ID information when being contacted by direct clients through ProZ.com
Thread poster: Nicole Schnell

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
Jan 11, 2013

This week I have been contacted by two direct clients via my profile page. In both cases I had to figure out via googling the IP address and the author's name who actually had sent the email. When discussing this issue with both companies they were a little bit embarrassed that their ID wouldn't show and explained that they had filled out all of the required fields and assumed that their full company information would be automatically included in their emails. In both cases the sender was displayed as a personal name only (which could be anyone).

This sounds like there might be some room for improvement...

?


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 10:26
SITE STAFF
Can you provide some more information, Nicole? Jan 11, 2013

If the message was sent via your profile (and the sender was logged into theirs), that information should have been included in the message you received. If they were not logged into the site, there may not be a whole lot to be done if they do not include contact information in the message. Can I ask you to submit more details through the support system, so that staff can have a proper look at it? I imagine just a copy-paste of the initial message you received will be enough for starters. Thanks!

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will be happy to do so Jan 11, 2013

Jared wrote:

If the message was sent via your profile (and the sender was logged into theirs), that information should have been included in the message you received. If they were not logged into the site, there may not be a whole lot to be done if they do not include contact information in the message. Can I ask you to submit more details through the support system, so that staff can have a proper look at it? I imagine just a copy-paste of the initial message you received will be enough for starters. Thanks!


Thanks a ton, Jared!

I will forward the information to you.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Neither of them was logged in Jan 11, 2013

As manufacturing companies they are not ProZ.com members.

Both assumed that their company info would show automatically according to the info they provided in the online form. Maybe a warning line that filling out those lines is not sufficient and does not replace the usual address sermon?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Thanks for the heads-up Jan 11, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:
This week I have been contacted by two direct clients via my profile page. ... they had filled out all of the required fields and assumed that their full company information would be automatically included in their emails. In both cases the sender was displayed as a personal name only...


This is a very serious issue, in my opinion.

I would have assumed the same thing, had I filled in such information and sent a message via an online message system. And I have often ignored ProZ.com messages in the past if the message contained nothing more than a name, thinking that it must have been someone who doesn't care about providing full information about themselves. Now, with your post, I realise that many of those messages may have been from legitimate would-be clients who simply assumed exactly what any sane person would have assumed.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I already had tossed one of them. Jan 11, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:
This is a very serious issue, in my opinion.

I would have assumed the same thing, had I filled in such information and sent a message via an online message system. And I have often ignored ProZ.com messages in the past if the message contained nothing more than a name, thinking that it must have been someone who doesn't care about providing full information about themselves. Now, with your post, I realise that many of those messages may have been from legitimate would-be clients who simply assumed exactly what any sane person would have assumed.


Thanks, Samuel!

"Anonymous" emails go straight into the trash. I routinely check the IP addresses, though, and one of them was local, it caught my attention and I replied with a humorous rant. The following dialog revealed why the message appeared to be anonymous. Then I pulled the other message out of the trash. I nearly missed out on two direct clients, and - looking back - I don't even want to know how many prospective customers must have considered me shallow, lazy, unresponsive and unprofessional because I ignored their messages due to this issue.


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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:26
English to French
+ ...
I've already seen this problem with 2 agencies Jan 11, 2013

Hello,

Yes, this happens everytime the sender is not logged-in. There is no information at all but the sender's IP address.
So, most of the time, I destroy the message.
In two occasions, the content and style of the messages drew my attention in a positive manner and I decided to reply and ask, the most politely possible, "Who are you?", explaining that no information was visible except the IP.

Luckily, those 2 companies replied, both expressing their surprise because they were sure that they had filled all the boxes in, and apologizing for showing anonymous "beyond their control". And, if I say "luckily", it's because both eventually became good clients of mine.

In this scammers era, it would be useful if the message formatting could be reviewed and improved.

