Poll: Has any translation agency you work for asked you to contact the client to discuss something??
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:23
SITE STAFF
May 9

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has any translation agency you work for asked you to contact the client to discuss something??".

This poll was originally submitted by Liu Peng. View the poll results »



 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Other May 9

As far as I work with direct clients only, no translation agency can ask me to contact the client for discussing anything. Yet at biz time I'm free to ask relevant questions directly whomever I need--the client, the author, an engineer, a lawyer, or a specialist.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, a few times May 9

I was asked a few times to contact the client directly and always to discuss terminology (translating neologisms).

Christine Andersen
Alexandra Speirs
Angie Garbarino
Liu Peng
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:23
Member (2018)
French to English
Only when I worked in-house. May 9

I was at first in direct contact in-house, since I was both PM and translator.

Then when the agency was bought out I no longer had to manage projects. I was also working on different premises to the PMs, I had no contact whatsoever with clients. It actually proved problematic with one client who seemed to be trying hard to find fault. In the end, since I had to go to the PM's office for some other reason, I went to the PM and asked to be put in touch with the client. All the proble
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I was at first in direct contact in-house, since I was both PM and translator.

Then when the agency was bought out I no longer had to manage projects. I was also working on different premises to the PMs, I had no contact whatsoever with clients. It actually proved problematic with one client who seemed to be trying hard to find fault. In the end, since I had to go to the PM's office for some other reason, I went to the PM and asked to be put in touch with the client. All the problems suddenly faded away. Very strange and unsettling. The PM said the client was completely different on the phone with me compared to her. I expect that the age difference may have helped, I'm old enough to sound like I know what I'm doing, and the PM was barely out of school.

Oh and there was one other time when I was asked to do something that actually amounted more to copywriting. The client had clearly bitten off more than she could chew and was very nervous about whether or not I could deliver the goods. She was told I would hand the project in on Friday. I was already working on other translations and wouldn't start her job until the Thursday, but she kept calling the PM to see whether I had any questions or needed any help to get it done more quickly. Finally the PM gave her my number because she was sick of answering her questions. After the second phone call, I unplugged the phone.
The project was a total disaster in that she hadn't given any explicit instructions, not even an indication of how much copy was needed. When I plugged the phone back in to ask, I got a barrage of "I can't believe you've wasted all this time and only ask me such an important thing so late in the week. It's for tomorrow!!!!" and hung up none the wiser as to what was expected. So I did what I had understood, which was wrong of course. The phone was unplugged again and stayed that way.

[Edited at 2019-05-09 13:08 GMT]
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Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:23
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
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No May 9

No. I never knew that's even possible. I deal with PMs all the time.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:23
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No May 9

And why should they? It's their job to clarify/discuss anything with their client.

Maria Simmen
Philippe Etienne
 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 09:23
Member (2005)
English to German
No May 9

And why would they? It is part of their business model to anonymize, so they can "divide and conquer".

Balvir Chand
 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:23
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I imagine that it only happens when the end-client really insists... May 9

It happened to me only once, and involved a two-hour conference call with an attorney and a rep of the translation agency.

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:23
Member
English to French
No May 10

My current agency clients do their jobs and handle their clients and problems themselves as they should.
Of course, I understand that in very specific cases, being in contact with the "translation user" is desirable, necessary and helpful. But typically, I hardly deal with issues that require a dozen of opinions and a moderator. And I don't socialise for the sake of it when at work.

My only experience is with an agency I have lost sight of more than a decade ago. Their client
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My current agency clients do their jobs and handle their clients and problems themselves as they should.
Of course, I understand that in very specific cases, being in contact with the "translation user" is desirable, necessary and helpful. But typically, I hardly deal with issues that require a dozen of opinions and a moderator. And I don't socialise for the sake of it when at work.

My only experience is with an agency I have lost sight of more than a decade ago. Their client was the FR translation department of a major brand and wanted a conference call. To me it was just a lot of man-hours wasted (5 persons) and a round of thought-through e-mails would have lead to the same result and slashed the overall time spent by 5.
But perhaps in some circles, meetings are the default way to tackle issues, and I wonder if the "cost"/outcome ratio is really factored in. Besides, meetings are far more "visible" than a couple of e-mails that solve the same agenda.

Of course the time spent blahblahing wasn't paid.

Philippe
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:23
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Once or twice May 13

It's very rare, because the agencies are very concerned that you don't negotiate direclty with the client (better prices and better deadlines, without the agency as the middleman), but it has happened a few times, with agencies that trust me and have worked with me for a long time. They have a hard time explaining what I've done to the client or they get tired of playing the pigeon when the client is too picky.

 


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