How to ask about a possible company?
Thread poster: Anja Dean

Anja Dean  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:31
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Apr 8, 2011

I have been contacted by a specific company to do freelance work for them, or better put- to submit an application, but I can't find any information about them. They do have a Pro-Z account, but its next to blank. They do not have any Blue Book postings. They do have an actual website, but the English in it is not very good. I didn't want to put their name in this actual post, as I wasn't sure if that is against rules.
Is it okay to ask about a specific company by name and such in a post, in regards to finding out if they are a scam email/non-payer/etc.?

I see where it says we can't list their name and such.. so I didn't know if there was another way to verify the 'goodness', heck even better- the mere existence! of a company....

Thanks in Advance!


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Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:31
Danish to English
+ ...
Blue Board Apr 8, 2011

You can add a Blue Board entry for the company and then make a call for entries which will encourage other ProZ users to give feedback if they have worked for the agency.

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Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
You could try Apr 8, 2011

Asking them for their company details, such as address, phone number and even TIN number. If they are an actual company they won't mind giving you this information, if they refuse you can tell them to lose your contact, politely of course.

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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 14:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree Apr 8, 2011

Signe Golly wrote:

You can add a Blue Board entry for the company and then make a call for entries which will encourage other ProZ users to give feedback if they have worked for the agency.


Exactly! Signe is right. This is the wisest and easiest move.


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Anja Dean  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:31
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
You guys are awesome! Apr 8, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me how fast someone in the Pro-Z community helps another! thanks guys!
So I did do a call for entries, and was told I couldn't, as one had already been done on March 10, and there can't be more than 1 in 30 days... now since I haven't done any before, is it safe to assume that someone else already put a call for entries on this company?
Which one would think does not reflect well on them....
Thank again everyone!
I think I may ask them for the TIN, though their website does list a NY phone and address...
But tat way we can get an entry for them done!


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Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:31
Danish to English
+ ...
You could try again tomorrow ;-) Apr 8, 2011

gracielagata wrote:

It never ceases to amaze me how fast someone in the Pro-Z community helps another! thanks guys!
So I did do a call for entries, and was told I couldn't, as one had already been done on March 10, and there can't be more than 1 in 30 days... now since I haven't done any before, is it safe to assume that someone else already put a call for entries on this company?
Which one would think does not reflect well on them....
Thank again everyone!
I think I may ask them for the TIN, though their website does list a NY phone and address...
But tat way we can get an entry for them done!


Yes, that should mean that somebody put a call for entries out last month. Unfortunately, nobody responded. Since tomorrow or Sunday will have been 30 days since the last call for entries, you could try again then but probably don't expect much of a response. Could be that this is a "young" company or perhaps that they haven't outsourced on ProZ until recently.
Can you see on their profile when they first joined? Or perhaps their website has some mention of how long they've been in business?


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Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:31
Danish to English
+ ...
Blue Board & confidentiality Apr 8, 2011

A bit OT, but does anybody have any input on how Blue Board entries mesh with confidentiality agreements?
A while back, I was having a problem with a late payment from an agency. I looked on their Blue Board page and realized that they had some entries that were less than favorable (I had accepted the job before becoming a full member) so I contacted three of the translators who had posted entries to ask whether they did eventually get paid and if they had found a particular "approach" to be successful in collecting their payment.
Two out of the three replied voicing concerns that they were bound by a confidentiality agreement and so could not share with me details about their interactions with the agency. So this got me wondering: is it "safe" to post on Blue Board if you've signed a confidentiality agreement?


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Anja Dean  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:31
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
confidentiality, and original question :) Apr 8, 2011

OT is okay!
i would think that as long as in you have read your NDA, and it doesnt mention anything about that specifically, you would be fine. of all the nda's i have done, i cant think of anything regarding making a review about that actual company. they all had to do with sharing the info you are translating, and not trying to go after the actual original company for your own contract, if you are translating for under contract for them, if that makes sense?

.... i just checked again, but couldnt find it. i think it said they have been with pro-z since oct2010... but could be wrong. and their website doesnt say anything about that....


Signe Golly wrote:

A bit OT, but does anybody have any input on how Blue Board entries mesh with confidentiality agreements?
A while back, I was having a problem with a late payment from an agency. I looked on their Blue Board page and realized that they had some entries that were less than favorable (I had accepted the job before becoming a full member) so I contacted three of the translators who had posted entries to ask whether they did eventually get paid and if they had found a particular "approach" to be successful in collecting their payment.
Two out of the three replied voicing concerns that they were bound by a confidentiality agreement and so could not share with me details about their interactions with the agency. So this got me wondering: is it "safe" to post on Blue Board if you've signed a confidentiality agreement?



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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 17:31
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Strange... Apr 9, 2011

Signe Golly wrote:
Two out of the three replied voicing concerns that they were bound by a confidentiality agreement and so could not share with me details about their interactions with the agency. So this got me wondering: is it "safe" to post on Blue Board if you've signed a confidentiality agreement?


As far as I know, most confidentiality agreements concern the work itself, not the ability of the translator to talk about the company. A CA that prevents them from talking about the agency most likely means lawyers got involved at one point, and part of the settlement was a clause that prevented them from badmouthing the company. This is a glaring red flag.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
They do not have to... Apr 9, 2011

gracielagata wrote:
.... i just checked again, but couldnt find it. i think it said they have been with pro-z since oct2010... but could be wrong. and their website doesnt say anything about that....

Why should they state in the website all places they are and go?

I think you should definitely ask them for their actual company name (xxx xxxx inc.), full address, and telephone. Then use Google Maps and Streetview to find the place and see whether it looks like the place a company could be operating from and not some shotgun house in a residential area. Use the yellow pages of the country to check that the phone number is correct. Then call other numbers shown in the yellow pages, or the same number of it shows in the yellow pages, and ask for the person who is getting in touch and talk over the phone. Just find some excuse (do they want the CV in PDF? do they need a rate for hourly work?...) to stay on the phone and see whether anything sounds fishy.

Can you tell us what country is the company operating from? Some countries have a public register you can check, for instance the Companies House in the case of the UK.

[Edited at 2011-04-09 06:06 GMT]


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