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Spam job offers
Thread poster: Anton Konashenok

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Aug 23, 2012

In recent weeks, I have been contacted three times by a certain ProZ outsourcer who, instead of posting jobs through the regular job system, prefers carpet-bombing the entire language pair community with low-ball offers using the mailing list function. I responded directly to the outsourcer that I don't wish to be contacted anymore, but no, here comes another $0.03/word offer. Can something be done about it? As far as I understand, blocking a member from sending you messages would block one-to-one private messaging but not the mailing list delivery, or am I wrong?

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Pascale Pluton  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:37
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Same here Aug 23, 2012

I've had the same problem Anton.

Inspite of my irritation, I just refrained from answering, provided that someone showing such a behavior coul'dn probably care less. It would then just be a waste of time to anwer.

I do not know whether there is a way of regulating this. I thought that maybe an extra selection criterium such as a price range would help, but still the outsourcer has to use it and if he doesn't we are back at square one.

I never tried the solution you suggested so I can't tell you.

Any idea is indeed welcome.

Pascale


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Abuse of the facility? Aug 23, 2012

Anton Konashenok wrote:
In recent weeks, I have been contacted three times by a certain ProZ outsourcer who, instead of posting jobs through the regular job system, prefers carpet-bombing the entire language pair community with low-ball offers using the mailing list function. I responded directly to the outsourcer that I don't wish to be contacted anymore, but no, here comes another $0.03/word offer.

Perhaps ProZ.com staff would be prepared to have a word with this outsourcer if you raise a support ticket. It does sound to be an abuse of the directory. The initial message has to be allowed (although it's a complete waste of time as far as pro translators are concerned), but once someone has replied that they do not wish to be contacted, then it's definitely spamming to keep sending the same or similar messages.


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:37
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blocking specific profiles and IPs Aug 23, 2012

Go to "Settings" on your profile
Click on "Email preferences"
At the bottom, you will find a section titled "Block lists"

Select either:
"Enter new username or user ID to block"
or
"Enter new IP address to block"
and enter information.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:37
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
to Yolanda Aug 23, 2012

Yolanda, do you imply that it would block not only the one-to-one messages from this member, but also group mailings constructed from the directory?

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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:37
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blocks for group mailings? I don't know Aug 23, 2012

Hi Anton,

I don't know if it works or not. Why don't you give it a try?

Yolanda

Anton Konashenok wrote:

Yolanda, do you imply that it would block not only the one-to-one messages from this member, but also group mailings constructed from the directory?


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Alejandro Cavalitto
Local time: 08:37
SITE STAFF
Please submit a support request Aug 23, 2012

Hello,

I can't confirm at the moment if action should be taken in this case, but I would like to look into it. Could you please submit a support request with all relevant information, Anton? You can do so from http://www.proz.com/support?mode=ask&sp_sub_mode=ticket_submit . Thanks in advance.

By the way, I would like to point out that if you block a profile from the "Email preferences" section of the "Settings" tab of your profile, they will not be able to contact you directly or through the directory.

Best regards,
Alejandro


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Anna B.
United States
Local time: 06:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Frustrating experience as proz outsourcer Oct 10, 2012

Anton Konashenok wrote:

In recent weeks, I have been contacted three times by a certain ProZ outsourcer who, instead of posting jobs through the regular job system, prefers carpet-bombing the entire language pair community with low-ball offers using the mailing list function. I responded directly to the outsourcer that I don't wish to be contacted anymore, but no, here comes another $0.03/word offer. Can something be done about it? As far as I understand, blocking a member from sending you messages would block one-to-one private messaging but not the mailing list delivery, or am I wrong?


I just don't know where to post it.

My first experience with proz as an outsourcer was really frustrating. I'm usually looking for translators on the American Translator's Association website. However, the translation project was a bit unusual since it wasn't the translation from /into English, so no translators in this language pair were available on the ATA website.

I didn't do the job posting, mostly because the project is relatively small (181 word). So I proceeded the way I usually do with the ATA website: I sent emails with the copy of the document from the corporate e-mail box.
I got 1 reply (I sent 7-8 e-mails) 24 hours after. All I was asking is the price and the availability for the project. We usually pay what a translator quotes us.

The proz rating for the company on BB is 5 of 5, though there are not many recent posts since we rarely use it. All company information was included into the email, including our address, phone numbers, etc.

What did I do wrong? Is it such a bad thing to contact translators directly?


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:37
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nothing wrong with personal contact as such Oct 10, 2012

What did I do wrong? Is it such a bad thing to contact translators directly?

Anna, I don't think there is anything wrong with contacting translators directly with bona fide offers. Problems start when an outsourcer indiscriminately and impersonally writes to everybody, offering a job at a price well below market, and then fails to honor translators' requests not to be contacted again with this kind of offers.
As to getting only one response out of 8, not everyone subscribes to the "no job too small" principle, so maybe the 181-word job was simply too small to get most translators interested. For example, I must admit I do have a minimum charge corresponding to approximately 300 words, but I would have at least replied to such an offer anyway.


