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hilarious clause in agreement
Thread poster: Laurent Boudias
Laurent Boudias  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
+ ...
Feb 23, 2007

Here're some extract from an agency's agreement I need to sign in order to work with them. Let me tell you right now that I won't sign this joke.

"I understand that I will be penalized at a rate of 25% of the total compensation agreed upon above for every hour past the deadline."

Maybe I should start charging agencies with this rate for every hour they pass the payment deadline.

"Further, I will be penalized 25 cents per error or omission."

What is an error? They obviously don't define it in their agreement.

"If retyping or editing is required, I will be penalized at the rate of $75.00 per hour if xxx time is required."

That's hilarious. No comment. And I don't mention all the other stuff. I took the most entertaining ones, though a few others are not bad either.

In which world are they living in?

My problem is that it's mandatory to sign this joke to work with them. So obviously, some people do sign it.

Laurent, shaking his head with disbelief and sadness.


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:16
French to Spanish
+ ...
If I understand... Feb 23, 2007

...if you deliver 4 hours late, you get nothing! Work for free!
Sign it right now and go to your local ombudsman!


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
how much will you owe them?! Feb 23, 2007

Esp. the clause about "errors"! As recent posts have shown, there is huge subjectivity in determining "errors," and it can be quite a disaster if someone who isn't really fluent in the target language (but who believes that they are) proofs your translation!

This sounds to me as if you'd end up owing them money in the end!


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Laurent Boudias  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
exactly Feb 23, 2007

That's the reason why I call it a joke.

Plus the 25% off the invoice total if one hour late and the $75/hour rate if they have to edit/retype the document... amazing.

A little while ago, an agency basically called me a mobster when I charged it an hour of my time as a penalty fee after I sent 2 reminders and sent numerous emails without any response. How should I qualify this agency? What is worse than the mafia?


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:16
Italian to English
+ ...
25% PER HOUR?!!! Feb 23, 2007

So is that 25% of the original rate each time then? Hand it in half a day late and you'll owe THEM money!

Nice one!


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 07:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ouch! Feb 23, 2007

That is just... wrong. And obviously people do sign it. How can anybody accept those terms?

Unbelievable... and sad


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:16
French to English
Don't deliver at all? Feb 23, 2007

Marie-Helene Hayles wrote:

So is that 25% of the original rate each time then? Hand it in half a day late and you'll owe THEM money!

Nice one!


That's what I thought. If you're >4 hours late, best not delivering at all. They can't calculate how late the delivery is if there is no delivery at all....:-)

[Edited at 2007-02-23 23:20]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:16
Flemish to English
+ ...
Rest of the conditions Feb 23, 2007

I would be interested to read the rest of these conditions.
Could you post them here?


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:16
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You get what you pay for Feb 23, 2007

More importantly, why is this agency having so many problems finding translators who turn their work in on time and without errors? It couldn't be because they pay low rates to begin with, could it?

Unfortunately, the only people who will sign this type of agreement will be inexperienced or incompetent translators, resulting in the low-quality work they are supposedly trying to avoid, and so the cycle continues...

[Edited at 2007-02-23 20:49]


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 09:16
English to Spanish
Maybe Feb 23, 2007

TampaTranslator wrote:

Unfortunately, the only people who will sign this type of agreement will be inexperienced or incompetent translators, resulting in the low-quality work they are supposedly trying to avoid, and so the cycle continues...


On the other hand, legal jargon tends to be extremely hard to understand for non-native speakers and sometimes native speakers (though this particular contract seems really straightforward and particularly appalling), and many people are afraid or too shy to ask for clarification. I think it was this week that someone asked in the forums for help understanding a contrct he( or she) had received...

What amazes me the most is that so far 80% of the contracts and/or NDAs I've received have been in English, even though the companies know that that is not my native language. Due to this I have only signed a couple of them because, although I think my English is pretty good for a passive language, most of said documents are way beyond my comprehension skills (there's a reason I don't do Legal).

Shouldn't translation agencies have contracts available in most languages?

Andrea.

[Edited at 2007-02-23 21:24]


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Carmen Hernaiz
Spain
Local time: 13:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Amazing Feb 23, 2007

I would answer that agency that I would sign a LEGAL agreement at any moment.


Tell them you have to send it to your lawyer.


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:16
English to German
+ ...
Add your own terms and sign it! Feb 23, 2007

This is wonderful. I guess this agency is actually earning money not from customers but from translators to whom they send a selection of two or three texts and then make sure the delivery is late and there are errors in it.

But - you can play the same game. Add the following clauses and have them sign:

"The agency understands that it will have to pay a rate of 25% of the total compensation agreed upon above for every hour the translation is delivered before the deadline."

"Further, the translator will charge 25 cents per error, omission or ambiguity in the source text."

"If the translator has to clarify ambiguous or unclear passages or maintain a query sheet, he or she will charge a rate of $75.00 per hour if xxx time is required."

Would be a nice contract. And very fair, as far as I can see.

))


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Adi Al-Ka'bi
Local time: 16:16
Arabic to English
+ ...
Don't sign contracts. Period Feb 24, 2007

I've just put up an article that deals mainly with pricing, but other matters have been dealt with amongst them, contracts.

It's on http://portreference.com/000001-Pricing.htm


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ydepre
Local time: 04:16
English to French
Late payment for agencies Feb 24, 2007

Laurent Boudias wrote:

Here're some extract from an agency's agreement I need to sign in order to work with them. Let me tell you right now that I won't sign this joke.

"I understand that I will be penalized at a rate of 25% of the total compensation agreed upon above for every hour past the deadline."

Maybe I should start charging agencies with this rate for every hour they pass the payment deadline.

"Further, I will be penalized 25 cents per error or omission."

What is an error? They obviously don't define it in their agreement.

"If retyping or editing is required, I will be penalized at the rate of $75.00 per hour if xxx time is required."

That's hilarious. No comment. And I don't mention all the other stuff. I took the most entertaining ones, though a few others are not bad either.

In which world are they living in?

My problem is that it's mandatory to sign this joke to work with them. So obviously, some people do sign it.

Laurent, shaking his head with disbelief and sadness.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
ydepre
Local time: 04:16
English to French
Late payment for agencies Feb 24, 2007

[quote]Laurent Boudias wrote:

Here're some extract from an agency's agreement I need to sign in order to work with them. Let me tell you right now that I won't sign this joke.

"I understand that I will be penalized at a rate of 25% of the total compensation agreed upon above for every hour past the deadline."


"Further, I will be penalized 25 cents per error or omission."


"If retyping or editing is required, I will be penalized at the rate of $75.00 per hour if xxx time is required."


Have you ever tried to enforce a "late payment penalty" on them? Actually, most of them won't pay, even if payment is 2 months late.
Latest reply I got in such a case was: "I am not authorized to pay you late fees..."
All you ever get is your regular payment -- even after spending time writing all these emails, re-sending your invoice, etc.


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