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Is a job posted on a binding offer?
Thread poster: gdesai
gdesai  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:25
German to English
Dec 23, 2007

Recently I came across an offer posted on from an outsourcer for translatiion from one European language into another.
The no. of words was not very high (> 5000) and the deadline as well as the topic were quite conventional (nothing out of the extra-ordinary).
But what really really surprised me was the rate offered. It was in the vicinity of 20 Eur per word - yes, you read it right - little less than 20 Eur per word. And the sum total indicated was also correct.
The question I have is:
Can the outsourcer back out of the offer under the cover of typographical error once I accept it at the terms (rate, deadline) posted?
In other wprds, is an offer posted on an offer as understood under contract act, i.e. binding once accepted by the other party to the contract?
I would be most interested in knowig views of other members.

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Setti Mulari  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 12:55
Finnish to English
No. Dec 23, 2007

Not in a million years.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:55
English to French
+ ...
Your offer vs. their offer Dec 23, 2007

I cannot give legal advice as that would be against forum rules, but it is my understanding that what really counts is not the initial job offer on the job board but rather the offer you make, that is, your quote. Although it is not binding in itself, what would be binding is if the outsourcer accepted it. So, if you quote 20 EUR per word and the outsourcer accepts your quote, then you would have a contract, but even then, only if the applicable law deems it so (as opposed to site rules). Of course, given that ProZ is a venue, the contract would be between you and the outsourcer and would have nothing to do with ProZ, even if the agreement was passed through the ProZ website.

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Local time: 00:55
English to Gujarati
+ ...
No Dec 23, 2007

I am not giving you a legal advice as i am not in this field; but an opinion with the perspective of being a certified degree holder in translation and a member of this site.
I dont think It is binding legally as I wonder which countries' juridiction applies as this is a global platform. Having said this, if at all the outsourcer and the translator live in the same country,
it is not worth the legal costs as it shall be too expensive and time consuming to go on that root. Plus its not worth the total cost of the job itself.

Being associated with a site like which is a highly profiled medium used globally, the following ethics are helpful :

yes if both the parties (translator and the outsourcer) have confirmed the rates by email you are then oblidged as a proffessional translator and /or on a humanitary grounds.
It is always best to inform the outsourcer in case of any problems or discripencies and re-negotiate. If the outsourcer is a proffessional i bet he/she shall understand.
try to do this before the deadline as it shall give the outsourcer enough time to find someone else for the job.

I do agree that the quotes are often misunderstood due to the decimal points so the best thing is to write in the box below the quote in numbers and currencies.
sometimes it is better to view the job before accepting it.
Lastly try not to make rejecting jobs a habit after accepting them.

[Edited at 2007-12-23 11:15]

[Edited at 2007-12-23 11:23]

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:55
Dutch to English
+ ...
No Dec 23, 2007

I am a lawyer, who happens to also be a translator, so because of forum rules please accept (somehow) I've only got the latter hat on.

Answer: No

Reasons: Not providing them as that may be construed as giving legal advice and I'm not getting paid to do so anyhow

However, you can accept that in most jurisdictions it would not constitute a binding offer.

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United States
Local time: 18:55
English to Russian
+ ...
Relax:-) Your fortune lies elswhere:-D Dec 23, 2007

The first number is an obvious typo and the relusting sum, whatever it is, is just an automatically calculated error:-).

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:55
Flemish to English
+ ...
No Dec 23, 2007 mediates between supply and demand. That is all.
Between [ ] : IreneNxxx ???? Pitty. I do remember your invitation to write and come and say hello to be picked up by you driving a car "with" a driving license. It may be that in 2008, there will be time and $ to drop by. Your fields of specialisation are mine too. Used to work for a major airline...
If you read this, drop a line through my profile....


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
It is a tender process Dec 23, 2007

gdesai wrote:
In other wprds, is an offer posted on an offer as understood under contract act, i.e. binding once accepted by the other party to the contract?

Legally speaking (but IANAL) the translator can't make the offer because the translation isn't buying anything. The client makes the offer, but the job posting on isn't an offer. These "offers" used to be known as a bidding process, and that is really a better word for it, because what oursourcers are really doing, is they're inviting tenders.

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xxxAdrian MM.
Local time: 01:55
French to English
+ ...
Invitation to treat Dec 23, 2007

No one so far has mentioned non-binding invitations to treat (Norman French word traiter = deal), a pre-contractual twilight zone in both the UK and possibly in India where the precise moment at which a contract by a course of conduct i.e. in a shop comes into being is still the subject of keen controversy.

If someone goes into a supermarket or dept. store and switches the tags on goods from high- to low-priced- which has happened before - the retailer as the offeror can withdraw the invitation to the tag-switcher or confederate at any time up to and including at the cash desk, and arguably outside of the shop.

By the same token, the translation outsourcers - where they are might govern jurisdiction - can withdraw an invitation to treat any time, but have to retract an actual offer, in *English Common Law*, within a 'reasonable' time of any acceptance. What constitutes a reasonable time depends on the circumstances of the case, yawn, yawn.

If you have started the job and the contract has been 'unilaterally repudiated' by the outsourcer, you had better look at the forum rules again or consult a contract lawyer pretty quick. There is authority - albeit an old case -for the proposition that, in the UK (India?), a countermand can be ignored and the full contract price claimed: White & Carter (Councils) Ltd. v. McGregor (1962).

[Edited at 2007-12-23 19:22]

[Edited at 2007-12-23 23:36]

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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 19:55
German to English
Common sense should prevail Dec 23, 2007

If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I saw this job posting, with a rate much higher than any translator could dream of. My first thought was that there must be a typo, which indeed was the case. Although I do not know the individual offering the job, I'm confident that the payment was too outrageously generous to be an effort at bait and switch.

I've also seen jobs posted on Proz offering rates that wouldn't even pay for the electricity to run the computer for the time the job would take. To be fair, most of these rates were probably typos as well, at least in my language combination.

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Vito Smolej
Local time: 01:55
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
relusting sum Dec 26, 2007

The first number is an obvious typo and the relusting sum, whatever it is, is just an automatically calculated error:-).

A superb spoonerism, matching the context.

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