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More words to translate than stated in the contract

carrijorodrigo
Active Member
Rodrigo C Member Since: Mar 9, 2020
1 of 6

Hi!

 

I just finished a translation service for a client, for which I was already paid, and he closed the contract right afterward. He gave me good feedback ("Rodrigo did a great job!"), and after I asked him if he was satisfied with my work, he just said: "Yes, everything was good". 

 

The thing is: before starting to work on the project, he told me there was probably more work to come soon.  And, now that the job is closed, I'm wondering if I did something wrong. And why's that?

 

Well, the client hired me to translate 5000 words and I was satisfied with the price he had agreed to pay. However, the actual number of words was around 7200. Once I noticed the discrepancy,  I kindly informed the client about it, and he apologized saying that he would pay me a bonus for the extra words.

 

Considering I'm quite new here on this platform, should I have let this go? I'm afraid the client expected me not to ask for the bonus (which, in fact, I didn't – I just told him about what I had just found out and he was the one to propose the bonus).

 

My concern is also supported by the fact that, after taking a look at the feedback provided to his past freelancers, I noticed that the one he gave me was by far the shortest.

 

What do you, experienced translators and writers, think about that? 

 

Thank you,

 

Rodrigo

jr-translation
Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
BEST ANSWER
2 of 6

Rodrigo C wrote:

Hi!

 

I just finished a translation service for a client, for which I was already paid, and he closed the contract right afterward. He gave me good feedback ("Rodrigo did a great job!"), and after I asked him if he was satisfied with my work, he just said: "Yes, everything was good". 

 

The thing is: before starting to work on the project, he told me there was probably more work to come soon.  And, now that the job is closed, I'm wondering if I did something wrong. And why's that?

 

Well, the client hired me to translate 5000 words and I was satisfied with the price he had agreed to pay. However, the actual number of words was around 7200. Once I noticed the discrepancy,  I kindly informed the client about it, and he apologized saying that he would pay me a bonus for the extra words.

 

Considering I'm quite new here on this platform, should I have let this go? I'm afraid the client expected me not to ask for the bonus (which, in fact, I didn't – I just told him about what I had just found out and he was the one to propose the bonus).

 

My concern is also supported by the fact that, after taking a look at the feedback provided to his past freelancers, I noticed that the one he gave me was by far the shortest.

 

What do you, experienced translators and writers, think about that? 

 

Thank you,

 

Rodrigo


Congratualitions to your great start. You will have a great JSS soon.

 

Don't worry, we all made that mistake at one point.


What does it say in your proposal and in the contract? I usually repeat the workcount in my proposal like defining the rate for 1000 words in the first milestone. I also check the wordcount before I accept a job offer (after learning it the hard way as well).

 

You could remind the client of the bonus. He already rated you so it cannot backfire.

 

Next time, when you deal with a really nasty client, you could also remind him that he only owns what he paid for. Usually you only hand over the work once the entire amount is in escrow. Watch out for $5 milestones, these are underfunded and clients sometimes try to get get away with only paying what was funded. Ask again to find out what to do in these cases when it happens.

 

Not too long ago I was a bit crossed with a client because I felt he owned me $9. I bit my tongue and since then I made ~2k with this client. The client owns you more money at the moment, but what I want so say it that it is important to act professional and polite towards any client.

 

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carrijorodrigo
Active Member
Rodrigo C Member Since: Mar 9, 2020
3 of 6

Hi Jennifer, thank you for your words!

 

Actually the client did pay me the bonus ($30) – I'm sorry, I wasn't clear about that.  My question here was more focused on knowing if I did something wrong or not when notifying the client about the extra words. Anyway, you gave me the answer. I will consider your advice next time! Smiley Happy 

 

(By the way, I can't wait to see my JSS on my profile. )

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 6

Rodrigo C wrote:

Hi Jennifer, thank you for your words!

 

Actually the client did pay me the bonus ($30) – I'm sorry, I wasn't clear about that.  My question here was more focused on knowing if I did something wrong or not when notifying the client about the extra words. Anyway, you gave me the answer. I will consider your advice next time! Smiley Happy 

 

(By the way, I can't wait to see my JSS on my profile. )


_______________________________

You were right to notify the client about the extra words. But next time, make sure you see the entire work to establish the word count before your agree to the contract. Or at least make sure before you start work that the number of words matches what you and the client have agreed. I wouldn't worry about your feedback. Clients often write very little and they sometimes write nothing at all. They can also give you  less than stellar feedback and still rehire you. There's no accounting for a client!

 

Don't worry about your upcoming JSS - there is nothing you can do about it anyway, whatever it is. If it isn't as high as you would like when you get it, it will just take a few more jobs with good feedback to get to where you want it to be.

 

carrijorodrigo
Active Member
Rodrigo C Member Since: Mar 9, 2020
5 of 6

You were right to notify the client about the extra words. But next time, make sure you see the entire work to establish the word count before your agree to the contract. Or at least make sure before you start work that the number of words matches what you and the client have agreed. I wouldn't worry about your feedback. Clients often write very little and they sometimes write nothing at all. They can also give you  less than stellar feedback and still rehire you. There's no accounting for a client!


Hi Nichola, thank you for taking some time to reply! As for your advice, I will definitely do that next time! It's been only a month or so since I actually started getting my first jobs, so I hope to get the hang of it soon (and you guys have been really helpful to me in this sense).

 

Don't worry about your upcoming JSS - there is nothing you can do about it anyway, whatever it is. If it isn't as high as you would like when you get it, it will just take a few more jobs with good feedback to get to where you want it to be.


Yes, I may be getting a JSS after 2 or 3 more jobs, I guess. Thank you again!

jr-translation
Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
6 of 6

Rodrigo C wrote:

You were right to notify the client about the extra words. But next time, make sure you see the entire work to establish the word count before your agree to the contract. Or at least make sure before you start work that the number of words matches what you and the client have agreed. I wouldn't worry about your feedback. Clients often write very little and they sometimes write nothing at all. They can also give you  less than stellar feedback and still rehire you. There's no accounting for a client!


Hi Nichola, thank you for taking some time to reply! As for your advice, I will definitely do that next time! It's been only a month or so since I actually started getting my first jobs, so I hope to get the hang of it soon (and you guys have been really helpful to me in this sense).

 

Don't worry about your upcoming JSS - there is nothing you can do about it anyway, whatever it is. If it isn't as high as you would like when you get it, it will just take a few more jobs with good feedback to get to where you want it to be.


Yes, I may be getting a JSS after 2 or 3 more jobs, I guess. Thank you again!


Perfect start, but to be honest I would not work for that client again. $30 for 2200 words is not such a great rate.

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