Terms and conditions - specifically with regard to payment
Thread poster: Margreet Logmans
Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jul 27, 2007

Hi all,

a forum search hasn't helped me find what I was looking for, but if I've missed interesting threads, please let me know about them!

I am trying to write Terms and Conditions for my (freelance) business and would like to see some examples.

Most importantly, I would like to see the legal wording of 'I don't care whether or not your end client has paid YOUR bill, I don't need to know your kids are starving and your wife has left you to live with your best friend, just pay my bill/invoice. Take another mortgage on your home, max out your creditcards, send your kids out as beggars, whatever you do when you cannot make ends meet, but don't bother me with it, just PAY MY BILL. And I don't need to know about it either, because you'd better pay me within a reasonable period of time.'

And also the legal wording of: 'If you don't like the quality of my work, say so within a couple of days, at least well before it is time to pay me. And you'd better have some good arguments too, preferably in writing and with literal examples from my translation.'

Any help would be welcome. I have not had much trouble yet, but the few times I did have to deal with situations like this, I got really stressed and frustrated, so I'm trying to find a way to prevent this. I don't want to be rude or unfriendly, I'm just trying to protect myself.

Maybe it is useful to know that I live in the Netherlands, work mostly for agencies, and my main language pair is English to Dutch.

Thanks in advance, have a nice weekend!


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:01
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
How about... Jul 27, 2007

Hello Margreet,

How about something along these lines:

This contract is between me and the translation agency. Therefore payment from the agency is due within xx days after date of invoice, regardless of whether the agency has received payment from the end client.

I deliver high quality translations to the best of my ability and my work is proofread by another translator. If the agency or the end client nevertheless wishes to have changes made to the translation, I will make these changes without additional charge, provided that 1) this request is made within x days after delivery of the translation, 2) the required changes are clearly documented, and 3) payment will be made in full within xx days after date of invoice.

My two bits worth but maybe the legal experts among us will come up with something better.

You have a nice weekend too!


[Edited at 2007-07-27 15:52]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Tina! Jul 27, 2007

This is indeed the kind of thing I'm looking for, thanks a lot.

I'm interested to see what others come up with, but this already sounds pretty good!

Best,
Margreet

BTW, Tina, I think it is wonderful how you've managed to rephrase my frustrated sentences into something that actually sounds civilised...;-)

[Edited at 2007-07-27 18:05]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
separate translation and revision Jul 27, 2007

Tina Vonhof wrote:

I deliver high quality translations to the best of my ability and my work is proofread by another translator.

15:52]


I wouldn't quite phrase this like this, that is, referring to another pair of eyes. If they want a second or third pair of eyes that should be negotiated ...in other words I would say that I provide a translation service, that I do that to the best of my ability ect ect. That if they want a second or third pair of eyes, this issue must be negotiated separately. Note that the separation of translation and revision and review is a feature of teh new EN 15083 translation standard.


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:01
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Examples Jul 28, 2007

The Dutch translator's association NGTV might provide useful information:

http://www.ngtv.nl/documenten/default.asp?ID=25

Payment:

Accounts should be settled at the latest date 30 days after the date of the invoice in the currency in which the invoice is drawn up. Should the payment not be made within the period specified, the principal shall immediately, without further notification, be in default, in which case the principal shall be liable for the statutory interest from the date of default to the moment of full settlement.


Your work:

The translator shall commit himself to executing the commission to the best of his ability, thereby employing sound professional knowledge and skills, with due regard to the purpose specified by the principal.

[ - > Your part of the deal is that you will do your best - you do not guarantee a result]


Complaints:

The principal shall report complaints concerning the work delivered by the translator as soon as possible and inform him in writing of his dissatisfaction within ten days after acceptance. The reporting of a complaint shall in no way relieve the principal of his obligation to pay for the work delivered.
7.2 Should the complaint be well-founded, the translator shall improve or replace the delivered work within a reasonable period of time, or - if the translator cannot reasonably comply with the request for improvement - agree to a reduction in the fee.
7.3 (arbitration)
7.4 The principal's right to make a claim shall cease if he has revised - or has caused to be revised - the work as delivered and has subsequently passed it on to a third party.


Also something on general conditions in the Dutch forum:
http://www.proz.com/topic/75890


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jul 28, 2007

I'm grateful for all your help.
Anjo, your links and comments are really useful, thanks a lot.
The proofreading issue is indeed something to think about, Lia, thanks for mentioning it.

