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Editing a Blue Board entry
Thread poster: Gad Kohenov

Gad Kohenov  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 09:41
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Mar 9, 2015

I gave a bad "mark" to an outsourcer and he replied the same day, paying me at the same time. When I wanted to give them a better "mark" I found it was impossible for an entire year, "because the outsourcer already answered".
Since when is this so? Why should the outsourcer suffer from a low "mark" for an entire year, when he deserves a higher "mark"?
I will be happy to hear your solutions.

G.K.


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Maria Popova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 09:41
Member (2011)
German to Bulgarian
+ ...
Support Ticket Mar 9, 2015

Dear Gad,

You could send a support ticket to the ProZ staff.

Regards,

Maria


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:41
French to German
+ ...
About 6 months Mar 9, 2015

That's it since about half a year.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
If the outsourcer only paid as a result of your negative entry... Mar 9, 2015

...then they may still deserve the negative mark. Are you willing to work with them again knowing you may have to threaten them in order to get paid next time? Does changing a negative to a positive mark help other translators decide whether or not they wish to risk working for this outsourcer? Does this make the outsourcer try harder to make timely payments or does it just reinforce the idea that they can continue to pay late (not pay) and if someone does make a negative entry, they can always coerce them into changing it?

[Edited at 2015-03-09 15:46 GMT]


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mariealpilles  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:41
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Blue Board Mar 9, 2015

If you gave them a bad mark, I guess it was for a good reason. Your comment, however, makes it sound like whim. Someone that only pays under threat does not deserve a better mark unless the payment policy is changed. It is as simple as that. What would you think of a translator that only delivers on time when threatened? Your comment sounds very childish to me and absolutely not professional. When I start taking action, I am not stopped by someone who threatens me, quite the opposite!

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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:41
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Is bribing still so easy? Mar 9, 2015

Maybe there was too little info given about the circumstances, but this is the first thought that come to my mind after Reading the initial post: paid so good again?
Responsibility for the peers should also be not of the least importance, as the fellow translators above have already highlited.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Mar 9, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
...then they may still deserve the negative mark. Are you willing to work with them again knowing you may have to threaten them in order to get paid next time?

Exactly my thoughts.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 08:41
English to Croatian
+ ...
Questionable Mar 9, 2015

Don't forget to add to your edited version that your payment didn't just happen, you had to *make* it happen, which is quite different.

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Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:41
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Equally important Mar 10, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Does changing a negative to a positive mark help other translators decide whether or not they wish to risk working for this outsourcer? Does this make the outsourcer try harder to make timely payments or does it just reinforce the idea that they can continue to pay late (not pay) and if someone does make a negative entry, they can always coerce them into changing it?

[Edited at 2015-03-09 15:46 GMT]




I’m sometimes left with the impression the Blue Board’s only use is to indicate payments/non-payments – and there is so much more to a successful cooperation! Begging/nagging to get paid certainly isn’t part of that.

[Edited at 2015-03-10 07:33 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:41
Member (2008)
Italian to English
This is very important Mar 10, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

...then they may still deserve the negative mark. Are you willing to work with them again knowing you may have to threaten them in order to get paid next time? Does changing a negative to a positive mark help other translators decide whether or not they wish to risk working for this outsourcer? Does this make the outsourcer try harder to make timely payments or does it just reinforce the idea that they can continue to pay late (not pay) and if someone does make a negative entry, they can always coerce them into changing it?

[Edited at 2015-03-09 15:46 GMT]


This is a very important point. I know some (not all) outsourcers do act in the way described because one of them tried it on me. On that occasion I gave a non-paying outsourcer a bad BB rating and they then immediately offered to pay me - on condition that I change my negative rating to a positive one.

In the circumstances, I agreed so that they would pay me, but then I changed my negative rating and comment to something even worse (because in my opinion they deserved it).

As others have said here, the whole point of the Blue Board is to provide authentic feedback to other users, so it's very important that this feedback is correct and is not used as barter in a debt recovery process. The Blue Board is one of the most useful features of Proz, but it is only as good as we (the users) make it. We should use it responsibly !

[Edited at 2015-03-10 08:45 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The standard x the actual practice Mar 10, 2015

Most Blue Board scores, according to their definition, should be around 3, plenty of average clients. A 4 should represent a client that takes a few extra steps to ensure that their vendors have a pleasant experience with them. A 5 should be reserved for those clients that the grading vendor would drop anything else to provide immediate service.

