Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Do you insist on a signed contract before beginning work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:11
SITE STAFF
Nov 14, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you insist on a signed contract before beginning work?".

View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria Isabel Pazos Gómez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:11
Member (2007)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Interpreting jobs Nov 14, 2012

It is a must, otherwise you could have severe problems.

Have a nice day!

Mabel


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
not on a per job basis Nov 14, 2012

I do not always require a signed contract on a per job basis.
It would be a probitively time-consuming amount administration & paper work, not to mention how ashamed I'd be of my carbon footprint.
Usually I procede per job on basis of a written agreement which can range from 1 line in an email to PO, word order. etc.
I have also signed general service provision contracts with most of my clients.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, always Nov 14, 2012

If the poll question is referring to a services contract with a new customer. I can't imagine beginning a new business relationship without one.

And "Yes, always" again if it is referring to a PO or purchase order, which should be issued before each new translation project, however big or small. And all of my customers are large companies and translation agencies who are well-organized enough to provide me with a copy of their services contract.

I've had people pull the plug halfway during a project in the past before -- i.e. in the Dark Ages before issue of a PO was obligated by law here in Japan -- to be sucked into a rotten mess.

Once bitten, twice shy!

- Small edit
- Added one sentence



[Edited at 2012-11-14 09:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-11-14 12:48 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Nov 14, 2012

I have signed contracts with some of my clients, but with the majority I insist on a PO before beginning work. I must say however that with one of my long-time clients (more than 25 years of monthly work), things started (and continued) without contract or purchase order and he is the only one that always pays the day after receiving my invoice. Lucky me!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexandranow  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 13:11
Romanian to English
+ ...
trying Nov 14, 2012

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you insist on a signed contract before beginning work?".

View the poll results »


I do insist, but unfortunately very few clients are willing to do that. Do not understand why are they against clear matters. Would be easier to have a signed contract for both parties.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Nov 14, 2012

How perfectly tiresome life would be if this were necessary. I can't even be bothered with POs. If I have to quibble with clients, I'd rather not bother dealing with them.
I prefer to assume that the people I do business with will honour any informal agreement or understanding we might have, and in my case this is usually how it works out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:11
Member (2006)
German to English
No, never really Nov 14, 2012

I do have some customers that request this from their side that I accept, but as Julian mentioned, I always expect a PO before starting the job as this is also some sort of "contract".
I do specify all important matters to a new customer when starting with them, such as payment / terms of payment / liability, we agree and that was it.
Only a few customers also send / want such contracts back in paper form.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxchristela
No, never Nov 14, 2012

A contract would be an overkill. Especially if one has 5-20 small jobs a day.
But a signed quote, PO or clear e-mail is necessary.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 12:11
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, but... Nov 14, 2012

... I do ask clients to put their project requests in writing. With agencies, some supply order numbers, some don't, but I always want something written down which confirms the agreed price and deadline. Old and trusted clients will however normally be the latter, although I still tend to sneak in the written agreement in the form of an e-mail correspondence.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never Nov 14, 2012

Someone emails you a text, you email them a price, they email back to confirm - ta-da, instant contract!

Whether you should trust strangers to pay you is a different matter altogether...

[Edited at 2012-11-14 10:13 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

James A. Walsh
Spain
Local time: 12:11
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
I've never really thought of it as a "contract" before, but... Nov 14, 2012

Chris S wrote:

Someone emails you a text, you email them a price, they email back to confirm - ta-da, instant contract!


As Chris says, it's usually as simple as this. I do tend to be rather explicit about asking new clients about their payment terms though (including bank transfer charges), and usually include something along the lines of "if you could issue a PO, that would be great, otherwise, your response to this email will suffice". I also always check their Blue Board record if they are on this site (which they usually are), and assess them via that information. Or check their website to see how "professional" or not it strikes me as. In the ten years I've worked as a translator I've only ever been ripped off once for a whopping $28, so I can't really grumble.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
No, but... Nov 14, 2012

Chris S wrote:

Someone emails you a text, you email them a price, they email back to confirm - ta-da, instant contract!

Whether you should trust strangers to pay you is a different matter altogether...


I agree with this view. However, a lot of my clients do send POs, ranging from extremely long PDF documents with lots of clauses, to a quick insert in emails, and that's fine too, but I never insist on them.

I agree with neilmac as well:

If I have to quibble with clients, I'd rather not bother dealing with them.


Perhaps I'm just getting old and tetchy, but I'm just not interested in people who muck me around

[Edited at 2012-11-14 11:11 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Eileen Ferguson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:11
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
No Nov 14, 2012

An email with a simple "yes" to my last proposal is enough for me; just as binding.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Nelia Fahloun  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:11
English to French
+ ...
Depends on the client Nov 14, 2012

I think it depends on the client. Here is what I do:
- agencies : they send a PO
- other freelance translators subcontracting to me: they send an email stating the number of words and rate. French courts consider it sufficient to establish a business relationship in case of dispute
- "external" clients (non-translation companies, individuals): they return my quotation signed and scanned by email.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Do you insist on a signed contract before beginning work?

Advanced search






PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search