Have you ever asked for a discount when your scopist does a poor job?

My scopist of 9 years gave me back a 300 page transcript with a bunch of mistakes in it, which is unusual for her.  It happens when she has stuff going on in her life with kids, etc.

This time I called her on it because she charged me full price on this transcript when I had to go through and fix way more mistakes than I fet comfortable with. 

Reporters, do you ever ask for a discount from your scopists if they just throw a transcript together and spit it back to you?  I feel a little taken advantage of at this point. 

What do you think?

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I never have, although I have pointed out glaring errors.  I usually get really annoyed, but then I think about all the times she's given me great transcripts from crap I sent her.  What I notice is she seems to make more errors on the really easy ones than the harder ones, maybe because she has to pay more attention than on something she can coast through.  I would just let her know you weren't too happy with it, and I'm sure she'll do better on the next one.

Well, I asked for a discount.  First time in 9 1/2 years I've asked for one.  You're right.  This was not a difficult job, pretty much a no-brainer job.  You may be right that they get more sloppy on those.

I just don't think it's fair.  She charged me $296.00 for this job, big job, but she made a ton of mistakes.  In any other profession all of us would take the product back or ask for a discount.  Why is it different in this case?  It's still my hard earned money I'm spending.  I want to get my money's worth. 

Yes, Kelli, I agree with you that you should be discounted. 
We all can have a bad day.  I remember that happening once in my earlier scoping days with a reporter where we had a very good established relationship.  It was more important for me to keep working with the reporter, so I did offer the reporter a discount or I may have even withdrawn the bill.

When we have a bad day and know it, it's better to not accept the work.  But if something happens beyond your control and you know it was not your best work, I would acknowledge it with the reporter and make that adjustment. 

On the other hand, I've also had the reporter pay a higher rate because the reporter knew the writing was poor.  I believe it's only fair and the professional thing to do.  Communication is key.  ;)

Hope this helps,

Ms. Devon Roberts
www.joyfulscoping.com
drscoping@gmail.com

So how'd she handle it?  The times I've point out errors to scopists, it went downhill r.e.a.l fast.  I guess I'm just not tactful enough.  Since you have a 9 1/2 year relationship, it should turn out differently for you.

Do you pay extra when it's a "f'ugly" job?  If yes, then, yeah, I think she should give you a discount when she -- how do I say this tactfully? -- returns a product that's not to her usual standard.  You know she has the ability, but for whatever reason didn't return the product you expected.  Hopefully she'll acknowledge it and figure out what went wrong. 

But if you pay her the same page rate for easy stuff and the f'uglies, maybe you should just mention it and let it go.

If she's scoped for you that long, and does a poor job like this, which happens to everyone at times,

she should definitely be willing to discount it.  I would approach it with:  Here's how many errors I found,

here's how long it took me to do corrections, I know this is not like you, what do you think is a fair as far as reducing your bill for this job?  Ask her the question that way and see what she says.

 

I am an Eclipse scopist and if my work product ever slipped on a job, I would definitely want it brought to my attention so I could make sure it never happened again!  Constructive criticism just makes you a better scopist.  And asking for a lower rate is reasonable, Kelli.  I ask for a higher page rate for those occasional jobs that require a lot of extra editing and my reporters graciously pay it.  So the scopist should offer the same consideration if the reporter has to clean up a sloppy job.  It goes both ways. 

I am very, very generous when it comes to difficult work.  Even if I get lots of copies and the job is not difficult, I'll pay extra just because I've made more money.  She's told me many, many times how fair I am with her. 

She decided to take 50% discount off the job and said she was mad at herself for not thinking of it first because she knew she did a poor job on this one.  I think 50% is too much.  I was thinking more like 25%.  I just also called her and said it has to be a give and take on both sides and not just on my side.  She agreed and we're still friends and in a working relationship.

I always point out errors in my jobs to my scopists through email when I'm proofing.  There is always something I mention, that's just me.  That doesn't mean I want a discount.  It's just when it's over the top and I have to spend the extra time to make it perfect.  I shouldn't have to pay her for the extra work I'm having to do.

Sounds like you have a good relationship with her.

But I have a question.  If somebody knows they did a "poor job on this one," why give it back to the reporter as a finished product?  I agree that everybody's not at the top of their game 100% of the time, but if you know it's not up to your normal caliber, why not do the right thing and go through it again before you turn it in?  Was this job coming up on a deadline?

No, there was no deadline.  Her husband told her he wanted a divorce in the middle of doing this job.  Totally came out of left field.  Anyway, that's why the job was not up to snuff.  I guess everything is fine now. 

She is actually an excellent scopist, especially with my patent infringement work, which I get a ton of.  I could see how that situation could be distracting, thinking your whole world is coming apart.  Have to be a little sympathetic there. 

There have been other jobs in the past that didn't come back that great and I always paid full price for them.  This time, I just didn't think it was right.

Yeah, I can understand why she was distracted.  The poor thing.

Hmm.  This is the kind of thing that makes me think I should look for a male scopist.  You can't let your work suffer, especially when it's not even your butt on the line.  Divorce or not, no excuse.  

So, Keith, do you think if the wife blindsided the husband with the "divorce talk" that the husband wouldn't be affected?  I think it would sting either way.

Now, maybe find a celibate scopist, that might be your answer ;)

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