After a long day of translations, I got a call from one of my friends and business associates and he handed the phone over to his client, for whom I had just finished translating 3 legal documents after she agreed on the price the day before, as she was wondering why I charged $50 for 3 documents when she thought there were 4 documents. below is the conversation we had over the phone:
– I thought there were 4 documents and now I see they are 3. How much did you charge for each document?
– 25,000 LBP for each. So the total amount would be 75,000 LBP ($50). How can you think there are 4 documents when you dropped the documents yourself and left your phone number for reference?
– But other translators would translate each document for 15,000 LBP.
– This is the price, on which you had agreed yesterday! Why didn’t you take the translation elsewhere before giving me green light to proceed?
– I was shy (ma ele 3ein) and I did not want to call you and cancel the job after having agreed. But my friends translated such documents for 15,000 LBP – she kept on repeating this sentence.
– I don’t know anyone who still charges only 15,000 LBP, unless it’s a simple personal civil status record (ikhraj eid farde), not even a family one! Besides, what you think you’re saving in terms of money, you’d be paying double in terms of both time and gas (given my convenient location).
– You’re right, that price is found in Zahle, but my friends…
– You just said it yourself, Zahle. You are in Beirut here! Besides, I guarantee an awesome quality so why worry?
– I get the same quality elsewhere. I would recommend you to all my friends if you reconsider your rates.
– Miss, these are my rates and this is the quality and service I provide. Please don’t feel the need to recommend me. My translations speak for themselves.
– So you will not offer me a discount?
– Absolutely not!
– I really regret giving the job to you.
To be honest, I regret taking the job! I won’t even give you the privilege of calling you a client! All this phone call for what? A 10,000 LBP discount? I don’t need your friends if they have the same thinking as you do! Please don’t come back, as I have no intention in offering you my services in the future!
For any future clients reading this, please bear in mind that you are not at a farmer’s market looking for a good bargain! We are professional people offering a professional service!
For my dear colleagues, please stop charging ridiculously low rates!
And for those asking what the documents were, they were not civil status records. They were:
1- A company registration certificate.
2- A certificate of service from the NSSF (the special one for Embassies – not the regular one for which I charge 15,000 LBP)
3- A 1-page job certificate – Usually, job certificates are half a page, hence the price of 25,000 LBP for the full page one.
I know that by explaining how I priced the documents here on the blog I might get some mixed feedback, but frankly I don’t care anymore. I love my job, but I can no longer tolerate people who call me and talk to me the way she did! No respect for our job whatsoever! I don’t need such clients and neither should any of my other colleagues!