Would you work for someone who's not on the Blue Board?
Thread poster: Albert Fischer (Dipl. Jur., LL.B., BDÜ)

Albert Fischer (Dipl. Jur., LL.B., BDÜ)  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
Aug 26, 2010

So I have a request from an agency from Milton Keynes, UK. I never got ripped off, only once, by banned-from-Proz provider "Nettprofile". An early Proz membership would have proved helpful here.

On the other hand, I also work for Manchester-based Legal Service Translations and they are great and absolutely trustworthy, but not on the Blue Board. So I'm in a conflict.


What are your experiences? Should I take a quick 1500 words risk?


 

Kata Koncz  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:43
Member (2008)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I would... Aug 26, 2010

if I have a feeling that the company is trustworthy. I usually use my instinct, especially if the company/outsourcer seem to be new to this site or has another a visibly good reason why they're not on the BB. You should look for the usual signs of their reliability (updated website, organized business, good contact etc)

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask for a full address, VAT number, etc. Aug 26, 2010

Ask for a full address, VAT number, name of person of contact, and phone.
Then call them over the phone to confirm some detail (or just to say hello), so that you can know that the phone is legitimate. Use your yellow pages to find the company and double-check the address.

If all this looks good, ask for a PO before advancing much in the job. The PO should state the rate, delivery date, delivery format, and payment terms as well as the full details of the company.

I would not start a job without first confirming the existance, location, and phone of the company and the name of your contact. A PO is always advisable, but some project managers take their time for these things... Never deliver without a PO in your hand!!


 

Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
1500 words is fairly low risk IMO Aug 26, 2010

I would probably take the risk for a small job, provided they seem trustworthy/professional and have provided you with full details and a "go ahead" (formal PO or email confirmation).

You may want to verify the details provided on the Companies House website to be sure.


 

Albert Fischer (Dipl. Jur., LL.B., BDÜ)  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Companies House? Aug 26, 2010

"Nettprofile", the biggest rip off in this field in the UK, have VAT# and I got the directors' details from Companies House. What does it matter? Go on their website, it's fab. Then go on the Blue Board and compare...

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Companies House Aug 26, 2010

Albert Fischer wrote:
Companies House

I think Anita means a search here.

Good luck!


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 04:43
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Instincts Aug 26, 2010

My experience is using instincts. Proz.com has good pages on how to check against fraud. Blue Board entries are largely varying. It is only one guideline or an area you will complain about payment. Too risky work should be avoided unless you can imagine how to visit the non-payer's premise conveniently.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
Sorry, only giving advice :-/, which is what I thought you'd asked for! Aug 26, 2010

Of course verifying a company's details on the Companies House website is no guarantee that they will act professionally and honour their payment commitments. However, checking a company's / director's details has made me decide NOT to work for agencies in the past. In one case, I found out that the person in question was actually disqualified from holding a directorship in the UK, so needless to say, I declined their offer.

 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:43
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Of course. Aug 26, 2010

The Blue Board, though an excellent resource, is limited in scope. Not by its design, but rather by how it is typically used. I think over the past decade I've made the initial entries for outsourcers there a number of times, but every one of these has been an agency or colleague. I don't enter my corporate clients there. There are also other ways of investigating a company's payment practices, including various free and paid subscription lists. I like to cross-check Blue Board listings and some of these others, because each list presents information in a unique way, and by taking several together I get a better picture.

If you practice due diligence in accepting new clients, you should be OK. There's also that magic phrase worth remembering, or rather several of them:

"Cash in advance!" (with or without exclamation point as appropriate)

"Cash on delivery" aka "COD"

as well as various options for partial payments in advance.

After everything is over (for better or worse), you can have the pleasure of setting up the first BB record for your new client as a way of daring your competitors to go for it.

[Edited at 2010-08-26 17:12 GMT]


 

xxxwonita
China
Local time: 17:43
Positive experience Aug 26, 2010

The local German agencies not registered with Proz.com are the best paying clients, who are still ready to pay the old good German line price.

A fraud is more likely to look for his/her victim in a foreign country. Go for it and charge a good price for you.


 


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