Contract Clause
Thread poster: Nikolaj Widenmann
Nikolaj Widenmann
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2007)
Danish to English
+ ...
Feb 29, 2008

Hello,

I received a contract to sign from a potential client, but I have some doubts with a clause that basically allows the client to inspect the freelancer's premises and computer equipment following a 24-hour notice.

Has anyone ever seen anything similar? Though I doubt they would ever come knocking on my door, inspection of a computer can be done remotely, and of course I would also need to protect the confidentiality and privacy of other current clients of mine.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks.


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xxxREMOTECONTRO
English to Turkish
+ ...
If your bedroom isn't of concern Feb 29, 2008

Why not
Juts go and buy a notebook, and say "look that's my computer" yo your client.
Luck


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
How badly do you need them? Feb 29, 2008

They can ask for anything they care to. In this case, however, I think you'd be perfectly justified in telling them no and not getting any work from them. Then you can see how important this clause is to them.

And in answer to the question you specifically asked, no, I haven't ever seen such a clause.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Sounds like a large software company Mar 1, 2008

Widenmann wrote:
I received a contract to sign from a potential client, but I have some doubts with a clause that basically allows the client to inspect the freelancer's premises and computer equipment following a 24-hour notice.


I got one too. I told the client that he can't inspect my property because that would threaten the confidentiality of my other clients. I was very interested in the job though, and in the end I did sign it, thinking to myself "well, he won't fly out all the way here". Money talks (and so does interesting jobs).

Even if the client did give me 24 hours' notice, I would simply have removed my hard drive for the day, and locked up my filing cabinets, so he wouldn't have access to any confidential stuff anyway.

My suspicion is that this client wants to have the assurance that you have complied with his requirements, eg do you have a lock on your office door, can anyone access your computer without your knowledge or permission, how likely is it that your computer is stolen (with all the client's information on it), do you have a firewall and anti-virus installed, is your computer hackable from the outside, etc. If these is the client's concerns, how about offering to take pictures/photos of your office for him?


[Edited at 2008-03-01 07:37]


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gfe
Local time: 07:17
English to Italian
+ ...
Quality system rules Mar 1, 2008

Permission to inspect suppliers is a typical requirement of corporate buyers that are quality certified (or want to behave as if they were). It may be cause for exclusion from the buyer's roster of suppliers. Often it depends on the attitude of the certifying agency.

Because the suppliers of a firm are, in a sense, an extension of that firm, this is supposed to allow the buyer to verify that the supplier is well-behaved. Nominally, a certified company should try to have all its supply chain that is also certified (then it is enough to show the certificate) or works "as if" it were certified (then it must be possible to inspect them to make sure).

I am surprised that quality certification of translating services is taking so long to become established, given its role in quality as perceived by the final user. Probably there is not (yet) a clear model of how the h*** one would go about to verify. But that is another story.
GFE


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Renée van Bijsterveld  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:17
Member (2007)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I did not sign Mar 1, 2008

Yes, I have had to sign an agreement with this clause, and several other clauses that were quite 'intrusive'. It was for a very, very large software company. I preferred not to sign, because I don't want to sign a contract thinking that there would be a slight chance they would use the rights they reserve themselves in the contract. They would not strike the clauses. So, I lost a client... but there are others left.

[Edited at 2008-03-01 20:17]


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
There are clients I'd rather not have Mar 2, 2008

This sounds like one of them.

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Sylvie Pilon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:17
English to French
Reasons and consequences Mar 3, 2008

Hi,

Widenmann wrote:

...a clause that basically allows the client to inspect the freelancer's premises and computer equipment following a 24-hour notice.



Does the contract mention why the client would want to inspect your computer, and what the consequences would be if they don't find your premises/computer satisfactory?

If such a clause is included in a contract, I think there has to be an explanation, otherwise the client could use the clause for any reason.

I agree with ReneevB: this is very intrusive. When you deal with a professional (like a lawyer or an accountant) and you give them all sorts of personal information, you don't demand to inspect their premises or PC. It's a question of trust.

Sylvie

[Edited at 2008-03-03 00:53]


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Nikolaj Widenmann
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2007)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Mar 3, 2008

Hello everyone,

I appreciate all your comments. As always, this is a case of whether one wants a contract at all costs or avoid clauses that could potentially pose a problem in the future. The way I see it, they could even request remote access to my computer. Of course I could remove any confidential information prior to granting such access, but it still seems somewhat intrusive to me. Though this is a large company that could translate into steady business, I tend to read what I sign, and usually I don't sign something I don't feel comfortable signing.

Thanks,

Nikolaj Widenmann


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