A témához tartozó oldalak:   [1 2 3 4] >
Agencies asking to lower agreed rates during the pandemic
Téma indítója: Renvi Ulrich

Renvi Ulrich
Kamerun
Local time: 19:34
Tag (2018 óta)
angol - francia
Nov 13, 2020

Dear all,

I have received messages from two of my regular clients informing me that because of the financial challenges they have been facing, they will temporarily reduce our agreed rates by 15% until they withstand the crisis. They were very candid on their difficulties and appealed to my understanding. These are two serious clients with a very good ethic. However, I also have to keep my own business afloat during this period. Tricky...

Have you been asked to lower yo
... See more
Dear all,

I have received messages from two of my regular clients informing me that because of the financial challenges they have been facing, they will temporarily reduce our agreed rates by 15% until they withstand the crisis. They were very candid on their difficulties and appealed to my understanding. These are two serious clients with a very good ethic. However, I also have to keep my own business afloat during this period. Tricky...

Have you been asked to lower your rates lately? How do you handle that type of requests to the best interest of your business?

Thanks

[Edited at 2020-11-14 07:23 GMT]
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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Tag (2014 óta)
dán - angol
+ ...
Hmm Nov 13, 2020

"… reduce their rates by 15%"? It is your rates they intend to lower.

Have you tried telling your local supermarket that you are going to lower their prices 15% during the pandemic?

None of my clients has done that and I've been pretty busy throughout.

Watch out your clients don't owe you a lot of money and then become insolvent.

Think twice before accepting that.


expressisverbis
Chris S
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Léa Pigeau
Franciaország
Local time: 19:34
angol - francia
+ ...
Covid doesn't affect quality Nov 13, 2020

Hello,

A close friend of mine who is also a translator faced this situation with one of his main clients around March/April.

He was afraid of losing the client, but he basically said that although he understands their problems, he has to survive to this crisis as well. He said he was ready to take on less translations if the company couldn't afford sending as much as before, but that he wouldn't reduce his rates.

You can also tell them that covid or not, i
... See more
Hello,

A close friend of mine who is also a translator faced this situation with one of his main clients around March/April.

He was afraid of losing the client, but he basically said that although he understands their problems, he has to survive to this crisis as well. He said he was ready to take on less translations if the company couldn't afford sending as much as before, but that he wouldn't reduce his rates.

You can also tell them that covid or not, if they want quality translations, the rates can't go down.

I think you shouldn't accept a drop on your rates since you have no idea how much time it will last and you have no garantee they will raise the rates back up when the crisis is over.

With that said, you know your client and the whole situation better than me, and you should do what you think is best for you and your business.
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Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Elena Feriani
Thomas Pfann
expressisverbis
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Alison Jenner
Isabelle Pelchat
 

Renvi Ulrich
Kamerun
Local time: 19:34
Tag (2018 óta)
angol - francia
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Thanks, Thomas Nov 13, 2020

You have a point there. Sticking to an agreement is key.

However, as I mentioned, I have no doubt on the honesty of these clients. I am therefore looking for the most professional way possible of dealing with this.

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

"… reduce their rates by 15%"? It is your rates they intend to lower.

Have you tried telling your local supermarket that you are going to lower their prices 15% during the pandemic?

None of my clients has done that and I've been pretty busy throughout.

Watch out your clients don't owe you a lot of money and then become insolvent.

Think twice before accepting that.


[Edited at 2020-11-13 18:07 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 18:34
Tag (2007 óta)
angol
+ ...
Ideas Nov 13, 2020

Renvi Ulrich wrote:
I have no doubt on the honesty of these clients. I am therefore looking for the most professional way possible of dealing with this.

Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but ask for faster payment?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but only for a limited time, e.g. a month?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but only for work after you've done the first nnn or n,nnn words each month?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but inform them that your rate will increase by n% when Covid is officially over?

In other words, insist on some give with the take. Or just refuse -- that depends how important their custom is to you.


Josephine Cassar
expressisverbis
Jan Truper
Sabine Braun
Thomas Pfann
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Renvi Ulrich
 

Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
Egyesült Királyság
Local time: 18:34
Tag (2006 óta)
angol - német
+ ...
Why would rates go down? If anything, I'd expect them to go up! Nov 13, 2020

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
Have you tried telling your local supermarket that you are going to lower their prices 15% during the pandemic?