In practice, many translation agencies take a 4 as an insult. If they have done nothing blatantly wrong or unfair, they demand a 5, and quite often they get it.

So I had to skew my supposedly normal curve, and adopt a new 'final' LWA table:
5 = no problem, everything went out as agreed
4 = some minor problem, often with the payment method they imposed
3 = paid immediately after a bad LWA, no argument
2 = insisted in stalling after a bad LWA, some diatribes, eventually paid
1 = never paid


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xxxPh_B  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:41
English to French
The Blue Board must remain a useful tool. Mar 10, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

...then they may still deserve the negative mark. Are you willing to work with them again knowing you may have to threaten them in order to get paid next time? Does changing a negative to a positive mark help other translators decide whether or not they wish to risk working for this outsourcer? Does this make the outsourcer try harder to make timely payments or does it just reinforce the idea that they can continue to pay late (not pay) and if someone does make a negative entry, they can always coerce them into changing it


Exactly.

Tom in London wrote:

The whole point of the Blue Board is to provide authentic feedback to other users, so it's very important that this feedback is correct and is not used as barter in a debt recovery process.


Indeed. Why condone blackmail?


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
With the majority (and some additional observations) Mar 10, 2015

Payment in response to a negative comment on the BB is better than no payment at all, but such a *modus operandi* hardly merits a positive rating (much less the *maximum* rating of 5).

What might be appropriate under such circumstances is changing the rating from a "1" to a "2" with an accompanying note along the following lines: "Paid X days late after I posted negative rating on Blue Board."

Such an amendment will reflect the reality of what has happened, instead of whitewashing the unprofessional conduct of the outsourcer in question.

As regards late payments in general, the only agency response that truly merits respect is one that is *proactive* (i.e., when the agency informs you in advance that you will not receive payment on time, while letting you know *when* you will receive payment [with, of course, appropriate follow-thru on said promise]).

In dealing with perhaps 30 late-payment issues over the course of a 12-year freelancing career, I can remember only a single instance of such advance notice of late payment. In all other circumstances, I was left to wait until I discovered on my own that payment did not arrive on time.

This is unacceptable. After all, just think of how an agency would feel if I not only did not meet a deadline, but informed the PM some hours after the project was due that they could expect to receive my completed translation several days hence....

[Edited at 2015-03-10 17:28 GMT]


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The real BB scale Mar 10, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Most Blue Board scores, according to their definition, should be around 3, plenty of average clients. A 4 should represent a client that takes a few extra steps to ensure that their vendors have a pleasant experience with them. A 5 should be reserved for those clients that the grading vendor would drop anything else to provide immediate service.

In practice, many translation agencies take a 4 as an insult. If they have done nothing blatantly wrong or unfair, they demand a 5, and quite often they get it.

So I had to skew my supposedly normal curve, and adopt a new 'final' LWA table:
5 = no problem, everything went out as agreed
4 = some minor problem, often with the payment method they imposed
3 = paid immediately after a bad LWA, no argument
2 = insisted in stalling after a bad LWA, some diatribes, eventually paid
1 = never paid


***
My compliments to you, José, on capturing the spirit of how the BB actually does function. Paeans are the order of the day for agencies that have done nothing more than pay on time on the single occasion when the rater worked with them.

As I have stated repeatedly in these forums, many of the ratings reflect an underlying quid pro quo intention (i.e., "I'll give you an inflated rating on the basis of a single project for which I was paid on time hoping that you, in gratitude for my generosity, will give me more work in the future."). In any event, I strongly suspect that, more often than not, such expectations have been disappointed....

This ubiquitous dynamic, along with its complementary proposition (i.e., refraining from giving negative ratings in the hope of salvaging the possibility of a future relationship with an outsourcer) limits the utility of the Blue Board.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A simple idea that could help here (and that this site might actually accept Mar 10, 2015

Include a rectangle in each rating/comment in which the number of times that the rater worked with the outsourcer is prominently displayed.

This would easily help the viewer weigh the value of ratings (and the corresponding comments about a PM or agency representing the very apotheosis of professionalism and integrity, etc.).

For me personally, a list with 4 ratings of "5" from raters who have worked with an outsourcer an average of 20 times would hold a lot more weight than a list of 20 ratings of "5" from raters whose average comes to something like 1.3.

It is hard to see what would be objectionable about instituting such a modification....


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