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How does an agency deal with translators that wont deliver
Thread poster: Rahulravindran

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
So, the agency must complain to the translator, is that the rule? Jan 14, 2017

Henry Dotterer wrote:
I can see from the support thread that you [i.e. Chinmayi Sripada, not the thread starter] know our policies for dealing with Blue Board entries, and you also know that the critical factor in your case was the fact that you were not able to provide documentation showing that you had expressed a quality complaint to two of the translators, though you did show that the client complained.


I gather from this explanation that even if a translator does such a dismal job that he does not even deserve a response, it would be detrimental to an agency on the Blue Board not to respond to such a translator. In other words, do not ignore a translator who does a shitty job, but tell him politely that he did a shitty job and tell him clearly and unambiguously that he is not going to be paid. Right?


[Edited at 2017-01-14 10:44 GMT]


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:06
Member
English to Italian
Quality complaints Jan 14, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:

I gather from this explanation that even if a translator does such a dismal job that he does not even deserve a response, it would be detrimental to an agency on the Blue Board not to respond to such a translator. In other words, do not ignore a translator who does a shitty job, but tell him politely that he did a shitty job and tell him clearly and unambiguously that he is not going to be paid. Right?


AFAIK, that basically is one of the conditions to leave (or contest) negative LWAs: "If you have submitted a valid LWA entry (you delivered commissioned work on time, and without quality complaints), and the reply you receive alleges that this is not the case, you should contest the reply. Submit a support request with the link to the Blue Board record in question and any relevant details. Note that both you and the outsourcer may be asked to substantiate the situation. If the reply is found to be invalid, it will be removed."


 

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 20:06
Japanese to English
Certainly Jan 14, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:
In other words, do not ignore a translator who does a shitty job, but tell him politely that he did a shitty job and tell him clearly and unambiguously that he is not going to be paid. Right?

That sounds fair to me. Keeping quiet and just not paying is almost as bad as a translator keeping quiet and just not submitting the work.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Mirko Jan 14, 2017

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
I gather from this explanation that even if a translator does such a dismal job that he does not even deserve a response, it would be detrimental to an agency on the Blue Board not to respond to such a translator. In other words, do not ignore a translator who does a shitty job, but tell him politely that he did a shitty job and tell him clearly and unambiguously that he is not going to be paid. Right?

AFAIK, that basically is one of the conditions to leave (or contest) negative LWAs:...


Yes, but my comment is not about negative LWAs. One can submit a report of non-payment without having to make an LWA entry. That is why you can't be 100% sure who reported the non-payment, even if the agency had a number of "1" ratings around the time that it got banned.

My comment relates to the fact that agencies who submit jobs via ProZ.com should be [made] aware of the fact that there is an unspoken rule at ProZ.com that they are required to communicate specific complaints about quality (if any) with all translators that had worked for them, and not simply ignore such translators, even if they deserve it, and that failing to do so will cause them to get banned from posting jobs if any such translators complain to ProZ.com about non-payment.

I'm not commenting on Chinmayi Sripada's case specifically, because I have no idea what happened, and the issue may in fact be far more complicated than we known. I'm just commenting on what Henry said.


[Edited at 2017-01-14 13:43 GMT]


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:06
Member
English to Italian
Banning from BB without negative LWAs? Jan 14, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:

Yes, but my comment is not about negative LWAs. One can submit a report of non-payment without having to make an LWA entry. That is why you can't be 100% sure who reported the non-payment, even if the agency had a number of "1" ratings around the time that it got banned.


Never heard of that... Are you sure an outsourcer can get banned from the BB because of "external" non-payment complaints?

At any rate, in the case mentioned by the OP, she clearly wrote the issue arose from LWAs left by those translators ("These three [WWAs] from questionable linguists whose work was rejected and I showed Proz Emails that the work was unacceptable. Proz maintains its ban on my usage though I was a full member."). And Henry specifically mentioned "our policies for dealing with Blue Board entries", so I naturally thought that's what both of them were actually referring to: BB entries.