Although, I agree with the rest of what you are saying, this analogy does not work at all, Thomas. We are not the supermarket, the big agencies are. Vaild questions would be: "Has your local supermarket ever tried to raise their prices without asking you first?" and "Does your supermarket chain try to dictate what prices they pay farmers and other suppliers?". You probably agree that the answer to both questions would be: "Yes, of course."

Anyway, I do not understand why the pandemic would be a reason to reduce rates. If anything, I would have thought rates would go up.

Early on during the first wave of the pandemic, one of my agency clients one day came up with the idea of paying all their translators who had been working on COVID-related translations (and there were many of those!) ten per cent more - retrospectively and without being asked to do so. I thought that was a nice little touch.

And in situations where I am the client, I treat my 'vendors' with the same respect and generosity: I don't mind paying more at the moment because I know that some businesses had a pretty hard time. When I finally got a first haircut after months of lockdown, I gave a higher than usual tip to support my barber who just re-opened his shop after months without income (and he just now had to close it again for at least another month). The same goes for other service providers and shopkeepers etc. And I know that I am not the only one – people tend to be quite generous at the moment.

But of course, it comes down to your own judgement. If you believe that your client really suffered during the pandemic and you didn't, then, by all means, agree to lower your rate temporarily. But only if you can afford it and if you think it is fair.

If they are really that desperate, however, it may well be that this is just the beginning of the end – so make sure you get what you are owed (as others already pointed out).


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Tag (2014 óta)
dán - angol
+ ...
Analogy Nov 13, 2020

Agencies buy from us.
We buy from supermarkets (as consumers).
The analogy is that the buyer wants to reduce the seller's price.
But the price is set by the seller (who can obviously decide at which price they are willing to buy).
You can make an analogy with supermarkets buying from farmers, of course.
That wouldn't quite work, as farmers are paid huge government subsidies in the EU. We aren't.
During the pandemic, many businesses have also been paid a lot of
... See more
Agencies buy from us.
We buy from supermarkets (as consumers).
The analogy is that the buyer wants to reduce the seller's price.
But the price is set by the seller (who can obviously decide at which price they are willing to buy).
You can make an analogy with supermarkets buying from farmers, of course.
That wouldn't quite work, as farmers are paid huge government subsidies in the EU. We aren't.
During the pandemic, many businesses have also been paid a lot of subsidies.

Here in Germany, freelance translators hit by the pandemic have been given very little help (thankfully I haven't been hit). They could apply for help with operational costs, but we have almost no such costs.
Apart from that, they could apply for basic income support, perhaps 300-400 euros per month, against spending 1-2 days at least filling in 30 pages or more of paperwork.
So I would be in no mood to lower any rates. My living costs are not going down. My taxes are not being reduced. At best, they can be postponed.
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Elena Feriani
expressisverbis
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 19:34
Tag (2006 óta)
angol - afrikaans
+ ...
@Renvi Nov 13, 2020

Renvi Ulrich wrote:
Have you been asked to lower your rates lately? How do you handle that type of requests to the best interest of your business?


If you do consider this, remember: the financial pressure this agency feels due to the corona crisis is going to last until at least 2022. So you're agreeing to a rate cut for the next 1.5-2 years. If an agency were to ask this of me, I'd agree to it without discussion. Corona financial difficulty is a real thing.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Egyesült Államok
Local time: 13:34
Tag (2006 óta)
angol - német
+ ...
Perspective Nov 14, 2020

Toilet paper costs about 3x as much as usual.

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Renvi Ulrich wrote:
I have no doubt on the honesty of these clients. I am therefore looking for the most professional way possible of dealing with this.

Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but ask for faster payment?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but only for a limited time, e.g. a month?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but only for work after you've done the first nnn or n,nnn words each month?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but inform them that your rate will increase by n% when Covid is officially over?

In other words, insist on some give with the take. Or just refuse -- that depends how important their custom is to you.


 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
ProZ.com-tag
angol - francia
+ ...
Toilet paper Nov 14, 2020

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Toilet paper costs about 3x as much as usual.



is on a roll, that's why.

