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

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:37
French to English
Legal matters Jun 24, 2018

Having worked in professional ethics and discipline for a statutory professional body, it should be noted that the question of withholding payment is a legal matter. Most jurisdictions have recovery procedures and a court system as a last resort if an amicable solution cannot be found. Quality and payment are separate issues, although withholding payment is the first gut reaction where someone is not satisfied with the quality of a particular service.

As I have pointed out, in many
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Having worked in professional ethics and discipline for a statutory professional body, it should be noted that the question of withholding payment is a legal matter. Most jurisdictions have recovery procedures and a court system as a last resort if an amicable solution cannot be found. Quality and payment are separate issues, although withholding payment is the first gut reaction where someone is not satisfied with the quality of a particular service.

As I have pointed out, in many legal systems, if the supplier (translator) provided the service, that service must be paid for. Failure to pay immediately puts the client in breach of a fundamental contractual term. I say this being perfectly aware that it is a natural human reaction not to want to pay up if the quality of something is poor.

A good contract will establish what is to happen in the event of quality issues.
A good contract will set out what is to happen if work is returned late.
A good agent will allow for proofreading and correction time.
A good agent will understand some basic contract law (that applies in many countries), that is, that the agent is responsible for the quality of what it provides to the end client. If the agent is fool enough not to check, or accepts work it is not competent to check, then the agent should suffer the consequences. The should still pay the translator and make better checks before forwarding the work to the end client. If being an agent just meant saying "yes" to all orders and acting as a forwarding service, then that would be common knowledge. Being an agent requires exercising judgment and accepting responsibility for the work of others - all the more so when one has not checked it properly.

Should Proz provide an arbitration service? If ProZ has the ability in-house to review and assess the quality of all language pairs and of all specialist areas, or the certainty that such people can be found, then why not. Arbitration procedures commonly require both parties to :
- pay the cost of the procedure upfront
- agree to accept the arbitrator's decision
- settle any outstanding invoices beforehand

In my opinion, these conditions would be the absolute sine qua non without which no arbitration is possible.
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Jean Dimitriadis
Lincoln Hui
Lotfi Abdolhaleem
Michele Fauble
 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:37
Serbian to English
+ ...
wait a second, not quite ... Jun 24, 2018

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Since it's generally considered unacceptable to withhold payment even if the supplier's work was subpar, ....


Really?

A contract implies obligations from BOTH sides.

If one side didn't fulfil its agreed obligations, what makes you think that the other side must fulfil theirs?

And it's not about any kind of "emotional reactions" - it's just plain basic commercial logic.

No one sane would pay for a delivery of rotten fruits, so what makes you think than anyone would have any obligation to pay for some garbage translation?

Now, we get to the real problem - is the "bad quality" real or not?

Translation is a very peculiar kind of service where BY DEFINITION the client can't judge the quality of the translation [except for a tiny minority of clients perfectly capable of translating what they need to have translated, but who simply don't have the time to do it themselves].

So it's very easy/tempting to claim "bad quality" of the translation - either mistakenly believing it based on ignorance or deliberately based on bad faith [I've seem both happening more than once ...] - but assessing the real "quality" is far from easy - finding a really competent assessor in the given language combination AND MORE IMPORTANTLY for the given subject matter can be very difficult and prohibitively costly.

OTOH, I can't see any practical and feasible solution for solving the problem of assessing with total reliability the real quality of a translation - it's simply too much open to subjective opinions. Yes, there are some ISO standards on this subject, but I wouldn't trust them too much - you can't check the quality of a translation as objectively as you can check the dimensions of a piece of metal to a micron.


 

Ayman Aly  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Arabic to English
+ ...
Difficult to strike a balance between service providers and outsourcers and/or customers! Jun 24, 2018

First, I believe it is quite difficult to strike a balance between service providers and outsourcers and/or customers; sometimes, it is more subjective rather than objective. Regardless of any objective assessment, by any Proz members, satisfaction of the recipient is the matter that counts. I do bot believe that any of the assessment proposals can be viable. Regards.

 

Lotfi Abdolhaleem  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 04:37
Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proz.com protecting bad people under rule "2". Jan 19, 2019

Hi colleagues!

I decided to shift my paying membership to TranslatorsCafe saying BYE to Proz.com due to protecting maneuverable, dishonest & untrustworthy persons with one of which I had a painful translation experience, by Proz.com hiding my NEGATIVE comment about him under the donkey-stupid rule "2".


[Edited at 2019-01-21 20:52 GMT]
Why do not Proz.com leaves comments for the community that are fairer and extremely capable of judging which is what. The stronge
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Hi colleagues!

I decided to shift my paying membership to TranslatorsCafe saying BYE to Proz.com due to protecting maneuverable, dishonest & untrustworthy persons with one of which I had a painful translation experience, by Proz.com hiding my NEGATIVE comment about him under the donkey-stupid rule "2".


[Edited at 2019-01-21 20:52 GMT]
Why do not Proz.com leaves comments for the community that are fairer and extremely capable of judging which is what. The strongest evidence that I am right and true in my comment is that the outsourcer could not have the courage to just reply to my comment and requested Proz.com to hide it because he felt for sure that the community would blame him.


[Edited at 2019-01-21 20:54 GMT]
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Outsourcers' complaints related to quality: should ProZ.com provide a means of arbitrating?

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