Poll: A job is posted with no contact data but the outsourcer has an LWA average of 4. Do you still apply?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:15
SITE STAFF
Nov 2, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "A job is posted with no contact data but the outsourcer has an LWA average of 4. Do you still apply?".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apply vs. Accept Nov 2, 2006

You can apply ......

But obviously don't complete the negotiations and accept the job until all standard information (contact details, terms of business, etc.) has been obtained and verified.




[Edited at 2006-11-02 22:05]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:15
English to Arabic
+ ...
Good answer! Nov 2, 2006

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

You can apply ......

But obviously don't complete the negotiations and accept the job until all standard information (contact details, terms of business, etc.) has been obtained and verified.



That's it!


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:15
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Right Nov 2, 2006

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

You can apply ......

But obviously don't complete the negotiations and accept the job until all standard information (contact details, terms of business, etc.) has been obtained and verified


Couldn't explain it better

[Edited at 2006-11-02 22:45]


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Andrey Lipattsev  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 20:15
English to Russian
+ ...
Correct me, if I'm wrong... Nov 2, 2006

...but if an outsourcer has LWA entries, doesn't that mean that he/she has a profile on proz.com and, hence, all (or most of) the necessary contact information can be found there?

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same thought crossed my mind .... Nov 3, 2006

Andrey Lipattsev wrote:

...but if an outsourcer has LWA entries, doesn't that mean that he/she has a profile on proz.com and, hence, all (or most of) the necessary contact information can be found there?


But I guess we're supposed to assume for the purposes of this poll that those are (for some reason) not available/obsolete etc.

Bottom line is common sense must prevail - all the more so when working in a faceless, online situation - and if you accept a job without an outsourcer's full contact details, proper P.O. etc, then it's only to be expected you'll end up getting your fingers burnt in the process.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:15
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Outsourcers MUST provide contact details when posting jobs Nov 3, 2006

Let me add from a jobs moderator's perspective that outsourcers must submit certain mandatory contact details, such as a full contact name, name of company, full address. If some of these details are missing, the posting will be removed. The only choice outsourcers have is to make certain details visible to moderators and staff only. Also, I agree that if there's a BB entry with LWAs already, that entry should contain a sufficient amount of detail that can be checked or at least used as a starting point.

That being said, each of us (in his/her role as a service provider/freelancer) is responsible for taking appropriate risk management precautions, i.e. to double-check or ascertain outsourcer details.

Recommended reading to get an impression of what should be considered: http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/84/1/Managing-Business-Risk

Best regards,
Steffen

[Edited at 2006-11-03 07:23]


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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:15
Member (2003)
English to German
An LWA of 4 is too low - for me Nov 3, 2006

I don't apply for jobs from outsourcers who have an LWA of 4 if they have enough entries to show me that it wasn't a one-time thing where they did not act correctly. For example, if they have three or more entries with non-payment or very late payment or other serious items, I simply don't want to take the risk, period.

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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translator's comments Nov 3, 2006

I agree with Marion - a rating of 4 would normally be too low for me to consider working with the outsourcer. This would mean that there is generally one or more late payment or non-payment scenarios with the translators who have submitted entries to the Blue Board.

Having said that, I always pay close attention to translators' comments in the Blue Board as there are some translators who give a rating of 4, but their comments suggest that the outsourcer is reliable.

In addition, a few translators tend (incorrectly IMO) to assess the LWA more on the outsourcers' rates rather than on their payment practices, giving 3 or 4 because they consider the rate given to be on the low side. (So, why accept the job?!) Obviously, the level of rating is important, but, if I'm happy with the rate being offered, then the most important factor is whether the outsourcer is likely to pay on time.

So, if (1) there are at least 3 entries in the Blue Board, all with comments, none of which suggest that the outsourcer is unreliable with payment of fees and (2) I have found no adverse comments on other payment practice boards on the web, I would probably proceed with an outsourcer who has a rating of 4 or more.

Outsourcers with a rating as low as 4 are unlikely, however, not to contain at least one entry with adverse payment procedures, so there are probably only going to be very few situations where I would work with an ousourcer with an LWA of 4 or less.

In short, AFAIC, the comments are, in many cases, more helpful than the rate given, although obviously if an outsourcer has been rated by many translators, then an LWA of 4 or less is, in most circumstances, going to indicate that the outsourcer is not totally reliable in terms of payment.


