Poll: Do you ask your clients to sign a contract?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:01
SITE STAFF
Mar 13, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ask your clients to sign a contract?".

This poll was originally submitted by Estelle Demontrond-Box. View the poll results »



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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
PO for direct clients Mar 13, 2011

I prepare a purchase order for direct clients, I include the details of the contact person. All they have to do is sign and/or seal it but they often try to get out of it, so I have to insist a little.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 08:01
English to French
+ ...
No Mar 13, 2011

They ask me to confirm (by email) that I accept their order (part of their ISOxxxx procedure) and/or I ask them to confirm their order (by email) when they have no job numbering system. No contract and no signature.

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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:01
English to Czech
+ ...
PO... Mar 13, 2011

... is all I ask for.

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:01
No Mar 13, 2011

It's just the opposite. Not all, but some clients ask me to sign a contract.

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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 10:01
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Generally not. But Mar 13, 2011

But in some cases yes.

But, but...

1) Contracts...

2) Agreements...

3) Purchase orders.... are for good clients i think

If the client faker is (turkish=üçkağıtçı/dolandırıcı/bürosalcı ise) what for is the contract ?



Saludos desde Anatolia
Anadolu'dan selamlar

[Edited at 2011-03-13 12:50 GMT]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:01
Italian to English
A pro-memoria Mar 13, 2011

Adnan Özdemir wrote:

If the client faker is (turkish=üçkağıtçı ise) what for is the contract ?



It is always useful to have the precise terms of the job in writing, even when there is no formal contract. What if your original contact in the client organisation disappears halfway through a project for some reason (promotion, resignation, illness, etc)? What do you say to the new contact, who may want an earlier deadline or have different ideas about pricing?

If the client doesn't issue POs or written agreements, it's prudent to send at least an email summarising terms and conditions for the job, and insist that the client acknowledge receipt.


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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 10:01
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Agree Mar 13, 2011

Agree Giles,

Thank you very much

Giles Watson wrote:

Adnan Özdemir wrote:

If the client faker is (turkish=üçkağıtçı ise) what for is the contract ?



It is always useful to have the precise terms of the job in writing, even when there is no formal contract. What if your original contact in the client organisation disappears halfway through a project for some reason (promotion, resignation, illness, etc)? What do you say to the new contact, who may want an earlier deadline or have different ideas about pricing?

If the client doesn't issue POs or written agreements, it's prudent to send at least an email summarising terms and conditions for the job, and insist that the client acknowledge receipt.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Mar 13, 2011

My attitude to this questions is "why give myself extra work and hassle?"
If any client, old or new, wants me to sign one, I don't usually mind. However, I try to take a personal approach, and usually start off in "business" relations by simply trusting the clients to keep to any agreements and conditions, hoping this confidence will turn out to be mutual. If things don't work out, the relation can usually be terminated before any damage is done.

Perhaps not the most businesslike ways of doing things, but I sleep at night.

[Edited at 2011-03-13 10:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-03-13 10:13 GMT]


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Unnecessary in my experience Mar 13, 2011

In 6 years freelancing I have not once found a reason to need a contract. I just try to be as clear as possible in the e-mails discussing terms so that if there is any dispute later on there is something concrete to refer back to.

Pernickety is the word that springs to mind when someone sends me a PO that adds nothing that can't be said in a quick e-mail.

Cheers
Simon


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Patricia Prevost  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
No, never found it necessary, same as Neilmac Mar 13, 2011

neilmac wrote:

My attitude to this questions is "why give myself extra work and hassle?"
If any client, old or new, wants me to sign one, I don't usually mind. However, I try to take a personal approach, and usually start off in "business" relations by simply trusting the clients to keep to any agreements and conditions, hoping this confidence will turn out to be mutual. If things don't work out, the relation can usually be terminated before any damage is done.

Perhaps not the most businesslike ways of doing things, but I sleep at night.

[Edited at 2011-03-13 10:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-03-13 10:13 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:01
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other, rather: not necessarily Mar 13, 2011

The details of a job are usually pin-pointed in an e-mail - which I, of course save and store, even after the work has been completed.

Only with new agencies/first time contacts I ask for a PO, but usually only for larger projects. Again, all details are summarized in the email.

Happy Sunday.


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