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I was disappointed to learn today of the changes to the PayPal payments, which effectively means Gengo is cutting our pay.

 

I also work for another well-known online freelance site, and there I can request a payout any day I like, and the very next business day, the money is transferred directly to my checking account. Whether the amount is $20 or $2,000, there is no fee.

With Gengo, I have to wait days or weeks. (According to your website, if I request a payout on the 4th of the month, my payment will not be processed until the 25th—that's 3 weeks.) Then I still have to wait an additional day or two to move that money from PayPal to my checking account. Now you plan to charge us a $20 (in)convenience fee?

Is there any chance Gengo could rethink this, or perhaps add the option of a no-charge direct deposit to checking like other businesses offer?

(I realize you have translators all over the world, but the company I refer to above does as well.)

Finally, it's no credit to your public relations department that they signed off on announcing a pay cut just before the holidays. I admit they did do an admirable job of spinning and disguising it with positive turns of phrase, but a pay cut is a pay cut, even if you're afraid to call it what it is.

23 comments

  • 21
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    keiko

    Yeah, this sucks pretty bad in my opinion. Especially after essentially forcing translators to give feeder $8/month if they wanted to remain competitive (unless I suppose they have some other job tracking system or had tons of preferred customers or whatever). The only way this change seems alright is if you happened to make exactly $150 per payout period. 

    I suppose one could switch over to payoneer, which charges $2 per payout in addition to a flat $3/month fee, based on what I can tell from info in the Gengo forums. Assuming one went for both monthly payouts, that's $7/month, plus feeder's 8. So $15/month for the privilege of working for Gengo. Payoneer is thus preferable for any payouts near or above $500, since gengo's fee (1.5%) for a $500 paypal payout would be $7.50. If you're lucky enough to have over $1000 in your account and decide to use paypal, those fees climb to $15-20 per payout. In addition to the feeder extension, that's potentially almost 50 dollars a month. 

    In previous forum posts, it was said that we would still be able to choose between paypal or payoneer, according to which one "suited our needs best." Of course, although the payoneer plan seems to suck a little bit less now, neither strikes me as exactly ideal, especially when you consider the presumably modest amount of money most freelance translators make per month, to begin with. (I'm also made to wonder if the purpose of the paypal change isn't just to get everyone to switch to payoneer?)

    Honestly, charging any fee designed to get around paypal's fee seems pretty sleazy to begin with. Gengo already makes 3 cents off of every word we translate, and paypal's fee is a way for it to make money off the person paying for the service (the client, or employer) rather than the person doing the service, which is the way things ought to be. Doing a "study of industry rates" and deciding to switch to a percentage based system to increase the profitability of that fee seems downright callous & exploitative.

    I enjoy working for Gengo and appreciate the service of not having to constantly scour the web for jobs myself, but the rates are low enough as it is without needing to add insult to injury by making people pay for the privilege of making you (and yes, themselves) some money. 

    Edited by keiko
  • 2
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    philip.lardot

    Hi,

    I have been using Payoneer ever since the option became available here.

    @keiko I have never paid a monthly fee, I only pay the fixed transaction fee of $2 that you mention (which seems to be correct, even though Payoneer states that payments by Gengo have a ´Load payment´ of 3$ every time?). 

    I do not know about other currencies, but withdrawing to my bank account (in EUR) with Payoneer has given me a better rate/result than Paypal offers every time, even before the addition of this new fee. These have all been above 500$, perhaps Paypal used to be the better option for very small payments, but in my case Payoneer has been the better option ever since it has become available. 

  • 0
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    keiko

    @philip.lardot that's good to know, thanks. I had previously read here that there was a monthly fee, too. Perhaps this is only for the credit card option...? Anyway, guess I'll be switching. 

    Edited by keiko
  • 0
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    philip.lardot

    @keiko

    Yes, I think that is the fee for using a Payoneer debit card. 

  • 3
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    Oliver

    @keiko

    I can confirm there is no monthly charge for using Payoneer in the same way you would use PayPal. The charges come into play when you sign up for their MasterCard service, something which they were trying to push quite heavily at sign up. I also agree 100% with what you wrote in your first post, charging even more to simply access your money just adds insult to injury with Gengo's already hilariously bad rates. Coupled with the fact I live in Japan and Gengo's inability (unwillingness?) to provide rates in currencies other than USD, translation even at a Pro level on Gengo is just not sustainable. As the OP said, there are other sites (I perhaps know which one he is referring to) whose base rates are regularly two, three and sometimes close to four times Gengo's Pro rate, no absurd translator rating algorithm/system, and *free* withdrawals at any time during the month. 

