URGENT! Potential new scam today, Indian agency
Thread poster: Tony M

Tony M
France
Local time: 14:44
Member
French to English
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Nov 9, 2011

I just received a request from an Indian translation agency [initials P.K., contact me privately for name], and I smell a scam.

They asked me to do a free 305-word 'test translation' of part of a larger document, but suspiciously, agreed with alacrity to the rather high rate I quoted them (which is much higher than Asian agencies are usually prepared to pay). And they said "do the test, and we can discuss your rate afterwards"

It was also super-urgent (like within 3 hou
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I just received a request from an Indian translation agency [initials P.K., contact me privately for name], and I smell a scam.

They asked me to do a free 305-word 'test translation' of part of a larger document, but suspiciously, agreed with alacrity to the rather high rate I quoted them (which is much higher than Asian agencies are usually prepared to pay). And they said "do the test, and we can discuss your rate afterwards"

It was also super-urgent (like within 3 hours!), which I find suspicious for just a test.

I have a sneaking suspicion they may be trying to get their entire document translated for free, by splitting it into small chunks like this and putting it out as tests.

Edit:

They since contacted me again and said they were prepared to pay for the test; not sure if this means it is genuine or not! I think I would ask for the payment up front just to be sure, but in any case, I have so much work on, I can't fit their rush 'job' in anyway.

[Modifié le 2011-11-09 07:14 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Maybe... Nov 9, 2011

... or they have an urgent large project! One never knows... But if you cannot fit either the free test or the translation request, the problem is solved!

 

Tony M
France
Local time: 14:44
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
SITE LOCALIZER
Sharing / networking Nov 9, 2011

Teresa Borges wrote:

... the problem is solved!


Yes, Teresa, for me, it is!

However, the point of my post was to share with others this potential scam; if a whole rush of people were asked to do these 'free' test translations, by comparing notes, we might see what was going on. This has happened before, when by comparing notes from different people's KudoZ questions, it was revealed that several of us were working on tests from different sections of the same document.

So my point in posting was simply to warn others, and compare notes if necessary.

As a PS to my original post, I now think this probably is genuine, so this may have been a false alert; I'll report back here once I have confirmation.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never! Nov 9, 2011

Tony M wrote:
They asked me to do a free 305-word 'test translation' of part of a larger document, but suspiciously, agreed with alacrity to the rather high rate I quoted them (which is much higher than Asian agencies are usually prepared to pay). And they said "do the test, and we can discuss your rate afterwards"

I would never do a test without first agreeing a future rate, or a rate that can be used as the base of a fruitful negotiation.

Clearly their attitude is at least suspicious. If the whole conversation does not make sense, then probably they are not being honest about the situation. My experience with Chinese and Indian companies so far is that they prefer to tell the history their way in order to get their urgent problem solved, and that they only apologise if you they end up causing any damage... which is what often happens when honesty does not prevail in a business deal.


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 14:44
Member
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
SITE LOCALIZER
Couldn't agree more, Tomás Nov 9, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I would never do a test without first agreeing a future rate, or a rate that can be used as the base of a fruitful negotiation.


Absolutely! I intend getting their written agreement to the rate, at least to be applied for this test.


Clearly their attitude is at least suspicious. If the whole conversation does not make sense, then probably they are not being honest about the situation. My experience with Chinese and Indian companies so far is that they prefer to tell the history their way in order to get their urgent problem solved, and that they only apologise if you they end up causing any damage... which is what often happens when honesty does not prevail in a business deal.


Yes, as the conversation continues, I get the impression that they are not 'dishonest', but as you say, just 'telling it the way it suits them'; either way, I shall be seeking some up-front measures to protect myself. However, I don't mind the relatively small investment in doing this test (which in any case it looks now as if they are prepared to pay for), just so long as it isn't a scam to get their whole document translated free.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
We are mature people! Nov 9, 2011

I really wonder why these companies have to bias the story to make us do what they want from us.

We are mature people. We only expect the plain, true story in an urgency situation, a polite conversation, and being duly paid for our work. Quite simple things in fact!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me too Nov 9, 2011

Tony M wrote:
I have a sneaking suspicion they may be trying to get their entire document translated for free, by splitting it into small chunks like this and putting it out as tests.



