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Poor Agency
Thread poster: chaplin

chaplin
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Oct 26, 2011

I was contacted a few days ago by an Italian company. They asked me to do a test. I agreed to do a 300 words test. As the test was 200 words longer they offered to pay me the surplus. We agreed on €25. When I sent the translation back I realised they had in fact sent me 605 not 500 as previously declared.
Surprise surprise!!They have just answered me saying the test failed and no mention of the €25.
So beware!!

[Edited at 2011-10-26 22:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-10-26 22:08 GMT]


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:40
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Try to idetify them on the BB Oct 26, 2011

Thank you Sègoléne,

Ségolène Neilson wrote:

I was contacted a few days ago by a company called traduzioni-(...) So beware!!


Thank you very much for your useful warning. I am afraid that ProZ staff will soon ask you to hide the name of the company here, as they try to confine this kind of postings on the Blue Board (http://www.proz.com/blueboard/) to avoid possible legal retaliations. Please try to identify the Company there and note your "willingness to work with them again".

If you cannot find a company corresponding to it, you might be able to create a new entry on the Blue Board.

Luca


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:40
French to German
+ ...
Maybe... Oct 26, 2011

Luca Tutino wrote:

(.../...)

If you cannot find a company corresponding to it, you might be able to create a new entry on the Blue Board.

Luca

Ségolène may well create a new entry in the BB, but will not be able to post her feedback as this was merely a "translation test".

See http://www.proz.com/siterules/blue_board_bb_blueboard/2#2

Certain conditions must be met before Blue Board entries can be made. Entries concerning the Likelihood of Working Again (LWA) with given outsourcers are allowed only when (1) commissioned work has been completed in full and delivered on time, and (2) there have not been complaints related to quality shortly after delivery. Entries may not be made on the basis of negotiations, test translations, or other preliminary or non-commissioned interactions.


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Isabelle F. BRUCHER  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
English to French
+ ...
What's the big difference between a paid test and commissioned work? Oct 26, 2011

What's the big difference between a paid test and commissioned work?

In the BB rules, shouldn't a difference be made between tests that were supposed to get paid and tests that were supposed not to get paid?

Shouldn't we report the fact that a customer had promised to pay, then did not pay, no matter what kind of commissioned work it was?

This is food for thought for the site support staff or whoever has the right to update rules.

Should I introduce a support request or wait till a moderator reports this question to site support staff?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It was paid work Oct 26, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
Ségolène may well create a new entry in the BB, but will not be able to post her feedback as this was merely a "translation test".

Actually she was paid (or was offered to pay at the very least) for part of the job, so in fact it was paid work. She then may add an entry to the Blue Board.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:40
French to German
+ ...
Interpretations may vary... Oct 26, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
Ségolène may well create a new entry in the BB, but will not be able to post her feedback as this was merely a "translation test".

Actually she was paid (or was offered to pay at the very least) for part of the job, so in fact it was paid work. She then may add an entry to the Blue Board.


and I am not sure that this can be considered to be commissioned work completed in full.

If I understand Ségolène's post well, she agreed to perform a test, for which the agency offered payment on its own initiative *after* she had accepted the principle that it would be a test.

This differs from commissionned work, for which parties agree upon prices, delivery and payment deadlines *before* work commences and for which there is no doubt that it actually will be paid for.

So we have:

1) hypothesis A: a test for which the agency *can* pay the translator ("out of generosity" so to say and with *no obligation* to do so);

2) hypothesis B: a job for which the agency *must* pay the translator (because a contract was formed after the mutual acceptance of terms and conditions).

To put it short: a request for a test is NOT an order.

[Edited at 2011-10-26 19:40 GMT]


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:40
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
We need this kind of information within our marketplace Oct 26, 2011

Dear Laurent,

I am grateful for your pointing out this information. I understand your point, and I understand that a line should be traced somewhere. However I also think that, if they prevent the posting of such information in the BB, the rules should probably be changed. After so many years we know that on ProZ so called tests (paid or unpaid) can be occasions for abuse -- as much as much as internships and the likes in non virtual world. These are clearly new forms of present days work relationship, and Sègoléne was simply warning us against an abusive behavior that seems to be targeting translators on this site.

