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I believe ProZ.com favors outsourcers on the Blue Board
Thread poster: Annette Skipper

Jared Tabor
Local time: 20:58
SITE STAFF
Removal is performed by staff, both parties are notified Nov 28, 2011

Hi Walter,

Staff remove the entries should the situation arise. Both parties are notified of this; in the case of a resolved non-payment, the service provider is notified that they may make a new LWA entry, and the outsourcer is notified that while the entry reflecting non-payment has been removed, the service provider will be able to submit a new feedback entry reflecting their likelihood of working with them again.

Jared


 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 20:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
ok Nov 28, 2011

Jared wrote:

Hi Walter,

Staff remove the entries should the situation arise. Both parties are notified of this; in the case of a resolved non-payment, the service provider is notified that they may make a new LWA entry, and the outsourcer is notified that while the entry reflecting non-payment has been removed, the service provider will be able to submit a new feedback entry reflecting their likelihood of working with them again.

Jared


OK, I see. Understood.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:58
Hebrew to English
What I don't get........ Nov 28, 2011

...........is why translation quality is part of the equation (with the BB). It seems to me to cause more headaches than it solves. Not to mention the most obvious loophole for dodgy agencies;

Dodgy Agency "X" can repeatedly pull out the "quality chestnut" to dodge paying translators AND by invoking the "Q" word, they get any bad feedback zapped into oblivion so they continue to masquerade as a respectable agency, it's reminiscent of the boy who cried wolf - the agency wh
... See more
...........is why translation quality is part of the equation (with the BB). It seems to me to cause more headaches than it solves. Not to mention the most obvious loophole for dodgy agencies;

Dodgy Agency "X" can repeatedly pull out the "quality chestnut" to dodge paying translators AND by invoking the "Q" word, they get any bad feedback zapped into oblivion so they continue to masquerade as a respectable agency, it's reminiscent of the boy who cried wolf - the agency who cried quality... the boy who cried wolf got his comeuppance, however there's no such assured eventuality with Agency "X".

....I understand the arbitration process described, but who is doing this "substantiation of claims", especially when dealing with rare language pairs?
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Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:58
French to German
+ ...
Up to today.... Nov 28, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

(.../...)

....I understand the arbitration process described, but who is doing this "substantiation of claims", especially when dealing with rare language pairs?

nobody, I am afraid.


 

Annette Skipper  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:58
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Precisely Nov 28, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

Dodgy Agency "X" can repeatedly pull out the "quality chestnut" to dodge paying translators AND by invoking the "Q" word, they get any bad feedback zapped into oblivion so they continue to masquerade as a respectable agency, it's reminiscent of the boy who cried wolf - the agency who cried quality... the boy who cried wolf got his comeuppance, however there's no such assured eventuality with Agency "X".



My point EXACTLY! Thanks, Ty.


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:58
French to English
Cuts both ways, though, surely? Nov 28, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

...........is why translation quality is part of the equation (with the BB). It seems to me to cause more headaches than it solves. Not to mention the most obvious loophole for dodgy agencies;

Dodgy Agency "X" can repeatedly pull out the "quality chestnut" to dodge paying translators AND by invoking the "Q" word, they get any bad feedback zapped into oblivion so they continue to masquerade as a respectable agency,


By the same token, if there were no such safeguard, translators who churn out absolute tosh (and the good Lord knows there are plenty of them around) would be able to rate perfectly decent agencies with a 1 unchallenged when, unbeknowst to the rest of us, the translator had in fact delivered unuseable crap that no-one in their right minds would pay a penny for.

To run perfectly, the system would require considerable manpower resources that are seemingly not available. Meanwhile, in the event of any contradiction in the positions adopted, the administrators surely have to adopt a default situation of believing one side or the other pending a fuller investigation. Which, I think means, under worst case scenarios, a choice between:
a) a BB flooded with 1s given to perfectly decent agencies by translators who don't actually know their arse from their elbow
or
b) a BB where justified complaints from decent translators about shady practices are kept on hold until the truth is known.

I guess I can see why proz does what it does, given that choice.


 

Jared Tabor
Local time: 20:58
SITE STAFF
ProZ.com staff do not verify translation quality / "crying quality" is a pattern easily detected Nov 28, 2011


Ty Kendall wrote:
....I understand the arbitration process described, but who is doing this "substantiation of claims", especially when dealing with rare language pairs?


ProZ.com staff are responsible for this, in cases where a dispute reaches the Blue Board, though in general parties are strongly encouraged to address disagreements directly or with mediation of a more comprehensive sort, before it does get to disputing an LWA entry. ProZ.com staff do not attempt to verify the quality of a given translation itself.


Dodgy Agency "X" can repeatedly pull out the "quality chestnut" to dodge paying translators AND by invoking the "Q" word, they get any bad feedback zapped into oblivion so they continue to masquerade as a respectable agency, it's reminiscent of the boy who cried wolf - the agency who cried quality... the boy who cried wolf got his comeuppance, however there's no such assured eventuality with Agency "X".


Patterns like this are fairly easily detected, as each dispute is documented, and when detected can be dealt with. The scenario described above is not one I would call common on the Blue Board, however.

