Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Blue Board ratings and NOT automatically giving 5
Thread poster: Christine Andersen

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Dec 9, 2014

I gave an outsourcer an LWA of 3 some time back, but they are not happy with it.
They have a long list of 5s, and if they approached me for the first time, I would give them a go. Having done several jobs for them, I have dropped to 3 - I might work for them again, but would only actually be delighted if they made a couple of improvements.

My reasons for not giving them a 5 are:

1. Trouble logging in to their site to download files and then to submit my invoice.
2. Their online CAT tool. I personally dislike all online CAT tools, though others apparently have no problem with it.

Their rates are OK, but not high enough to motivate me to go through a lot of hassle. I did mention in my comment that they pay on time and their PMs are really helpful.

So what do you think if you see a row of 50 or more 5-ratings on the Blue Board and a single stroppy individual like me who won't toe the line?

The official scale is:
5) Most definitely (I would be delighted to work again with this outsourcer)
4) Definitely (I would work again with this outsourcer)
3) Maybe (I might work again with this outsourcer)
2) Doubtfully (I would probably not work again with this outsourcer)
1) No way (I would definitely refuse to work again with this outsourcer)

In principle ratings of 3 and above are positive, and IMHO 5 should only be given to the best and most outstanding outsourcers. So if you prefer others, then a 3 or 4 is quite fair.

I know in real life that is not enough - but that is also why the BB is regarded as almost worthless in some circles.

However, if there is no reason for actual complaint, and you simply prefer other clients, it seems to me that giving them a 5 anyway is misleading.

How do others use the Blue Board?


[Edited at 2014-12-09 19:55 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:13
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
I might give them a 4 Dec 9, 2014

Working with most outsourcers entails one hassle or another.
In my book, your experience may be closer to a 4 than a 3.
At any rate, all translators should thank you for being brutally honest, both on the Blue Board and off.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:13
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
String of 5s Dec 9, 2014

Even if a long string of "5" ratings may arouse suspicions of dubious behavior (if actively encouraging people to leave a high rating can be considered dubious behavior), it does show that the company cares about their rating and in the event I should have a problem, a negative posting should result in quick payment (as opposed to those who don't care about their rating). On the other hand, if a company has a mixture of 5s, 4s and a few 3s, I would be more cautious, unless there is an explanation (paid on time, but...)

In truth, the only criteria I care about is whether or not I will be paid within 30 days or less. I won't accept a low-paying job, rush project or on-line CAT tool in the first place, so those are non-issues for me. If there are other issues that occur after accepting the job (tedious invoicing system, micro-managing PMs, excessive pre- or after-sales requests, unreasonable proofreading process, etc.), I simply won't work for them again.

In summary, I think that if you give a rating other than 5 that does not involve a non-payment or late payment issue, than it is far more useful if there is also an explanation about the exact problem (or perhaps a link to your criteria scale if this is possible in a BlueBoard comment), so that I can decide for myself whether or not to work for them. The agency can then respond - thanks for informing us of your concerns, we are working on correcting this issue... and all of this info is helpful and creates a more balanced and realistic picture.

[Edited at 2014-12-09 16:48 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:13
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
CAT tool and rating Dec 9, 2014

I don't think the fact that they require a CAT tool should be considered when stating a rate; logging in and invoicing certainly do, as well as the fact that they accept a decent rate, pay on time, and you don't have to worry or hassle them for payment. If logging in and invoicing is such a hassle, I agree with your rate because of waste of time, later payment. But requiring a CAT tool should not be taken into consideration for BB entries IMHO. But I appreciate that you do not follow the mass that just put a 5, but that you state your reasons, as some give 5s even to low-paying outsourcers.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:13
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Why not CAT tools? Dec 9, 2014

Josephine Cassar wrote:

I don't think the fact that they require a CAT tool should be considered when stating a rate; logging in and invoicing certainly do, as well as the fact that they accept a decent rate, pay on time, and you don't have to worry or hassle them for payment. If logging in and invoicing is such a hassle, I agree with your rate because of waste of time, later payment. But requiring a CAT tool should not be taken into consideration for BB entries IMHO. But I appreciate that you do not follow the mass that just put a 5, but that you state your reasons, as some give 5s even to low-paying outsourcers.