And… if people knew about bum guns, they'd just go paperless and that 3x raise would soon go down the drain.

[Edited at 2020-11-14 06:11 GMT]


Chris S
Tom in London
 

Elena Feriani
Olaszország
Local time: 19:34
ProZ.com-tag
francia - olasz
+ ...
One of my "best" clients did the same Nov 14, 2020

My rates are now -15% in their system since March 2020.
I sent countless emails to get them reverted to my original rates. I managed to have them changed for 3 of their big accounts. I have lost one of their accounts, because that PM didn't agree to pay my usual rate and I didn't agree to offer a discount. Now, when the odd job comes up, I either contact the PM to explain what my rates are or I just hit the decline button. I am glad I didn't accept their rate cut because it would have cost
... See more
My rates are now -15% in their system since March 2020.
I sent countless emails to get them reverted to my original rates. I managed to have them changed for 3 of their big accounts. I have lost one of their accounts, because that PM didn't agree to pay my usual rate and I didn't agree to offer a discount. Now, when the odd job comes up, I either contact the PM to explain what my rates are or I just hit the decline button. I am glad I didn't accept their rate cut because it would have cost me around 2000 euros a year, and they don't seem to be willing to raise the rates in the near future.
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Renvi Ulrich
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Egyesült Királyság
svéd - angol
+ ...
Never in a month of Sundays! Nov 14, 2020

Samuel Murray wrote:
If you do consider this, remember: the financial pressure this agency feels due to the corona crisis is going to last until at least 2022. So you're agreeing to a rate cut for the next 1.5-2 years. If an agency were to ask this of me, I'd agree to it without discussion. Corona financial difficulty is a real thing.


That’s very trusting of you!

Three things strike me here:

1. Global GDP has only fallen 4-5% this year and is expected to bounce back next year.

2. There are generous government grants and loans if they really have lost that much business; and if they’re still struggling after that, you really want to steer clear.

3. I’d be willing to bet that the agencies asking for discounts are the ones that treat translators badly normally.

There is no way on Earth I’d agree to a discount. They are bigger than me and far more capable of absorbing a loss. And why should I suffer so they can continue to prosper?

[Edited at 2020-11-14 07:22 GMT]


Barbara Carrara
Mervyn Henderson
Thomas Pfann
Thomas T. Frost
Maria Pia Giuseppina Nuzzolese
expressisverbis
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Renvi Ulrich
Kamerun
Local time: 19:34
Tag (2018 óta)
angol - francia
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
The crisis can last very long Nov 14, 2020

Léa Pigeau wrote:

I think you shouldn't accept a drop on your rates since you have no idea how much time it will last and you have no garantee they will raise the rates back up when the crisis is over.


Thanks for your insight, Léa. That's a great point. Any change to the agreed rates should be for a specific agreed length of time.


Elena Feriani
 

Renvi Ulrich
Kamerun
Local time: 19:34
Tag (2018 óta)
angol - francia
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
I like the concept of give and take Nov 14, 2020

Great Ideas, Sheila. Thank you very much.

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Renvi Ulrich wrote:
I have no doubt on the honesty of these clients. I am therefore looking for the most professional way possible of dealing with this.

Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but ask for faster payment?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but only for a limited time, e.g. a month?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but only for work after you've done the first nnn or n,nnn words each month?
Agree to a (smaller) rate cut, but inform them that your rate will increase by n% when Covid is officially over?

In other words, insist on some give with the take. Or just refuse -- that depends how important their custom is to you.


Edward Potter
 

Renvi Ulrich
Kamerun
Local time: 19:34
Tag (2018 óta)
angol - francia
TÉMAINDÍTÓ
Thanks, Thomas Nov 14, 2020

This is a very touching personal experience. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for your insight on how your clients have been managing this particularly challenging times


And in situations where I am the client, I treat my 'vendors' with the same respect and generosity: I don't mind paying more at the moment because I know that some businesses had a pretty hard time. When I finally got a first haircut after months of lockdown, I gave a higher than usual tip to support my barber who just re-opened his shop after months without income (and he just now had to close it again for at least another month). The same goes for other service providers and shopkeepers etc.


 
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