Hey folks,Verra interesting.
I know I don't need to tell you how bad ProZ is for the industry, and I don't want to turn this into a discussion about that site, but if you need a little story to convince others to stop supporting ProZ with their money, here's a funny one from today.
A while ago I did one project for an agency that turned out to be a typical broker. Absolutely no QA, low rates (earlier, they were looking for a 50K legal translation within 2 days for 0.09 USD/word - without adding any value to the project themselves), and so on. The project was small enough for me to use as a test to determine if I wanted to continue working with this guy. After all, he had 30 5-star ratings on the Blue Board.
But as it turned out, my initial feeling was correct: he sent me three emails way before the deadline asking me when I would deliver, but when it came to paying me with equal speed after timely delivery, the excuses and bossy behavior began. He said I should be happy about getting paid after 30 days because that is supposedly "GREAT" in our industry, and he declared that he was under no obligation to pay me when I wanted to be paid, etc.
So, long story short, I went to ProZ to leave a negative rating. My review included all necessary information and described my experience. I didn't mention any names, nor did I use foul language or similar.
First attempt: my review got censored and deleted without any explanation. I sent a support request and asked what was going on. Got a reply that told me to resubmit my review.
Second attempt: I resubmitted my review, and removed the word "arrogant" from it, just to be sure. It got censored and deleted again, without any explanation.
Third attempt: I simply selected one star and added "Not recommended." to the comment field. It got censored and deleted again. This time, I received an email telling me that I was not allowed to add any comments and should only indicate my WWA rating.
Fourth attempt: I simply gave a 1-star rating and added no further explanation. [This was finally let through.]
WTF?? If you see a bad rating, don't you want to know why the rating is so bad? Leaving a bad rating without any explanation makes the translator look bitter and vengeful. And why are comments allowed for the good ratings then?
Anyway, I'm happy I don't waste my money on Proz, and I'll cheer for everyone who stops paying for their membership. If you want to share this story with paying members, feel free to do so. :-)
Jan 9, 2012
Since The Great Moderator Purge at ProZ a few years ago, things have continued to get curiouser and curiouser, and The Translation Workplace has evolved into more of a Translation Workhouse, or as some colleagues from former Iron Curtain regions who have the historical background to comment authoritatively might put it, a gulag. One from which, thankfully, most serious translators in the major language pairs have escaped to a better life. After being gagged there for several years and dealing with other nonsense, I stopped being a paying member of the site in 2011. The experience of this German colleague provides further confirmation that I made the right decision. For years, there have been rumors, some quite plausible, others less so, of corruption in the Blue Board ratings, and for some, access to this data remains one of the few justifications for membership. But if the ratings themselves are skewed by arbitrary actions... let her story, posted on another translators' forum and reposted here with permission, speak for itself: