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Geoworkz Lionbridge rip off
Thread poster: Harmen Rijks

gabriella gentile  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:47
Member (2007)
Chinese to Italian
+ ...
They are still around Mar 4, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

They are still around and reached Italian market too.

Before subcribing the free trial, I first went to look for information about this company and their awkward way to work. Fortunately I found this topic.

I was hooked by them here on Proz.com where they posted a job for Italian mother tongue translators. Like a 100% real translation agency, after passing the translation tes
... See more
Dear Colleagues,

They are still around and reached Italian market too.

Before subcribing the free trial, I first went to look for information about this company and their awkward way to work. Fortunately I found this topic.

I was hooked by them here on Proz.com where they posted a job for Italian mother tongue translators. Like a 100% real translation agency, after passing the translation test, I was asked to provide CV and university titles and they provided me with a membership account on the company portal and on Geoworkz. I was then sent a starter kit to help me become familiar with their systems, among which the funny Geoworkz thing. At first it looked interesting, I was amazed to learn that a CAT tool could use the cloud system and that Lionbridge could provide TMs etc. I was even provided with video tutorials non how to use the TWS (Translation Workspace) and all other translation systems. Interestingly enough, I was also told that the Geoworkz subscription was free of charge for the first year.

After all the (unpaid and wasted) time spent on this apparently interesting training, I was sent a second translation test to verify whether I was ready and understood how to use Geoworkz systems or not. I happily signed in to my Geoworkz account to install the TWS and related stuff. With big surprise I discovered that my account was not allowed for any download. I then reviewed all the emails, documents and tutorials I was sent so far just to be sure I was not missing any important information. But I wasn't missing anything, my account simply did not work. I could do nothing but reading the website without purchasing a subscription...A subscription? Yes, exactly. I discovered that to use the TWS I had to purchase a subscription. I was starting to realize that it was not an interesting job opportunity but a potential scam. The more I read the more I could find unclear and messy information mixed up to hide just one single truth: translators at Lionbridge must pay to work.

I then wrote to my vendor manager asking for support and to double check the information I collected on the web. She just replied that my account did not work because I was using a guest tenancy and that I could subscribe for a free trial just changing my guest tenancy with a tenancy name of my choice. Of course, I did not want to subscribe anything, neither free or paid subscription. However, I signed back to Geoworkz, changed my tenancy name and discovered that I could now easily subscribe a free trial or purchase a monthly subscription. I went on to sign up for the free trial and I was immediately prompted to provide my billing information - credit card or paypal - of course, the billing information fields are mandatory! No billing information, no free trial. Moreover, I had a quick look at the purchase agreement. It clearly stated that the free trial would be automatically converted in a monthly subscription. This was enough for me to realize that it was better to click on the cancel button and leave the website immediately.

By then I was sure that my suspect was real. I wrote again to the vendor manager trying to put an end to this story very politely. I just informed her that I did not feel like subscribing for a free trial that could automatically become a monthly subscrption by the end of the month without my prior consent.

She just repllied that working for Lionbridge is free of charge and that the use of TWS is charged only when working for clients other than Lionbridge. She was clearly lying. How can I download the TWS if I don't purchase a monthly subscription? The answer is simple: I can't. I am forced to pay a monthly fee if I want to get jobs from Lionbridge.

Well, I hope that my experience may be useful for other translators not to be hooked like I was. I wonder if this way to work is legal and what can we do to stop all this.

I wish you all a nice day.

Gabriella.





[Edited at 2014-03-05 07:53 GMT]
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Rasmus Drews  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:47
Member (2011)
English to Danish
+ ...
TWS Mar 6, 2014

I can't really comment on Geoworkz or the company's politics, but I've been working with Lionbridge since 2008 and can honestly say that they do not scam people. They have professional and curteous PMs and often interesting projects.

It's true that Translation Workspace does cost a fee to use - EUR 12 a month, I think. Not all Lionbridge projects use TWS, however.

Of course, you have to figure out/decide if this fee is worth the price. If you get a few good jobs from L
... See more
I can't really comment on Geoworkz or the company's politics, but I've been working with Lionbridge since 2008 and can honestly say that they do not scam people. They have professional and curteous PMs and often interesting projects.

It's true that Translation Workspace does cost a fee to use - EUR 12 a month, I think. Not all Lionbridge projects use TWS, however.

Of course, you have to figure out/decide if this fee is worth the price. If you get a few good jobs from Lionbridge a month, the fee will quickly pay for itself. A lot of other agencies require that you use Trados, which costs about EUR 600. Very few agencies offer to pay for that...

