Blacklist Z

Zamenhof translation (Low rates)

Probably best to kick them while they are down: Zamenhof translation services in Israel, just came asking for a translation at 0,04 euro...

Zenoni, Traducciones Zenoni, Peru 

Tries to pay 1 eurocent a word with impossible deadlines, and then threatens translators who reports her practices to the community. My tip to Ms. Giuletta Zenoni: when you choose to be a bottom-feeder, expect pros to consider you as one.

Email 27/07/14: "Hello! I recently got in touch with Traducciones Zenoni after seeing their post on Forotraducción, a Facebook page, in which they stated to be looking for an EN to ES translator for a 13,000 word contract (see original screenshot of FB post & see emails below). After contacting Ms. Zenoni last Monday, she proposed a Wednesday deadline (yes,  for a 13,000 word contract) and a payment of 150 USD.  I replied saying that this is not only unethical, but that as the head of a translation company I expected more from her. I also told her to visit the No Peanuts webpage, to help her understand why a qualified and experienced translator would of course reject such an offer. I also reported the post to the FB group, and it was deleted. After my reply, she sent me several threatening messages, which I promptly ignored.

Nevertheless, I feel that I should warn fellow translators about this company and their business ethics. Please let me know if you would like further information in order to support my case for this agency being blacklisted."

ZOO Digital / Richard Lewis:  

Bottom feeder +late(non)-payer)

"They offered $5 a minute and thought that $450 for a 90-minute feature was a good deal. Rather sheepishly, they admitted that it wasn't very much but at least - IF they liked you - you'd have a lot of work."
ZOO office 310 220 3939 | facsimile 310 220 3958
2201 Park Place, Suite 100 | El Segundo, CA 90245

Email 08/09/14:
"Thanks for the service you are doing.
 Please add to your list of warnings that ZOO Digital owes many of its translators A LOT of money. They haven't paid for the last three months or so, saying that either ALL the financial department is out sick or a client hasn't paid them which is why they can't pay their translators. While stiffing their regular translators they are currently hiring and looking for new translators!!!! Anyway, KEEP AWAY!"

Email 25/11/14 from Zoo
"In order to retain our contracts with clients, a rate decrease will affect ZOO and all our translators from the beginning of June onwards. This is of course a source of regret for us, but in order to remain competitive the greatest rate of pay we will be able to offer in the future is US$3.00 per video minute.
We recognise that this is below your current rate. We will continue to receive work at previously quoted rates from some clients, but these assignments have become less frequent and therefore we have been unable to supply you with work since you were added to our pool of translators. We would also like to make clear for you, if this information causes you to reconsider our offered rates, that all our rates are for the translation of subtitle templates only. Spotting and time-cueing are not required.
For those translators who accept the new rate, we hope to be able to supply you with regular assignments. For those translators who cannot accept the new rate, we will keep you in our database at your current rates, or other rates that you wish, and contact you when we receive work at higher rates of pay, but we must ask you to be aware that such projects will be rare in future." Richard Lewis, Zoo

Email 25/12/14: 
"First of all, thank you so much for your free blacklist of translation agencies. As if it wasn’t all so complicated already, we can’t even protect ourselves from the “bad guys” unless we purchase high fee memberships on portals.
I’m having a problem with Zoo Digital Productions, listed in your blacklist. One invoice of 2000$ is already 40 days overdue, and every time I call the responsible person is away (at dinner even if it’s 4 pm) and their client hasn’t paid them. On top of the bullshi**ing, hat’s why I work with an agency in the first place — they take care of any problems with THEIR client and they pay me agreed upon since they are MY client."


Adrián said...

I'd like to add information about Zoo Digital. I have an unpaid invoice from September 2014; it's NINE MONTHS old. Every time I complain I get the most ridiculous answers like the one below. I have others unpaid invoices but the oldest one is 9 months. To my knowledge, this is happening to a lot of translators.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ZOO Accounts Payable
Date: 2015-04-08 6:41 GMT-03:00

We sincerely apologise for the delay in payment. It is certainly not our intention to keep you waiting. We greatly appreciate your support and regret that we have not been able to pay you promptly for your services on this occasion.
We are currently unable to provide an exact date that a payment will be processed to you, as this depends on several factors which are subject to continuing changes.
The Finance Department are working hard to assure that a payment to you will be processed as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience.
With regards.

Unknown said...

I'd like to add information about Zoo Digital. I have an unpaid invoice from September 2014 about 1200 USD. I always get ridiculous answers from them like "reorganising the financial system" ect. At the same time, they keep sending me job offers.
I dont hope any more to get my payment for these jobs. DONT WORK FOR THEM!!!

sarah_flo said...