  • 4
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    captnemo

    No news, good news. This is news and bad news. What a killer move. Which side does it come from, Gengo or Paypal?

    Edited by captnemo
  • 1
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    Bobby Knuckles

    Disappointing, guess I'll switch to payoneer now. 

    @Keiko Do you feel like the paid Feeder subscription is worth it? How fast is it compared to free use? I pretty much only do preferred translations for [customer name has been edited out due to privacy reasons] now, I wonder if it would make a difference. 

  • 5
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    LBTranslations

    @captnemo - This is a Gengo decision and a very disappointing one at that.

     

  • 1
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    Xavier

    I switched to Payoneer too for my last 2-3 payouts. It is still not free, and they have a lot of "small" fees (usually related to the use of the card) that add up at the end of the month, but it's better than Paypal...

     

    I agree with Kevan's comment about the wait for the payout, it is extremely annoying and can put some of us in a difficult position. I missed the one on the 3rd this month, therefore I am still waiting for the 25th to get my salary... I had to ask my girlfriend to lend me money in the mean time. Not cool! I would appreciate it if Gengo could at least add another date for the payout, something like the 1st, the 11th and the 21st for example, so the wait would be shorter.

  • 1
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    Huong_Pham

    I agree with KevanSF. I'm also working for the well-known online freelance site that you mentioned. They seem to be the best service provider that I've ever known, very convenient for both the clients and the translators in every aspects!

  • 2
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    carla m.

    Slightly OT: I requested a payout on the 17th...I am a little worried because even though they said the new changes will apply from the next payout (December 10), I noticed that the "Payout already requested" page already says:

    "Your payout will be processed on the 25th at around 5pm JST. PayPal users will be charged a transaction fee of 1.50% of your reward, with a minimum cap of $1.50 and a maximum charge of $20. Payoneer users are not charged any transaction fees from Gengo, however any applicable fees are charged directly to the user from the payout provider."

    I hope it's just that they have already updated the message. I would hate to see an additional charge on the already small amount (not worth hanging around here anymore...)

  • 9
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    captnemo

    May anyone suggest (through indirect ways and without breaking the box) what is/who are the other "well-known online freelance - translation only? - site" that is often mentioned here. It is not clear at all to me, as there are many. Can you? Or would that break the box? If it breaks the box, leve the box as is, please. Thanks,

  • 2
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    captnemo

    Did anyone try and ask formally what are the reasons that led to this change? I mean why before it could work with a forfait fee of 1,5 $ and now they need a percentage fee of 1,5 %...Do you know what/where is the best way to ask that question (collectively), aside from support@gengo.com (individually)?

    As it has been expressed by others here abovealready, without any given good motivation, it sounds like a way to cut down on an already meager pay.

    We probably like doing this kind of work, otherwise we would not do it, but it is no reason to be mistreated instead of rewarded (that wouldn't hurt every now and then).

    Edited by captnemo
  • -1
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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi all,

    Thanks for this discussion. We completely understand the impact of the change to the PayPal fee structure and how it affects each of our translators differently, and this is one of the reasons why we're only implementing it after making sure that we're offering more than one payment provider for you to choose.

    With that said, and to answer @cm's question, I'd like to reassure you all that the new fee will be applied starting with the payout of December 10th. The message on the "Payout already requested" page has been updated, but the fee applied to your next payout (11/25) will be the old $1.5 flat fee.

    The reasons that led to this change are based on increased PayPal costs over the years. The flat fee was implemented when Gengo was first started and, as mentioned in the email sent out on November 18th, it covered only a part of the costs associated with PayPal payments. At the time and until the implementation of the new fee structure, Gengo has continued to cover the rest of the costs for translators. However, PayPal costs increased over the years and, with the growth of our translator community, we found that the flat fee was no longer sustainable.

    As always, we will continue to strive to be able to provide a better translator experience, and that includes looking into and considering different payment methods that would benefit our translators worldwide. 

    Thanks,

    Lara

  • 1
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    captnemo

    Hi there Lara,

    and thank you for your clear explanation about the motives behind this change.
    I suspected that this was due to PayPal. I am afraid they will become very rich! - joking -
    On the other hand, when someone offers a service, they will have to be compensated one way or the other, sooner or later, isn't it?

    However, and nevertheless, if Gengo was, is or would be in the position of renegotiating the percentage - I hope so -, I think a 1% fee would be easier to reckon, and I bet easier to "accept" for us - poor small cogs in the wheel -.

    Anyhow, sincerely thank you for you attention and your time, Lara.

