Suggestion: A list of agencies that don't pay
Thread poster: Jeanette Brammer

Jeanette Brammer  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:38
English to Danish
+ ...
Aug 18, 2003

I think that the Blue Board is a very good idea, because we take a rather big risk every time we do a job for an agency we don't know. But I think it would be a good idea with more exposure of those agencies that have cheated several translators. I would suggest a list of bad payers, so you could easily see which agencies to avoid.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:38
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
A black list is not really necessary for our purposes Aug 18, 2003

Dear Janette,
the Blue Board is organized with the current format for good reasons.
It is not a 'black list' but a collection of feedback and comments provided by individual translators, under their responsibility.

The contributors express the degree of their willingness to work for an agency again (after having first hand experience), using a rating system 1 to 5, and optionally a short comment.

The site cannot publish a 'black list' based on hearsay or without evidence of bad business practices as it would expose the site to infinite disputes and legal risks.

On the other hand, a large number of positive/negative comments, a consistently high or low rating, the short comments, or many translators dissatisfied with the conduct of an agency, are sufficiently useful to form an opinion and avoid the 'bad apples'.

The Blue Board is meant to provide exactly the service needed by freelance translators (feedback and information) but without being a black list.

Also, the current format is useful for agencies to create a good record and be able to find promptly new translators when needed, having the benefit of being trusted on the basis of existing positive feedback.

Gianfranco



[Edited at 2003-08-18 14:17]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:38
Flemish to English
+ ...
You could distill your own private blacklist Aug 18, 2003

Based upon reports on pp-lists you could distill your own blacklist. The same names occur time and again and when these people offer work, it should ring a bell. Either ask advance payment or don't work for them.
You are a freelance translator which implies that you can refuse work.


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Jeanette Brammer  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:38
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not enough Aug 18, 2003

Williamson wrote:

Based upon reports on pp-lists you could distill your own blacklist. The same names occur time and again and when these people offer work, it should ring a bell. Either ask advance payment or don't work for them.
You are a freelance translator which implies that you can refuse work.


I don't know what you mean by pp-lists, but anyway I think there is a need for more warning against bad payers. It is much too easy for a charlatan to make money by constantly hiring new translators and never pay them. I have (unfortunately) worked for one of them, and even after a long time I keep getting emails from other translators who ask me if he ever paid me for my work. So he is still in business, making money, but a lot of unsuspecting translators keep getting cheated.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:38
English to German
+ ...
PP = payment practices Aug 18, 2003

Hi Jeanette,
Just to add a couple of points to Gianfranco's posting:

I don't know what you mean by pp-lists, but anyway I think there is a need for more warning against bad payers.

There are a number of mailing lists dealing with outsourcers' payment practices.

In addition to the comments posted on the Blue Board, ProZ.com moderators and Jobs Area coordinators take action against proven non-payers: job posting rights are blocked as soon as we receive two to three independent reports of non-payment, where the translator concerned needs to state that the job was delivered on time, and in accordance with job specifications. Once such action is taken, a note is added to the Blue Board record.

Of course, some non-payers then try to post using fake identities. Sadly, they often get away with this because translators fail to double-check business addresses or references. There's a lot of information available, but it needs to be used.

Best regards, Ralf


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:38
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Contribute, contribute, contribute to the Blue Board Aug 18, 2003

Williamson wrote:

Based upon reports on pp-lists you could distill your own blacklist. The same names occur time and again and when these people offer work, it should ring a bell. Either ask advance payment or don't work for them.
You are a freelance translator which implies that you can refuse work.


Your advice is sound, in the sense that it is a good practice to be informed and to join at least one of the best payment practices resources.

I disagree with the proposition of building a personal "black list", considering that following the tracks of all notorious non payers is a waste of precious time and almost a full time job.
It is very time consuming and the time is multiplied by all people doing the same collection.

In my opinion, the best and most efficient solution is to contribute our experiences and benefit from the collective feedback from all other colleagues.

In this respect, the Blue Board, having a convenient database format (easy to search by country and name) and having a large number of entries, is perhaps the best choices, not to be missed.

The time saved in keeping track of all accidents and building a personal 'black list' is better employed in doing... productive work and, more important, doing it for companies with a good reputation.

It is a double advantage!! but it requires feedback from as many translators as possible. In my opinion, this is the only winning strategy against dishonest agencies.

Gianfranco



[Edited at 2003-08-18 16:47]


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