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Poll: Do you apply for a job inquiry when the outsourcer has a negative Blue Board record?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:29
SITE STAFF
Mar 11, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you apply for a job inquiry when the outsourcer has a negative Blue Board record?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Blanc. View the poll results »



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Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:29
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
No way Mar 11, 2016

Loads of awful agencies have good BB records, so for any of them to actually have bad marks is a definite no-no for me. Obviously one has to read between the lines, but it is clear that the BB is somewhat biaised.

No later than last week did I see an agy with over a hundred 5/5 although the ads they post here are in my view totally unacceptable (+500 words free "test" on a technical subject matter) + they are regularly featured in the LinkedIn Unacceptable translation rates naming and shaming group.
But none of the so-called professionals who slave away for them dared to report anything in the BB.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Mar 11, 2016

I am extremely careful (or at least I try to)… Anyway, I don't send many bids to job postings on ProZ.com and never if the BB poster has had less than a 5 in the last two years.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:29
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Mar 11, 2016

I am careful, and tend to avoid agencies with recent negative ratings.
But anotherthing that irritates me about the BB is that the ProZ staff tend to delete negative entries at their own desire / will.
I had serious problems with an gency about paymnt matters - many others as well, and q couple of weeks after my negative posting, the ProZ staff deleted my entry telling me that they wanted it deleted.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Mar 11, 2016

If the average ratings are low, I simply do not have time for that client.

I don't insist on an unbroken column of 5-ratings if there are a lot, but I do look at all the comments.

If there IS an unbroken row of 5s, I look even more carefully at the comments. If outsourcers press for ratings after the first job, they can easily acumulate a lot more 5s than they deserve.

I prefer to wait until I have done several jobs for a client, and try to write something that stands out for the really excellent clients I give 5-ratings to.

In principle, a 4 should be given for the 'normal' clients and 5 reserved for the real stars, but it is hard to tell if the first job runs smoothly and they pay on time. You can only sort the stars from the average agencies when problems arise, and you see how some agencies are really helpful, and others just leave you to do the best you can or even blame you.

Sometimes it is obvious from the comments that the translator was the problem - I have seen some of my favourite clients with a couple of 1 or 3 ratings.

So please, everyone, write meaningful comments if you can!


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Dittebd
Denmark
Local time: 15:29
Member (2013)
German to Danish
+ ...
To be fair, some translators are surely drama queens... Mar 11, 2016

who simply haven't read the paperwork they have signed and then whinge like crazy afterwards (particularly when it comes to payment terms)

I recently had a case like that. Before accepting the job offer, I saw a complaint on the blue board stating that the agency didn't pay on time. Of course I queried them on this, and decided to accept the proposed project after hearing their side of the story. So far I have done three jobs for them which were all paid on time and the PMs were helpful and friendly. Would have been a shame to turn the agency down based on this one bad rating.


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Lenka Červená  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:29
Member (2014)
English to Czech
+ ...
Depends Mar 11, 2016

What is a negative record..?

It certainly must be 4 or 5 and I always read carefully the negative comments, then decide. The positive ones (4s and 5s) must definitely prevail. I also always pay attention to whether they respond to the negative (and positive too) comments and how, this says a lot about the outsourcer.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 11, 2016

Although I don't usually apply for work through proz, I used to work occasionally with an agency who I later discovered had a really bad BB rating, mainly because their payment terms are 60-90 days and they apparently often fail to meet the 3-month deadline. After more than two decades of working in Spain, I've come to accept late payments as part of the course, so I'm usually prepared to wait until the clients stump up.
However, I haven't done anything for this agency for the past few years, but that was mainly because I was busy when they approached me, or because they tend to send things in PDF format and when I'm busy I just can't be bothered with the faffing about PDFs can entail. Nevertheless, if they approach me in the near future with a workable format and a text that I'd have time to work on, I'd probably accept it, as I kind of feel sorry for them.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Generally speaking, the BB has to be taken with a grain of salt Mar 11, 2016

I check the Blue Board but more out of curiosity than anything else. People seem to give 5's to agencies just for getting work and getting paid. Negative BB comments seem to be a thing of the past. They don't seem to be allowed nowadays. That is what makes the BB unreliable. Like Teresa, I don't bid on many jobs anyway (maybe one or two a year). And every time I do, I promise myself never again. Most appear to be cattle calls looking for the cheapest possible solution, assuming there is actually a job at all.



[Edited at 2016-03-11 13:41 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wishful thinking Mar 11, 2016

Dittebd wrote:

... who simply haven't read the paperwork they have signed and then whinge like crazy afterwards (particularly when it comes to payment terms)...



As I've said before in related forums, the way I see it, the due date on my invoices is a sort of wishful thinking, and it's rather unreasonable to expect every client to comply with my wishes across-the-board. I also know that some of my clients occasionally have cash flow problems, which isn't all that unusual in Spain.


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:29
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Negative record or a negative entry? Mar 11, 2016

I don't take any one BB entry as Gospel truth, but I do watch overall trends in comments and ratings. A company that has been around a long time might have dozens of entries and I can get a good feeling over time. Sadly, there are companies that have a string of 5s from a few years back and then start to get consecutive bad ratings after a while. Less commonly, a company will have its trend improve over time; perhaps they had trouble when starting out, but then they clean up their act.

These days, I don't go after many jobs posted on Proz first, but I consult the Blue Board whenever a company I never worked for before approaches me out of the blue. If they have a bad rating (or just as often are so bad they are forbidden from posting jobs on ProZ) I tell them no. I won't make bones about it either. I have told such companies that I checked the Blue Board and that until they are able to repair their reputation in the industry that I cannot take the chance of a non-payment. To my surprise, they tend to be very understanding (no hostility or whining in response).


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Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 20:29
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Wrong implicit understanding on freelancing Mar 11, 2016

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you apply for a job inquiry when the outsourcer has a negative Blue Board record?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Blanc. View the poll results »



Freelancer offers a service, not applies for a job.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 15:29
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
entries and responses + down payment Mar 11, 2016

I take a look at the Blue Board - this is one of the most important features on the ProZ.com. But I take allok not just at the bad or good rates but at their response. It says a lot about the company how they trat the complaining translators and sometimes the answers are pretty... let's say, strange. Last year I had a request from a company directly. I did not look after, made the job and they instantly paid for my work. Later I saw that the company of the same owner was previously banned from ProZ.com. Maybe his new business was more successful.

I order comes the first time, I ask for down payment and deliver the first pages within hours to gain mutual trust.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:29
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What is a "negative record"? Mar 11, 2016

I do not apply for jobs or reply e-mails of any client with less than 4.6 in the Blue Board. From 4.6 to 4.8, I am very careful and check the reasons why they lost points. But almost all clients I worked for have 5.0 in the Blue Board.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:29
Member (2008)
English to Italian
No Mar 12, 2016

First let's say that a negative record for me is under 4.0.
So if I see for example 3.8 I do not even check.
Between 4.0 and 4.5 I check the reasons behind the feedbacks and any replies from the agencies.
Between 4.6 and 5. I just trust them.


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