Have a nice day

Catherine


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 10:26
SITE STAFF
To make sure we're talking about the same messaging form Jan 11, 2013

I apparently mis-took the "they had filled out all of the required fields and assumed that their full company information would be automatically included in their emails" to refer to information added to a profile.

The form to send a profile email while not logged in contains fields for a name, and email address, subject line, and the message. There is then a drop-down option for the type of message, and the sender must enter a random number generated to help prevent "robot spam". I have just tested this and it works OK.

Nicole, I will send you a test message while not logged in for comparison. Can you tell me if we are talking about the same kind of message? I am confused now about which fields your senders filled in which led them to believe their company info would automatically be included in the message(s). It sounds like they are coming from another form somewhere which I'm not familiar with offhand. Thanks.

(I've seen the emails you forwarded, and they appear to be the same thing. It would be interesting to know where the senders added the information they thought would be automatically included there. At any rate, the messaging form could be adjusted for non-logged in senders to help them add relevant info to their messaging to help avoid this kind of confusion)

Jared


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Jared Jan 11, 2013

Jared wrote:

I apparently mis-took the "they had filled out all of the required fields and assumed that their full company information would be automatically included in their emails" to refer to information added to a profile.

The form to send a profile email while not logged in contains fields for a name, and email address, subject line, and the message. There is then a drop-down option for the type of message, and the sender must enter a random number generated to help prevent "robot spam". I have just tested this and it works OK.

Nicole, I will send you a test message while not logged in for comparison. Can you tell me if we are talking about the same kind of message? I am confused now about which fields your senders filled in which led them to believe their company info would automatically be included in the message(s). It sounds like they are coming from another form somewhere which I'm not familiar with offhand. Thanks.

Jared


As a permanently logged-in member I am not very familiar with any procedures regarding sending messages from the outer world. I will log out and send you a job inquiry through your profile page as a test tomorrow, provided that you are listed as a translator.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Jared - I received your test message Jan 11, 2013

It looks like this:

-----------
You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: Jxxxx Xxxxx [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: xxxxxxxxxx
Message type: Other
-----------

Hi Nicole,
Sending this test message while not logged into the site as
per http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_technical_support/2xxxxxxx-
id_information_when_being_contacted_by_direct_clients_through_prozcom.html#2xx
8xxxxx and from my non-ProZ.com email so that the system takes
me as "anonymous". I've filled out all fields, and you should see
that this is from "Jxxxxx Xxxxxx" and the email address, xxxxxxx@gmail.com, should also
be visible. There are no other fields here in which to put other specific
information such as company name, etc.

Jxxxxx


-----------
Your profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/xxxxxxxx
Login at: http://www.proz.com/profile/
Edit your profile mail preferences: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&show_mode=profmail
Block profile messages from this sender: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&add_ip_block=1xxxxxxxx&add_email_block=txxxxxxx@gmail.com
Unsolicited advertising? Spam? click here: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&report_spam=8xxxxx
-----------



See? That doesn't look very trustworthy. All I will know about you, a potential customer, is some email address, an IP address and your first name. Nobody of sound mind will reply to that. Hmmm....


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hm. Jan 11, 2013

When I log out and I send you a job offer, including typing in the 4-digit number, I only receive this as a copy:

"On January 11, 2013, you submitted the following message for
delivery to Jared. Your message will be reviewed by site staff
before being passed on to the recipient. You will be notified when
your message has been sent.

Jared: http://www.proz.com/profile/6xxxxxxx

-----------

Dear Jared,

Could you please translate 2 million words until tomorrow morning?
How much?

Best,
Nicole

-----------

This went a bit too easy. Does your system recognize my machine?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I tested this myself Jan 11, 2013

Nicole Schnell wrote:
As a permanently logged-in member I am not very familiar with any procedures regarding sending messages from the outer world.


I logged out and sent myself a message. I specified my name as Joe Soap and my e-mail address as joe@soap.com. I typed "Testing one two three" as the subject line and also as the message body.

