Interpreting for a direct client
Thread poster: Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 16, 2009

I am probably going to work with a direct client on an interpretation assignment, and I was wondering (since this is the first time I work with a direct client) whether I should have the client sign something like a contract or agreement or similar. Do I also need to ask for a retainer? What about cancellation policy?

Could anybody please let me know what it is usually done in this cases?

Thank you!
Giuseppina


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:27
English to Russian
+ ...
I would strongly recommend.. Jul 16, 2009

.. signing a short contract containing a clause on cancellation policy (24-hour notice is most common). Check out the ATA website for a draft contract. Not sure about the retainer, however if you work for this direct client for the first time, always request to be paid at the end of the work day - do not wait until the end of the assignment as they see your invoice for the total. Have invoices ready for each day of the assignment.

I had a problem only once because of NOT signing a contract with a direct client and NOT requesting to be paid at the end of each work day, but only having an email confirmation of the per-hour rate.

Also, I would recommend, if you anticipate after-hours schmoozing, to include the rate for hours after 8 - normally 50% higher.

More on cancellation policy: I know for sure that agencies charge for the total amount of hours planned for the day if the client cancels less than 24 hours ahead.

Good luck. I had both disastrous (only once) but also wonderful (they became repeat clients for a number of years and fun to work with, too) experience with direct clients.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
What works for you Jul 16, 2009

It is more what works for you than what it is usually done. Getting some money or all of it up front, having them sign a contract, etc., depends on your perception of possible difficulties in collecting from this client. If you have any doubts it is always best to protect yourself by using such measures.

And yes, it is always a good idea to state a policy on cancellation. If they book you they are reserving your time and you then become unavailable for anything else. Thus if they cancel within X amount of time (perhaps 72 hours or whatever) of the assignment, they would be liable for a cancellation fee. It would be best for the amount of that fee to be collected up front because if not, collecting it might be very difficult.

On the other hand, if your work (and life in general) does not involve many time commitments, you could be very flexible on cancellation because it would cause you no inconvenience.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks... Jul 16, 2009

To both of you for the suggestions!

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Basak Balkan  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 07:27
Member (2008)
English to Turkish
+ ...
rates? Sep 9, 2009

Hello, everyone,
I have just been contacted by a businessman's secretary who is asking me to spend three days with him to interpret during his business meetings. What sort of daily rate should I ask for? Should this cost as much as a day's interpreting in a booth, or less? But it must include travel expenses, as it will take place 150km away from home.
Thank you for your advice.
Bashak


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Full day rate Sep 9, 2009

But remember that interpreting at a business meeting all by yourself may be very stressful and demanding. I suggest you tell the clients that 2 interpreters are absolutely needed. I have done it by myself once (and it was not even a full day, only 3-4 hours per day) thinking it would be easy to manage, but I barely made it. I won't make this error again...

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