1 - Membership: general
There are currently two membership types available: Professional membership (for freelancers and other individuals) and Business membership (for translation companies).
Professional members can purchase one of two available membership packages: the Standard service package (formerly known as Full membership), and the Plus service package (introduced in 2016).
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1.1 - Who are the site members?
Site members are the site users who have a current paid membership subscription. Members have certain networking privileges and enjoy full access to all data, all features and all clients at the site. And they belong to the site that is improving and redefining the way translation is done. Members who have chosen to subscribe to the Plus package are 'Plus subscribers'.
1.2 - Am I considered a "member" of ProZ.com if I do not pay?
No. The term "member" is reserved for those who take out membership subscriptions. (Initially, the term "member" was used generally to include all registrants; in 2005, the terminology shifted to reflect the fact that member income is what makes the site possible.)
1.3 - How can I pay for membership?
You may pay for your membership with one of the following methods:
Check or Money Order
1. Go to the Membership Purchase Page
2. Click the "Purchase now" button below your chosen membership package
3. Follow the instructions on subsequent pages to pay for your membership
Please know that depending on which payment type you use, your membership status might not be upgraded the same day. For example, if you pay by wire transfer, it could take up to 2 weeks before we receive your payment.
Also, please note that prices may be higher when using other payment methods other than credit cards or PayPal.
1.4 - How much does membership cost?
1.5 - If I become a member, can I expect to get a return on my investment?
There are no guarantees, but currently a high percentage of members surveyed reports earning a positive return on investment. Overall, nearly ninety percent of members earn a positive return within a year. Over forty percent report a positive return within 3 months. This is possible because the value of meeting a single new client tends to exceed the yearly cost of membership.
1.6 - Does membership really make a difference in the rate at which I can expect to meet new clients?
Yes. Members are at least four times more likely than non-member site users to meet new clients. The disparity is growing as new member-only features and services are introduced, and as more people decide to join ProZ.com.
As of 2016, an estimated one billion USD in work had been passed through ProZ.com. The majority of that work, by design, is directed first to paying ProZ.com members.
1.7 - Will ProZ.com membership really help me to meet clients? Isn't my certification / degree more important?
The two are not in conflict. By being a member, you increase your exposure, so that potential clients find you (and your credentials!) more frequently. If anything, having certification and degrees increases the degree to which you stand to benefit from membership.
1.8 - Why are members (ie. those who pay) given advantages when it comes to meeting clients? Just because you pay, it does not mean you are good.
We do not recommend that translators do commercial work without being paid for doing so. (Translating for non-profits is another matter; we don't see much harm in doing free translation when the work will not be sold.)
Using the same logic, we at ProZ.com offer many free services, but we draw the line at commercial work. Basically, exposure before paying clients is a service for which we charge. In exchange for your investment, we work very hard for you, and the statistics say that membership pays off for professional translators in any country and at any stage of their careers.
1.9 - Why do you charge translators for membership, instead of companies that search for them?
If you are a translator, we in the ProZ.com team work for you. We view it as our job to provide tools and opportunities that you can use to expand your businesses and improve your profession. We work very hard and feel that we succeed in providing excellent value and service to our members. It is appropriate and necessary that we charge for our work.
1.10 - What if I decide that I am not satisfied with my membership--can I get a refund?
Yes. For the Standard service package, ProZ.com offers a full satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your ProZ.com membership, submit a support request. A prorated refund will be issued, less any payment fees that have been charged.
Note: Refunds for payments made by credit card, Skrill, or PayPal will be processed using the method that was originally used to make payment, e.g. Skrill payments are refunded via Skrill. Due to high transfer fees, users who pay via wire transfer (either locally or to ProZ.com's bank in the U.S.) or Western Union will be asked to provide an alternate refund method; in this case, either PayPal or Skrill. ProZ.com may also provide refunds via check for those users residing in the United States. Prorated refunds may not be available on purchases of the Plus service package.
1.11 - How can I benefit from the new automatic subscriptions?
As of 2016, new annual automatic subscriptions are available for membership, when you choose to pay via credit card or PayPal. Opting for a subscription costs less than manual renewals, and you never have to worry about your membership lapsing. You can of course stop or start a subscription at any time.
1.12 - Where can I see the status of my membership and subscription?
You can see your membership type, renewal dates, subscription and billing information, and manage details of your ProZ.com membership on the membership management page, http://www.proz.com/manage-membership (mouse over your name at the top of any site page and select the option "Manage membership" to see these details).
