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Should I accept a job from unknown client without PO?
Thread poster: Techamba

Techamba  Identity Verified
Ethiopia
Local time: 19:07
Member (2013)
English to Amharic
+ ...
Sep 5, 2012

I just recieved job offer from an individual on the name of the company. He used gmail to contact me. The job is relatively large volume and I am happy with the rate. But I can't feel confidence about the payment. He promises to me on the email that he can pay me with in 15 days after his client confirms the quality. I asked him to send me a PO but he is not willing. He sent me a link to his Proz blueboard(I am not sure if I can post the link here and I left it). In the first place, How can I be sure that the blue board link he sent me belongs to him/his company or not.

This was actually the kind of job I wouldn't like to miss. But I can't trust the guy.

Please give me your idea as soon as possible so that I can contact him.

Thank you in advance.

Yibeltal B.

[Edited at 2012-09-05 09:50 GMT]


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Rifraf
Local time: 17:07
better safe than sorry Sep 5, 2012

He will pay you "after the client confirms the quality".

I wouldn't trust that, and if you are a professional agency or LSP, you don't use Gmail, and you certainly work with some kind of PO-system.

I'm afraid that this job sounds too good to be true.

Perhaps you can ask for an advance payment of 50% of the total job price?
At our agency we sometimes ask for an advance payment by clients, and most of them are willing to make such a pre-payment!


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:07
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Probably no Sep 5, 2012

His unwillingness to send you a Purchase Order seems very suspicious; you are right to have doubts. If he's also unwilling, for example, to give you his company's name, address and phone number. that would be even stronger evidence. Can you, for instance, contact him through the contact details in the Blue Board entry that he gave you?

Perhaps he wants you to do the translation, and then he will present it to his client and receive the pay for it, either not responding to any communications from you, or saying his client was not satisfied.

Oliver


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:07
French to English
pick up the phone Sep 5, 2012

A quick phone call to the actual company should help to determine whether this person really works for them or not.

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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:07
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Excellent idea! Sep 5, 2012

Lori Cirefice wrote:

A quick phone call to the actual company should help to determine whether this person really works for them or not.


Probably the best advice in this situation.

[Edited at 2012-09-05 11:12 GMT]


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xxxchristela
Not only Sep 5, 2012

Lori Cirefice wrote:

A quick phone call to the actual company should help to determine whether this person really works for them or not.

...but also if he has the power to buy services on behalf of this company. With or without purchase orders.


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Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:07
English to Russian
+ ...
Check his e-mail against the BB record link. Sep 5, 2012

If it fails - forget it, with his offer. Neither agency employee would send job proposals out from private e-mails.
Again - if it fails, it means you've just saved time, effort and morale.


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 16:07
Japanese to English
I'd pass Sep 5, 2012

This is just me, but even if everything else checked out, I still wouldn't accept a job from a new client without a PO and without any assurances other than "I'll pay you if the client likes it."

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 00:07
Chinese to English
Definitely not Sep 5, 2012

I'm the worst person in the world with paperwork, so I have often done work without receiving a PO.

But there is a world of difference between "hasn't sent a PO" and "won't send a PO". If someone refuses to send you a PO, they're a scammer, plain and simple.

And as others have pointed out, quality is not to be decided by the end client. Your contract (written or unwritten) is with the agency. They must accept and pay for your work if it is good quality. When delivering to the end client, the quality risk lies with them (that's why they make money, too).


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Definitely not Sep 5, 2012

Large job, unknown customer, Gmail address... all the ingredients for trouble.

Not only should you ask for a PO, you should ask for a partial payment upon ordering! 1/2 of the total cost as the very minimum. If the customer is not willing to cooperate in this sense, thank them for their proposal and let them go elsewhere. Better safe than sorry!


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:07
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Accept it but do NOT proceed without PO Sep 5, 2012

I don't see why not accept (i.e. agree to complete) the job. My standard practice is (unless there are certain red flags, of course) to accept (via email) and make completion contingent on receipt of the PO. I do this with ALL clients, whether newly found or long-standing, small or large, perfectly unknown or proven reliable. My standard canned response is: "Thank you for contacting me. I am readily available for the job and will be happy to complete the [xxx] (always specify the language pair!) translation by the proposed [mmddyy] deadline, at the agreed [nnnn] rate. Please email me your Purchase Order if you wish me to proceed." This makes it very clear to them that no work will be done without PO. If you don't receive the PO within a reasonable amount of time (say, a day or two), you may want to let the client know that the deal is off and explain why. I do believe in the power of "client education". : -)

[Edited at 2012-09-05 16:58 GMT]


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 16:07
Japanese to English
I'd still pass Sep 5, 2012

You can also draft your own PO/terms and conditions and have them agree to it. Asking for 50% up front sounds reasonable as well, though I doubt you'd get it.

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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 17:07
English to German
+ ...
No Sep 5, 2012

Get a formal PO and then go on.

[Bearbeitet am 2012-09-05 19:30 GMT]


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Techamba  Identity Verified
Ethiopia
Local time: 19:07
Member (2013)
English to Amharic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you everybody, I refused to proceed without PO and..... Sep 6, 2012

I have got Good advises from you all, which will help me in the future as well. Thank you again.

I replied to the client indicating that I should recieve a PO to proceed but his response was as follows.

" first of all, we are a translation company (up to you to beleive it or not), about the payment, you can see our profile in proz. and see what our other translators think abou us on this link:
[I removed the link]

if you are not interested in cooperation with us, it is ok...
i have others who are willing to"


Therefore, I left the risky work for someone else.

Regards,
Yibeltal B.


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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 11:07
Portuguese to English
+ ...
even with a P.O. I wouldn't do it Sep 6, 2012

With the myriad of red flags around this guy, I wouldn't touch the work even if he did send me a P.O. What's so magical about a purchase order? A scammer would merely send a fraudulent P.O., and God help the translator who tried to use it in court to pursue payment. I learned a tremendous amount of eye-opening tips from the great Proz.com resource in the "Education" section on how to detect scams and what the red flags are:
http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/

I'm relieved you turned down the job and saved yourself an embittering experience. I strongly urge you to post your e-mails from this thief in the above scam-alert forum to help other translators avoid being cheated. You should also contact the agency this guy is impersonating to warn them, since, as you'll read in the scam-alert forum, some agencies have had their reputations ruined because they didn't stop the impersonation in time.

[Edited at 2012-09-06 10:39 GMT]


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