Job contacts from outsourcers with no BB records
Thread poster: Takkim
Takkim  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 12:48
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Mar 13, 2016

Hello. I would like to know what you think of the following case.

I am occasionally contacted by companies seeking for translators in my language pair, by ProZ.com mail or job connect. After having had bad experience a few years ago, now I try to be more careful and check first on BlueBoard. It happened a few times that the company which contacted me either became member of ProZ exactly on the same month, or has no BlueBoard rating. This makes me suspicious, but on the other hand, everybody needs to start somewhere....

In your place, would you outright ignore such contacts or would you give them a try? In the latter case, under which conditions?

Thank you for your advice.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:48
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Besides BB, Mar 13, 2016

you may check:

http://www.translationdirectory.com/non-payers.htm
http://translationethics.blogspot.pt/p/blog-page.html#.UpnNVeLW9qw
http://www.translator-scammers.com/
http://www.paymentpractices.net/
(...)


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:48
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Advance payment Mar 13, 2016

If the alternative is not working with them at all, you might try asking them for an (partial or full) advance payment for the first project(s) instead...

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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
It depends... Mar 13, 2016

...on how serious the client appears to be. In the course of time you will learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff. I've had a case just recently where I could not find any information on the agency. It turned out to be a totally serious and reliable client, but she also gave me that impression from the start. The language and formatting of the mail, the reasonableness of the inquiry, her own pertinent questions to make sure I was an ok translator, the price negotiations, everything was as I would expect from someone who is trying to run a serious business. Especially in the beginning and when we are very desperate for work we tend to be too eager to overlook some of the most basic factors and not apply due diligence. Being aware of that and always being a little skeptical will be to your own protection.

All the best.


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:48
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Just hello :D Mar 13, 2016

I posted in a wrong thread, can edit the post but not delete it altogether. So just hello to all of you, heh.

[Edited at 2016-03-13 21:38 GMT]


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Danik 2014
Brazil
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Helpful link Mar 14, 2016

Takkim wrote:

Hello. I would like to know what you think of the following case.

I am occasionally contacted by companies seeking for translators in my language pair, by ProZ.com mail or job connect. After having had bad experience a few years ago, now I try to be more careful and check first on BlueBoard. It happened a few times that the company which contacted me either became member of ProZ exactly on the same month, or has no BlueBoard rating. This makes me suspicious, but on the other hand, everybody needs to start somewhere....

In your place, would you outright ignore such contacts or would you give them a try? In the latter case, under which conditions?

Thank you for your advice.

Hi, Takkim,
I posted a similar question some days ago and got some useful advice. Here is the link:
http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/299134-how_can_you_check_if_an_outsourcer_is_ok.html
Good luck!
Daniela


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Takkim  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 12:48
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you to all the advices Mar 17, 2016

Thank you to everybody who replied to my question.

Teresa, thank you for the links. I knew a few of them, but not all. In the future, I will refer to them when in doubt.

Mirko thank you for the advice. I wonder how many companies, however sincere, accept advance payment these days... after all, they don't know me either.

Marinus, thank you for your advice. Indeed, sometimes I feel maybe I am not being cautious enough, when there is longer gap between jobs and I am jumping to the first opportunity. I should always try and be careful!

Daniela, thank you for the link. Actually, after I composed my question, I noticed your link, but by then it was already uploaded. The advices are all very useful.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:48
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Think of the 'worst case scenario' Mar 18, 2016

Of course, if the mail is obviously fishy, then you should ignore it.

If the client will not let you see the text to decide whether it is within your fields, legible and so on, drop them.

You can check the client's website: does it look convincing, if it exists at all? It need not be big and flashy - indeed, if it is all flashy graphics and no real information, walk away.

Some small clients have quite basic websites, but they tell you what you need to know, and you can safely work for them.
Bigger agencies will have bigger, professionally designed websites - look for references and memberships of ATA, ITC or other international associations.

If there is a real address or means of contacting the company, or there is a VAT number in the EU, you can check that.
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vatResponse.html?locale=en
(Choose your language in the top right corner if you prefer it instead of English.)
The name and address of the company appears, and you know that at least they exist.
The national companies register may be useful too.

I do not work for agencies with their own CAT tools and I avoid those with online systems for downloading files, delivering work and invoicing. A couple of my favourite clients have these, but they may involve a lot of hassle for you and you will not be paid extra for your time!

Finally, if the client is offering a small job -- 1000-2000 words or so -- ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. You spend a few hours or a day on the job, but don't get paid. Most clients DO pay, however, and it is probably worth giving them the benefit of the doubt if there are no obvious danger signals.

If they ask you to take on a large job, then you do need to be more cautious. Will you have to turn down work from reliable clients who do pay? You should not actually risk losing money, only your time.

Good luck - I hope you find some good clients or they find you!


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