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Purchasing conditions
Thread poster: Burrell

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
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Oct 26, 2004

I have been send Purchasing Conditions by a translation agency. They look quite reasonable, but I have slight doubts regarding two articles (enclosed). Do they sound ok, or is there a potential loophole for trouble?
The agency is on BB and has 3 positive ratings out of 3.
Thanks in advance!

Burrell

- xxx reserves the right to refuse any work that does not meet its quality standards, as set out in the delivery confirmation form and in these terms and conditions, or, if appropriate, to have modifications made by a third party at the original subcontractor’s expense.
- The subcontractor is liable for the work carried out, and xxx may hold the subcontractor liable in case of professional misconduct.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:00
German to English
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Purchasing conditions Oct 27, 2004

Burrell,

What exactly are the "quality standards"? Who decides whether the work meets the standard or not?

Reserving the right not to pay for unsatisfactory work is reasonable, IMO, but there needs to be some arrangement for arbitration.

Marc


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
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TOPIC STARTER
That's what I thought Oct 27, 2004

Thanks Marc,

Yes, that is exactly what I though but just needed to hear from somebody else.
Cheers!
Burrell


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brigidm  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 07:00
Member
Norwegian to English
A word of caution Oct 27, 2004

I have not had experience with such contracts with agencies, but I must say I was provoked into responding to this posting by the sheer audacity of this agency.


- if appropriate, to have modifications made by a third party at the original subcontractor’s expense.


I would ask for a clearer definition of "modifications" here - does it mean corrections to a bad/unsatisfactory translation? Or just that you didn't use the exact terminology / turns of phrases that they personally prefer (but didn't tell you)?



- The subcontractor is liable for the work carried out, and xxx may hold the subcontractor liable in case of professional misconduct.
If this were taken to a worst case scenario, this could mean you could be left holding the can for all kinds of things backfiring - things that were not necessarily your doing. And what, exactly, does this agency do in terms of quality control? And, finally, is it really usual to use the term "professional misconduct" in this kind of contract? Again - what does this term mean here? All or most professions have a written code of conduct by which people have to abide - but this is not the case for translators, surely? Unless they authorised members of a professional association of translators? Perhaps it's intended to means things like confidentiality, delivering on time, etc, but I would have had this clarified.

Sorry to sound so suspicious, but after reading about other translators' unpleasant experiences with agencies, this struck me as just the kind of contract that could potentially leave you wide open to all kinds of trouble later on.


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
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Suspicious indeed Oct 27, 2004

Hi Brigid,

I quite agree with you. The agreement sounded sort of ok, but there was that little "aftertaste", that's exactly why I posted my question here. It opens doors for all sorts of unpleasant experiences, even if the agency is on BB. As I said, there are only 3 positive reviews out of three - not enough info to judge really. Anyhow, I have sent my questions to this agency and will see how it goes.

Thanks a lot for your time.
Burrell


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brigidm  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 07:00
Member
Norwegian to English
Blueboard postings Oct 27, 2004

Well, three out of three isn't bad....! And sometimes those BB postings are all we've got to go by. But these cases were obviously jobs that went smoothly - then everyone is happy. My nagging fear would be what happens when a misunderstanding creeps in, or one - just one - genuine mistake in your translation is discovered. Would they then throw the book at you? Glad to hear you've contacted them - it would be interesting to hear the reply.

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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
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No reply from the agency Nov 1, 2004

Well, it is not exactly a week yet since I sent my questions to this agency but there has been no reply so far. I suppose, some agencies prefer to work with translators who do not ask too many quesions.

Burrell

The agency replied after all, saying that they have not ever yet used their purchasing conditions against any of their suppliers. All their requirements are sent to translator before the start of a project. The requirements are very reasonable. So I was just overly suspicios.
Thanx everybody.
Burrell

[Edited at 2004-11-04 13:54]


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