Terms and Conditions (for customers)
Version: 2017.11 (updated June 2019)
Professional Interpreting and Translation Services
We (Verbatim Interpreters Ltd) hope these are clear. If in doubt about any of our terms, please ask.
We can offer customers our best service if we are given good information. Please let us know as much as possible about the type of assignment a booking involves. And please don’t forget to check which language you need. This helps us send the right person to your job. Customers agree to provide accurate information and undertake that it is correct at the time of booking regarding the language, time and date of assignments, the anticipated duration, the name of the person or people the interpreter will be working with, the address and phone number of the venue, and a contact name at the venue. They shall provide any necessary maps and other travel information, including details of relevant public transport.
If, on arrival an assignment is dramatically different from that described at the time of booking, or relevant information has been withheld, Verbatim Interpreters Ltd reserves the rights a) to withdraw its interpreter and charge customers as if a same day cancellation time charge is payable (See Cancellations, below) or b) to charge an increased fee and/or adjust any other terms and conditions of the booking as we consider appropriate.
Customers shall provide accurate information regarding any case/file reference or purchase order numbers and clearly identify the full name, address, phone and email address of the person who will process our invoices.
We expect all invoices to be settled promptly. This is an essential element in ensuring that we are able to provide a good service at a reasonable price – retain the services of the best interpreters, plan and develop our services and keep customers happy. We give most customers a 30 day credit period. These customers of Verbatim Interpreters Ltd undertake to meet all invoices in full within 30 days of presentation. However, we reserve the right not to give credit, without explanation.
Credit control is a chore. In cases where customers fail to pay within this period, and in particular if they avoid or ignore our attempts to deal with the issues amicably they shall be liable to pay compensation per overdue invoice at the statutory rate (see Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998) and shall be liable to pay statutory interest, (currently at an annualised rate of BOE base rate + 8%.) Such interest and compensation will potentially be due, at our discretion, even if the invoice is eventually settled late.
For interpreting assignments:
If you need to cancel a booking, please do so by contacting us directly as early as possible. We will not charge you anything if you give us more than 24 hours* notice during our office hours (office hours: 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday excluding bank holidays) before an appointment starts on each day booked. (* For example: if an interpreter is booked to work on Monday at 9am, you will need to cancel before the previous Thursday at 5pm; if the start time is on Monday at 11am, you will need to cancel before the previous Friday at 11am). We will have to charge fees if you make a cancellation late by giving us less notice.
Experienced interpreters know that customers’ plans do change due to fluid circumstances. They are entitled, however, to expect that they will be able to make a living and not lose work because those plans change at very short notice or are not communicated. Please appreciate that interpreters may cancel other plans, or not look for or accept other work when customers book them.
For this reason, once a booking has been confirmed in writing by us, these terms and conditions shall apply, without exception. Customers who need to alter the terms of a booking must do so directly with Verbatim Interpreters and not attempt to do so with the interpreter or translator, who has no power or authority to renegotiate the terms of a booking or to act on behalf of Verbatim Interpreters Ltd. for the purposes of altering any agreements or our terms and conditions.
The purpose of late cancellation fees are to ensure that interpreters are compensated for making themselves available to work for customers or customers clients who subsequently change their minds about an appointment for whatever reason. It is also to ensure that the agency is recompensed for any time and work which has gone into the cancelled booking to cover our overheads and help us keep the costs down for our other customers who do not book and then cancel appointments.
In the event that an interpreter is booked and the scheduled assignment is subsequently cancelled late or terminated earlier than the booked length, we will charge as follows:
If a cancellation occurs on the same day, the cancellation fees shall be equal to planned travel time, [or the actual time travelled, if the interpreter has begun their journey prior to the cancellation] (whichever is the greater), plus the minimum attendance time booked plus whatever actual travel expenses have been incurred by the interpreter. The booking confirmation will already indicate the exact minimum attendance time payable: e.g. if the booking was for a minimum of three hours attendance, then three hours attendance will be payable.