1.13 - I submitted payment for my membership but it has not been activated. What is wrong?
If you submitted payment for your membership and it has not yet been activated /renewed, please submit a support request and provide the following information:
1. Payment method used
2. Amount paid (membership item purchased)
3. Date of payment
4. Transaction ID
5. PayPal / Skrill email address (if any of these 2 methods were used)
6. PayPal / Skrill transaction ID (if any of these 2 methods were used)
7. Bank account holder's name (if wire transfer method was used)
This information will help staff locate your payment and process your purchase.
1.14 - If I renew my membership before it expires, what happens with my renewal date?
Every time you manually renew your membership, we add that time to the time that you have in your current membership. For example, if your membership expires in three months and you buy another membership for one year, your renewal date will be in 15 months.
If you are subscribed to an automatic renewal, you don't need to worry about your renewal date, as it will be updated automatically once the payment is made.
1.15 - Can I purchase membership on behalf of a colleague?
Yes. To purchase membership on behalf of other site user, just purchase the membership as if it was for your account and then submit a support request specifying the user ID and the site name of your colleague so that staff can transfer the membership acquired.
1.16 - What is my membership expiration date?
Your membership expiration or renewal date is the date shown when mousing-over your name at the top of site pages.
You can also see information on your membership expiration date in the membership page.
1.17 - Will my membership be automatically renewed when it expires?
Your membership will be automatically renewed if you used PayPal recurring payment option when purchasing membership the last time. Otherwise, you will have to renew your membership by following the payment steps described here.
1.18 - I would like to purchase/renew my full membership for an extended period. Is it possible?
No. The best option is to select the service package you prefer and purchase using the automatic subscription option (this is actually as cheap or cheaper than the previously-available multi-year options for membership).
1.19 - Can I purchase/renew my full membership for a shorter period (i.e. less than a year)?
1.20 - Can I request a suspension of my membership period if I will not be available for some time?
Requests for membership suspension will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by site staff. In case of maternity leave, vacation, sickness or mourning, members may be granted the possibility to have their membership period frozen or suspended. However, requests will be evaluated individually and the member may be asked to submit evidence for the reason of the request.
To request the suspension of your membership, simply submit a support request and provide any relevant evidence so that site staff can look into your request further and make a decision.
1.21 - What happened with partial and student memberships?
As of October 2016, partial and student memberships are no longer available. As time went by, these alternative options to full professional ProZ.com membership were being selected by users less and less. For this reason, and as ProZ.com membership has become more accessible, these options have been discontinued. You may choose to upgrade to either the Standard or Plus package from your partial or student membership at any time, and during the initial launch of these packages, discounts have been introduced to allow you to start a full membership at a lower price (and lock in that discount for renewals).
2 - The Plus service package
2.1 - What is included in the Plus service package? How is it different from the Standard package?
The Plus service package includes all of the services and benefits of the Standard service package (until 2016, the Standard service package was known as Full membership). In addition, it includes a growing suite of new tools and services. You can compare the services included in both Standard and Plus packages here.
You can also see each new feature release in the Plus package, view introductory videos, and give feedback on the Plus service package landing page.
2.2 - Will members who choose the Plus package have advantages in the traditional ProZ.com directory over those who choose the Standard package?
Directory ranking will not be affected by which membership package you have-- sorting will still be done with members in the first layer of results (regardless of membership package).
2.3 - What is meant by "new client channels external to ProZ.com" in the Plus extras?
The internet is going the way of the cloud, and in principle cloud technology presents the opportunity for the ProZ.com team to take steps to promote the services of ProZ.com members beyond the confines of ProZ.com. Imagine an LSP or client using, say, a mobile app to access you directly for translation or interpreting services, without ever needing to go to ProZ.com. Cloud technology makes that possible, and we have been taking steps in that direction.
3.1 - How far along is the effort to establish that sort of "new client channel"?
Efforts are in the early stages, and in any event, it takes time for habits to change. But we believe this is the future. What we have seen so far is that client activity at TM-Town is increasing, and separately, there are a few agencies already using ProZ.com cloud services to discover the services of ProZ.com members from within their own management systems. (Some of you reading this have been contacted.) We are also in discussions to establish partnerships to promote the translation and interpreting services of ProZ.com members.
3.2 - What external channel-related features have been released so far?
These are all detailed on the Plus service package landing page. From there you can read about each release, view introductory videos, and provide your feedback.
