Poll: How many clients have you given up because of their mandatory plaform?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:12
SITE STAFF
Sep 8

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many clients have you given up because of their mandatory plaform?".

This poll was originally submitted by Zibow Retailleau. View the poll results »



 

Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:12
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
About 5 existing clients ... Sep 8

... if it's also about potential clients: many more (at least 20).

Jan Truper
Melanie Meyer
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:12
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
It's not only their platforms Sep 8

Many of my existing clients were taken over by bigger agencies, who implemented new conditions such as longer payment terms (e.g. 30 to 45 days), tried to lower the rates, new 'safety measures' e.g. Cyberwallet and other 'inconveniences' to the translators.

I have discontinued collaboration with about 20 clients in this category

[Edited at 2019-09-08 09:06 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:12
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
1-5 Sep 8

Some of those platforms are a pain! They might be convenient for agencies but take up more of the translator's time. On the one hand, when there is a problem it’s impossible to discuss and reason with a machine and, on the other hand, Portuguese tax authorities don’t accept these automatically generated invoices and I have to redo them. Fortunately my regular clients don’t use them; I had two very sporadic clients who worked with translation management platforms but I dropped them some tim... See more
Some of those platforms are a pain! They might be convenient for agencies but take up more of the translator's time. On the one hand, when there is a problem it’s impossible to discuss and reason with a machine and, on the other hand, Portuguese tax authorities don’t accept these automatically generated invoices and I have to redo them. Fortunately my regular clients don’t use them; I had two very sporadic clients who worked with translation management platforms but I dropped them some time ago. If I consider potential clients, the number will probably be around 20.Collapse


Kaisa I
Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never start rather than give up Sep 8

As Edith says, they may fall at the first hurdle as potential clients because of this requirement.

Christine Andersen
Teresa Borges
svetlana cosquéric
Andy Watkinson
Philip Lees
ahartje
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:12
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The irritating thing is that platforms CAN be set up to help translators Sep 8

One of the widely used platforms, Plunet, apparently calls for careful configuration. I have dropped clients because their platform was a waste of my time, and their rates did not justify the hassle. Plunet can be a real pain.

I weeded out among my clients when I reached retiring age, and let a few of them know why I was dropping them. I told some of the others that I might not be available as much as before, but apart from that I would be very happy to carry on working with them.... See more
One of the widely used platforms, Plunet, apparently calls for careful configuration. I have dropped clients because their platform was a waste of my time, and their rates did not justify the hassle. Plunet can be a real pain.

I weeded out among my clients when I reached retiring age, and let a few of them know why I was dropping them. I told some of the others that I might not be available as much as before, but apart from that I would be very happy to carry on working with them.

One of these agencies uses Plunet, but they have set it up so that it is easy to log in - for their regular translators at least. I can configure a few options myself, and it is easy to download large files and projects. The client has set Plunet up so that I can easily see my own jobs for the month. Then at the end of the month (or when I choose), the platform makes out a detailed invoice for me to check, and a summary one which I can simply print out and archive. My accountant can see it is correct, and it contains all the mandatory information, should the tax authorities make an inspection.

Besides using Plunet, this agency's PMs always send a mail about the job, and I can see the text and discuss any issues before accepting the job or along the way.

That's how these platforms should work...
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Zibow Retailleau
Karen Wooddissee
Rita Utt
 

Zibow Retailleau  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 02:12
Member (Apr 2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
the story behind the poll is... Sep 8

I've worked with this agency once, very pleasant experience, project big and interesting, pay decent and on time. Then came the second time. Everything was fine as before until in the middle of it, they mandated the use of their new platform to which no matter how I tried I could not log in. Asked for help from the PM, followed every instruction, to no avail. Several emails later, I received the final one saying it was all my fault, I did not do what I was told to and my assignment was given to ... See more
I've worked with this agency once, very pleasant experience, project big and interesting, pay decent and on time. Then came the second time. Everything was fine as before until in the middle of it, they mandated the use of their new platform to which no matter how I tried I could not log in. Asked for help from the PM, followed every instruction, to no avail. Several emails later, I received the final one saying it was all my fault, I did not do what I was told to and my assignment was given to another translator.

