How do you find out if an agency is reputable?
Thread poster: Teodora G

Teodora G  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:23
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Jun 29

How do you find out if an agency is reputable when it doesn't have a proz.com, TranslatorsCafe or LinkedIn profile? Do you use any databases of blacklisted agencies?

I applied for a translation job recently and I was asked to translate 1000+ words as a test. It's highly unusual, and I can't find any info about the company.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some pointers Jun 29

Teodora G wrote:
I applied for a translation job recently and I was asked to translate 1000+ words as a test. It's highly unusual, and I can't find any info about the company.

What more do you need to know about them? It's highly unusual because it's highly irregular and highly offensive to ask any professional to do so much for free (assuming it is a free test). An hour of work has to be an absolute limit, surely, and if a test is worth doing then it's worth doing well, not rushing it.

How do you find out if an agency is reputable when it doesn't have a proz.com, TranslatorsCafe or LinkedIn profile? Do you use any databases of blacklisted agencies?

There's at least one group in LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/grps/Unacceptable-Translation-Rates-Naming-Shaming-3415770/about? and probably some on Facebook and elsewhere. Also, Glassdoor may well give pointers. And there's Payment Practices.

But if to start with you're just wondering whether it's a scam, there are all sorts of other things to do in terms of checks. Start by visiting the Scam Centre, where there's a link to various Wikis about risk management: http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 00:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
That's not a test Jun 29

I assume you mean +1000 word free test, am I right?
If that is so, it is not a test but a scam from the start. A test may be 100-200 words long, not more than that.
I would stay away from that agency.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:23
Member
French to English
+ ...
Forget it! Jun 29

As Walter syas, that is not a reputable agency, full stop!

Any reputable agency would volunteer verifiable information about the company; if you have to go and search for it yourself, then that is already a bad sign; the fact that you find none is a pretty clear indication this is not reputable.

There are other blacklists of known scammers — but this might not be a scammer, just a dodgy agency.

Either way, don't waste any more of your time on them, move on...


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:23
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Ask in a Bulgarian translator forum Jun 29

One of the ways to "find out" is to "judge them on their deeds", which means you don't need to waste any more time with the agency in question.

In addition to all the advice above I just wanted to add: find a Bulgarian translator's forum (or maybe a FB group nowadays) where you can ask about opinions on a specific agency, if the online info is insufficient or none. Especially for inquiries about agencies in Bulgaria it may be very useful. If you ask about a small agency, there's very little chance anybody will know them on LinkedIn.... I always ask in a Czech forum - which doesn't mean I always get an answer. But I don't remember having ever started to work for any agency I haven't found a sufficient online info about nor received any feedback in the forum.... usually there were also some other suspicious signs - as after all, there're in you case too, a big, big red sign!
I definitely wouldn't want to work for such a client, even if I was in financial distress... too risky.


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:23
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
@Sheila Jun 29

I am just on Linkedin. Could you please tell me how I can inscribe on that group? I surely want to follow it.

Thanks,

Rob


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good question Jun 29

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
I am just on Linkedin. Could you please tell me how I can inscribe on that group? I surely want to follow it.

I really don't remember how I came to join. Can you not just request membership? If I can manage to sort out anything at all on a computer, you can guarantee it isn't difficult .


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Luximar Arenas Petty  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
I received an invitation Jun 29

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

I am just on Linkedin. Could you please tell me how I can inscribe on that group? I surely want to follow it.

Thanks,

Rob


Some time ago, I received an invitation to be part of the group. It has been very helpful. You can hit the button Ask to join, and I am sure an administrator would give you access.

Luxi


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:23
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
@Sheila Jun 30

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
I am just on Linkedin. Could you please tell me how I can inscribe on that group? I surely want to follow it.

I really don't remember how I came to join. Can you not just request membership? If I can manage to sort out anything at all on a computer, you can guarantee it isn't difficult .


I couldn't find the group on Linkedin, but clicked on your link and voila! I asked to join. Lets see what is happening.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:23
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Oops - don't tell everyone! Jun 30

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
I couldn't find the group on Linkedin, but clicked on your link and voila! I asked to join. Lets see what is happening.

I hope I haven't broken any rules by sharing the link. Of course you'll be accepted as freelance translators, but I know they want to keep out representatives of those agencies who have a bad reputation and are often discussed there.


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