Poll: How thoroughly do you research a new client before accepting their job offer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:18
SITE STAFF
Aug 15, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How thoroughly do you research a new client before accepting their job offer?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
As thoroughly as I can! Aug 15, 2015

I always check: Blue Board, Translators Scammer Directory, LinkedIn, Translation Agencies Blacklist (Translation Ethics), Blacklisted Translation Outsourcers (Translation Directory) etc., unless the new client is a well known international organization or comes from a trustworthy source…

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Fairly to very Aug 15, 2015

It depends on the size of the first job. If it's very small then I'll do basic checks then decide whether it's worth the small risk. I don't often accept large jobs from new clients but if I am tempted to then I'll go to great lengths to (a) ensure they exist physically and legally, and (b) to track down any non-payment or scam issues connected with them. The latter is important as it may be that a perfectly respectable company has had their identity stolen.

And to be honest, I do sometimes take quite big risks with start-ups etc who have virtually no presence, just because it all smells right. But I wouldn't encourage beginners to do that. It takes years before you can smell out rats.

Thankfully, in over 15 years freelancing I've never failed to get payment from a company in a position to pay, and I've never been scammed. There have just been two companies who went bankrupt and one private individual whose life was such a mess I preferred to break contact and wave goodbye to €12.50.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other - not thoroughly enough Aug 15, 2015

I've been too trusting in the past. Since my first clients were all reliable, I didn't realize for a long time that there are some bad ones out there - like: "Who would want to take advantage of a poor hard-working translator?"

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not very thoroughly Aug 15, 2015

I mainly look at the Blue Board. If there is no record there, and no website for the requesting party, I require payment up front. If there is a minimal Blue Board record and a website, I would agree to payment after completing the work but prior to delivery. In other circumstances in which there is less than an extensive and impeccable Blue Board record, I request payment within 15-20 days for a first collaboration.

I did not know about some of the resources Teresa mentions in her post. I will look into these....

[Edited at 2015-08-15 15:36 GMT]


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few more options Aug 15, 2015

You can check the email IP address following this guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TkcS8obih8
You can get information about the company's website with this guide (which also goes over the email thing again): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE7apDFMbYs (Sorry the music and sound quality are bad on this one... I'll see if I can remake it now that I have a better set up).

I also recommend the Blue Board, LinkedIn and Facebook Groups, and other sources already mentioned.

I guess you could say that I'm a little paranoid...


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:18
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Exaclty, Teresa Aug 15, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

I always check: Blue Board, Translators Scammer Directory, LinkedIn, Translation Agencies Blacklist (Translation Ethics), Blacklisted Translation Outsourcers (Translation Directory) etc., unless the new client is a well known international organization or comes from a trustworthy source…


Same here, plus our page in FB, where we can refer to the colleagues (you should be there!).


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:18
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Good hint, Triston, Aug 15, 2015

Triston Goodwin wrote:

You can check the email IP address following this guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TkcS8obih8
You can get information about the company's website with this guide (which also goes over the email thing again): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE7apDFMbYs (Sorry the music and sound quality are bad on this one... I'll see if I can remake it now that I have a better set up).



It's one more protection tool/method to help us. Thank you.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another one... Aug 15, 2015

Robert Forstag wrote:

I did not know about some of the resources Teresa mentions in her post. I will look into these....

[Edited at 2015-08-15 15:36 GMT]


http://translationpayments.com/


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Not so thoroughly as Teresa Aug 16, 2015

I am rather trusting. No Linked-In or Facebook for me. I just look up the Blue Board here. I also see the location of the agency (I don't mean its website's location, but its physical location) and if it is from one of those cheap regions of the globe, I don't even respond.

Fortunately, touch wood, my trust has not been belied too often.

[Edited at 2015-08-16 07:01 GMT]


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