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Poor Agency
Thread poster: chaplin

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:14
French to German
+ ...
Short replies Oct 27, 2011

@ Luca: there are actually other translation portals allowing comments on the grounds of so-called "failed tests", whether paid or not, and about the abuses that can come with tests. Generally, such comments end in dogfights - that is, if the agency finds it suitable to reply to them.

@ Werner: as I said, interpretations may vary and I have no doubt about the fact that every person concerned will go for the one which is the most favourable to them. As per myself, I will stay with
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@ Luca: there are actually other translation portals allowing comments on the grounds of so-called "failed tests", whether paid or not, and about the abuses that can come with tests. Generally, such comments end in dogfights - that is, if the agency finds it suitable to reply to them.

@ Werner: as I said, interpretations may vary and I have no doubt about the fact that every person concerned will go for the one which is the most favourable to them. As per myself, I will stay with mine as I feel it is a safeguard against abuses.

This being said, I am afraid that ProZ.com will not change the rule I quoted if only because a change would result in the BB being littered with complaints. I only can guess that the thought behind this rule is something like: "Don't go for a complaint in the BB if your case would be dismissed in court."

I took a test once before being recruited by a translation bureau as an in-house translator.
There was no question about the fact that this TEST was meant as being one (short paragraphs dealing with different topics, which could not be used in any way to produce a "final translation for sale").

Conclusion: if asked for a test, make sure that you are doing one and not providing free work for the agency. When in doubt, decline or make sure that you will be paid. It is not up to you to bear the costs incurred by the agency to find suitable translators.

Anything else is likely to lead you to the murky waters of a litigation, how minor it may be. A complete waste of time and energy.

[Edited at 2011-10-27 06:56 GMT]
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TranslationCe
Local time: 06:14
Italian to English
Invoice? Oct 27, 2011

Ségolène Neilson wrote:

I was contacted a few days ago by an Italian company. They asked me to do a test. I agreed to do a 300 words test. As the test was 200 words longer they offered to pay me the surplus. We agreed on €25. When I sent the translation back I realised they had in fact sent me 605 not 500 as previously declared.
Surprise surprise!!They have just answered me saying the test failed and no mention of the €25.
So beware!!


Just a couple of questions.

1) Why didn't you do a word count when you received the test? Don't you normally check wordcounts before starting a project?

2) Have you sent them an invoice? When I return a project, there is normally no mention of the money the agency owes me. That has been specified in the PO. I then send an invoice. The agency can't pay you without one.


 

Daniel Grau  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
A paid test should be paid, whether you pass it or not Oct 27, 2011

When doing a paid test, the quality of the translation cannot be reasonably brought up as reason for non-payment.

The company did not pay and they are at fault.

You have every right to make an entry in the Blue Board.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just a question Oct 27, 2011

Did the company supply a marked-up document showing where you have "failed"?

Unless they can prove that you did not pass the test for solid reasons, you should certainly issue your invoice since this was paid work. It does not matter to me whether they pay you to deliver this to a customer or to fulfill their translator selection processes. If they pay, it is a job and qualifies as a job for the Blueboard.

But do not jump to conclusions yet: ask them for a marked-up doc
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Did the company supply a marked-up document showing where you have "failed"?

Unless they can prove that you did not pass the test for solid reasons, you should certainly issue your invoice since this was paid work. It does not matter to me whether they pay you to deliver this to a customer or to fulfill their translator selection processes. If they pay, it is a job and qualifies as a job for the Blueboard.

But do not jump to conclusions yet: ask them for a marked-up document showing the "mistakes". If they cannot produce such a document or they simply refuse to do it, I would say that they are not a reliable partner and fit in the picture of a Blueboard entry.
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Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:14
French to German
+ ...
Off-topic... or not? Oct 27, 2011

As one respected colleague put it, There are no 'business ethics', just people having ethics in business situations.

This agency obviously does not have ethics on its own as they broke a promise, no matter how vague it was.

That would be the end of the story as far as I am concerned, like Michael made it clear:

Michael Grant wrote:

Ségolène Neilson wrote:
They asked me to do a test. I agreed to do a 300 words test. As the test was 200 words longer they offered to pay me the surplus.


That, right there, would give me pause. But if they sent me 605 words instead of 500 on top of that, then I would tell them to "take a hike". What, they can't count?! However, at the same time, I would have counted the words before I translated anything.

This is a good lesson for, well, me at least(I can't speak for other Proz users). It's a version of the over-payment scam that's so rampant these days, but with words instead of money!

It's not just "about an agency doing something you don't like," it's about an agency misrepresenting their intentions...To me, that DOES qualify as a scam!

Thank you for your post, Ségolène. This is yet another pitfall to watch out for...


Thanks for the warning indeed, I hope that no-one else will fall in this trap or scam *now that is known to be one!!!*

As per the BB entry, I'd really like to read what ProZ.com staff has to say about such cases.

[Edited at 2011-10-27 09:20 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:14
French to German
+ ...
Reason? Oct 27, 2011

Daniel Grau wrote:

When doing a paid test, the quality of the translation cannot be reasonably brought up as reason for non-payment.

The company did not pay and they are at fault.

You have every right to make an entry in the Blue Board.


Daniel, I think you are forgetting one important aspect, namely the fact that the company did not even mention that it would not paid Ségolène because she "failed the test".


 

chaplin
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:14
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Job paid Dec 13, 2011

Dear all

I did get paid for this job the amount thyepromised. It just shows that you have to be eprsistent with agencies as they are worried about their mark on the blue board.
Have a good day
Cheerio
Ségolène


 
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