Hi Adrian, my first invoice (thousand of euros) is due this month, but I got exactly the same email as you. Did they pay you, in the end? Please let me know, I'm growing frantic.

sarah_flo said...

Hi Adrian, my first invoice (thousand of euros) is due this month, but I got exactly the same email as you. Did they pay you, in the end? Please let me know, I'm growing frantic.

Anonymous said...


I'm also waiting for a reply from ZAP. My first invoice dates back to April.
Not only they're not paying, they're also ignoring me.
I'm thinking of maybe joining forces and make a group to discuss the issue and take action together. I'll still give them some time to reply, but would like to start seeing what we can do.
If anyone has had any problems and is interested, write me at itjumps19n at gmail.

Anonymous said...

We've decided to open a FB group to discuss and join forces. You can find it here:

CaptainCarnage said...


I am also a freelancer at Zoo Digital.
Before yesterday I had 6 unpaid invoices from ZOO. 4/6 have been paid now.
One invoice dated from June 30 2015 and still was not paid halfway through September.
After contacting and emailing every department at zoo except the finance department, since they did not respond to my emails for more than 10 days, i contacted a guy at zoo from invester relations, and he replied that he had contacted the finance department and they told him that I would be paid previous Friday.
At that same time, the finance department contacted me telling me that 75 USD would be paid out in next payment run.
I had to check the invoices to see how they added it up to 75 USD, and apparently they paid out my first 4 invoices, which had a total of 75 USD. This has been paid now.
I still have 2 unpaid invoices that still are in the 45 net day payment run, since the invoice date is end August. I doubt this will go so easy though, since the last 2 invoices I have with them are almost 1000 USD total, and they will be less inclined to pay out 1000 USD than 75 USD.
I keep you informed about it.
Even if they pay me out, I decided not to accept work anymore from them.
It's not worth the stress, if for every invoice you have to write emails and never know for sure if you will get paid.
But I think that pressing them and contacting other departments at Zoo can help other people get their money back.
Just don't wait for a reply from finance department. They only reply if they have no other choice.

Yi said...

Hi, anyone can offer more details about Zenoni? Thanks in advance. My invoice issued on Sep 1 and they haven't paid me yet after one month. Yesterday (Sep 30)they sent me another offer asking me if I can finish a 12-page project in 2 days(!!!) from Chinese to Spanish. The email doesn't even provide more information, but I notice from the former email that their client asks for a certified or an official translation. Actually I'm not certified in this language pair, and not even a native Spanish speaker. And to top it all, their emails' heading never contain my name or any details (word count, theme, etc..), which makes me feel it's both unprofessional and impolite. Do they actually make the payment?

Unknown said...

I got my money almost a year after completing my projects after I had threatened them with I don't remember what. Anyway, now I would do the following - inform that non-sense ticket system of theirs that you will email the following persons with your complaint (I assembled this list for you, you can expand it), unless they pay at once:

At ZOO (
Investor Relations -
Karla Harrison, Head of Operations, Subtitling (Europe)
Dr. Stuart Green, Chief Executive Officer
Helen Gilder, Group Finance Director

Their stock analyst Andrew Darley, finnCap Ltd. -

At Innovate UK (government agency, ZOO was shortlisted for 2015 UK Innovations awards but didn't win - how funny, but they should know whom they shortlist):

Anne Dixon, Chief Operating Officer, Innovate UK
Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive, Innovate UK

Good luck

dd said...


I have 3 outstanding invoices from Zoo, the oldest one being from July 2014. I wrote to them more than 10 times and I'm getting the same ridiculous excuses that Adrian got. It's not a huge amount ( about 480 dollars in total), but I am still planning to sue them.

What outrages me the most, that lately I've been receiving a lot of potential projects from them, so I am wondering how they can have work done without paying their translators on time? Makes me really angry and want to sue them even more.


I also found this info on Glassdoor regarding Zoo:

Mini said...

I used to work for Zoo and had several issues with them not paying. Huge amounts were months overdue and I got those ridiculous answers as well when I was asking to get paid. They wouldn't pay me before I threatened them with legal actions and I know others have had to do the same. The funny part is that they still have the balls asking me to help with them with projects. Do not work for this company, there are better ones out there.

Unknown said...

My advice to young translators who would like to work with Zoo is simple : KEEP AWAY! Zoo is a rogue company. They owe me several thousands $ and come up with the most stupid excuses or simply ignore me when I ask them when I am going to be paid...