Regarding "She just replied that working for Lionbridge is free of charge and that the use of TWS is charged only when working for clients other than Lionbridge", she probably meant that you only pay the fee, whereas you also have to pay a fee per word if you use TWS for other clients - meaning that TWS is not Lionbridge exclusive. And TWS is actually a pretty good CAT tool. I prefer it over Trados.
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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Not impressed Mar 6, 2014

Rasmus Drews wrote:

I can't really comment on Geoworkz or the company's politics, but I've been working with Lionbridge since 2008 and can honestly say that they do not scam people. They have professional and curteous PMs and often interesting projects.


Some of the worst payers I ever met (not for long, thank goodness!) in this industry had very interesting projects, and overly polite and professional PMs. In spite of empathizing with me, they couldn't do anything to help, as allegedly there was a sky-high stone wall between these PMs and their respective firm's accounts payable department.

For the record, I never had any contact with Geoworkz Lionbridge. Nevertheless this setup seems to be a somewhat common organizational strategy.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:47
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Dimmi con chi vai e ti dirò chi sei Mar 6, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:
On the one hand, Geoworkz is mentioned as "business unit" of LionBridge, but on the other hand, LionBridge Inc and Geoworkz Inc are two separate entities. I don't think we should judge the other endeavours of LionBridge by the morals of Geoworkz.


Even if they were separate, "dimmi con chi vai e ti dirò chi sei" (literally "Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are")


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Rasmus Mar 7, 2014

Rasmus Drews wrote:
1. I can honestly say that they do not scam people.
2. They have professional and curteous PMs and often interesting projects.


Firstly, those two statements have nothing to do with each other. The best scammers are most cuteous and seem to have interesting projects.

Secondly, I think when translators use the word "scam" in relation to Geoworkz it is that the experience is that of a scam (and since what Geoworkz does is perfectly legal, the victim can't get out of the trap without paying).

It's a case of creating one impression on the main page or on the sign-up pages, without actually saying it, and then saying the opposite (and unexpected) in the fine print (which, by the way, is not linked to from the sign-up pages), which few people actually read anyway.

Regarding "She just replied that working for Lionbridge is free of charge and that the use of TWS is charged only when working for clients other than Lionbridge", she probably meant that you only pay the fee, whereas you also have to pay a fee per word if you use TWS for other clients.


It seems reasonable that she might have meant that... but that is not what she said, and saying those words to someone who is not quite sure whether or not one has to pay money to use Geoworkz will definitely create a strong impression that "it is free".


[Edited at 2014-03-07 07:24 GMT]


 

Rasmus Jakobsen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:47
Member (2011)
English to Danish
+ ...
How to cancel? Mar 22, 2014

It would seem that I too have fallen victim to this scam. I can't find anywhere to cancel my account. Where can I do that?

[Edited at 2014-03-22 08:39 GMT]


 

Polina Rassolova-Karageuzian  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
English to Russian
+ ...
Have they changed? Apr 16, 2014

Hi everyone

I recently passed a test translation with Lionbridge and consider starting to work for them as the subject matter of the job sounds interesting.
I have read all the comments and discussions on here and naturally got very worried about all these charges and having to "pay to work".

Today I got the following email from them:
"Before accessing your Translation Workspace account, please be aware of the following:

Your Starter plan w
... See more
Hi everyone

I recently passed a test translation with Lionbridge and consider starting to work for them as the subject matter of the job sounds interesting.
I have read all the comments and discussions on here and naturally got very worried about all these charges and having to "pay to work".

Today I got the following email from them:
"Before accessing your Translation Workspace account, please be aware of the following:

Your Starter plan will expire once you translate 30,000 words within a given month for Lionbridge.
Once you reach that threshold, you will be asked to upgrade to a paid subscription. The terms and conditions for paid subscriptions can be reviewed here: (http://geoworkz.com/UserAgreement.aspx)
The Starter Plan is a promotional offer for new Lionbridge suppliers - it cannot be combined with any other promotional offers and can be revoked at any time."

I of course still don't think it's right to pay to work, but 30000 words a month is a reasonable limit, so as long as I don't exceed it the use of their platform should remain free, right?

Or should I still run a mile?

I would be grateful for your advice and opinions,

Thanks.
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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: The thread is about the software, NOT outsourcer.

Catherine Lafleche  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:47
Member (2011)
Italian to French
+ ...
I agree Oct 14, 2014

I agree because I've been charged 30 euros to cancel my subscription even if I decided to subscribe only because it was necessary to work with Geoworkz workspace for an order that has never been confirmed and a training for which I'm still waiting for.

Harmen Rijks wrote:

Has anyone had the same experience with the Geoworkz workspace from Lionbridge?