In particular I find it incorrect that the entire post should be hidden. Sègoléne's warning could still provide some information and benefit just by masking the name of the company. I wonder if you could suggest her to simply mend her posting in place of complete censoring.

If the BB or the forum cannot be used for passing this type of information, then some other place in our marketplace should be created to this end. I hope the matter can be discussed with other moderators, staff and Henry, for a resolution soon.

Best regards,

Luca


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Werner Maurer  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
commissioned Oct 26, 2011

A test translation is work; an agreement to pay on the part of the client/agency constitutes commission, IMHO. The agency is saying "please translate this in exchange for X amount of money" - exactly the same arrangement as in a "commissioned work" and therefore it IS a commissioned work. Sez oy.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Why does this qualify as a scam? Oct 26, 2011

It's about an agency doing something you don't like. That's not the same as a scam.

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chaplin
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
exact facts Oct 26, 2011

What exactly happened is this:
They contacted me after seeing my profile on Proz. They asked me if I would accept to do a test. I said yes. They sent me a test they said was 500 words long. I declined saying in my network NWTN we only accept 300 words. They then asked me how much I would charge for an extra 200 words. I asked for €25. When I sent the whole translation back supposed to be 500 words I realised there were in fact 605. No comment!


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chaplin
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Company not listed on Blue Board Oct 26, 2011

Thank you for your suggestions. Unfortunately the company is not listed in the Blue Board!

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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 13:40
Japanese to English
Q: When is a test not a test? | A: When it's a scam! Oct 27, 2011

They asked me to do a test. I agreed to do a 300 words test. As the test was 200 words longer they offered to pay me the surplus.


That, right there, would give me pause. But if they sent me 605 words instead of 500 on top of that, then I would tell them to "take a hike". What, they can't count?! However, at the same time, I would have counted the words before I translated anything.

This is a good lesson for, well, me at least(I can't speak for other Proz users). It's a version of the over-payment scam that's so rampant these days, but with words instead of money!

It's not just "about an agency doing something you don't like," it's about an agency misrepresenting their intentions...To me, that DOES qualify as a scam!

Thank you for your post, Ségolène. This is yet another pitfall to watch out for...


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James_xia  Identity Verified
China
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
Think twice before taking on a test Oct 27, 2011

Ségolène Neilson wrote:

I was contacted a few days ago by an Italian company. They asked me to do a test. I agreed to do a 300 words test. As the test was 200 words longer they offered to pay me the surplus. We agreed on €25. When I sent the translation back I realised they had in fact sent me 605 not 500 as previously declared.
Surprise surprise!!They have just answered me saying the test failed and no mention of the €25.
So beware!!

[Edited at 2011-10-26 22:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-10-26 22:08 GMT]


Basically, I more than share what you are feeling on the test job. If you find a time to recall all that you've worked with and those you're working on, you might get a hint that good partners seldom asked you to accept a test. Why? They decided to come to you based on the mutual trust and above all, the kindness and consideration, rather than getting cheap on the real pros. In other words, you have provided the necessary personal info, and they have the eyes to distinguish you from others.

So in most cases, you might as well decline the test reuqest as a serious and professtional translator.


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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:40
English to Dutch
+ ...
This probably IS a scam Oct 27, 2011

Ségolène Neilson wrote:

... They then asked me how much I would charge for an extra 200 words. I asked for €25..


Thanks for sharing your experience. Infuriating, but it also was your mistake. If someone wants to verify the quality of your work, they don't need more than 300 words. Just cut whatever document they provide short to 300 or less. But seeing that they insisted on a longer document you should have been alerted to their true intentions. They have most probably sold your translation. It isn't a big amount. Write it off to experience and never do it again.

All the best!

- Marinus


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Jehanne Henin  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
English to French
+ ...
Just a test? Oct 27, 2011

Ségolène Neilson wrote:

They asked me if I would accept to do a test. I said yes. They sent me a test they said was 500 words long. I declined saying in my network NWTN we only accept 300 words.


Most of agencies I know would have replied "ok then, translate only the 300 first words". The fact that they absolutely wanted the whole thing translated and were even ready to pay for it would lead me to think this was not really a test but just a way to have a translation for free or at least cheap.


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