When I received the e-mail, the message in the message list was from "joe" (not from "Joe" or from "Joe Soap" or from "joe@soap.com", but simply from "joe"). This is a problem, in my opinion. If the From column contains only "joe", I've already hit the Spam button in my mind, even if I do open the message to read it. The name of the sender (not the account name of his e-mail address) should be mentioned in the list of messages in my mail program.

Here is the e-mail I received (in full):

Delivered-To: *****@*****
Received: by 10.231.229.195 with SMTP id jj3csp36456ibb;
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 04:29:00 -0800 (PST)
X-Received: by 10.52.38.163 with SMTP id h3mr83575912vdk.35.1357907339524;
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 04:28:59 -0800 (PST)
Return-Path: <bounce-handler@proz.com>
Received: from deckard.proz.com (deckard.proz.com. [66.193.29.149])
by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id u10si3845062vdv.14.2013.01.11.04.28.59
(version=TLSv1 cipher=RC4-SHA bits=128/128);
Fri, 11 Jan 2013 04:28:59 -0800 (PST)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of bounce-handler@proz.com designates 66.193.29.149 as permitted sender) client-ip=66.193.29.149;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
spf=pass (google.com: domain of bounce-handler@proz.com designates 66.193.29.149 as permitted sender) smtp.mail=bounce-handler@proz.com
Received: from nobody by deckard.proz.com with local (Exim 4.72 #1 (Debian))
id 1TtdjG-0002Kj-RG
for <*****@*****>; Fri, 11 Jan 2013 12:28:58 +0000
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 12:28:58 +0000
Message-Id: <E1TtdjG-0002Kj-RG@deckard.proz.com>
To: *****@*****
Subject: [ProZ.com mail] Testing one two three
Content-type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
From: joe@soap.com
Reply-To: joe@soap.com
Content-type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

-----------
You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: Joe Soap
[NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: 86.85.78.174
Message type: Job-related
-----------

Testing one two three


-----------
Your profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/1429
Login at: http://www.proz.com/profile/
Edit your profile mail preferences: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&show_mode=profmail
Block profile messages from this sender: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&add_ip_block=86.85.78.174&add_email_block=joe@soap.com
Unsolicited advertising? Spam? click here: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&report_spam=8637700
-----------




[Edited at 2013-01-11 12:41 GMT]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 10:26
SITE STAFF
Thanks Nicole Jan 11, 2013

Hi Nicole,

Thanks. I'm 1.5 million words into the project already, so yes.

Note that the copy you get as a sender differs from what the person you are sending to will receive-- it will look more like the test message I sent you that you posted here.

Now, I agree that the form could stand some improvement, at least of the kind that would encourage senders to include more information.

I agree the test message you received could have more information-- but I have complete control over that, just as I would in a regular email (e.g. I can sign with just my first name, or first and last, title, etc.).

What I am concerned about is that the people who sent these messages to you were under the impression that they had included certain information somewhere which you did not receive, and I am having difficulty seeing where they would have entered that information.

At any rate, I'll ask the support team to have a better look at this, and will see about incorporating ways of encouraging more complete information in the profile messaging form.


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 10:26
SITE STAFF
Thanks Samuel Jan 11, 2013

Interesting. What I see in my email list is either the email or the sender name chosen for that email. I am not sure how much control we have over that, but I will check. The subject lines are all prefixed with [ProZ.com mail], which helps me to identify and filter them.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My suspicion Jan 11, 2013

Jared wrote:
What I am concerned about is that the people who sent these messages to you were under the impression that they had included certain information somewhere which you did not receive, and I am having difficulty seeing where they would have entered that information.


As soon as I reply and they write back again, the sender shows up as JoeLastname@CompanyInc.com.

Maybe that's what they were expecting from the start. However, until a dialog has been established, I only get "Joe". Not good...


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