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Poll: Do you find some of your clients have overly-complicated terms for work and payment?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:42
SITE STAFF
Feb 1

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you find some of your clients have overly-complicated terms for work and payment?".

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Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:42
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
No doubt Feb 1

... some agencies do. I don't work for them.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not really Feb 1

The only agency I currently work with has an Excel sheet for filling in queries about the text being translated or revised, which I find rather laborious to read and fill in. Normally I prepare a translator's note myself in Word format for that sort of thing. Other than that, and the fact that they are the only client that sends me a PO, it's not a problem. In fact, they just asked me to fill out some kind of form to comply with some new legal requisite, but that's not an issue either.
My best client has an online platform which I sometimes wish was quicker to respond to queries and notifications, but heigh ho, as long as it's them that's slow to respond and not me, that's their pigeon.


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Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:42
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Diminishing number Feb 1

These days "overly complicated terms for work and payment" is one of the things that would make me decline a job.

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Eden Cope
United States
Local time: 22:42
Member (2017)
Swedish to English
+ ...


Posted via
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Sometimes Feb 1

The payment is usually simple. But if they only pay me in euros via Paypal, I lose some money to PayPal because it needs to be converted to USD.

What I don't like is when an agency requires the use of a very specific and obscure CAT tool, and that they expect me to buy it even though I have never been asked to use it before and probably won't make much of a return on that purchase. I usually turn those projects down. In fact, I don't like having any particular CAT tool requirements at all. The CAT tool is supposed to be there for me, my business and my own productivity, and I want to use my favorite one.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What happened to "Other"? Feb 1

For "proofreading," one client expected me to analyze everything I changed and rate the seriousness of the "error". It took longer than the actual work.

That was one of many experiences that led me to stop reviewing translations under the guise of "proofreading".


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:42
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
It's getting worse Feb 1

More agencies are expecting us to work through websites. It is much simpler for translators to deal directly with the PM for everything, or perhaps also the accounts department. Sometimes I grudgingly go along with it, but if it's too complicated I'll turn it down. One agency has a website but has given me special dispensation to work directly with the PM. The other day I told an agency to take me off their database because they have introduced such a site.
I have never understood what advantage such sites are to the agencies. Can anyone explain?


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Hear, hear! Feb 1

Agneta Pallinder wrote:

These days "overly complicated terms for work and payment" is one of the things that would make me decline a job.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:42
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not really Feb 1

If they do, they usually won't reach "client" status with me.

For instance, I cover the entire subtitling process, I have delivered many commercial quality subtitled DVDs. However in the past few months I had to give up on three new subtitling prospects whose top priority was for me to use some specific software.

I tried these three programs - a different one required by each of them - and couldn't make any of them function properly, under neither Windows 10 nor Windows XP (I have both). BTW they were not Mac-compatible , so it was not my fault. AFAIK two of these outsourcers are still searching for subtitling translators in my language pair that could use their required software.

I see too many software-focused translation companies. Their major requirement is having all translators using some specific app of their choice, language skills often being kinda 'desirable'. I guess that began with the fad of demanding Trados above anything else. This is so strong, that I recently saw a job offer requiring "MUST have Traldus" (sic!) so emphatically, that they eventually forgot to mention the language pair involved!


Others have an abusively complex onboarding procedure. While TPbox apparently runs efficiently as it comes, Plunet seems to require expert customization, otherwise it may turn into an insurmountable hurdle for most translators.

I have abandoned several registration processes midway, upon realizing that "if this agency's SYSTEM is so unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming, I'm not going all the way through them to face the PEOPLE behind such pointless complexity."

Leonine/draconian NDAs have been widely discussed here. I'll give their issuers some brief feedback on why, and step out.


Payment should be simple and straightforward. From my experience, all clients that require translators to go through any 'login and request' payment process are bad payers; their Blue Board record looks like a rap sheet. Since everything should have been agreed at the outset, the timely delivery of the job with acceptable quality should automatically trigger the payment process exactly as agreed.


So it makes me wonder why a translator would keep serving clients where red tape and/or unreasonable yet mandatory working methods often require more work than doing the translation itself.


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Jasa Pipan
Slovenia
Local time: 16:42
Member
French to Slovenian
+ ...
Like a lot of you already said ... Feb 1

... if the payment terms are complicated, that usually means that the agency is counting on the fact that translators won't want to jump through hoops to get there, and will either let the payment go completely or accept their terms in hopes of at least seeing the colour of their money. When I was younger and in dire need of experience to add to my CV, I accepted these terms; now, I work with agencies I can trust and that's that. Of course, if a new agency is added into the mix, one can't always tell how things are going to pan out ... but that's not the question here.

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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 16:42
Member (2005)
English to German
No Feb 1

I'll join the chorus of people who say that those do not become (or stay) clients. If they want it overly complicated, they can include me out (and then suddenly it's not as much of a "buyer's market" as they claim, and they're sad they can't catch me - interesting).

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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 16:42
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Yes... Feb 1

... which in turn reduces my availability and increases my rate.

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:42
English to Russian
+ ...
No Feb 1

I'll join the chorus of my esteemed colleagues. Quoting a plaque seen somewhere many years ago:

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT,
but it's up to us to decide if you ARE one


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Axelle H.  Identity Verified
Member (2017)
English to French
+ ...
No Feb 1

Anton Konashenok wrote:

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT,
but it's up to us to decide if you ARE one


(I like this sentence !). If it is too complicated, I am running away ... no time to waste .


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:42
Member (2004)
English to French
One agency in particular Feb 1

I had been recruited last year to work for one agency that pays better and by direct deposit. But its processes to log in are so complicated, I never finished all the procedure. It's too daunting and leaves little place to actually get some work done.

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