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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:15
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Missing option: Depends on the LWA comments Nov 3, 2006

If all the comments are ok (no complaints), I don't see 4 is that bad. Some people tend to give 4 for ok and 5 for extra.

In general, I expect LWA > 4.5, but not without reading the comments!

I see Paul has observed the same thing.

-jr

[Edited at 2006-11-03 08:14]


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Why is this incorrect? Nov 3, 2006

Paul Stevens wrote:

In addition, a few translators tend (incorrectly IMO) to assess the LWA more on the outsourcers' rates rather than on their payment practices, giving 3 or 4 because they consider the rate given to be on the low side. (So, why accept the job?!) Obviously, the level of rating is important, but, if I'm happy with the rate being offered, then the most important factor is whether the outsourcer is likely to pay on time.



This site has stressed on many an occasion that the blueboard is NOT just about whether people pay you or not, but the whole caboodle. If I am asked whether I am likely to work for an outsourcer again or not, and I am not because their rate is (now) too low for me to consider (e.g. I have put my rate up in the meantime, but they are not prepared to pay it), then I might even give them a 3, or below, but state in my comments that I had no payment problems with them. I do not see this as my incorrect use of the feature as I am not being asked whether they paid on time or not. Of course, most people are interested in outsourcers' payment practices, but that is not actually what the blueboard is offering.


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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ok, not "incorrect", but rather "subjective"! Nov 3, 2006

Nikki Graham wrote:
This site has stressed on many an occasion that the blueboard is NOT just about whether people pay you or not, but the whole caboodle. If I am asked whether I am likely to work for an outsourcer again or not, and I am not because their rate is (now) too low for me to consider (e.g. I have put my rate up in the meantime, but they are not prepared to pay it), then I might even give them a 3, or below, but state in my comments that I had no payment problems with them. I do not see this as my incorrect use of the feature as I am not being asked whether they paid on time or not. Of course, most people are interested in outsourcers' payment practices, but that is not actually what the blueboard is offering.


Fair comment, Nikki. Perhaps my use of the word "incorrectly" was wrong, so I will take that back.

However, for me, the most important aspect of the Blue Board is, and always will be, whether the past history of an outsourcer shows that he/she/it is likley to be a reliable payer or not. Either an outsourcer pays on time or not or even pays at all or does not. That, to me, is objective, factual information.

On the contrary, rating is always going to a subjective issue from one translator to another - a good rate to one translator may be a poor rate to another. Therefore, AFAIC, I rarely pay much attention to comments about rating as you either accept a job at a certain rate or you do not. That is YOUR choice and you are free to make that choice AT THE OUTSET.

The issue of payment practices is something that you cannot personally control WHEN ACCEPTING A JOB from a new client (unless you ask for payment up front), so information from other translators regarding outsourcers' payment records (on this and other sites) is an invaluable aid to translators looking to work with a new client. There is, of course, always the possiblity that a few entries may not be 100% reliable, but from my experience of using the Blue Board, I have generally found comments from other translators in this regard to be reliable and of immense help to avoiding bad debt scenarios.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on a lot of factors. Nov 3, 2006

If the outsourcer has a bunch of "5" ratings and just one low one, I'll look at the negative comment to find out what the problem was. Often, it was clearly the result of a misunderstanding or a temporary glitch, in which case I would be likely to bid on the job.

I also look at the profiles of the people who gave the positive and negative reviews. If all the positive ones are from people who only recently joined ProZ and have few or no kudoZ points, I can't help wondering if they're friends of the outsourcer. I give more weight to the opinions of longtime members with a lot of kudoZ points.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Payment practices important for the vast majority of us Nov 3, 2006

Paul Stevens wrote:

However, for me, the most important aspect of the Blue Board is, and always will be, whether the past history of an outsourcer shows that he/she/it is likley to be a reliable payer or not. Either an outsourcer pays on time or not or even pays at all or does not. That, to me, is objective, factual information.



For you, me and the vast majority of us, I suspect. I was just pointing out site policy, which I do not necessarily always agree with and which leads to some outsourcers receiving low ratings despite being efficient payers.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:15
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Am I the only one who notices Nov 5, 2006

that, between what I require of an outsourcer (rate and reliability) and what an outsourcer requires of a service provider (usually preferential location) very few jobs are worth "applying" for? (I'm talking about specialisation.)

The upshot is that I rarely apply, but a "4" or less would influence my decision.


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