Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
messing about from agencies?
Thread poster: Will Masters

Will Masters  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 11, 2011

hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could tell me if this is normal behaviour or not for an agency.

I have received 3 emails in as many days asking me if I could do a translation for an agency. I have worked with them in the past and had no problems. To each of these 3 emails I have responded in a short amount of time (each time more or less straight away) saying I would be interested and asking if they could send me a sample of the translation to see if it is something I could translate well for them or not, and each time have been told the same thing: the post has been filled.

This in itself would not bother me, but when another translator, a good friend of mine receives an identical email offering them the same translations I was told had already been assigned, I was less than amused. I decided to call the agency (rightly or wrongly) and speak directly to them directly. I asked them why I was told the positions were filled and yet they were still clearly looking for a translator to do the work. I, at this point, read them the emails (with the times they were sent) that my friend had received, as the woman I was speaking to seemed convinced I was making up everything I was saying. Once having read her the emails (that she herself had sent) she went silent for a few moments, and then told me that she had understood each of my emails to mean that I wasn't interested in the translations. She insisted that if I was interested in them then I should have made it more clear in my email.

At the end of the coversation the woman kept contradicting herself in saying that the email was being sent out afterwards by mistake as the place was already filled, as well as saying that they were still looking for a translator who would be willing to do it. I'm sure you can understand at this point where my confusion is coming from: either the position is filled and you have a translator or it's not and you don't, right? :S

The conversation took place in English (my native), Spanish AND Italian (her native), and in each language she was just as contradictory.

My questions are: it is normal for an agency to a) be this contradictory when asked a question directly b) mess the translator about as much as they are with me? and c) from your person experiences, what would your advice be in terms of dealing with company in the future?

Thanks in advance for your help, and apologies for such a long winded question.


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:34
English to Dutch
+ ...
Definitely not normal Nov 11, 2011

I would think that either:
- they are somehow not satisfied with your services but are reluctant to tell that to your face;
or
- the PM messed up (overlooked your emails? accidentally deleted them?) and won't admit to it.

Either way, you should decide if you need this client. If you do, bite your tongue and hope the next time things will be better. If not, don't accept any more job offers from them.

But maybe there is something I don't see here?


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Biting my lip on this one Nov 11, 2011

Will Masters wrote:

hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could tell me if this is normal behaviour or not for an agency.

My questions are: it is normal for an agency to a) be this contradictory when asked a question directly b) mess the translator about as much as they are with me? and c) from your person experiences, what would your advice be in terms of dealing with company in the future?

Thanks in advance for your help, and apologies for such a long winded question.



a) No; sometimes they can be a bit or wholly contradictory but this case sounds like someone who just doesn't want to admit they messed up;
b) Not really, but sometimes it happens, usually due to silly misunderstandings on either side;
c) Tell them to "find another monkey".


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Italian to English
Maybe Nov 11, 2011

There are agencies who send out invitations en-masse or in sequence and see who replies first. You haven't told us the timescales involved

If you were a PM, rushed off your feet (colleagues away, who knows), whose offer would you accept, one that says "yes" or one that says "tell me more - I might"?
Maybe they didn't look at your reply until others were available, after lunch for example.

Trying to second-guess what factors determine an agency's behaviour is a pointless exercise.

If you really want to work for them, perhaps just try saying yes; if you feel the text is beyond you when you see it, say so at once. They might not be over happy but they ought to appreciate your honesty.




[Edited at 2011-11-11 15:26 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:34
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Massive offers? No, thank you! Nov 11, 2011

Customers sending mass emails to fish for any translator who answers first, with no further consideration, are definitely not my idea of an interesting customer.

 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Italian to English
Nor mine Nov 11, 2011

Nor mine Tomás, but some of our younger colleagues need to earn a crust!

 

Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:34
Dutch to English
+ ...
I've got an agency Nov 11, 2011

that sends me things that have been sent en masse. It's hit and miss. If you get one, reply and say yes within 10 mins, otherwise, it's gone. However, the very same agency also has sent me things on my own and even called me 7 (!) times to confirm as I wasn't there (it was a Friday). Overall, I find it quite annoying that I can't take a look first, but on the whole they are very porfessional, nice (the few times I have spoken to them), they pay on time, send their PO off immediately and they confirm promptly.

That said, I have another agency who comes out of the blue with e-mails without deadline, rush-jobs etc. doesn't ask whether I am available, can't speak another language as it seems, forgets to put words in documents, doesn't address payment terms and confirms receipt 7 hours later (!), but those jobs are only for me.

I think I know which agency I prefer. There is always the ideal one that has time etc., but maybe they were just rushed off their feet as someone has said here already. If it is not a trend, then don't worry about it. hich is of course not to say that it can't be annoying, but that's what you make of it yourself.

I think dissatisfaction should not really be the case as they do have a database where they could put comments. I am sure you would not be getting much anymore if they were really dissatisfied.