Why shouldn't CAT tool considerations enter into a translator's ratings on the BB?

I have made several decisions not to work with certain agencies because of their insistence on using ridiculously unproductive CAT tools. I don't remember if I gave them a BB rating, but that's not the point. When I do post anything on the BB, I try to consider the entire experience of working with that particular outsourcer, from the way they address me in their emails to how quickly they pay and everything in between.

[Edited at 2014-12-09 17:59 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I use my own CAT tool Dec 9, 2014

This was not just any CAT tool, but their specific online CAT, which was not so easily customised as mine, and I could not use my own glossaries.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:13
Dutch to English
+ ...
3 Dec 9, 2014

Seems perfectly fair under the circumstances, especially since you've clarified there are no payment issues.

The online CAT tool would make them an immediate 4 in my book too. The fact that you knew about that upfront and still decided to work with them doesn't elevate that to a 5, it remains an issue for you. Because, faced with two simultaneous offers at the same rate, you'd take the one that allows you to use your own CAT tool.

The added problems are grounds for a further point deduction.

Honest review. Of course it may mean they decide not to work with you again, but you knew that anyhow.


[Edited at 2014-12-09 19:48 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The other way round Dec 9, 2014

This may sound controversial, but in my opinion it would be more "proper" to give them 5 and provide politely, but objectively, in the description that there is an online CAT involved and that the invoicing mechanism is not "world class" easy.

After all, the folks pay on time, are friendly and from what I deduce from the OP's message, professional (also to be mentioned in the description).

The result would be that colleagues who go for a "glance" on Blue Board, would not be discouraged, while colleagues who go "beyond" that would get the info anyway. Less "harm" done, the same “truth” provided.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 22:13
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
I will find it really helpful Dec 9, 2014


So what do you think if you see a row of 50 or more 5-ratings on the Blue Board and a single stroppy individual like me who won't toe the line?



Thank you, Christine. I actually see it as a fellow translator who takes the whole concept of rating on the Blue Board more seriously than we usually do.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:43
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
I think you are fully justified Dec 9, 2014

It is after all your and your alone evaluation of the agency and there can't be any argument about it. It is your perception of how comfortable you feel working with a particular agency.

If we are to 5 to all the agencies we rate, then the BB would cease to be of any use to us. I frequently use the BB to assess potential clients. It is the ratings other than 5 that I carefully read and take into account. The 5's I just scroll on.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:13
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
Blue board postings should be anonymous Dec 10, 2014

I rarely post on the Blue Board, primarily because I'm concerned that giving anything other than a 5 will give agencies considering my services in the future reason for pause/hurt my relationship with current clients. I also don't place much trust in Blue Board ratings for the same reason: there is a strong incentive to give high ratings, and no incentive (other than altruism) to give low ratings. I'm certain that many companies' ratings would drop over a point if translators could make their postings anonymously.

Anonymous posting would not be difficult for Proz to do. Priceline.com includes a tag of 'verified traveller' (or something similar) that allows readers to know that a post was made by an actual individual, not a rival business. Proz could let all of us who pay for membership post anonymously with the 'verified' tag underneath.

Of course there are legitimate liability concerns for Proz, and I can certainly imagine an agency bringing suit against Proz (similar to the Yelp lawsuits) if their business was impacted by a string of negative comments. Proz would also potentially stand to lose thousands in lost agency memberships.

At present, the only two ratings I can ever imagine giving on the Blue Board are '5' and '1'. 5 for truly great clients, and 1 for an agency that is so bad that I feel the need to warn other translators about them (thankfully haven't had to do this yet).

