How important is the Blue Board when managing risk?
Thread poster: schmeichel38

schmeichel38  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 02:21
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
Feb 28, 2013

I start working as a part time jobs in my country for several years and have been a registered member with Proz since last year. I like translation job as it always opens a new world for me. Anytime I get an interesting jobs, or is contacted by any challenging jobs, I jump into them without verifying any their reputations or blue board record of that agency.


But now I find that I have 2 agencies that do not pay me at all (one of them has been banned from Proz T_T) and the payments delay almost 2 months. Also I maybe have another 1 agency that is risky for non-payment.

May you please share how do check the reputation of any agency/client or how do you choose which agency/client you would like to work.

PS I also get some nice agencies with prompt payment here.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:21
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It's just one thing to check Feb 28, 2013

schmeichel38 wrote:
Anytime I get an interesting jobs, or is contacted by any challenging jobs, I jump into them without verifying any their reputations or blue board record of that agency.

Well, I hope you haven't lost too much by doing that, but it really is a very dangerous practice. I have to say I don't always check everything, and I've taken some real risks in the past, both doing small jobs for totally unchecked clients and doing larger jobs for clients who didn't (as far as I could see) have much information recorded about them (good or bad). I tend to follow my nose, something that gets more sensitive with age and life experience.icon_wink.gif

I always insist on a postal address for the invoice (even though I send it be email) - and that may even be a legal requirement for a legally-binding invoice. If I have any reason at all to doubt the client, I'll check that their computer is registered where they say they are; I'll check the address on Google Earth; I'll phone them; I'll check the company register for their country...

As far as the BB is concerned, yes, I always check it, systematically. It's one thing we pay for, so why not use it? If the company has been banned, then that would ring too many alarm bells to consider working with them. But I don't insist on "5" from everyone. Instead, I read what people have said; maybe contact one or two translators who've given low scores. So, I may take a risk on a company that has a mixed review; but I also consider it a risk working for someone who has many, many "5"s: I recently had a real battle with an agency that had a magnificent record but is clearly experiencing financial problems now. My "2" now sits alongside several other poor scores.icon_frown.gif I often ask for entries, if none have been received lately, and then I "track" the record. If there is no BB record, I don't necessarily worry (no news is good news, after all), but I do sometimes set one up myself and then ask for entries.

You're running a company, all freelancers are; some amount of risk is inherent in that. Up to us to limit it as we see fit.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Risk management Mar 1, 2013

Checking the BB entries is only one way of keeping the risk of a fraudulent scammer low.

I always check the BB of a, thus far, unknown client to see which type of experience our colleagues have had with this client. However, even if an outsourcer has straight "5`s", I take the time to read some of the comments. The same applies to ratings between 4 and 5, because sometimes there might be misunderstandings or technical problems which caused the service provider to leave a "less than 5" rating.

Still, the BB entries are only an indicator for the collaboration with a particular outsourcer.

The other day I came across a "5" BB entry for a known scammer. Since the average rating was between 2 and 1, I checked into it, and discovered that said entry was made by someone who had just registered on ProZ.com a couple of days prior to having made that entry. Signs said that this was a definate entry "for hire".icon_eek.gif

Fortunately, this was a rare case.

The Blue Board ranking gives you a head start idea, but it is still only one "tool" of the risk management process.icon_smile.gif

Like Sheila stated, you need to have a postal address for your invoices, even though you will send them as an attachment to your email. Also, in order to write a legally correct invoice, having this data and their phone number is the only way to go.icon_biggrin.gif


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
Managing risks in freelance translation or interpreting Mar 1, 2013

Hello all,

As Sheila clearly points out, schmeichel38, freelance translators --just as any freelancer-- are running a business, and running any business requires risk management to avoid, for instance, scams or non-payment issues.

To learn more about risk management, including how to use the Blue Board record, to avoid or mitigate risks, I invite you to check the following resources:

Hope it helps!

Lucia


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:21
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The simple mechanics of using the Blue Board... Mar 1, 2013

... if that is what you need:

At the top of the page when you are logged in, you will see a row of tabs:

Home Terminology Jobs & Directories ...

Choose Jobs & Directories, and you will see a menu where you can select Blue Board among other things.

Click on that.

You can then type in the name of the outsourcer you want to check, and select the country where the outsourcer is registered. Select All, if you don't know.

Then search.

If this does not find the outsourcer you are looking for, delete the name, and click the first letter of the company name. This will probably bring up a large number of names, but you can check through them. You can jump to the next page, or skip a page or two, if you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on next in the right hand corner, of click on a page number.

There are still plenty of outsourcers who are not on the Blue Board, but with a little patience you can find the ones that are there.

Then it is easy to see the ratings and click for details with comments. Check the last 12 months - some change over time, and they can go in both directions!

I don't know if that was what you were asking, but if not, just ignore me icon_smile.gif


 

Anna ZANNELLA
Italy
Local time: 21:21
Italian to English
a string of 5 star recommendations: beware Mar 12, 2013

schmeichel38 wrote:

May you please share how do check the reputation of any agency/client or how do you choose which agency/client you would like to work.

PS I also get some nice agencies with prompt payment here.


The real problem is agencies who suddenly contact you after you have entered a negative comment on the Blue Board and filed a NON-PAYMENT claim with Proz, is that many try to 'blackmail' you by saying, "take the bad coment down and we'll pay you".

Proz may also later contact you asking if you have been paid and if you wish to delete or edit your comment. This has happened to me. I removed a negative coment, even though I felt I was dealing with '3 men in a car with a mobile phone and a laptop' instead of a real company with actual accounting and other departments as they tried to make themselves out to be.

Hence, there a is Blue Board quite possibly full of low-paying and non-paying-risk laden companies on here with a string of 5 star comments as the negative ones are too often removed. Its an internet environment after all, full of avatars and cons.

Therefore, I would say beware, proceed very cautiously. Make sure you get paid for the preceeding project before you take on another one.


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
On Blue Board rules and procedures Mar 12, 2013

Hi MENANDER,

MENANDER wrote:

The real problem is agencies who suddenly contact you after you have entered a negative comment on the Blue Board and filed a NON-PAYMENT claim with Proz, is that many try to 'blackmail' you by saying, "take the bad coment down and we'll pay you".


Remember that exerting pressure on someone to change a Blue Board entry or reply, or to make a new entry or reply of a specific nature, is forbidden, http://www.proz.com/siterules/blue_board_bb_blueboard/8#8 . So, if an outsourcer asks you to change or remove an entry in order to be paid, you should report this to site staff through the support center so that appropriate action is taken.

Proz may also later contact you asking if you have been paid and if you wish to delete or edit your comment. This has happened to me. I removed a negative coment, even though I felt I was dealing with '3 men in a car with a mobile phone and a laptop' instead of a real company with actual accounting and other departments as they tried to make themselves out to be.


Site staff may contact members who report a non-payment issue to confirm the issue is still in place --and take appropriate action if required-- and, if the issue is resolved, give them the chance to state so with their entry. Site staff will not remove or ask any member to edit a Blue Board entry unless the entry is not in line with site rules. If a non-payment issue is reported and later resolved, members are given the opportunity to make a new entry without the non-payment report, but with the same rating.

You will find more information on how the Blue Board works here: http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/3491/

Lucia


 


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How important is the Blue Board when managing risk?

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