 

Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:34
Dutch to English
+ ...
I think that's what everyone finds Nov 11, 2011

Russell Jones wrote:

Nor mine Tomás, but some of our younger colleagues need to earn a crust!


But... the one that sends me things en masse is one that admits (in its contract) that it has a mark system. So, the more translations you do, the more points you get and the higher up you go in the database. Like KudoZ really, I guess.

So, in my mind and illusions (;)) the translators who have been going strong for a while with them will get bigger jobs sent to them on their own. The others have to earn their keep.

It's unfair, yes, but understandable from their point of view. If I were them I can't say that I'd do something else...

[Edited at 2011-11-11 15:50 GMT]


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Tight deadline Nov 11, 2011

I was asked if I could translate a birth certificate from Russian to English in one hour for GBP10. I said no, my minimum charge is GBP22. Agency came back saying if we pay you GBP22 can you do it in half an hour? I said yes, and did it (the agency has a reasonably good, though not perfect, Blue Board rating). I'm not really complaining about this, but it seemed rather odd.

 

Will Masters  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
more details Nov 11, 2011

Thank you all for your responses.

Russell, you mention about time frames and further information. Basically the email I received asked if I would be interested in the 3,500 word approx translation (the topic was sports and outdoor activities). There was no extract from the text for me to look over to decide if I would be happy translating it, there was no deadline given, no additional information what-so-ever. I understand completely that they want a definate answer, but I'm firm in my belief that if I don't see the text before hand, I don't agree to anything. Obviously as you say, this is important as if the text is too complex for whatever then it shouldn't be taken on.

I have, since posting the initial post, had a smaller offer from them again offering me another translation, which I have turned down on the grounds (which I have respectfully explained in my response email to them) that AGAIN, no information about deadlines or about the text have been provided. They may think what they like, but the bottom line is I'm not about to waste my time or theirs in sending more emails back and forth to resolve an issue that in theory shouldn't be arising to begin with.

Thank you all again for your thoughts and views on the subject.


 

Kim Bakkers
Local time: 10:34
German to English
+ ...
attaching texts Nov 11, 2011

Will Masters wrote:

Thank you all for your responses.

Russell, you mention about time frames and further information. Basically the email I received asked if I would be interested in the 3,500 word approx translation (the topic was sports and outdoor activities). There was no extract from the text for me to look over to decide if I would be happy translating it, there was no deadline given, no additional information what-so-ever. I understand completely that they want a definate answer, but I'm firm in my belief that if I don't see the text before hand, I don't agree to anything. Obviously as you say, this is important as if the text is too complex for whatever then it shouldn't be taken on.

I have, since posting the initial post, had a smaller offer from them again offering me another translation, which I have turned down on the grounds (which I have respectfully explained in my response email to them) that AGAIN, no information about deadlines or about the text have been provided. They may think what they like, but the bottom line is I'm not about to waste my time or theirs in sending more emails back and forth to resolve an issue that in theory shouldn't be arising to begin with.

Thank you all again for your thoughts and views on the subject.


When there's no source or sample attached, I always assume it's because it's something horrific and they think I'll say no if I see it! I agree they should attach it, only reason not to would be if it's very similar to other texts the translator has done or if they don't yet have the source (in which case why not say so). I've been on the PM side of this and I always attached the text when possible, I didn't want translators committing to texts they weren't sure about!


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Italian to English
Time frames Nov 11, 2011

Will Masters wrote:

Russell, you mention about time frames and further information.


I was referring to the timings and intervals between you and your friend receiving e-mails and responding - not the deadlines for the job - as these might have given more of a clue to the agency's behaviour. Not a big issue though.


 

Will Masters  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
time frames Nov 11, 2011

Ahhh, my apologies, I misunderstood what you meant. I received the initial email at approximately half 10ish (am), responded within a few minutes and received their email of "the post has been filled" by quarter to 11. My friend then received the email an hour later. The only difference between their email and mine was that they had changed the name of who it was addressed to :S It has been similar time frames each time it's happened

 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:34
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Likely a good reason it's not attached Nov 12, 2011

Kim Hewitt wrote:

When there's no source or sample attached, I always assume it's because it's something horrific and they think I'll say no if I see it!


Indeed, I've found that's the mostly likely reason for texts not being attached - it's such a mess that you'll probably say no if you see it. And that goes double if the agency is known for tight deadlines, but the deadline on that specific job is conspicuously leisurely...


 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:34
Spanish to English
IMHO Nov 14, 2011

From what you say, this agency is a time-waster, either through incompetence or a total lack of consideration. If you can afford to drop them, do. If not, you will just have to bite the bullet and put up with them until you a bigger portfolio of agencies, or it cleans up its act.

I don't agree with the other person who thinks they don't like your work. If they didn't like your work, they wouldn't be sending you any emails at all.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

messing about from agencies?

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €435 / $519
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €435 / $519 / £345 / ¥63000 You will also receive FREE access to Studio 2019 when released.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search