Poll: Do you double check the fees calculated by your regular clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:54
Mar 20, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you double check the fees calculated by your regular clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Estelle Demontrond-Box. View the poll results »


ventnai  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:54
German to English
+ ...
MemoQ vs. Trados Mar 20, 2017

One of my clients consistently uses MemoQ to analyse files even though the agreed rate is based on Trados and translators generally need to use Trados for translations for the agency concerned. This means I need to analyse files and bid with my own price every time. MemoQ can often work out in their favour in terms of price, although the agency says MemoQ gives a more accurate analysis.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 02:54
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My clients don’t calculate my fees, I do. Mar 20, 2017

Can’t understand the question. When my clients send a PO (or any kind of acceptance), they reproduce my quote for that job. Can’t remember many instances when there was a difference between my quote and the PO, but of course I do check if everything is as it should be…


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
I do the math Mar 20, 2017

Generally I tell them what to pay, but I work with a couple of agencies that send POs and I always double-check them because they often get the wordcount and/or my rate wrong. You'd be crazy not to.

And then there are the occasional jobs for the big international agencies with their fancy CAT matrices that calculate the word count down to three decimal places and always seem to be rigged in their favour. I don't think I've ever won a "your matrix says 300 words but there are actually 350" argument with them, so I just quote a higher rate to compensate.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:54
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not usually Mar 20, 2017

With two of my main clients I don't have any say. They do all the calculations.

In general, I've found that clients get testy if I question their word counts. I remember once there was a huge discrepancy. It was a PDF and they had used OCR for English to count words in Portuguese. It took a lot of convincing before they agreed to pay me the additional amount.

I've developed a philosophical attitude about word counts: over time, the compensation evens out. The real issue is what kind of words they are, and that can't be measured very easily -- and no one wants to pay by the hour.

[Edited at 2017-03-20 08:57 GMT]


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:54
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope Mar 20, 2017

because the customers I work with are long term and reliable. I have never had any reason to double check them.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
My clients don't... I do Mar 20, 2017

I usually calculate my fees myself.
The only regular exception is where I have one direct client for whom I translate software strings through their own proprietary platform and I usually ask them to check my calculations, because sometimes I have problems calculating how many "words" have been calculated during the period. Due to what I perceive as the system's complexity, I usually bill for this service every six months rather than monthly. I bill the same client every month for "normal" texts translated.


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:54
Member (2008)
English to Italian
it depends on the client Mar 20, 2017

I have 4 long term clients and I have never had any reason to double-check
Obviously with more recent clients I "test" them for a whileicon_biggrin.gif


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:54
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 20, 2017

I have an agreed word rate with several of my clients - or in some cases several according to the job.

I always check to make sure we agree on how we calculate the figures. My accounts man checks, and if he finds discrepancies, I have to make out the invoice all over again. icon_frown.gif

He did find a VAT discrepancy once, when the client had forgotten to add the code, and it took AGES to sort it out!


Jan Truper
Local time: 03:54
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, more or less Mar 20, 2017

I always double check the word count, since I need it as exact as possible to figure out the approximate time it will take me to complete a job (which determines my availability to take on the next job).

Depending on the client/project/text, I also double check the fees.
Now and then, there are discrepancies because I charge different rates for different clients/projects/texts, so PMs occasionally mix them up -- sometimes even in my favor, but I always flag it, because I'm an honest soul. On two occasions, I was even told to keep the overpayment as a bonus.icon_smile.gif

I've never had the misfortune to deal with deliberate cheaters; all discrepancies were always based on honest mistakes and were corrected without any fuss.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Mar 20, 2017

This is not necessary at all since my customers and I have signed and exchanged contracts that clearly detail all contractual details in advance. The only things that fluctuate with each job or project are volume and content.

When a customer contacts me about a potential job, they send me all the contractual stuff up front and the files to be translated together with a breakdown of the volume. All I have to do is tell them that I can handle a job. If not, I'll renegotiate schedule or tell them that it's out of my fields of expertise.
Also, in Japan, almost 100% of translation jobs are based on the number of source characters, which is a 'constant' and does not fluctuate at all. So, there's really no need to check fees, etc.

Small edit

[Edited at 2017-03-20 14:10 GMT]


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:54
Member (2007)
+ ...

Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile

Surprising that so many never expect errors Mar 20, 2017

Jan Truper wrote:
I've never had the misfortune to deal with deliberate cheaters; all discrepancies were always based on honest mistakes and were corrected without any fuss.

I don't think anyone can claim to never make a mistake. Reversing two digits, putting the wrong number into a calculator, misplacing a decimal point, excluding a line from an excel calculation... there are no end of ways to mess up.


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:54
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I'm the one who does that, not the client! Mar 21, 2017

Clients usually calculate the fees, but it doesn't make the slightest difference to me. I calculate the fees and inform them. If they calculate the fee, I either agree with it or disagree, but I'll only do the job and accept the PO once I agreed with it.
Of couse sometimes there is a little insignificant difference between my quote and the client's count, and I don't say anything. It happens both ways (above mine or below mine), so I just let it go. Not worth starting a discussion for a 2% difference.


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