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Poll: In the course of your career, how many serious problems or disputes have you had with clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
SITE STAFF
Jul 19, 2020

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In the course of your career, how many serious problems or disputes have you had with clients?".

View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
스페인
Local time: 15:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
One Jul 19, 2020

One notoriously ad hoc client tried to (partially) blame me for a hitch in their planning which was down to their ineptitude and absolutely nothing to do with me. So, to cut a long story short, I dumped them. The boss came back to me a couple of years later with a grovelling apology and I agreed to work with them again, but only after raising my rate 25%, which they reluctantly accepted.



[Edited at 2020-07-19 08:55 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
포르투갈
Local time: 14:43
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two Jul 19, 2020

In over 30 years I’ve had only two serious problems with two translation agencies (very late payments, big amounts), both quickly solved with the help of my lawyer. They still exist but I’ve never worked with them again, though one tried several times…

 

Tom in London
영국
Local time: 14:43
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I hate having to think up a title every time I post in a forum Jul 19, 2020

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In the course of your career, how many serious problems or disputes have you had with clients?".

View the poll results »



About 2.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
덴마크
Local time: 15:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I don´t know Jul 19, 2020

It depends how you define a serious problem or dispute. In more than twenty years of translating, I do not remember very many.

I have had some issues over not getting paid, luckily only a few. A couple involved large jobs and therefore large payments, so you could call them serious.

I have also had discussions about the quality of my work.

One we resolved when the client admitted that I had translated what she wrote, but not what she meant! She rewrote th
... See more
It depends how you define a serious problem or dispute. In more than twenty years of translating, I do not remember very many.

I have had some issues over not getting paid, luckily only a few. A couple involved large jobs and therefore large payments, so you could call them serious.

I have also had discussions about the quality of my work.

One we resolved when the client admitted that I had translated what she wrote, but not what she meant! She rewrote the article and I translated the new version, and we parted amicably.

Another time someone had ´expanded´ an item in a magazine to fill a whole page instead of half a page, and tried to ´expand´ the English version. Both were a mess! The original text was written by someone who really used and understood the source language and wrote an attractive piece of prose. I made a real effort to write a similarly subtle and harmonious version in English. I think there was supposed to be a picture, but in any case, at the last minute someone decided that the text was too short...
When I sent my original translation again to the writer of the original source text, he was very pleased with it, so that ended well too!

Other issues have left me furious, and I had better not rant about them here!
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Liena Vijupe
Kaisa I
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
독일
Local time: 15:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
One Jul 19, 2020

And this one is happening just now after all the years without any serious disputes.

 

Sundar Gopalakrishnan
인도
Local time: 20:13
English to Tamil
+ ...
Never Jul 19, 2020

I never had problems or disputes with my clients. Ours is a smooth relationship always.

Elizabeth Tamblin
Aline Amorim
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
영국
Swedish to English
+ ...
:-) Jul 19, 2020

Tom in London wrote:
I hate having to think up a title every time I post in a forum

Can I suggest a full stop or a smiley as a more agreeable alternative?

But no I’ve never had a serious dispute with a customer.


 

Liviu-Lee Roth
미국
Local time: 09:43
Romanian to English
+ ...
Unfortunately, yes, many times Jul 19, 2020

It happened at least three times a year in the last five years. It is not about payment or money; it is about content sent by the end client (US prosecutors). Many times I noticed inconsistencies or outright mistakes and I have to fight with my direct client (the agency) to get back to the end client and ask for clarification. Recently, an entire extradition package has been rejected by the Department of State just because the agency refused to get back to the end client with my suggestions to c... See more
It happened at least three times a year in the last five years. It is not about payment or money; it is about content sent by the end client (US prosecutors). Many times I noticed inconsistencies or outright mistakes and I have to fight with my direct client (the agency) to get back to the end client and ask for clarification. Recently, an entire extradition package has been rejected by the Department of State just because the agency refused to get back to the end client with my suggestions to correct the document.
Some PM are reluctant to "bother" the client.

Lee
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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:43
Italian to English
+ ...
2 Jul 19, 2020

Non-payers who conveniently went bust and ignored the letters from my lawyer.

I've not had any other kind of issues ....


 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
브라질
Local time: 11:43
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It's uncommon Jul 19, 2020

Several years ago I had a dispute with a post-editing company in the United States about the quality of my work, but they asked me to translate a second job all the same. The second round of criticism was worse, but a third job was still offered, until the final round of criticism that was blatant abuse, ordering me to go back to college and learn to speak the damn language, which was very offensive and stressful. I then wrote to the company telling them that I would not be treated in this way a... See more
Several years ago I had a dispute with a post-editing company in the United States about the quality of my work, but they asked me to translate a second job all the same. The second round of criticism was worse, but a third job was still offered, until the final round of criticism that was blatant abuse, ordering me to go back to college and learn to speak the damn language, which was very offensive and stressful. I then wrote to the company telling them that I would not be treated in this way and that I no longer wished to work for them, followed by, believe it or not, a further offer of work while also being told not to burn my bridges. This customer took out their stress and abused their power as a service provider through blatant bullying once work had been delivered. I have no idea why they continued offering me work, other than I did not accept a fourth job and never will.

Other than that, most professionals in the language industry are really lovely.
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Aline Amorim  Identity Verified
브라질
Local time: 12:43
Member (2019)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never Jul 19, 2020

Sundar Gopalakrishnan wrote:

I never had problems or disputes with my clients. Ours is a smooth relationship always.


Me too.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
미국
Local time: 06:43
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
One Jul 20, 2020

I was once owed over USD 12,000 by a reputable international organization. Many other translators were involved and the issue took more than two years to resolve.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
브라질
Local time: 12:43
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
One Jul 20, 2020

Only once I had to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against a client. They actually failed to pay many translators and ended up in bankruptcy. But I was lucky enough to file the lawsuit before the majority and a few months before their bankruptcy, and I got paid in full, however nine months late and taking a 15% slice off for the lawyer.

 

Laura Kingdon  Identity Verified
캐나다
Local time: 09:43
Member (2015)
French to English
+ ...
Two Jul 21, 2020

One was an agency that owed me a few thousand dollars. I ended up sending a European demand for payment, although I don't know what happened with that since my telling them by email that I had submitted the demand (after taking all other appropriate steps beforehand) was enough that they finally paid me.

The other wrote back months after I'd finished a translation wanting all kinds of mainly preferential revisions to just about every sentence. Worse yet, the comments on the file wer
... See more
One was an agency that owed me a few thousand dollars. I ended up sending a European demand for payment, although I don't know what happened with that since my telling them by email that I had submitted the demand (after taking all other appropriate steps beforehand) was enough that they finally paid me.

The other wrote back months after I'd finished a translation wanting all kinds of mainly preferential revisions to just about every sentence. Worse yet, the comments on the file were in Korean, and they demanded I translate these extra hundreds of words in comments for free so their reviewers could understand them. Admittedly I was also a little annoyed because the original had been a rush job (like everything at this particular agency) and yet the client had obviously taken their sweet time with the file once it was in their hands and not mine. Anyway, after this dispute, they never sent another job, and I was quite okay with that.
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