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  • Writer's pictureJohnny Romero

What is Cheap can end up being Expensive

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

There is a Spanish idiom that goes like this: “Lo barato sale caro.”

Translation? “What is Cheap can end up being expensive”, but what is the meaning?

Let me share a recent real-life experience with you. I will leave out the names of those involved to protect the innocent and the “not so innocent”.

A client of mine acquired my services for Professional Spanish language interpretation. I successfully provided the Professional interpretation between my client and their customer on several occasions. This included the explanation of the business agreement, scope of work, expectations, billing cycle, and on-boarding. My client signed on their new customer, closed the deal, and informed them that if in the future it was ever necessary, the Professional Interpreter would be requested again.

Happy ending, right? Well, not so fast.

Several months went by and I received an urgent text from my client with a same day request for Professional Spanish language interpretation. It was for the same customer I had initially assisted my client with. I happily oblige and upon arrival, I can tell that my client is visibly nervous and concerned.

My client explains that there appears to be a misunderstanding with their customer. It turns out that after the initial sessions (where professional interpreting was provided), communication was being made via the customers bilingual child. The result was that not all the instructions were being understood. You see, even with the use of Google, the bilingual child just did not understand the meaning or context of what was being communicated. Once everything was clarified (with the Professional Interpreter present), billing discrepancies were identified and resolved.

Despite my client’s best efforts to restore trust and retain the relationship by ensuring that moving forward a Professional Interpreter would be provided as needed, it was too late. Their client decided best to terminate the relationship and to switch to a bilingual provider instead.

The truth is, there are no shortcuts to consistency and reliability; either you are or you are not. That desired result, comes at a cost or sacrifice. At the risk of stating the obvious, there is no sacrifice without sacrifice.

That being the case, don’t short change your customers because in the end you’re only short changing yourself. Be willing to sacrifice or “pay” for the desired result you want and that your customers deserve. If you’re not willing to pay for it, then why should you expect your customers to be willing to pay you?

My client learned the hard way the meaning of: “What is Cheap can end up being Expensive.”

What probably appeared to my client as an easy or cheap way to communicate with their customer via the bilingual child in lieu of a Professional Interpreter turned out to be an expensive loss of thousands in future revenue and that my friends is the meaning.


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