The sad thing is that a score of a '3', or '4' should not even be an especially poor mark against an agency. To me a '3' agency would be an agency that has somewhat disorganized project management and the rare late (by 5 days or so) payment. I would still work with this kind of agency, albeit perhaps at a higher rate than usual. Yet because of the 'grade inflation' on the Blue Board, I begin to have serious doubts if a client's score is less than 4.7.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:13
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Ratings Dec 10, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

I gave an outsourcer an LWA of 3 some time back, but they are not happy with it.
They have a long list of 5s, and if they approached me for the first time, I would give them a go. Having done several jobs for them, I have dropped to 3 - I might work for them again, but would only actually be delighted if they made a couple of improvements.




Dear Christine,

If a BB exists and gives us the possibility of rating and giving a comment, we should do it as you did: honestly. You have provided your opinion. I thank you for this: I always check my fellow translators opinions and ratings.

When I find many 5 and only a 3, I read the comment and in general I think the agency has made *one* mistake, not so dramatic as to be rated with 2 or 1. If I find two 3, I think the agency has made *two* mistakes. After all, Proz provides a an average rating too. I'm only willling to work for agencies that are rated 4 or above. That's my risk assessment so far

On the other side, PMs or managers should thank the raters too: some comments may lead them to improve their procedures...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:13
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Honest rating Dec 10, 2014

When I'm making an entry in the Blue Board, I take the official scale at face value. This seems not to be widespread practice, though.

Christine Andersen wrote:

So what do you think if you see a row of 50 or more 5-ratings on the Blue Board and a single stroppy individual like me who won't toe the line?


I always look out for any entries made by peers I "know" and respect. Their rating will have a lot of impact. A single 1, 2 or even 3 (ideally with a short explanation) will spoil any number of 5s given by translators I don't know.

Some time ago, I gave an agency a rating of 3, which triggered their asking me to give me a 5 or to delete my entry completely (which of course I denied). I guess that's what's given them a long row of excellent ratings.

They retaliated by making false allegations in their reply to my rating. Proz staff have chosen not to do anything about it (even after I had presented them with written proof that the agency's claims were false). I suspect some translators are hesitant to leave negative remarks for fear of experiencing this kind of retaliation.

IMHO, this makes the Blue Board a lot less useful than it could be.









[Bearbeitet am 2014-12-10 09:40 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:13
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Their online CAT tool Dec 10, 2014

Sorry, I did not realise you were referring to 'their' own online CAT toll-my mistake. That makes a lot of difference. If it is proving so troublesome, you are perfectly entitled-and we should thank you for warning us-about it. I also agree that I read, especially, those 3s or 4s, as these are the ones that help me decide and calculate the risk of accepting task from the particular agency. Unfortunately, rates are not frequently mentioned.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:13
Member
French to English
+ ...
Going against the grain Dec 10, 2014

I've a feeling I might know who this outsourcer is, as I have posted a 3 for an agency that has received dozens of 5s and a 3 from you! My reason for giving a 3 was that a while back, the agency seemed to adopt a policy of encouraging PMs to haggle very hard with translators over every single job, and I found that a real hassle. As in your case, there was no issue with payment or the PMs otherwise. Since I posted that comment, the agency has, to my surprise, assigned me a couple more very small jobs which I accepted and didn't have to haggle over.

Out of interest, what exactly did the agency say to you? Did they ask you to change or remove your rating?

One of the most helpful things about the Blue Board, I find, is that other translators' comments can confirm my misgivings about an agency. I can think of other agencies that I have stopped working with not because they didn't pay, but because I felt that some of their other business practices are not good for the profession as a whole - extremely long payment terms, unreasonable deadlines, splitting documents into a million bits and then hurriedly putting the translations together Humpty Dumpty-style, etc. So I personally like it when I see that at least one other person has had the courage to go against the grain and give a lower rating, as it gives me more confidence that I'm right in thinking there's something not quite right about the agency - and it also gives me more confidence that the Blue Board system is not corrupt!

I do think there is a bit of a tendency for people to give a 5 just for the fact that they were paid. Like Mikhail, I take the view that there's no reason why we can't base our ratings on other aspects of our relationships with clients.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Blue Board ratings and NOT automatically giving 5

Advanced search






Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search