I understand the re-assignment. The deadline was approaching. However, saying that the problem was generated by me really made me speechless. Also, like Christine said, apart from this I would be more than happy to continue working with them but apparently it is not possible.
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Kaisa I
svetlana cosquéric
Yetta J Bogarde
 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:12
Italian to English
+ ...
Never been asked Sep 8

I work for a number of agencies, but have never been asked to use a platform of any kind.
Only one big agency has a site for uploading the finished project.
Everything else goes by e-mail.


 

Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 00:12
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Deceptive Q/A Sep 9

Noni Gilbert wrote:

As Edith says, they may fall at the first hurdle as potential clients because of this requirement.


I voted none,* and it could be easily inferred from this that I'm actually meekly & merrily complying with the umpteen requirements of these platforms vis-à-vis OPs, weird filenaming conventions, job placement, tracking and everything up to and including what I had for breakfast through to billing.

At the first whiff of a "platform" I politely (or not) decline.

And unsurprisingly, as already suggested, the more hurdles, the more automation, the lower the rates....the less of a real "agency" they are. And I get the feeling many translators feel the same.

(* Before objecting to that comma before an "and", remember that I know where you live).

[Edited at 2019-09-09 05:02 GMT]


 

Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 01:12
Member (2008)
Greek to English
Waiting Sep 9

A client I've done a few jobs for in the past recently asked me if I would mind using their "safe" on-line platform to deliver completed translations. I said that if they paid me extra for my time and trouble I would be willing.

I am now waiting to see what happens.

I have dropped one client and rejected others because they use a certain on-line payment system whose name is reminiscent of RIPOFF.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:12
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A smart solution is better than declining jobs Sep 9

Yes, the mandatory platforms are indeed very bad 90% of the time. I "suffered" with them in the beginning, and it irritates me to know the client will have MY TM and I won't.
However, there is a smart solution for that. You can save the pages as html, translate them in your own CAT, have your TM as due, and copy and paste the segments to the platforms, and just confirm them.
At first, it may sound like you'd waste a lot of time, but believe me, it takes less time than in the platfor
... See more
Yes, the mandatory platforms are indeed very bad 90% of the time. I "suffered" with them in the beginning, and it irritates me to know the client will have MY TM and I won't.
However, there is a smart solution for that. You can save the pages as html, translate them in your own CAT, have your TM as due, and copy and paste the segments to the platforms, and just confirm them.
At first, it may sound like you'd waste a lot of time, but believe me, it takes less time than in the platform, you save your TM, and the translations are A LOT better, as you can use your TM's and TB's as well, which the platforms won't allow.
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Ana Vozone
Tradupro17
 

Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not sure Sep 9

I think I have probably declined work a few times when clients' platforms are mandatory and too complicated to get into, but I have also adapted to several (very different) platforms and now find I am more at-ease to accept work and to interact via these platforms.

In a way, getting used to different platforms is like undergoing training of some sort, so I think that at the end of the day platforms can be a positive thing and a useful tool.

I can also say that most (8
... See more
I think I have probably declined work a few times when clients' platforms are mandatory and too complicated to get into, but I have also adapted to several (very different) platforms and now find I am more at-ease to accept work and to interact via these platforms.

In a way, getting used to different platforms is like undergoing training of some sort, so I think that at the end of the day platforms can be a positive thing and a useful tool.

I can also say that most (80%) of my major clients now use platforms of some sort, both to work on the actual files and to retrieve and deliver work, as well as for the invoicing stage. I would be out of work if I refused to used their platforms.
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Axelle Hawkins
 

Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:12
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Never sign up Sep 9

I never start with them.

However, there is one agency that I had worked with for years.
Until they badgered me to reduce my rates (you'll get soooo much more work!).
Now they constantly send me stuff configured for a CAT that I don't use. It's not even a proprietary CAT, but it's one that I don't use.
It's in my file that I don't use it.
And no matter how many times I ask for the correct format in advance, they still send the wrong format, which sets my tr
... See more
I never start with them.

However, there is one agency that I had worked with for years.
Until they badgered me to reduce my rates (you'll get soooo much more work!).
Now they constantly send me stuff configured for a CAT that I don't use. It's not even a proprietary CAT, but it's one that I don't use.
It's in my file that I don't use it.
And no matter how many times I ask for the correct format in advance, they still send the wrong format, which sets my translation timeline back 24 hours.
Then, they got huffy when I told them that I was not taking their project because another agency was paying me more for something during the same timeframe.

So, yeah, their translation requests are prefiltered into spam now.
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