3.3 - The value of the "external client connections" included in the Plus package is shown as $144+. Where does that figure come from?
The value of the "external client connections" is difficult to quantify at this time. But we can say that membership in one of the "external channels" alone, TM-Town, costs $144 and is included in the Plus package.
3.4 - I already have a paid TM-Town membership. What happens when I buy the Plus package?
Your current TM-Town membership will be synced/extended to match the renewal date of your ProZ.com membership. If you are on a paid monthly plan, your payments will be stopped. If you are on a paid annual plan, you will be refunded the pro rata amount of the remainder of your membership period.
3.5 - I am not interested in TM-Town, and the concept of "external channels" seems too vague to me right now.
In that case, to be on the safe side, you might want to assume a value of zero for "external channels".
2.4 - How is the value of the "basket" of tools from ProZ.com partners calculated?
That is the sum total of the value of licenses confirmed so far to be included in the basket. It is planned that more will be added as the Plus package moves forward.
2.5 - Will more features and services be added to the Plus package in the future?
Yes. Just as the Standard package has been continuously built up over the years, so too will new benefits be added to the Plus package over time.
2.6 - Will most of ProZ.com's efforts be directed at increasing the value of the Plus package, moving forward?
Although decisions of which package to include a new feature or tool in will be made on a case-by-case basis, it is safe to assume that the majority of ProZ.com investment will be made in increasing the value of the Plus package to members.
2.7 - What if I am not interested in some features of the Plus package?
If you are not interested in using a part of the Plus package, no problem, just don't use it. All of the extra services and features are permission-based, allowing you to use what you want, in accordance with your own preferences and needs.
2.8 - Can I upgrade from Standard to the Plus package?
Yes. In checkout, your current membership will be calculated into a discount towards purchase of the Plus package. The discount will depend on the length of remaining membership.
2.9 - Can I downgrade my Plus package to the Standard package?
Yes, you can downgrade to the Standard package, but instead of cash being returned, your membership period will be extended by 25%. (So if you have four months of membership remaining with the Plus package, you can exchange it for five months with the Standard package.)
2.10 - Why is there no "money back guarantee" offered with the Plus package?
The nature of some of the services offered in the Plus package means that third-party licenses, payments to trainers and other partners may be made by ProZ.com at the time of your membership purchase, and those will not necessarily be refundable to ProZ.com. Instead of a pro-rated refund on your Plus package, you will be offered the option to switch to the Standard package. However, if you are in any way unsatisfied with your Plus package experience, please contact a member of the site team, we want to hear from you.
3 - Business membership
3.1 - What is business membership?
Business membership is the ProZ.com membership option designed specifically for business users of ProZ.com, such as translation companies / agencies and other corporate language services providers.
3.2 - What are the benefits of business membership?
As full business participants in the world's leading translation portal and community, business members enjoy special exposure, privileges and standing in the ProZ.com community.
In addition to being distinguished with a special business membership ribbon, business members gain the commercial benefit of inclusion in the business membership directories -- both public and private enterprise versions. They can also post standard jobs directly, without waiting for them to be vetted, and they enjoy direct telephone access to support.
For a full list of benefits, see: http://www.proz.com/business-membership
3.3 - Where is the business directory?
The business directory is at http://www.proz.com/translation-agencies
It is accessible from the top navigation menu by going to "Jobs/Directories" => "Translation Companies".
3.4 - Are any of the benefits of individual membership included in business membership?
Many of the benefits of individual membership are included in business membership, including full access to the Blue Board, job postings, unvetted forum postings, discounts on events, the right to organize powwows, etc.* However, benefits that make sense only for individuals -- such as inclusion in the freelancer directory -- are not included.
* Access to networking features, which potentially affect other members, may be modified or revoked at the discretion of the ProZ.com team.
3.5 - What happens to my current individual membership if I purchase a business membership?
If you are already a standard member of ProZ.com, you have two options in taking out a business membership: (1) you can create a new profile specifically for business activities, purchasing the membership for this new profile, or (2) you can purchase the business membership under your current profile. If you choose option (2), the unused portion of your subscription fee will be converted into an extension of your business membership period.
To have your individual membership converted to business membership, please submit a support ticket.
3.6 - How do I join as a business member?
3.7 - Are there any conditions under which a company that wants to join will be refused?
The ProZ.com staff reserves the right to refuse business members on a selective basis. Companies with low average Blue Board entries may not be accepted as business members. Membership may also be refused to those with reports of non-payment on file from ProZ.com translators or interpreters.