“I delivered most of my professional service to this agency for free.
-They opened the job with an hourly rate and they accepted my offer. I delivered them a spotless and professional work, I worked a bit less than 3 hours on it. They asked me why the XML file did not work if loaded on browser.
-It took me 3 extra hours to try to research and fix a PROGRAMMING bug which they thought to be a problem of the localization but was in fact a problem of compatibility between XML and accents, which only a programmer could have fixed, changing the encoding of the file or something of the matter. I did all the research for free for similar examples. They showed me an example done by another translator which they said it worked if loaded on a browser, but this example was ridden of mistakes, the accents had been replaced by meaningless symbols which weren't even ASCII code.
- Communication problems: they have serious problems in understanding English. I tried to explain them over and over again both in writing and by Skype why the problem was generated and sent them example links I researched for them, and that they needed a programmer in order to fix it. They understood it after the 10th time I had explained it. They thanked me for my professionalism.
-Inexperienced: they couldn’t tell what an ASCII code was, and they are an agency working with a multitude of languages, including French and Italian, which on web use them galore! If they never used them, I can’t imagine the quality so far delivered to Italian or French customer, if localizing for web.
-What was worse***Eventually, when the work was finished, they changed the conditions agreed asking me why they had to pay me 22 USD!. They refused to pay me the *22USD** or so** for a total of less than 3 hours of translation work because they said they had a lower budget and they wanted to pay a fix rate of 10USD/maximum 15USD***
***My advice to other freelancers is to carefully consider if deciding or not to bid for this agency for all the reasons above....please decide according to your location. I advise not to bid from Italy, US or Europe. I finally agreed to cash the “symbolic” sum of 11 USD for 5 and more hours of work and close with them, telling them I accepted but I wouldn’t have worked with them anymore. I have competitive rates but I don't sell my professionalism for free.***
Freelancer Feedback Comments for Client:
“To translators:please read carefully before bidding with them.
Job opened with an hourly rate,offer accepted. Completed it professionally in less than 3h. Eventually they asked me why the XML file did not work if loaded on browser.They asked me to fix the problem, thinking it was the localizer’s fault.
I worked additional hours for free to research the issue and I found it was a bug which was in fact a programming problem of compatibility between XML and accents;I sent them links so they could check them and fix their problem with a programmer.They sent me an XML file they said worked if loaded on browser, example full of mistakes; accents had been replaced by meaningless symbols (not ASCII codes).
Communication: they have serious problems with English. I tried to explain them over and over again in writing /Skype call why the problem was generated and that a programmer was needed.It took long for them to understand.They thanked me for my professionalism and said that they would have passed me other projects.
Lack of experience:they couldn’t tell what an ASCII code for accents was, they work with a multitude of languages, including French/Italian,which on web use accents galore! I sent them 2 files, with and without ASCII codes,(ex È è, =& E+grave; &+egrave; “perché” must be written “perch+&+egrave” for web).They returned me one file without the “&” from ASCII codes so the words would turn meaningless, reading for example “perchegrave” ;They said that this way the XML file worked,and asked me to proofread it!It took me different mails and several Skype calls to explain that this couldn’t be done.
When the job was finished,they changed the conditions agreed.They asked why they had to pay me 22$ for 3 h!.They claimed their budget was low and proposed 11$.They weren’t aware they had opened an hourly job and wanted to change it to fixed-rate.I refused to lose my time so I did not report them to Elance for breach of contract.I finally cashed half of the amount.