Feedback requested: I accepted an offer, but never received a reply from the translator...
Thread poster: Aylarja
Aylarja
United States
Local time: 13:23
Jun 9, 2015

I recently posted my first translation job - a small project to transcribe and translate a nineteenth-century handwritten document. I tried to be straightforward about the quality of the source image that I wanted to have transcribed and translated (it was scanned from microfilm and the focus on the microfilm was soft) and the original handwriting was somewhat challenging. I received several offers and ultimately accepted one. However, that company never responded to my acceptance, and never responded to a follow-up message that I posted to them. The deadline for completion of my job has already passed now.

I am a family history hobbyist and will never amount to a large source of income for any translator. But for those willing to do small jobs of this nature, I am willing to pay to have the work done. As I am new to ProZ, my reaction is that the company I selected is not trustworthy and one with which I would not choose to do business in the future. But still I am wondering: did I misunderstand something about the ProZ process, or were my expectations mistaken that accepting the company's offer should have resulted in a response from that company? Do I have any opportunity to provide feedback to ProZ about this company? And would anyone have recommendations on anything I might do differently if I post a job in the future?


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 15:23
German to English
+ ...
wondering Jun 9, 2015

I wonder if the company made the offer and then hoped they would find a translator to do the job? Did you post how much you were willing to pay, or did the company suggest how much they would charge?

As a translator I have only translated a few documents that had handwritten parts. It should be charged per hour rather than per word, and can get costly if it's hard to decipher. Another way of tackling it is to have it transcribed into print, and then hire a translator to translate the printed version - or even transcribe it yourself to save costs.

I get contacted from time to time by history buffs, or people who find a grandparent's journal in the attic, and similar. They are usually shocked at how expensive it will be, and change their minds. I wonder whether the company that contacted you hoped to find a translator who would do the work cheaply - or perhaps didn't know what it would entail since someone else would be doing the translating.

(I don't know how ProZ works).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Very unfortunate start Jun 9, 2015

I can't really help you to understand what went wrong, as so much depends on the contact you had. But it certainly could do with being investigated. It is possible that the translator/agency simply decided not to pursue the job - I'm sure it happens from time to time. But on the other hand it's also possible that you, as a newbie here, didn't respond in quite the way they expected. Could you perhaps have replied to a no-reply email? I did that once on this site.

I think your most profitable course of action would be to raise a Support Ticket so that staff here can look into the specifics of the job posting and its acceptance (or not). You can do that here: http://www.proz.com/support/ .


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Aylarja
United States
Local time: 13:23
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your replies Jun 10, 2015

Sheila and Maxi, thanks for your thoughtful replies. My suspicion is that the company did not read the description of my job very carefully and did not take into account the transcription aspect of it. However, I would have understood had they replied to that effect and withdrew their quote or offered clarification. I did not contact the company directly through email, but used the comment feature through the job-quote interface. In my experience, that notifies the recipient by email, which seemed sufficient.

I did post a budget range and their offer fell within that range.

Sheila, I think it is worthwhile to raise the question with ProZ through their support link. I don't expect there is much that can be done, but at least if ProZ is aware it may prove helpful to someone else in the future.

Thanks again.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The normal process Jun 10, 2015

Aylarja wrote:
But still I am wondering: did I misunderstand something about the ProZ process, or were my expectations mistaken that accepting the company's offer should have resulted in a response from that company?


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that your shortlist contained only one name, and that you thought that the bid you received from the translator constituted a binding offer or a binding quotation. In reality, the bids you receive are merely indications of willingness to consider the job.

What you should do is: select the 5 best candidates, send the source text to all of them and ask them to confirm if they are willing to do the job for the price that they mentioned, and then select one (e.g. the first one to reply, if you're in a hurry) and confirm that you have given them the job (and send an e-mail to the other four to thank them and tell them that you've chosen another translator).

I get the impression that you simply picked one of the bids, and sent them the source text, expecting them to do the job (since they "quoted" on it). Am I right?

Do I have any opportunity to provide feedback to ProZ about this company?


As far as I know, the answer is "no". Translators can leave feedback about clients, but clients can't leave [negative] feedback about translators, even if the translator is an agency.


[Edited at 2015-06-10 06:30 GMT]


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:23
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Next steps Jun 10, 2015

Did you contact the bidder after accepting their bid to send them file and confirm the price and delivery?
I haven't bid for anything in ages, but if my bid was chosen, I would probably just wait for the outsourcer to contact me to confirm. Otherwise, I would just assume it was a potential job that did not come to fruition or that it fell through for other reasons.

[Edited at 2015-06-10 12:40 GMT]


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:23
French to German
+ ...
Agree with Rudolf Jun 10, 2015

I agree to what Rudolf said. As a translator I'd also expect to be contacted by your company.

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Aylarja
United States
Local time: 13:23
TOPIC STARTER
That helps clarify the process for me... Jun 10, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that your shortlist contained only one name, and that you thought that the bid you received from the translator constituted a binding offer or a binding quotation. In reality, the bids you receive are merely indications of willingness to consider the job.

What you should do is: select the 5 best candidates, send the source text to all of them and ask them to confirm if they are willing to do the job for the price that they mentioned, and then select one (e.g. the first one to reply, if you're in a hurry) and confirm that you have given them the job (and send an e-mail to the other four to thank them and tell them that you've chosen another translator).

I get the impression that you simply picked one of the bids, and sent them the source text, expecting them to do the job (since they "quoted" on it). Am I right?


Samuel, thank you for sharing your insight, and for your recommendation. I think you helped me bring into clearer focus a part of the job and quoting process that was unclear to me earlier. I did not view accepting the quote as binding, but I did view it as a good-faith agreement, and I can see from what you wrote that I was mistaken in this. I had read in the ProZ FAQ that one could accept multiple quotes, which confused me. But your comment helps me to understand this more clearly. I will follow your recommendation for any future jobs. Thank you!


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Aylarja
United States
Local time: 13:23
TOPIC STARTER
I contacted the bidder through the ProZ interface Jun 10, 2015

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

Did you contact the bidder after accepting their bid to send them file and confirm the price and delivery?
I haven't bid for anything in ages, but if my bid was chosen, I would probably just wait for the outsourcer to contact me to confirm. Otherwise, I would just assume it was a potential job that did not come to fruition or that it fell through for other reasons.

[Edited at 2015-06-10 12:40 GMT]


The ProZ support information indicates that when a person accepts a quote, it notifies the bidder by email. When I accepted the quote, I included additional information about the job and asked the company to contact me. This seemed sufficient to me. Is some other form of contact necessary?


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:23
Chinese to English
You've run into someone flaky on the internet... Jun 11, 2015

It happens all the time!

Don't worry about it, just move on. All you ever had from this company/person was one single email via Proz. That's not enough to establish a business relationship. It's fair enough to be irritated by the fact that this company didn't follow through on its bid, but just be glad that you've wasted nothing more than time on them.

Despite the name, Proz includes a broad range of professionals, amateurs and wannabes. I'm sure you can find the professional you need here, but it might well take more than one try.


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Aylarja
United States
Local time: 13:23
TOPIC STARTER
Fair enough Jun 11, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:

Don't worry about it, just move on. All you ever had from this company/person was one single email via Proz. That's not enough to establish a business relationship. It's fair enough to be irritated by the fact that this company didn't follow through on its bid, but just be glad that you've wasted nothing more than time on them.


True enough.

Despite the name, Proz includes a broad range of professionals, amateurs and wannabes. I'm sure you can find the professional you need here, but it might well take more than one try.


I've been impressed by the selection of people responding to my question here on the forum, which gives me hope.


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