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Outsourcers' complaints related to quality: should ProZ.com provide a means of arbitrating?
Thread poster: Lotfi Abdolhaleem

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 02:58
German to Serbian
+ ...
This is not linguistically possibly even in google translate. Jun 22, 2018

Lotfi Abdolhaleem wrote:

4000 words out of 4250 being the word count of the job, are flawy! How?


Linguistically impossible even in Google Translate. Typically case of a reviewer fighting for their own jobs and their own position by overreviewing. That's why I said reviewers should be neutral but highly qualified people outside the industry. And it's ridiculous to believe they should or will work for free.
'

[Edited at 2018-06-22 07:55 GMT]


Lotfi Abdolhaleem
Germaine
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Checkers Jun 22, 2018

Henry Dotterer wrote:

I'd say that we're willing to explore this. What do other think?
How could the work (of the checkers) be funded? To what standard would a check be done?


Hello Henry, thanks for being interested in this matter that I would really like to see in place.
in my opinion checkers can be found among the Pro specialized in the field in question, working in that pair and native of that target language, I am not sure the way you used for screening the checkers for native language, but... something like that with a flat fee?

Best regards


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:58
SITE FOUNDER
So put some responsibility on both parties, as a start? Jun 22, 2018

Kay Denney wrote:

In my experience, a client in good faith will come back with questions within a few days (or maybe up to a couple of weeks if it's a long text). They ask questions rather than make accusations. The questions are specific "Why did you use that word? we usually use this other word".
...
The client in bad faith is more likely to wait until you send a reminder that the bill is due. They don't ask questions, and they are more likely to make sweeping judgements without giving any examples...

At the agency I used to work in, we would ask for a detailed analysis, and it was never forthcoming this late in the day.


You answer them, either explaining why what you put was right, or acknowledging that they are right, or both (I systematically try to concede at least one point to show that I'm not just defending the translation blindly).


(I divided your post up into separate points, Kay.)

It sounds like you would advocate an approach to "officiating" disputes in which, to begin with, there are obligations for each side with regard to making their arguments. Right?


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:58
SITE FOUNDER
Good thinking Jun 22, 2018

Kay Denney wrote:

Also, we would often be able to find proof that they had published the translation as delivered, or if they did correct it, they introduced lots of mistakes.

Interesting point.


Angie Garbarino
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:58
SITE FOUNDER
What kind of a discount? Jun 22, 2018

Kay Denney wrote:

If I have to concede some important points, I would suggest a discount.

Can you suggest any rule or rules of thumb for such discounts? Something fair to both sides.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:58
SITE FOUNDER
Thanks, Lingua 5B Jun 22, 2018

Thanks for sharing your experience outsourcing, Lingua 5B.

 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:58
SITE FOUNDER
Who to pay the flat fee? Jun 22, 2018

Angie Garbarino wrote:
... in my opinion checkers can be found among the Pro specialized in the field in question, working in that pair and native of that target language, I am not sure the way you used for screening the checkers for native language, but... something like that with a flat fee?

Hi Angie!

Who do you think should pay the flat fee?


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Both imho Jun 22, 2018

Henry Dotterer wrote:


Who do you think should pay the flat fee?


I think that in case of dispute, for solving it a 3rd party is needed hence paid by both.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Henry Jun 22, 2018

Henry Dotterer wrote:
I'd say that we're willing to explore this. What do other think?


Well, firstly, let's not forget that not all businesses listed on the Blue Board are willingly listed there. If a business did not choose to be on the Blue Board (e.g. by having registered a ProZ.com membership, which presumably includes a stipulation that gives ProZ.com permission to add the business to the Blue Board), then it would be unfair if the process of removing a negative review required lengthy arbitration.

Secondly, I think the current system works well. Currently (if I understand correctly), ProZ.com can't guarantee that the truth will out in 100% of cases, but is satisfied that abuse will become apparent when patterns emerge.

However,...

I would also be happy if the system does not actually remove contested negative reviews, but simply makes them less visible and does not make them count. In other words, if a company gets three 1s and one 5, and the company contests two of the 1s, then those two 1s still remain visible on their Blue Board profile, but their official Blue Board score is "3" instead of "2" because two of the 1s don't count towards the score. To prevent abuse, allow a company only two contestations per year (as a rule). The nice thing about such a system is that it can be semi-automated, so less work for staff.


[Edited at 2018-06-22 14:49 GMT]


 

Daniel Frisano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:58
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes but Jun 22, 2018

The Misha wrote:

(...) let the market sort them out. (...)


Sure, but there is still room for improvement. Sometimes the market is still ignorant. The market could use some education.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Uhmm, what is the important point here? Jun 23, 2018

What is the main problem here? Is it: A: that an outsourcer claims poor quality and based on that removes an undesirable entry on the Blue Board, or B: that an outsourcer claims poor quality and based on that does not pay the translator?

I think if I were the victim of such fraud, I couldn't care less about A, I would focus all my energies on resolving B.

However, I must say that B can be avoided in most cases by due diligence BEFORE accepting the job, including checkin
... See more
What is the main problem here? Is it: A: that an outsourcer claims poor quality and based on that removes an undesirable entry on the Blue Board, or B: that an outsourcer claims poor quality and based on that does not pay the translator?

I think if I were the victim of such fraud, I couldn't care less about A, I would focus all my energies on resolving B.

