Read the ATA's guide for translation buyers
First of all I would AVOID ProZ's Blueboard, since it is no longer (2013) a reliable source of information on agencies. Too many compagnies have an "all five" record which really doesn't compute with what translators have to say about them.
Instead, to actually learn about what a company is worth, I would visit those :These websites are (in principle) not accessible to agencies, and all contents are written by translators.
There are no "stars" given, you have to take the time to read what is being said. But this is worthwhile.
- Payment practices (25 USD per year)
- Translators debating which agencies are safe to work with (12 USD per year)
If you think these resources should be available freely and publicly since after all the free circulation of this information is beneficial to the entire industry, then you will find the same information and will be able to contribute yourself freely to all the following:
- Scammers directory (check it first before you report a suspicious/fake CV to them)
- Always useful to check the websites yelp and glassdoor, which contain uncensored (an censored) customer and insiders reviews I sometimes used as resources for the blacklist. Stay cautious and expect some evangelists and fake reports.
- Ripoff Report
- To contribute to the word of mouth in a private way you can use the very useful yahoo group WPPF
- Finally I would recommend 2 very active linkedIn groups where you can discuss and warn with complete freedom:
- Unacceptable rates
- Translation agencies business practises
- Black Sheep
To know more about how to detect bad practises :
- Article on BRITISH translation companies