This is in regards to the newest announcement about the updated deadline extension policy.
Granted I'm probably one of the slower translators, and for short texts with no or little need for research the deadlines are generous, but I don't feel comfortable with having to count if I'm below the limit of 4 deadline extensions per month to decide if I can take on a translation nor do I find that to be an "excessive" amount. Also, while I'm happy to share a reason if I think it's relevant, I think it's a bit silly and patronizing to demand one. Truth be told, I'd have expected the process to be automated rather than made more restrictive.
Overall I'm left with the impression that things are getting more restrictive around here recently, like the example of blocking copy paste for certain collections (temporally?). All of these are measures that hurt the established and the honest translators as well.
Generally speaking, I'm also not convinced that speed is a prime concern for the majority of customers. First of all, Gengo translations are delivered relatively speedy as it is, even with a deadline extension. Even for customer service, it shouldn't really matter if a translation arrives one hour later. And then I've done ten thousands of translations for Gengo, and I can count the situations where speed was a genuine concern on one hand and then only one customer wasn't astute enough to point that out in advance.
I'm sure Gengo or Lionbridge will have their own data, e. g. from surveys, but I'm not so sure they were necessarily asking the right questions. For example, if you let someone choose what is important to them, speed, quality, etc., obviously many will pick both. But if you give them the option to weigh speed against quality, the answer will be similarly clear and I'm pretty sure quality will suffer if you put more emphasis on speed.
Ask the customer what he wants and he'll choose fast, good and cheap. You'll probably know the saying: Pick two.
Now to go out on a limb:
I'm aware Gengo demands that we start translations immediately. In my opinion, that's not a fully realistic expectation.
Gengo makes it clear it's not meant as a primary income source and translators aren't paid for sitting around waiting for jobs by Gengo.
Logically, while still being at the computer, professional translators will have to work on different projects, some with short deadlines of their own.
It's not a realistic expectation that we either do nothing to be ready for Gengo jobs or that we drop everything else the minute a Gengo job comes in. A transition period of at least 15 minutes would be a reasonable solution in my opinion.
It's also not realistic to expect us to wait for the rare occasion where the stars align, we happen to have nothing to do, a job comes in and we manage to claim it. In my case that would make Gengo unattractive as providing any meaningful part of my income.
Edit: To clarify, obviously there are customer service mails that are time critical (as in: every minute counts), but the ones I usually come across aren't, plus they are relatively short, so aren't likely candidates for deadline extensions either way. Just brought that up because I was thinking of examples for translations where time might be an issue.
I'm also aware there's a difference between rules and how they are actually enforced. It seems like Gengo often chooses over the top language to make a point (see also revision requests) in order to encourage or deter certain behavior, here: "Emergency", "extenuating circumstances", "excessive".
So maybe this is much ado about nothing, but I'm still worried about the overall direction things might be heading.