Assuming responsibility for late delivery
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:15
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Oct 11, 2012

I just delivered a translation about 3 days late. It was a translation of approx. 35,000 words. While it ended up taking a lot longer than I had thought, I've had a month to do it and I should somehow have planned and organized the work process better. Because of the delay, I decided to subtract a small amount from the invoice, as a symbolic indication that I assume responsibility (and since I think that there must be some sort of consequences when agreements are not fulfilled). I've already sent the invoice.

In any event, I was curious about hearing other people's opinions about appropriate measures when "we" end up delivering late.

What would be appropriate and tactful ways to indicate that responsibility is assumed? If an amount should be deducted, how would you calculate it, what percentage etc.?

Are there any more or less established practices on this matter?


[Edited at 2012-10-11 08:23 GMT]

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:15
German to English
+ ...
Firstly Oct 11, 2012

I'd inform the client that you're going to be late. Some clients are not too worried by a late job, others are. It's then up to you and the client to agree on a reduction of the fee. I personally would offer 10% (but not in the first communication, since if the client is not much concerned, I'd not offer a reduction

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:15
English to German
+ ...
Never happened to me, Oct 11, 2012

but I would warn the client before the initially agreed deadline and suggest partial deliveries.

Since your translation was rather long, this would have given the proofreader(s) the chance to start working on the agreed date and maybe even finish on schedule.

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Assuming responsibility for late delivery

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