Poll: Do you take jobs from Proz.com basic site users or outsourcers with no Blue Board records?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:11
SITE STAFF
Feb 12, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you take jobs from Proz.com basic site users or outsourcers with no Blue Board records?".

This poll was originally submitted by Noriko Miwa

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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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:11
English to Arabic
+ ...
I replied "No", but... Feb 12, 2008

although the Blue Board is my first point of reference, whenever I don't find an agency on the BB, I don't immediately assume that it would be risky to take on the job (it's not the same thing as a negative BB record!).
I look the company up on the internet, look at its website, see if it's registered somewhere (the ITI, the ATC...), or if anyone has ever commented on it anywhere, and if I have no reason to doubt them, I accept the job.

BTW, what are "basic site users"? Non-paying members? If so, then it depends. I might, if they've been around for a while, if they give their full name (that's why I will NEVER understand why people still register as "fxw" and expect to be taken seriously!), and other factors.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I check out their website or other references Feb 12, 2008

I always check out their website or other references as well as calling for Blue Board entries. This often gives me an idea of whether they are 'my' type of people.

Some outsourcers look quite promising, and I have only rarely had any trouble... Others don't look at all interesting.

One of my favourite agencies is only basically registered, and probably doesn't use this site much, but they are great to work with.

Others are probably OK, but if they insist on using their own CAT tool, for instance, I steer clear.

I always consider outsourcers with good Blue Board records, but recently I have been too busy to take on new clients! It is as much a matter of 'gut feeling' as anything else.



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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
It depends Feb 12, 2008

As others have mentioned, there are other ways of checking up on agencies besides the Blueboard.

It also depends on whether the job is in my fields of expertise, if I have time, how big/small the job is, what they are willing to pay, what their expectations are, etc.

I've only been burned once so far; otherwise I have had some very pleasant experiences and translated some very interesting texts.


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xxxSaifa
Local time: 05:11
German to French
+ ...
I also check their website and other references Feb 12, 2008

When a potential client approaches me, the first thing I do is to check out his web site: is there an impressum, a name, a post address (not a post box), a telephone number (not a cellular phone), a tax identification number etc.
If something like "quality for competitive rates" is mentioned there, I stay away. If their rates for the end clients are lower than my rates for agencies, also.
If the client has no web site (I happens quite a lot), his way of writing me or calling me is important (good or bad vibes).

I used to check the BB more before, I still check it and other similar sites and lists, but most of my present clients are not registrated here for example or do not use the site. So I am used to work for people I do not know (as a freelancer, you have to take some risks, I think), but in this case, do not accept big and/or urgent jobs, or ask for at least half the payment in advance, explaining politely why.
If someone is a non payer, you usually find this information at different places on the web.

I stay away from outsourcers with many positive entries if I suspect that the people who gave these entries were not sincere or are generally willing to work for low rates.


[Edited at 2008-02-12 15:20]

[Edited at 2008-02-12 15:26]


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
NO but with a few exceptions Feb 12, 2008

I’d answer NO as a general rule. The first reason is that I’m not really looking for work. I joined Pro.com more for the social rather than job-search aspect.

In any case, I respond in several ways when I do receive offers. If I bother to open the email whether it’s from a basic user or anyone else for that matter and it starts with “Hi John!” it immediately gets erased. I don’t think anyone serious or professional should send a first time offer with so much familiarity. (Call me old-fashioned if you want, but in my book professional etiquette still counts for something.)

If the email looks serious, I do as others have mentioned: I look at the Blueboard. It’s a great reference source, although obviously I don’t take it as something written in stone. If, as the question asks, there’s no Blueboard entry, I do as others have mentioned and look for the client’s Webpage. If they look serious, I answer the email generally stating that I’m too busy right now but that I hope we can collaborate in the future. (It’s always good to leave the door ajar.)

An exception was that I did take on a new client last year who seemed to be a basic user and didn’t have any Blueboard ratings. He sent me a very professional email and even offered to send me references from other Proz.com users, or call and talk to me personally by phone. In the end, I went with my gut feeling and so far it’s been a happy prosperous relationship for both of us.