However, I must say that B can be avoided in most cases by due diligence BEFORE accepting the job, including checking the client's reputation, if no record found, or suspicious, request pre-payment, discuss their quality-assurance processes, and have an agreement in place that includes a clause about quality issues. A decent agency client have proper QA processes in place, so errors are caught before the files make it to the end client. A decent client, if they do not employ an editor/proofreader inhouse, would request the corrections from the translator, right away when the errors are found. These corrections are - of course - made promptly and free of charge by the translator, with the appropriate amount of apologies. If that route is not feasible (translator is unavailable, or too many or too serious errors suggest it is risky to trust the translator with the corrections) the client may hire an editor, in which case the cost may be charged back to the translator. Whatever the process is, it should be known and agreed in advance.

Individual or direct clients are different, they obviously don't have QA processes and such. Errors can happen any time, so again, an agreement is needed in case of complaints. If the translator is uncomfortable with supplying the translation to the end client directly, without having another pair of eyes checking the translation, then the translator should use the services of an editor, paid by him/her.

So, what I am saying is that the problem of clients falsely claiming quality problems as an excuse to not pay could largely be avoided by being careful before accepting the assignment.

I think the way the BB entries are handled by ProZ.com is the best approach, given the circumstances, and given how the issue could be abused by both sides.

If ProZ.com is thinking about starting some sort of QA arbitration services, that should NOT be on a volunteer basis IMHO, because, first of all, there is money at stake, and second, the need for this service usually arises precisely because somewhere along the way a QA step was skipped by one of the parties (usually to save money).
Offering a free quality checking service would not encourage due diligence and proper QA processes, which are essential in this business for both parties.

Katalin

[Edited at 2018-06-23 02:35 GMT]
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Lotfi Abdolhaleem
mughwI
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The Cornerstones - no meddling in the business of the parties Jun 23, 2018

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Kay Denney wrote:

If I have to concede some important points, I would suggest a discount.

Can you suggest any rule or rules of thumb for such discounts? Something fair to both sides.


That point is something to be discussed and agreed between the parties involved, preferably before work commences. Each case, each job, and each client relationship is different, and therefore, IMHO, it would be impossible to figure out a discount that is "fair" in a universal manner. In the strict meaning, discounts seem to be "fair" only if they are to offset some sort of financial loss or expense, and therefore should not be looked at as standard in any way. But again, I feel that going into this area is against the principle where ProZ should be staying out of the actual business conducted between the parties.

[Edited at 2018-06-23 02:02 GMT]


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:58
French to English
problems with a flat-fee and other points Jun 23, 2018

Try finding someone qualified in the subject-area and native of the target language to review a 4,000-word translation for the same fee as a 30,000-word translation. I think you'll be hard-pressed to do so.

Another point, some professional bodies offer professional indemnity insurance and/or an arbitration and the cost of a professional review might be covered.

Finally, I run the risk of raising a long-running moot point, the risk of translating into a language which is
... See more
Try finding someone qualified in the subject-area and native of the target language to review a 4,000-word translation for the same fee as a 30,000-word translation. I think you'll be hard-pressed to do so.

Another point, some professional bodies offer professional indemnity insurance and/or an arbitration and the cost of a professional review might be covered.

Finally, I run the risk of raising a long-running moot point, the risk of translating into a language which is not one of one's native languages. I know there are countries where, for various valid historical reasons, there is a long tradition of translations being done by non-natives as a necessity. I am also aware that many clients do not know or understand the implications of translating the "wrong" way round. Last, but not least, I also know that there are translators do a sufficiently good/very good job of translating into a language of which they are not a native speaker. As professionals, we can try to rely upon the buyer beware principle, but I think we need to inform clients too that our translation might by sufficient for their purposes but might read like a translation in parts, at least. If we accept a job into a non-native language, I think we accept have to accept a higher risk of after-sales problems.

[Edited at 2018-06-23 10:12 GMT]
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Michele Fauble
mughwI
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Flat fee etc Jun 23, 2018

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Try finding someone qualified in the subject-area and native of the target language to review a 4,000-word translation for the same fee as a 30,000-word translation. I think you'll be hard-pressed to do so.


I think that this point could be solved with a flat fee in percentage, However, checkers shall not be proofreaders but evaluators.

Another point, some professional bodies offer professional indemnity insurance and/or an arbitration and the cost of a professional review might be covered.


Good point, ok, so ProZ could provide the service when requested by one of the parties

Finally, I run the risk of raising a long-running moot point, the risk of translating into a language which is not one of one's native languages. I know there are countries where, for various valid historical reasons, there is a long tradition of translations being done by non-natives as a necessity. I am also aware that many clients do not know or understand the implications of translating the "wrong" way round. Last, but not least, I also know that there are translators do a sufficiently good/very good job of translating into a language of which they are not a native speaker. As professionals, we can try to rely upon the buyer beware principle, but I think we need to inform clients too that our translation might by sufficient for their purposes but might read like a translation in parts, at least. If we accept a job into a non-native language, I think we accept have to accept a higher risk of after-sales problems.

[Edited at 2018-06-23 10:12 GMT]


Ok again, but out of scope, this point has nothing to do with the service in question.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 09:58
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Questionable Jun 23, 2018

Since it's generally considered unacceptable to withhold payment even if the supplier's work was subpar, complaints based on non-payment can simply be arbitrated based on the truthfulness of the claim, without consideration to any other factor.

The outsourcer's recourse is to give the translator a low rating, which is the only area that the arbitration discussion should be relevant. I hope ProZ thought about such a system before they rolled out the freelancer WWA system, though for
... See more
Since it's generally considered unacceptable to withhold payment even if the supplier's work was subpar, complaints based on non-payment can simply be arbitrated based on the truthfulness of the claim, without consideration to any other factor.

The outsourcer's recourse is to give the translator a low rating, which is the only area that the arbitration discussion should be relevant. I hope ProZ thought about such a system before they rolled out the freelancer WWA system, though for some reason I doubt it.
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Angie Garbarino
Lotfi Abdolhaleem
 
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