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Poll: Have you drafted a standard set of terms and conditions to use with your clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:25
SITE STAFF
May 16, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you drafted a standard set of terms and conditions to use with your clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Angus Stewart. View the poll results »



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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:25
English to Russian
+ ...
There is no such thing as a "standard set" May 16, 2015

Each client has his/her own preferences in respect of the version of the English language (US/Brit), terms, choice of words, frequency of "the," acronyms, font, formatting, etc. Therefore, I have many "standard sets" for various clients.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes (sort of) May 16, 2015

For some time, I thought about asking my lawyer to draw up a formal agreement, but finally I decided against as many terms and conditions right up front may seem off-putting and “unfriendly” (even if reasonable).

So, I drafted a very simple T&C (pricing, time of delivery and terms of payment) printed on my proposal.

When I am first contacted by a direct client, I always send one.

For agencies, I tend to agree (or not) to theirs…


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:25
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Drafted, yes May 16, 2015

I did indeed drafted my T & C, but have actually never used them. Each client is different, thus everything will be negotiated individually. In some cases, the actial T & C's were better than my draft.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 16, 2015

I said "No," but on second thought I realized that I have a boilerplate e-mail that I use to answer most inquiries. It spells out my rates and estimated turnaround time, assuming that I'm fully available. But the e-mail is personalized.

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Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 16:25
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Yes May 16, 2015

As a member of the SFT (syndicat français des traducteurs) I've based my English and French T&C on the SFT's. I include them with all my prices quotes and invoices.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Personalised May 16, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I said "No," but on second thought I realized that I have a boilerplate e-mail that I use to answer most inquiries. It spells out my rates and estimated turnaround time, assuming that I'm fully available. But the e-mail is personalized.


I keep thinking about having a separate sheet but there are drawbacks so I doubt I ever will.
Why give ALL terms when only some will apply? I have different terms for PayPal but I don't want EU clients using that so why include it? Terms are different for some clients too (company vs freelancer vs private individual).
Will clients read a separate sheet? I know they're still probably enforceable but it would make for ill-feeling.
I think I'll keep on adapting my full terms for each new client quote.


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Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:25
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
No May 16, 2015

Instead, I pursue individual approach to each client and each project.
It's impossible to take into account such things as your current workload, project complexity, risks, then, how interesting a particular project is for you, etc. in a standard set of terms.


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:25
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes May 16, 2015

Catharine Cellier-Smart wrote:

As a member of the SFT (syndicat français des traducteurs) I've based my English and French T&C on the SFT's. I include them with all my prices quotes and invoices.


My position is similar: I am a member of ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) and have based my T&C on their model terms. I send them whenever I am approached by a new client and use them as a default position wherever bespoke terms are not negotiated. I think it looks more professional and creates clarity regarding the legal position.


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Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 16:25
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Misunderstanding? May 16, 2015

I think there might be some misunderstanding as to what T&C cover.

Platon Danilov wrote:

Instead, I pursue individual approach to each client and each project.
It's impossible to take into account such things as your current workload, project complexity, risks, then, how interesting a particular project is for you, etc. in a standard set of terms.


My standard T&C are 2 pages long and cover generalities which apply to every client such as confidentiality, intellectual property, my obligations and those of the client etc. That doesn't stop me adapting deadline details, quote validity or payment terms etc to each price quote or invoice.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes May 16, 2015

Apart from my rates, I also stipulate my own preferences, mainly "if you're going to use recondite acronyms, YOU define them"... and "don't send me dodgy unworkable formats"... or texts with inserted graphic objects that are not easily doable either...

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Two things: boilerplate contract and standard terms on my email May 16, 2015

I used the ATA (American Translators Association) boilerplate agreement to fashion one of my own, which I have yet to use with the frequency I'd like.

My email signature (company name, contact info) contains a legal blurb to cover the main terms and conditions.

Good question, Angus!


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:25
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Style guide May 21, 2015

The client should send you a style guide and define their preferences.

If they don't or if a term is not specified there, you are free to translate. But not creating a specific database for each client. If the client does not specifiy, they will fall into the generic glossaries and references.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes May 28, 2015

I have a brief set of terms and conditions which are included on every invoice I issue.

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Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:25
Member (2008)
English to French
Yes May 29, 2015

I made a copy of the T&Cs from the American Translation Association.

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