Best,
Margreet


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:01
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
You have to be the sole Jul 28, 2007

Hi Margreet,

Have you ever had the luck to sign a contract with an agency without waiving all your own Terms and Conditions? Don’t these contracts always start with “This Agreement constitutes the sole agreement”?

I would ask our learned colleagues for a clause that says: Even in case I agree to an additional agreement, whether or not it stipulates to be the sole agreement, the present Terms and Conditions prevail...

Good luck,
Gerard


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not sure that's legal... Jul 29, 2007

Hello Gerard,

yes, I've seen that kind of agreements. I'm not sure they are legally binding.

But, to be on the safe side, it would be good to have a kind of clause like the one you mentioned. Thanks for your input!

Best,
Margreet


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 10:01
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Do they just pay late ? Jul 30, 2007

Dear Margreet,

I do not think you can put the late payers to the wall by making them sign contracts. Some of them maybe really have to get paid from their own client first to be able to pay to you. And their claims for quality are just a reason as how to drag on with payment as they probably have a "0" at their own account on the due payment day for you. So, all that "blah blah" starts.

Instead of those smart formulations for your contract, I'd like to suggest you an example from real practice that works really well and a GOOD reason to raise the rates, so why ot to make an advantage out of a disadvantage?

"Hey, you want me to do a job again? Ok can possibly take it, just some new conditions because of your late payments:"

a) the rate will be by, say, 10 % bigger from now on (as I have an option to work for the clients who pay on time);

b) say, 45 days (or even 60 days) instead of 30 days for payment settlement if you have to receive the cash from your own clients first, BUT VERY STRICTLY.

c) I will not accept all those vague remarks about quality - all remarks shall be substantiated in detail by a competent person; no remarks will be accepted (whatever they are) after the due payment date.

You can put it into a strict wording, or you can be more friendly (depending on the situation).

If they miss the payment dates again, do not be afraid to say "good bye" to them (just for your own sake) as there are thousands of clients who can pay on time. So, better to spend and energy on such clients (or finding new ones) and doing work that is paid well and on time instead of wasting time for contracts with some freaks.




[Edited at 2007-07-30 03:17]


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 10:01
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
do not mention proofreading on purpose Jul 30, 2007

Lia Fail wrote:

Tina Vonhof wrote:

I deliver high quality translations to the best of my ability and my work is proofread by another translator.

15:52]


I wouldn't quite phrase this like this, that is, referring to another pair of eyes. If they want a second or third pair of eyes that should be negotiated ...in other words I would say that I provide a translation service, that I do that to the best of my ability ect ect. That if they want a second or third pair of eyes, this issue must be negotiated separately. Note that the separation of translation and revision and review is a feature of teh new EN 15083 translation standard.


Proofreading (in my opinion, at least) is an additional piece of work. So, if they ask just "translation", do the translation. If they ask + prooofreading, the rate shall be +. Never speak about proofreading before you do not have a deal on translation rate ("Ah, you also need it to be proofread? Sorry, but you did not mention it at the beginning. OK, can arrange that, but it will cost ... extra")





[Edited at 2007-07-30 03:21]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Marius, Jul 30, 2007

I will keep your comments in mind.

Best,
Margreet


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Akoma
English to Russian
+ ...
Proofreading by a second pair of eyes should not be a part of the standard agreement Aug 5, 2007

I say my customers that I'm not a subcontractor and if they want to hire an editor/proofreader for my translation, I can recommend a suitable person, but they (customers) will have to make a separate agreement with him/her. They will be responsible for paying him/her (and paying on time). I do not want to take upon myself obligations with regard to a third party -- I want to be only responsible for myself.

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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
English to Russian
+ ...
my 2 cents Aug 6, 2007

I would include into my contract a wording like:

'No non-payment to the Client by any third parties including but not limited to an End Client shall be deemed as Force Majeure releasing the Client from his/her obligation to timely and full payment to the Translator'.

Let English speaking legal experts forgive my language....

+++
as far as the timing for claims is concerned.
I really wonder why there is so much fuss about it?

To my mind it is so easy to add a short line in the ordinary email, "Yes, I am ready to translate your text"
so that it finally looked like, "Yes, I am ready to translate your text subject to the following - The rate of EURO/USD NNN per source word/line to apply. - No complaints on quality will be accepted after 7 days upon delivery of the complete translation"



[Edited at 2007-08-06 14:05]

[Edited at 2007-08-06 14:11]


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