Sorry if I got something wrong.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Find the right people Jan 14, 2017

Rahulravindran wrote:

I have had this nagging issue, not just with Proz but also other forums which seem lopsided in some of their rules.

When linguists submit machine translated work, or disappear before deadline and submit the work at their own will and pleasure after days, they demand to be paid. If we refuse, as an agency, the post these reports for Non payment on Proz and the outsourcer gets banned.

As much as an outsourcer gets negative marks for non payment, how does one ban a linguist from these forums and from swindling companies? Recently a huge project in Indian languages had a couple of translators submitted machine translated work. Not only was it rejected in internal QC but also by the client.

What should we do in such circumstances, when Proz doesnt seem to heed this side of the story at all?


You need to find the right professionals and pay an adequate rate. Then you won't have that problem.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
What did you mean by "one"? Jan 14, 2017

Rahulravindran wrote:
As much as an outsourcer gets negative marks for non payment, how does one ban a linguist from these forums and from swindling companies?


Who were you referring to by "one?" Anyone? Or you as an outsourcer? If it is the latter, you can just "ban" him or her by not using their service anymore.

[Edited at 2017-01-14 21:57 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Would you clarify this? Jan 14, 2017

Rahulravindran wrote:
Recently a huge project in Indian languages had a couple of translators submitted machine translated work. Not only was it rejected in internal QC but also by the client.


Now that it was rejected by your internal QC, why did the client also reject it?

I think it is illogical.

[Edited at 2017-01-14 22:02 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Need your clarification Jan 14, 2017

Rahulravindran wrote:
When linguists submit machine translated work, or disappear before deadline and submit the work at their own will and pleasure after days, they demand to be paid. If we refuse, as an agency, the post these reports for Non payment on Proz and the outsourcer gets banned.


Did you mean "they post these reports for Non payment..."?

Also, what are "reports for Non payment"?

Do "we", and "the outsourcer" mean the same? If so, why did you use these 2 different words?

[Edited at 2017-01-14 22:09 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-01-14 22:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-01-14 22:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-01-15 11:44 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Professional agencies vs. translation brokers Jan 15, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:
I gather from this explanation that even if a translator does such a dismal job that he does not even deserve a response


Samuel, you are not serious, are you? If you receive subpar work, you surely communicate it to the person delivered it?
If you order a steak and you don't like it, do you just walk out of the restaurant without paying? And if you attempt to do that, isn't is logical that you would be stopped by security for non-payment? You need to tell the restaurant that the steak was bad, and you are not willing to pay for it. They may offer you another steak, or another meal, or let you go without payment, but there needs to be communication.

it would be detrimental to an agency on the Blue Board not to respond to such a translator. In other words, do not ignore a translator who does a shitty job, but tell him politely that he did a shitty job and tell him clearly and unambiguously that he is not going to be paid. Right?

See above.
This is not something that requires explanation, this is common sense. Professional agencies have quality control procedures and they usually have clauses in their agreements with their translators regarding dealing with quality problems. Those may include corrections for free, reducing the translator's fees or completely withholding payment, if the cost of fixing the problem exceeds the translator's payment.

