How to deal with an unreasonable customer

[Sometimes it happens that it is better to be polite and turn down a job. This customer had a strict deadline he had to meet, yet was a stickler about quality and price. If he went elsewhere he probably ended up paying a lot more, otherwise he missed his own deadline and ended up paying for it. Sometimes it is best to turn down work from someone who demands for the moon.]
just received the following response from the translator. Perhaps your customer should not have been so demanding and not tried to whittle down the price. Slovenian translators are generally not cheap, located next to Austria, and I have very few Slovenian translators. Not to mention the time zone difference.
Nevertheless I suggested that your client would prefer she tried her best and kept her price, but I guess that will now depend on a confirmation from your client and not sure if its deadline will now be met, considering that the translator just lost an entire day. [Translator comments following:]
I’ve just checked my email. Honestly, I think it is better if you give this to another translator.
a) I cannot make the text read fluently as these are balance sheets, I can translate individual terms and entries, but cannot make a summary of it as I do not know accounting.
b) putting everything into another doc also includes quite a bit of DTP, also I would need to recheck all the terms, so for me it’s quite a bit of work, maybe a different translator would either have less work with it or would be willing to do it for a lower price.
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below is the translators final response, so I hope everything will be okay. I would just like to say it is generally not good for your client to threaten non-payment, because it can easily scare away a translator, which is not good when there is such a tight deadline and so few translators to choose from. Considering the circumstances, I hope your client will not be unreasonable. I will proofread it as well.
Ok. I will do my best to deliver it at least by 2pm GMT tomorrow so that I am still available for potential clarifications for a few hours.
below is the customer’s latest response. I believe if you are careful and then I proofread it after you, the final outcome will be sufficiently high quality, but I will leave the decision up to you. But I will need to receive the translation by about 5pm Thursday GMT time in order to have time to proofread it. I told them that they should have mentioned these quality conditions at the beginning. I’ve already spent enough time bouncing these emails back and forth and it would be nice to earn some money from it.
The client has asked the translator to proceed – as long as your translator can guarantee delivery by 7 am (morning) UK time on Friday – he indicated that if it is any later than that – he would not be able to accept the translation – of course, the translation must be to a very high standard
I look forwad to your reply
ASAP please
I believe she didn’t start because of the clients stringent requirements stated at the very end of yesterday, so I guess it scared her a bit. I have proofread her work once before and it was overall good, but she is not native English, so it certainly is not perfect. Even after I proofread it, it may have a slight foreign feel. I do not think it was good for your client to impose these conditions at the very end of the day and it should have been brought up earlier, considering the time zone difference.
I know that the translation is required for the client’s meeting on Friday morning – they need it by Thursday afternoon – can this delivery be guaranteed? Please confirm ASAP – thanks

madmin
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madmin

Head Honcho at KENAX
After translating and managing translation projects for more than 20 years, I'm happy to teach others the ropes and move on to other interests. My greatest perk from this profession is that it has given me the freedom to work when and where I want, and eventually to loosen the straps and travel freely around the world.
madmin
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