    Cheers,

      Marco

    ps.
    I also perfectly understand that Gengo does its best to overwhelm competition and let its business alive, and that is not so easy. I appreciate.

  • 3
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    Alexander

    @captnemo - I guess this well-known online freelance site is, let's say, one of our translation opportunities other than Gengo that you can identify by searching 'online translation service'.

  • 0
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    Uy Nguyen

    It seems strange to me that when other translators refer to Feeder they say it costs $8 on a monthly basis, like @keiko did above. I've been using it for two months at a cost of $2 per month and I find that this suits me more than enough, the features tailor-made for Gengo by Feeder does not sound necessary for me, or it's because the volume of jobs available in my language pair (En-Vi) is not big enough to see the benefits of such. Anyway I personallt think it is best to have both paypal and payoneer accounts, depending on the earnings we will switch between the two to enjoy the better rate.
    Btw @captnemo Paypal IS really getting rich (no joke) their currency conversion rate is terrible.

  • 1
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    captnemo

    Since the update in Paypal fees policy it has really become unpleasant.

    To receive 500 $ I will have to pay around 7.5 $ (1,5 % of the total amount fee). I am reluctant to leave Paypal because I have all my bank cards linked to it, and it was a way to feel free (at the beginning), however now I am starting to feel strangled. If it is a sort of monopoly they may decide whatever they like?!

    Do we have a sort of labor union inside Gengo? I think this small "change" in the payment policy had to be discussed a bit more. In the end I have to be humble and understand I earn small amounts against a genuine work effort (which someone will have to comprehend it is not always easy). 
    Is this going to break the vase?

    The general argument/subject might be very important, because this way seems to be the future of work?! Well at least online.

     

    Thank you for comments, feedack, contributions to this conversation/discussion.

  • 0
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    Xavier

    I feel you captnemo! It seems like Gengo is trying to save money on the fees, but we end up paying for it (or earning less, which ever way you want to put it). I use Payoneer now as their exchange rates seem to be a little better, but I get charged every time I receive my salary on the prepaid card, as already discussed in another topic. And when I looked at my "funding sources", I realized that not all the companies I work for have that $2-2.5 loading payment policy, some are free. So my guess is Gengo chose to make us pay for at least some of it (please correct me if I'm wrong Lara).

    And for the main point you mentionned, like in many other "online companies", there is no union in Gengo as far as I know. They just use a pool of totally disposable translators that have no real say in the big changes (like the new system of collections that are now a whole, not individual jobs) and get a T-shirt once they have translated the equivalent of the Lord of the Rings trilogy... I am surprised the French forum hasn't started a revolution yet!

  • -1
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Xavier - Payoneer has removed their load fee for all Gengo payments as of our latest update. I can forward the email to you again, where we announced the update and also instructed translators who wanted to benefit from it to contact Payoneer support. This information is also in our Support articles. So no, we are not choosing to make you pay for anything when it comes to Payoneer -- quite the opposite actually! :)

    Payoneer's agreements with other companies are separate from Gengo, so I can't speak for them.

    As for PayPal, I already explained above back in November:

    The reasons that led to this change are based on increased PayPal costs over the years. The flat fee was implemented when Gengo was first started and, as mentioned in the email sent out on November 18th, it covered only a part of the costs associated with PayPal payments. At the time and until the implementation of the new fee structure, Gengo has continued to cover the rest of the costs for translators. However, PayPal costs increased over the years and, with the growth of our translator community, we found that the flat fee was no longer sustainable.

    Just to clarify, we continue to partially cover the PayPal fees related to payments, even though it's a lesser amount than back when we charged a flat rate of $1.5 (which, as explained, is not sustainable anymore.)

    Edited by Lara Fernandez
  • 0
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    Xavier

    @Lara, indeed, I missed that email but it was in my inbox, thank you for pointing it out. I don’t know why we were charged at first, but at least it’s not the case anymore, good to know! Payoneer is definitely better than Paypal for me, and less cumbersome.

    I stand by my other comment, but please know that I really appreciate your answers and help on the forum and that it was not against you ;)

  • -1
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Xavier - No problem at all, I know your comments are about your objective opinion about the system, and I appreciate them :)

    I am not sure also why our first Payoneer integration included the load fee, but please do know that this was a charge on their end, not on ours.I'm actually the one that needs to thank you because the updates to our Payoneer integration were triggered by your comment where you were explaining that you could not switch from the card to the bank to receive your rewards. So thank you, Xavier! 

  • 0
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    captnemo

    So, the french revolution should be against Paypal. Allons enfants!

    ps.

    When have they decided to become ultra rich instead of super rich?

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