This brings me to the topic of professional translation agencies vs. translation brokers.
Professional agencies have editors and/or proofreaders either in-house or as outside resources to make sure the work is up to the standard the client expects. On the other hand, translation brokers simply funnel the files through to the client, so quality complaints, if any, would only come up at the client's end. Translation brokers can offer their "services" to their clients cheaper than agencies who have proper quality procedures, as those cost extra. Obviously, the probability of the client getting useless "translations" is much higher with these brokers. But the brokers won't tell that to their clients, so they can get new business and replace those that went sour...
In many cases these brokers get lucky, and the translation is acceptable, or the end client cannot assess the quality, so after minimal effort, the broker laughs all the way to the bank.
Since they often don't have formal agreements with their translators, they deal with problems by just not paying them. Many "translators" won't complain because they know they used machine translation and they were just trying their luck, and they will move on to the next similar broker. They accept abysmal rates because they create "translations" with near-zero effort. Those who did decent work, but found themselves in a situation like the one described here, where one (or some) participant on a large project messed up, and they did not get paid because of that, these people may not know how to fight for their money, and if there is no formal agreement, then they don't have much chance anyway.
Formal agreements would designate the broker as the middlemen, and they would be obligated to pay if they accepted the work from the translator without complaining. Sending it to the end client as they received the work means they approved it.
I believe this is why ProZ' BB policy is that there should be a quality complaint from the outsourcer directly to the translator. A complaint from the end client is a complaint towards the middlemen, and that is a separate business relationship. I think the BB policies are what they should be, in this regard. This protects the translator but also the agency.

Professional agencies who pay decent rates, contract with professionals and have QA procedures rarely have this problem with the BB.
Professional translators who charge decent rates, contract with professional agencies, are familiar with the agency's QA procedures and policies related to quality problems rarely have to deal with disputes on the BB.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Katalin Jan 15, 2017

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
I gather from this explanation that even if a translator does such a dismal job that he does not even deserve a response ...

Samuel, you are not serious, are you? If you receive subpar work, you surely communicate it to the person delivered it?


I certainly would [communicate my dissatisfaction].

But I can imagine that some other translators/outsourcers might feel differently. Also note, my comment is not so much about work that is merely subpar, but about work that is utterly useless and/or a clear case of blatant dishonesty. Not everyone feels the need to reply to a scammer after he has successfully scammed them, to voice their dissatisfaction of the outcome.

If you order a steak and you don't like it, do you just walk out of the restaurant without paying?


I don't think the steak/restaurant analogy works well here, but: if I order a steak and they bring me a plate of poop, I certainly would walk out. I would also report the restaurant on black lists and "blue boards", but there is no blue board for translation providers.

I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be fair to allow clients to add Blue Board ratings (...if the translation was done by an outsourcer, which what the three "translators" who gave Chinmayi Sripada a "1" rating in 2011 all are, two of which even corporate members of ProZ.com).

I believe ... that there should be a quality complaint from the outsourcer directly to the translator. A complaint from the end client is a complaint towards the middlemen, and that is a separate business relationship.


What you say is true. But it is not obvious that "there must have been complaints about quality" means that "complaints about quality must have been communicated to the translator".



[Edited at 2017-01-15 11:55 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:06
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
To me, it is obvious Jan 15, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:

But it is not obvious that "there must have been complaints about quality" means that "complaints about quality must have been communicated to the translator".


To me, it is obvious. Otherwise, you expect the translators to be mind-readers? Mind-readers of end-clients whom they don't even know?
If there is no complaint from the outsourcer, the translator is entitled to post a BB comment, and also expect to be paid, because the outsourcer did not state breach of contract. The work was accepted, period.
Any discussion between the outsourcer (the middleman) and the end client (or the other possible middlemen up the chain) about the work is merely gossip, unless the translator is included in those discussions. If the quality complaints are not communicated to the translator, the translator have no way to remedy the situation, or even assess whether the complaints are justified.
Imagine the possibilities how this could be abused by outsourcers.


 

Justin Trumain
United States
Local time: 15:06
Portuguese to English
+ ...
A translator test Jan 16, 2017

Offer the translator an extremely complicated document completely outside of their field and see whether or not they turn the project down.

If they don't, then this could be a red flag.

[Edited at 2017-01-16 15:04 GMT]


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 04:06
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Absurd Jan 16, 2017

LegalTransform wrote:

Offer the translator an extremely complicated document completely outside of their field and see whether or not they turn the project down.

If they don't, then this could be a red flag.

[Edited at 2017-01-16 15:04 GMT]

Offer the translator a document that you don't actually want them to translate? A clearer example of bad faith I have never seen.


 
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