Tuesday, November 16, 2010

“It Rubs the Translation Workspace on its Skin…”

“…or else it gets the hose again.”

Ok, we knew that you had to forcibly subscribe to Geoworkz Translation Workspace to freelance for Lionbridge. It is pricey, it is slow, it is outrageous.

Now comes the news, gleaned from ProZ.com’s forums, that there is no free trial of the tool.

Ahhh, but the first 30 days only cost $0.01.

A single cent. The problem is that no reminder is sent that your one-cent joy ride is about to expire. A perfect example of behavioral economics in action. People are innately hard-wired to follow the default. Example: when you buy a product, the option to get an unnecessary add-on or accessory or useless service plan is activated by default. It has been proven that only a minority acts against the default, i.e., deactivate the unwanted option.

By not sending a notice that the subscription is about to transition to the full price, the company insures itself that some unwilling buyers will lose some of their hard-earned money.

OK, Lionbridge, I promise to suspend my snarky blog posts if you make at least one symbolic, empty gesture at minimally acceptable corporate citizenship or basic human decency.

With these subscription policies,you have already fallen beneath the standards of the porn and gambling industries.

Seriously, guys, what’s next? Clubbing baby seals?

Please stop. I beg you. Please, Lionbridge… You are officially the worst company in the world. You did it. Please stop trying so hard.

Miguel Llorens is a freelance financial translator based in Madrid who works from Spanish into English. He is specialized in equity research, economics, accounting, and investment strategy. He has worked as a translator for Goldman Sachs, the US Government's Open Source Center and H.B.O. International, as well as many small-and-medium-sized brokerages and asset management companies operating in SpainTo contact him, visit his website and write to the address listed there. Feel free to join his LinkedIn network or to follow him on Twitter.


bonnjill said...

Luckily, most translators are pedantic enough to enter the day into their calendar.

Frauke G. Joris said...

Miguel, really hilarious!

I suppose that you have read this: http://www.globalwatchtower.com/2010/10/20/xerox-advertises-translation/ and this: http://blog.gts-translation.com/2010/11/14/proz-com-bans-transperfect-from-posting-jobs/?

LionB is not the only one on the black lists of a lot of translators. And not the only one who is asking to lower translation prices. I call them LSP's with trash-relationships-with-their-translators. Occasionally some of them are also the "biggest" or at least the most visible ones, with big marketing campaigns. If a potential customer reads their sites, he would really believe that they work "with the best specialised translators who are ready to deliver 24/24 the best translations". How is it that we translators all know that at the prices they (want to) pay, they can have "good translations" only by pure chance and for a short time because every beginning translator runs away from them at the very moment he finds a "normal" price payer? (a normal price being a price which allows him to work seriously to solve the problems of his customers; deliver risk free texts **and** services and most of all, build up the real relationship he needs to "know" the problems of his customer so that he can in time contribute effectively to solve them). Could it be that this enormous visibility has hidden the fact that very few (even not big) LSP's are delivering what many freelance translators deliver - since years and years - but in an **unvisible** way?

Financial Translator said...

Hi Jill. Glad to see you made the "jump" from the oldsite.

Don't worry. I know that LIOX isn't the only troublesome corporate citizen out there. It just strayed off the reservation farther than the other Sioux warriors. And, yes, I had seen those blog posts. It's just that Lionbridge is the news of the day thanks to its idiosyncratic style of interacting with its vendors.

scam buster said...

Ahem... there is a three months cancellation fee, when you do realize that you did not stop the "free" trial in time. Read the small prints... What, you are not a subscriber?!?

Financial Translator said...

Three month cancellation fee? Wow, I'm sincerely amazed. Translation Workscam is even worse than I thought. How do they collect the monthly fees? Two big guys called Guido and Freddy come around your house a couple of times a month?

Karl Hansen said...

No, I think they automatically charge your credit card once a month, or once a year if you choose the yearly option.

I say I think, because I refused to sign up for what I considered a pay-to-work scheme, complete with no obligations on Lionbridge's part to actually send me any work once I had paid up for their tool.

Seeing that I am now missing out on a lot of discounted projects in their tool, and that I am also missing out on a three-month cancellation fee, should I choose to boot their discounted hindquarters out of my client base, I am not having a hard time trying to hold my tears back. ;-)

ScottishWildcat said...

I like the picture you chose to illustrate your post very much, Miguel? Greetings from Hannibal Lecter, M.D. ;)

Stan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stan said...

"With these subscription policies,you have already fallen beneath the standards of the porn and gambling industries."

How true...!

Kevin Lossner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.