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Anna B.
United States
Local time: 06:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Spam job offers Oct 11, 2012

Well, that is exactly my point, just 1 translator out of 7-8 got back to me (i'm sorry, but your complain about spam job offers just got on my nerve: complaining about spam and not bothering to reply to a real job offer). I did the same project into a different language, but I found translators on the ATA website: 4 out of 6 got back to me. The job was awarded to the quickest one.

Anton, I never heard of such a thing as a "too-small-job-to-except-it". But I'm quite new in the business. The translation projects are usually divided into the ones that are charged per word and the ones that fall under a minimum charge (it varies from 30 up to 50 USD). I'm well aware that though the job is small and it would probably take 10-20 minutes to finish it, a translator still has the routine: turn on the computer, prepare the invoice, reply to my emails. Minimum charge is usually what a translator charges for an hour of translation/interpretation. I guess you are lucky if you could afford to reject the orders like this.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some possibilities Oct 11, 2012

Anna Bessonov wrote:
My first experience with proz as an outsourcer was really frustrating.
...
What did I do wrong? Is it such a bad thing to contact translators directly?

No, it isn't a bad thing to do, Anna, and it's a shame you didn't at least get replies, even if nobody wanted to take on the job. I've been thinking of possible causes. Do you think any of these apply?:

- Did you use a language they are comfortable in? You say the job didn't involve English, so perhaps they wouldn't have responded to an email in English. I've received a few in Italian etc. and I haven't replied because, well, I can't!;
- Did you give your own name? The company details are important, though a website link works for me, but I do like to be able to start my reply with "Dear Mr/Ms...". When people sign as "Project Manager", or "XYZ Ltd." it makes replying unsatisfactory;
- Did you address the translator personally? Some people here have said they never reply if it's sent do "Dear Translator" or "Dear ProZ member" etc. It doesn't worry me, as long as the sender's own name is there, but you won't get 100% of replies;
- Did your email give the impression you had sent lots of identical emails? If it seems to be a mass mailing then many won't bother to reply. On the other hand, if I received one that said it had been sent to 5,10, half a dozen... translators, then I would certainly reply as they'd clearly be expecting it;
- Lastly, maybe they never received the email. I'm not sure there is any date field on ProZ.com that shows when we last logged onto the site. Perhaps none of those contacted had visited the site to update their contact details. Perhaps staff could comment on that: is there a "last visit date"? do those who send emails receive notification if they can't be delivered?


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Anna B.
United States
Local time: 06:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Job offer Oct 11, 2012

Sheila, thanks for the comment, it was quite informative.
However, I still can't figure out the difference between mailing to proz members and ATA members. Why does my approach work with ATA but not with proz? Well, I guess after my experience, I'll keep using ATA.

I used email address listed on their proz profile (it wasn't proz message system) and all the translators I contacted translate from English into their native language as well as the other language pair. So I would assume they can understand my email in English.

Here's what I wrote:

Dear (first name),

We/I found you information on (name of the website). We are currently looking for (language pair) for (project description). Please advise your price and availability.

My name
Company info

The email was sent from the corporate email box, so it wasn't generic gmail/yahoo account... If any concerns, the company has good reviews on proz (quite old though, since we don't use it often), some reviews on google, mostly from our clients...


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Perhaps ProZ.com staff could help, Anna Oct 11, 2012

I don't suppose staff would have an opinion on why people didn't reply, but they might be able to confirm whether or not your messages were likely to have been received by the addressees. There are so many ways of finding and addressing messages to registered users of ProZ.com that I personally find it rather confusing. Some of us restrict who we want to receive messages from - perhaps that was the problem.

To get in touch with site staff: http://www.proz.com/support/


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Anna B.
United States
Local time: 06:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Job offers Oct 11, 2012

Sheila, you mean you have a restriction on your e-mail box? Since I sent the messages directly to their e-mail addresses without using proz message system. I've never heard of such restriction. My only guess is the it could go to the spam folder, but it is really weird. Or, it could mean that the translators don't check the e-mail boxes they provided on their resumes. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to contact the proz support.

[Edited at 2012-10-11 15:32 GMT]


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:37
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just a guess Oct 11, 2012

Anna,
Dear (first name),

We/I found you information on (name of the website). We are currently looking for (language pair) for (project description). Please advise your price and availability.

My name
Company info

This looks perfectly legitimate and businesslike. I can't vouch for everybody else, but I reply to all such messages addressed personally to me, and, as far as I could infer from prior discussions, so do most professionals here. My guess about such a low yield would be that ATA probably has a much greater share of full-time professional translators, as opposed to moonlighters and odd-jobbers.

[Edited at 2012-10-11 16:36 GMT]


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