - there are enough who do!

[Edited at 2015-07-20 13:56 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:37
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Clients :) Jul 20, 2015

To me everybody, end clients or agencies, are my clients.icon_wink.gif The agencies I work with accept my solutions, and in case they don't, we find a solution together as equal partners. The same applies, of course, to my end clients.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Noooo! Jul 20, 2015

Alexandra Villeminey wrote:

Unfortunately, we are having a lot of trouble getting paid from Spanish end clients, so my preference goes to foreign agencies.



Not the Spanish end clients! I like the Spanishicon_smile.gif

I'm actually of Celtiberian origin…


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Christmas parties Jul 20, 2015

Diana Coada, PGDip DPSI NRPSI wrote:

They offer good pay, reasonable deadlines, fast payment and cordial relationships. You're a professional and not just another faceless name in a database. Every now and then you also get to see their baby photos or get invited to their Christmas dinners. You're their equal.



Only one agency invited its translators and interpreters to their Christmas parties: The Language Lab, in New York City. One of my first customers in the Big Apple, they always treated me very well, paid on time, and were very cordial. I miss NYC.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
I have learned Jul 20, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Diana Coada, PGDip DPSI NRPSI wrote:

They offer good pay, reasonable deadlines, fast payment and cordial relationships. You're a professional and not just another faceless name in a database.


I have both types - end clients and agencies - keeping a very cordial relationship with me. For them, I am a valuable business partner, and they are likewise my valuable business partners. We depend on each other to reach our goals.

I give them royal customer service, however I don't care much about what they offer. Call it "my way or the highway" if you wish. I make 'my way' to be the shortest and safest route to their goals. The highway, at best, will take them to the next town.

I set my price, and make sure that my delivery is well worth it. Weren't it so, I wouldn't have so many long-standing clients coming back all the time.

They may set their deadlines, if they wish, but mine shall prevail. While I'll try my best to meet their deadlines, I'll never promise anything I don't feel 100% sure that I can do.

On this count, a couple of Fridays ago, a very frequent client (agency PM) called me for an estimate. I gave it. Then she called me again a few times, trying to shorten the deadline. I didn't budge. At 11 AM she called me with an ultimatum: The client was desperate; willing to pay 5x (sic! - five times) the regular rate if I could deliver it (a couple of videos to translate & subtitle) on the same day by 5 PM. My reply was that I could TRY, but I wouldn't promise. Furthermore, I'd do it at my standard rate; if the agency wanted to charge 5x, it would be their chance to make some dough. The videos were in FHD using a somewhat rare combination of container format and codec, so several things could go wrong. I finished uploading the videos at 3:30 PM on that Friday. BTW, got some unrequested praise on my quality.

Payment terms? Thanks to the outrageously high interest rates in Brazil, I offer significant discounts for COD payment. Furthermore, instead of applying rush surcharges, I prioritize my assignments serving shortest payment terms first (I give them a choice). As 97% of my clients pay me COD, that's the way to go if they ever want to get served.

I give them every reason to want it my way, to make it worth it. Of course, I am just a number in countless agency databases, when not deleted already, who just want to make their way - no matter what - to a quick buck now and then, not a sustainable and profitable business partnership. I merely wish these agencies good luck.


Thanks, José. This is one of the few and valuable times I found a few lines in your statements that I can definitely apply in my professional life. May I quote you? Thanks again.


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