A similar thing happened to me once. They said it was to show the client (a big fat Spanish telecom company) to try to get the contract. After I did it, they asked me to do a bit more, and I agreed as it was the kind of text I do all the time. Eventually they said that they hadn't been awarded the project but would pay me anyway. After I billed them they queried the word count and rather than argue the point I gave up on them, feeling slightly grubby and insulted into the bargain.

The company, based in Hungary, have a very good BB rating, so I actually give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't originally set out to hornswoggle anybody, but since then I only do "test" translations on my own terms. Coming from so far away, there is little or nothing you can do if they stiff you, so I now tend to operate only with clients within go-to distance, in case I ever need to torch their offices or kidnap the boss's dog or whatever to get my fees.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
BB record (scam) Nov 28, 2011

neilmac wrote:

The company, based in Hungary, have a very good BB rating, so I actually give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't originally set out to hornswoggle anybody, but since then I only do "test" translations on my own terms. Coming from so far away, there is little or nothing you can do if they stiff you, so I now tend to operate only with clients within go-to distance, in case I ever need to torch their offices or kidnap the boss's dog or whatever to get my fees.


A good or excellent BB record is usually an indication for a company's good business conduct. However, I do know of one agency that solicites "5" BB entries from their clients in return for work or promises of such, trying to get as many as they can to then reflect an outstanding business conduct.

Thanks for the chuckle, Neil. I hope yyou will never have to take such drastic means as the abducting boss's dog or put their business to the torch.

If a scam (free translation of a large document) is suspected, then one can always submit a test translation related to the requested field or limit the test to 200 words.
However, an "urgend" test translation is highly suspicious.


 

Back to basics
Brazil
Local time: 10:44
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thank you, Tony... Nov 28, 2011

Tony M wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

... the problem is solved!


Yes, Teresa, for me, it is!


So my point in posting was simply to warn others, and compare notes if necessary.

As a PS to my original post, I now think this probably is genuine, so this may have been a false alert; I'll report back here once I have confirmation.


Thanks for the warning, Tony....even if it turns out to be a false negative!

Your action is proof of long(er) term vision, as opposed to solving one's own problems and hoping for the best for the rest (and I am being polite here).


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:44
French to German
+ ...
As the saying goes... Nov 28, 2011

Thayenga wrote:

(.../...)

If a scam (free translation of a large document) is suspected, then one can always submit a test translation related to the requested field or limit the test to 200 words.
However, an "urgend" test translation is highly suspicious.


As the saying goes: There are no urgent jobs, only people under time pressure.


 

LegalTranslatr2  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Tests Nov 28, 2011

For me, the question is: Why would an agency wish to spend money/time/resources having a test evaluated without first knowing if they are willing to accept your rates?

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Sometimes the pressure is self-inflicted Nov 29, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
As the saying goes: There are no urgent jobs, only people under time pressure.


Laurent, where did you get this saying from?

What I often see on 'urgent' jobs is that someone wasted weeks in search for a cheaper - yet adequate - translator, until the deadline is close enough to throw a stone and hit it, so the job becomes desperately urrrgent!


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:44
French to German
+ ...
Self-inflicted pressure Nov 29, 2011

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
As the saying goes: There are no urgent jobs, only people under time pressure.


Laurent, where did you get this saying from?

What I often see on 'urgent' jobs is that someone wasted weeks in search for a cheaper - yet adequate - translator, until the deadline is close enough to throw a stone and hit it, so the job becomes desperately urrrgent!



Yes the pressure can be self-inflicted... nevertheless the last person down the chain is "always" the translator.

The saying itself is an adaptation from the French Il n'y a pas d'urgence, il n'y a que des gens pressés... or something like that.

http://www.temoignages.re/il-n-y-a-jamais-d-urgence-il-n-y-a,13337.html


 

Line Merrette  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:44
English to French
I simply do not deal with them Dec 1, 2011

1. I don't deal with people I cannot get a credit experience on
2. I deal with Canadian, American, British and Australian clients, period.
3. I refuse to be paid after longer than 30 days and in apinch end of next month.
4. I don't undersell myself and there is a minimum rate I stick to or no deal.

That's it. Period.

It eliminates low paying jobs with a lot of aggravation and communication problems.


 


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