I signed up for the free trial, only to discover that if I wanted to bid for a new job I had to have a proper account. I duly signed up, only to discover that jobs were few and far between and thus the chance of winning one was extremely small. I decided to not waste a tenner a month and cancel my account. To my horror Lionbridge now wants to charge me another €30 for cancelling my account. So I have wasted €50 on getting no work through them whatsoever.

So moral of the story: Don't waste your money on trying their Geoworkz 'service'. It simply is not worth the money. (It's a bit like those scams non-Europeans get involved in trying to find work in Europe. They pay middlemen for their service of getting them a job in Europe, which jobs of course never materialise......)

Stick to proper agencies and don't waste your time shoring up their balance sheet with dubious practices.


[Modifié le 2014-10-14 09:46 GMT]


 

Little Woods  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Member
English to Vietnamese
I agree to stay away from them Nov 26, 2014

When they contacted me about this, I sensed some shaddy things since no legit job requires the paying fees before working. Their system is complicated and if they need my skill, what matters is my skill, not that I use their system or not. I also used complex system but I dont have to pay for it and it is not that complex.

I will have to abandon my software, spend time on their manual and the complex system, provide them with good work for what? For just to rush on assigments and co
... See more
When they contacted me about this, I sensed some shaddy things since no legit job requires the paying fees before working. Their system is complicated and if they need my skill, what matters is my skill, not that I use their system or not. I also used complex system but I dont have to pay for it and it is not that complex.

I will have to abandon my software, spend time on their manual and the complex system, provide them with good work for what? For just to rush on assigments and compete on price with others while they don't care if the others have the right skill. Their emails never address a specific linguist when offer assignments so who ever faster and have softer rate will take it. They only name your right name when they want you to use their system (which mean giving them money first). They even mention they have long contract with big names and ask for weekly availability and fast response within x time if you want to have a long term connection with them, which means giving them priority over existing clients. If a linguist is assigned for a specific and long task, the terms are not like this and they should be discussed between parties involved, not that they consider you only if A, B, C...

I dont know what will become of with their client work if they operate on this but I would stay away from them if they keep this practice.
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Therese Palmkvist
Sweden
Local time: 22:47
English to Swedish
A selling trick Jan 21, 2015

Catherine Lafleche wrote:
I agree because I've been charged 30 euros to cancel my subscription even if I decided to subscribe only because it was necessary to work with Geoworkz workspace for an order that has never been confirmed and a training for which I'm still waiting for.


I've actually fallen for them twice, I signed up, got the training and good job offers but all jobs where mysteriously cancelled last minute. I cancelled my plan after a few months, when they got quiet.

Then they contacted me with a quite large and interesting job, so I renewed my subscription. This job was cancelled last minute. And I cancelled my subscription again a few months ago.

Now they contacted me again with a larger interesting job, they sent the hand off with many times more complicated instructions than I've ever got from a client. I just asked them about instructions, they told me that I needed TWS. I said that I won't pay them to work - any normal client would just withdraw the fee from the payment or just give me access free of charge (No, not that clients pay for third party software, but this is their software).

Seems like a selling trick, they where very eager to get me, called me at my cell, and I've never actually delivered anything other than sample translations to them.


 

Lau Wei Tsinn  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 05:47
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Glad I read this before committing myself Mar 16, 2015

Thank you all for sharing your experience and thoughts on this.

I'm glad I decided to check online before I signed up for a starter plan. I am undecided as yet on this company, to be honest, as I do not wish to overreact and blacklist a company solely based on the experiences of others. I will certainly read the terms and conditions as well as all the correspondences very carefully now before I decide if I should give them a chance or steer clear of this company altogether.


 

IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:47
Member (2005)
French to English
If in doubt, steer clear Jan 25, 2017

Lau Wei Tsinn wrote:

I am undecided as yet on this company


Dear Lau Wei Tsinn,

If in doubt, steer clear. There are plenty of reputable clients to work for. Just be sure to scan a prospective client's name in the forums and the Blue Board whenever approaching or approached by a new client.

With kind regards,

Adam Warren
(ProZ.com: IanDhu - translator 41189)


 

IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:47
Member (2005)
French to English
$600 - I've never paid anything like that price for Trados software Jan 25, 2017

Rasmus Drews wrote:

A lot of ... agencies require that you use Trados, which costs about EUR 600.


As the title says, I've always availed myself of "clearance sale" offers from SDL to upgrade from Trados 6 to Studio 2015, Freelance versions. A matter of a couple of hundred dollars a time. Canny buying and upgrading can save you a lot of money, and possessing Trados can impart kudos and credibility in the eyes of clients.

With kind regards,

Adam Warren (IanDhu - Translator 41189)


 

Angel Llacuna  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:47
English to Spanish
are the Lionbridge-related issues described in this old thread ... Feb 1, 2018

still relevant as of today ?

 
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Geoworkz Lionbridge rip off

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