Communicating terms & conditions to the client
Thread poster: Taija Hyvönen

Taija Hyvönen
Local time: 11:52
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Mar 30, 2009

I assume we all have our own terms and conditions. I'd like to hear how others here communicate these to the clients. Do you email them as an attachment? At which point - when quoting or when accepting the offer? Do you need a formal confirmation that the client accepts them, or do you take silence as an agreement? Do you believe clients actually read them?

When we sign a contract sent by the client, this obviously isn't an issue. But that's not always the case. I have had jobs where we go from a new client contacting me to me sending a finished job in a few hours (a lot of stuff in between, of course) - but even with small jobs I think communicating terms and conditions should not be skipped. So, what is your procedure?

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Barbara Turchetto  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:52
Member (2008)
German to Italian
+ ...
it depends Mar 30, 2009

When I work with a new client, I prefer stating my terms in written form so that no misunderstanding will follow.
When I work with old clients, we generally negotiate on the phone and no written communication is needed. Sometimes even old clients may need a written communication of terms and costs but just to keep record of the agreement.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:52
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Possibly two elements Mar 30, 2009

I am still at work on the "long" version of our general terms and conditions, but since these do not differ radically from standard commercial law and practice in the countries where most of our clients are, I'm not in a terrible hurry. In some cases clients have requested the acceptance of their terms and conditions, and as a basis for work, I usually accept these if there is nothing objectionable. However, in any specific job there may be particular conditions (form of deliverables, schedule, possible partial/advance payments, etc.) which apply, and these are laid out and agreed to in the e-mail exchange related to the project. Often these exchanges are the only basis for a contract for the job, so if problems were to occur, they would be resolved according to the relevant commercial or civil law. Of course, there is always the problem of jurisdiction, so that should be addressed I suppose. I haven't had any difficulties so far fortunately.

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