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Yet another time on contracts...
Thread poster: xxxmiro_s
xxxmiro_s  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 19:57
Jul 3, 2007

Hello!

First of all, I can go along with signing contracts, although I really didn't need any so far.

Nevertheless, I believe a principle should be respected: if two parties agree to regulate their business in a formal contract, then they have to provide for the rights AND obligations (which until then had been in the domain of their professional reputation and integrity) of both parties, rather than only one.

Recently I have been offered to sign a contract with an agency. I read the contract carefully at least 5 times and I discovered that every single provision in it applied only to the translator (regarding the quality of translation, time of delivery, etc), and zero to the agency. When I asked the agency why AT LEAST they hadn't provided for the duty of the agency to pay for the translator's services in a reasonable amount of time (be it 15 or 30 days, it doesn't matter), just to show their "good will" too, I received an answer that they wouldn't introduce that provision in the contract because they thought it could cost them "huge amounts of money" (!?), if "for example, the bank caused a one-day delay in payment" (?!). By the way, in case of late delivery of translation, the contract explicitly says the translator will not be paid.

Even though I was more than interested in working with this agency, not least because they have an outstanding Blue Board record, I had to refuse signing such an agreement, as a matter of principle, because it is discriminatory against one party - the translator.

Has anyone had similar experiences? Do you/Would you accept such agreements?

Thank you!

Miroslav


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 12:57
English to Russian
+ ...
Advise them to kiss themselves:-) Jul 3, 2007

Miroslav Starovlah wrote:

thought it could cost them "huge amounts of money" (!?), if "for example, the bank caused a one-day delay in payment" (?!).
in case of late delivery of translation, the contract explicitly says the translator will not be paid.


Like not paid at all, right? Bozoes...

Cheers,
Irene


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
English to Russian
+ ...
reples to your questions Jul 3, 2007

1) Has anyone had similar experiences?

yes

2) Do you/Would you accept such agreements?

no, I did not


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:57
English to German
+ ...
Modify the contract Jul 4, 2007

If I really wish to work with an agency and receive such a contract, then I tell them, that I wish to have certain passages changed.

Then either they do not react at all or say no, in which cases there is no harm done, since they do not take you seriously as a business partner.

Or they say, let's talk and see what we can do. And then you can work out a contract that serves and protects both sides. From my experience it is worth the effort, because it is a good start for a healthy relationship.

And do take such contracts seriously. Don't listen, if somebody says it's simply a formality. It never is! It is fine, as long as everything runs smoothly, but as soon as something goes wrong, people start looking into these contracts and having signed it you agreed to everything in it.

Stay healthy!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Welcome to the world of business Jul 4, 2007

Whevever some one hands you a contract to sign, I hope you don't think they wrote it to protect YOU!

Of course you are always free to modify it and propose something else.

If you can come to a meeting of the minds, then fine; if not, then forget it.


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 00:57
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Negotiation Jul 4, 2007

Hallo Miroslav and all,

I hold egalitarian principles. Thus, I perceive that translators and agencies/clients are in the same position - none is higher or more powerful than another party. Translators need agencies/clients and vice versa.

Therefore, anytime an agency offers me a job, I always negotiate the terms and conditions first. In fact, I put them on my profile too.
I usually propose my own terms and conditions, and then I ask their comments and agreement. If an agreement is reached, the job is accepted.

Regarding your questions:

1) Has anyone had similar experiences?

With respect to the threads posted in this forum, it seems that many translators have.

2) Do you/Would you accept such agreements?

Absolutely no.

Best Regards

Hipyan


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xxxmiro_s  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 19:57
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Jul 4, 2007

Claudia, Hipyan, yes I tried to modify the contract, but they wouldn't do it.

The blatancy of the lady's response was amazing and so amateurish. She said, ' with that provision it would be more risky for us than for you' (!?), and she also couldn't understand my having problems with such an agreement 'when so many translators had already signed it'. If it hadn't been a serious situation, I would have burst out laughing.

Henry, I understand it's business, but one party usually proposes their terms but leave room for the other party to intervene and add something to alleviate its concerns and interests.

It is interesting that their Blue Board record is really inviting, and so many translators already work with them a lot. It means there are many of our colleagues out there that do not care about how the contracts look like hoping nothing can go wrong.

Hipyan, no negotiations were allowed here (the lady told me that politely). I told them I am open to cooperation either with the amended contract, or without a contract.

With best regards,

Miroslav


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Akoma
English to Russian
+ ...
my five cents Jul 4, 2007

An agency with a huge amount of BB records (not all of them "5s," though) sent me an unbelievably abusing contract. Another agency, all 5s on BB (I told about it in other post), too, sent me a purchase order with a clause saying that "all editing costs shall be deducted from my fee." In neither case I agreed to work for the employer; neither one contacted me after receiving my remarks about their contracts.

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