Jared


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:58
Hebrew to English
Stuck between a rock and a hard place..... Nov 28, 2011

I agree with Charlie that it's a 2 way street (although it would take one hell of a brazen translator to deliver tripe and then have the nerve to give the agency a 1)....

...but I'm wondering....maybe there's a way (in these circumstances) for proz.com to take a more neutral stance, to avoid perceived favourtism or side-taking....the problem being that:
a) if a disputed rating is removed, it can be perceived that proz has favoured the agency
b) if a disputed rating remai
... See more
I agree with Charlie that it's a 2 way street (although it would take one hell of a brazen translator to deliver tripe and then have the nerve to give the agency a 1)....

...but I'm wondering....maybe there's a way (in these circumstances) for proz.com to take a more neutral stance, to avoid perceived favourtism or side-taking....the problem being that:
a) if a disputed rating is removed, it can be perceived that proz has favoured the agency
b) if a disputed rating remains untouched, it can be perceived that proz has favoured the translator

so perhaps......such a rating can be left to remain but greyed out or dimmed with some indication that this means it is under review.....or replaced with a more neutral sounding placeholder e.g. "this negative rating and claims of xxx is under review pending further investigation"...

....I don't know, I'm thinking out loud now....but maybe there's a middle way somewhere?

In addition, perhaps the LWA needs to be reinvented. So many aspects contribute to a decision on the likelihood of working again (PM, communication, efficiency of the agency, PM conduct toward the translator, negotiations, rates, payment)....

Would it not be more accurate to have a rating broken down by its components:

How do you rate this agency/outsourcer for.....
Project Management
Communication
Courtesy & Diplomacy
Prompt payment


That way you can see if an agency is a useless payer, even if they are quite lovely people, or while an agency may be a fantastic payer, they are quite inept and rude.

There's probably holes in doing it this way too, and there probably isn't a foolproof way of doing things.....
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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:58
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Removal of LWAs Nov 28, 2011

Hi Walter,

There are two parallel threads running on the same issue at the moment. Here's the link to the posting in the other thread where Jared explains who does the removing:

http://www.proz.com/post/1849730#1849730

HTH

Yolanda Broad

Walter Landesman wrote:

Jared,

Is the entry just removed by Proz or is the translator asked to remove it? Or to edit it with the updated info?


[Edited at 2011-11-28 22:18 GMT]


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:58
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Agencies and incompetent translators Nov 28, 2011

Charlie Bavington wrote:

a) a BB flooded with 1s given to perfectly decent agencies by translators who don't actually know their arse from their elbow


An agency that is flooded with 1s from incompetent translators must be doing something wrong. It's the agency's job to find qualified translators. No more than an occasional incompetent translator should slip through if the agency looks for, and pays for, competence.


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:58
French to English
Please allow me to clarify Nov 29, 2011

Michele Fauble wrote:

Charlie Bavington wrote:

a) a BB flooded with 1s given to perfectly decent agencies by translators who don't actually know their arse from their elbow


An agency that is flooded with 1s from incompetent translators must be doing something wrong. It's the agency's job to find qualified translators. No more than an occasional incompetent translator should slip through if the agency looks for, and pays for, competence.


1. I used "flooded" for effect. I expect I just meant a noticeable number, or something. Who knows. Sometimes I just write any old rubbish so people can pick holes in it.

2. I agree entirely with your comment about "an agency", in the sense of one particular agency in the singular. When I said "a BB flooded.... ", apart from being almost criminally reckless in my use of metaphor ( ), I was referring to the BB as a whole, not the BB record for any one agency. I would also like to emphasise the fact that my post was merely an attempt to exaggeratedly describe (for effect, as I said) a possible outcome if proz adopted the opposite approach to the one it has adopted, given my hypothesis that it has perforce to adopt one or the other, in response to the tentative suggestion that the translator should always be given the benefit of the doubt in the first instance.

My response would be different if I could be confident that those who post to the BB were in fact all competent, if not better, translators who always delivered quality translations.


(Edit to add a couple of smileys - I'm not that grumpy about it!)

[Edited at 2011-11-29 07:06 GMT]


 

chaplin
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:58
English to French
+ ...
This is very interesting indeed Dec 3, 2011

I did not realise comments from translators were being removed by Proz. I will keep a look out now.
Have a good Sunday

Annette Skipper wrote:

Jabberwock wrote:

If it is true that entries are being removed, then it is in a clear contradiction with the BB rules!

[Edited at 2011-11-28 12:13 GMT]


Yes, it is true that items are being removed by proz.com from BB - my original entry was removed, and so have two subsequente entries for the same outsourcer been! This is why I am so aggrevated about this issue - because if entries may only appear at the discretion of proz.com, then, in my opinion, the whole system is not worth much.


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:58
French to English
And the upshot was...? Jan 12, 2012

Annette Skipper wrote:

Sounds great, Natalia, then I look to forward to seeing my entry re-appear. The job was delivered on time and in full, and I did not hear one word from the outsourcer about the quality. Great news!!!


So Annette, did the entry re-appear?

(Apols for such a delayed response; I was reminded about this thread as I was typing comments on a blog elsewhere about a similar tale, of a freelancer who tried 3 times to post a 1 rating with comments, each time getting rejected for some rule breach relating to those comments, but who finally succeeding in posting her "1" to the BB, only for the agency to then turn round and claim a quality issue....)


 
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