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Lisa Nottmeyer
Spain
Local time: 05:11
Spanish to German
+ ...
Now I DO check the BB ... Feb 12, 2008

I still would take a job from users or outsourcers with no record on BB, but after my really frustrating experience right away starting the year, I now ALWAYS check the BB.
(See http://www.proz.com/blueboard/17768)
Besides the BB, I now further check the website or phone number of the outsourcer ... and not only before taking a job, but also during !!
Just to make sure, no one disappears again, without me noticing .. !

Fortunately I still believe that the majority in our profession are serious and honest people with great professional commitment and that this had been the typical exception you can find everywhere nowadays ...

BR

Lisa


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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 06:11
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
My experience Feb 12, 2008

Two of my best clients are not listed in the BB. They specifically asked me not to rate them in the BB. Their reasoning was more or less the same: we don't want to be spammed with cooperation offers, and when we need translators we look for, find and contact them privately.

Cheers,
Oleg


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Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 01:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
No job offer through Proz.com Feb 12, 2008

In my case, since I have become a Proz member, I have never received a job offer through the site, so I cannot tell you my experience regarding this aspect.
Best,
Fernando

[Edited at 2008-02-12 17:58]


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nikia  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
Farsi (Persian) to English
Only One Bad Experience with outsourcer Feb 12, 2008

A few months ago, I had my one and only bad experience with an outsourcer whose project manager provided contradictory instructions, paid far below standard rates, and even used rude and abusive language in the emails he sent to translators and editors. After one particularly rude email from the project manager, I refused to take any more projects from them. I was curious to see if anyone else had had a bad experience with them, so I checked out the Blue Board only to find that they had no records!

I've since worked with other outsourcers with no Blue Board records who are perfectly professional and a pleasure to work with, but I have to say that the one bad experience has made me a bit wary of diving into a project without thoroughly checking out the outsourcer.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:11
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Professional etiquette Feb 12, 2008

John Cutler wrote:

In any case, I respond in several ways when I do receive offers. If I bother to open the email whether it’s from a basic user or anyone else for that matter and it starts with “Hi John!” it immediately gets erased. I don’t think anyone serious or professional should send a first time offer with so much familiarity. (Call me old-fashioned if you want, but in my book professional etiquette still counts for something.)



Sorry, I know I am moving slightly off-topic. Yes, I agree with you, to some extent, that over-familiarity is not desirable. However, please do bear in mind that those of us who regularly participate in forums sometimes feel as if we know one another quite well, even if we have never met. In those circumstances, I am sure that people could be excused for a familiar form of address. I, for example, have read a large number of your contributions to forums, so would be hard put to address someone whom I have come to know quite well in this way as a total stranger. I often get e-mails from people whom I do not know much about, and the familiar form of address then jars a bit, until I realise that they feel that they know me from the forums.

Astrid


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:11
French to English
+ ...
Proz is not the only resource in the universe Feb 13, 2008

I voted 'Other - N/A' as this is a flawed question.

There are plenty of resources available to find out whether a potential client is reputable and I try to make use of as many as possible, including credit checks for companies in the UK. Their Proz membership status is one small piece of the picture.

If I can't find any mention of the outfit anywhere then I'll tread with extreme caution.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good thought Feb 13, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

John Cutler wrote:

In any case, I respond in several ways when I do receive offers. If I bother to open the email whether it’s from a basic user or anyone else for that matter and it starts with “Hi John!” it immediately gets erased. I don’t think anyone serious or professional should send a first time offer with so much familiarity. (Call me old-fashioned if you want, but in my book professional etiquette still counts for something.)



Sorry, I know I am moving slightly off-topic. Yes, I agree with you, to some extent, that over-familiarity is not desirable. However, please do bear in mind that those of us who regularly participate in forums sometimes feel as if we know one another quite well, even if we have never met. In those circumstances, I am sure that people could be excused for a familiar form of address. I, for example, have read a large number of your contributions to forums, so would be hard put to address someone whom I have come to know quite well in this way as a total stranger. I often get e-mails from people whom I do not know much about, and the familiar form of address then jars a bit, until I realise that they feel that they know me from the forums.

Astrid


I'll keep that in mind!
I was thinking, of course, of people who I've never heard of or from before. I wouldn't mind it if I received a familiar email from someone I've interacted with in the forum.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 05:11
French to Dutch
+ ...
I votes yes Feb 14, 2008

Most of my clients are "outsourcers with no BB record". There is only one agency listed here, and I know that they don't look often for translators on proz (discouraged).

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