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Inquiry about my LWA feedback entry
Thread poster: Michael Newton

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:23
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Apr 27, 2016

Today I was contacted by a proz.com member who said she was asked by an agency to ask me why I gave them a "LWA" of 1 (the space was left blank). I think this is highly unusual. Why is a proz.com team member contacting me? Why doesn't the agency contact me in person? Needless to say, this request has been declined.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2016-04-29 17:15 GMT]


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:23
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
New Proz movements? Apr 28, 2016

Michael Newton wrote:

Today I was contacted by a proz.com member who said she was asked by an agency to ask me why I gave them a "LWA" of 1 (the space was left blank). I think this is highly unusual. Why is a proz.com team member contacting me? Why doesn't the agency contact me in person? Needless to say, this request has been declined.


I sometime met with similar situations. In earlier days In had impression that Proz.com functioned to protect freelance translators fairly. But when its business becomes larger, it moves to take care of translation agencies and big organizational customers. For example, now it is quite difficult to give low rates to the Blue Board regarding ill practice translation agencies or customers unless I have especially sophisticated evidences.
With issues about Blue Board, Proz.com says that, for example, customer complaints on translation quality can nullify my negative entry. In fact, many translation agencies and customers know this and unfairly and unreasonably claimed on my translation outputs e.g. with use of subjective preferences or judgment criteria being set after the job output deliveries.

Soonthon L.


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:23
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
ProZ member or staff member? Apr 28, 2016

Was it a Proz *staff* member or a just an ordinary member?
If it was a just an ordinary member of the website, they are probably just a colleague considering working with the company who wants to know if the behavior that led to the negative review was simply an anomaly in their record or hiding something sinister. In that case, it seems like a normal request, to which it would be a collegial courtesy to respond.

If it's from the ProZ staff, however, I don't think you have an obligation to respond, though I don't see the request as improper, per se. They have a vested interest in the workings of their own website. Perhaps they want more information to take sanctions against the company if the review was part of a pattern of egregious behavior. Or they want to confirm that the BB rules are being followed (rating not give solely because of low rates, for example). It's also possible that the company is pressuring them to get the rating changed.

You're under no obligation to respond, but I don't see anything wrong with them asking. It's their website.

[Edited at 2016-04-28 07:40 GMT]


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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:23
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
feedback on translator Apr 28, 2016

The request came from Proz.com staff.
Proz.com encourages translators to just indicate the LWA number with no comment and I followed this practice.
If you look at the proz.com ratings for various companies you will see that the LWA number with no comment is the most commonly used.
The agency really has a lot of chutzpah asking proz.com for the reason and proz.com staff also have a lot of chutzpah for trying to suss out the reason from me. Do proz.com staff always contact translators for reasons for LWA? I think not.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
My own experience Apr 28, 2016

Well, I have occasionally given an agency a negative rating on the Blue Board, with or without a comment, and Proz staff have never contacted me about it. It does seem unusual. I've given positive ratings too, of course!

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sailingshoes
Local time: 02:23
Spanish to English
Other practices Apr 28, 2016

Every so often commenters in the Italian forum have mentioned that at least one agency has contacted members threatening them with defamation action if they don't remove negative comments.

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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:23
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
fee Apr 28, 2016

Jenny, thank you for telling us of your experience.
My experience seems like a total one-off.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@Michael Apr 28, 2016

Michael Newton wrote:
The request came from Proz.com staff. Proz.com encourages translators to just indicate the LWA number with no comment and I followed this practice.


I was not aware that ProZ.com encourages translators to just indicate the LWA number with no comment. What gave you that impression?

If you look at the Proz.com ratings for various companies, you will see that the LWA number with no comment is the most commonly used.


No, most people leave a comment. I have checked about 20 at random, with high and low averages, and 99% of people leave comments. Most of the time when people do not leave comments, if is if they give the agency a "5".

The agency really has a lot of chutzpah asking ProZ.com for the reason...


Not really. If you're a business, and a party says in public that they're never deal with you again, it would be in your business interest to know what the reason is. And you can't really reply to an accusation if you don't know what the accusation is.

Do ProZ.com staff always contact translators for reasons for LWA?


Not always, no.





[Edited at 2016-04-28 09:03 GMT]


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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:23
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Diligence Apr 28, 2016

It's good for translation companies as it protects them from malicious, unfounded low ratings.

It's good for translators as it means they can trust the ratings.

Of course, being required to provide complicated justifications for low ratings and pressure to remove them would be a bad thing. But also a separate issue.

I suspect if you explain your motivations to Proz it might stop them contacting other people with the same questions.

On a side note, it is handy to have an explanation of low ratings in the comments section. A simple 1 is so mysterious.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:23
English to Japanese
+ ...
Mysterious indeed Apr 28, 2016

Georgie Scott wrote:

It's good for translation companies as it protects them from malicious, unfounded low ratings.

It's good for translators as it means they can trust the ratings.

Of course, being required to provide complicated justifications for low ratings and pressure to remove them would be a bad thing. But also a separate issue.

I suspect if you explain your motivations to Proz it might stop them contacting other people with the same questions.

On a side note, it is handy to have an explanation of low ratings in the comments section. A simple 1 is so mysterious.


But I suspect people leave negative entries such as "1" without any comments are reluctant to do so because the entries on BB must be vetted before going public. From my experience, I have entered several "1"s in the past with comments, and about half of them were rejected by Proz staff due to many reasons, mainly not adhering to the Site rules, so I had to rephrase my comments,

I guess other people do not want to go through the hassle of being rejected, so they don't enter any comments and just tick the "1" and push the submit button.


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Paula Durrosier  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Please submit a support request Apr 28, 2016

Hello Michael,

Could you please submit a support request so that we can look into this issue further? Please also attach the complete message you received.

Thank you!

Best regards,

Paula


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I don't. Apr 28, 2016

Georgie Scott wrote:

.... they can trust the ratings.



I don't.

That's why I sometimes contact another Proz member privately to ask them why they gave Agency X a bad/good rating.

I expect that was what was happening in Michael Newton's case.

I think people have stopped making BlueBoard comments for the reasons already outlined in the posts above.

[Edited at 2016-04-28 15:04 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:23
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Title change, please? Apr 28, 2016

This thread is not about "Feedback on a translator", but an LWA entry on the Blue Board record of an agency, right?

[Edited at 2016-04-28 15:03 GMT]


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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:23
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
As I suspected Apr 28, 2016

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

I guess other people do not want to go through the hassle of being rejected, so they don't enter any comments and just tick the "1" and push the submit button.


I get that.

Tom in London wrote:

That's why I sometimes contact another Proz member privately to ask them why they gave Agency X a bad/good rating.

I expect that was what was happening in Michael Newton's case.


No, he said it was Proz staff that contacted him. But understandable practice nonetheless.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No he didn't. Apr 28, 2016

Georgie Scott wrote:

he said it was Proz staff that contacted him.


No, he didn't. He wrote "Today I was contacted by a proz.com member".


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