If a cancellation is made the day before (or, when there is a weekend and or bank holiday intervening, on the day before the next working day when the assignment was booked for), so that in effect there is less than 24 hours’ notice on working days before the time of the scheduled assignment, the cancellation fees shall be equal to planned travel time and the minimum attendance time booked. Any tickets bought by the interpreter and any other expenses incurred due to the booking shall also be reimbursed. Please note that this charge will apply in cases where bookings are taken for the following day and then cancelled that same day, afternoon or evening. It shall also apply when a booking is cancelled half way through a court hearing running over several days.
Where a customer has booked an interpreter to work for several days, and the interpreter has begun working, but the customer curtails the booking or part thereof, for any reason, the customer shall be liable for a cancellation fee equivalent to the remainder of the attendance time for the entire period booked and for the travel time which would have been necessary for the interpreter to attend the venue booked, and for any travel expenses already incurred. (For example: if an interpreter is booked for 5 days court work, but is cancelled half-way on day 2, then a late cancellation fee shall be charged for the remainder of Day 2 plus full day of Day 3). Please note that communications made or purported to have been made directly or indirectly to an interpreter by the customer or by third parties, (third parties to the contract between customers and Verbatim Interpreter’s Ltd, include people such as the customer’s own client, court staff, members of the judiciary, prison staff, other experts or expert witnesses etc.) do not have the effect of amounting to notice of a cancellation for these purposes. What counts in making a cancellation and determining its timing is direct communication between the customer who has made the booking and the staff at the office at Verbatim Interpreters Ltd.
There will normally be no charges in cases where a cancellation is made in writing to the Verbatim Interpreter’s office more than 24 hours before the scheduled assignment is due to commence. However, in cases where a customer knows, ought to know or has been warned in advance, verbally or in writing, that a specifically booked interpreter will not be contactable for a specific period (i.e. the interpreter will be working abroad in the days before the assignment or will be un-contactable during working hours by Verbatim Interpreters Ltd staff in such situations as those of being engaged in interpreting for a witness giving evidence in a trial) then a cancellation charge shall be payable in these circumstances.
For written translations:
Once you have instructed us to proceed with your translation project, you are liable to pay the full cost of the translation. No refunds or discounts can be given.
Travel expenses shall be payable at the actual transport rate paid by the interpreter, including all costs which are necessary for the interpreter to get to the venue. A mileage fee shall be charged for car use. Car parking will be payable at cost.
For the purposes of calculating working days, Verbatim Interpreters Ltd is open from Mondays to Fridays, not including bank holidays. Normal working hours for interpreters and translators are from 9.00am to 5.00pm. These are also our normal office hours.
Please note that we do accept bookings for interpreters to work on weekends, bank holidays and after 5.00pm on normal working days. However, premium rates will apply for bookings for those times. Communications outside of those times, particularly but not exclusively where relating to the cancellation of bookings, do not in any way amount to a waiver of any of the terms above regarding cancellation fees and liability for cancellation fees by customers who have given insufficient notice of a cancellation to avoid such charges.
Direct Approaches to Interpreters
If customers want to reuse the services of the interpreters and translators booked by Verbatim Interpreters Ltd previously, please make sure all future bookings are made through and notified to the office at Verbatim Interpreters Ltd. Verbatim Interpreters Ltd reserves the right to charge premium rates for any booking, translation or other language service arranged or made directly with one of our interpreters.
Interpreters are entitled to personal privacy within a professional relationship. Our interpreters are professional and will not allow their personal lives or views to interfere in their work. Please respect this. Customers shall not under any circumstances reveal, to their clients or third parties, any personal information about an interpreter which they may come to know about an interpreter without their consent. This includes social or work information as well as details of nationality, immigration status, family status, clan or tribal origins, religion, political opinions, marital status, sexual orientation, educational background or qualifications.
By Verbatim Interpreters Ltd
November 2017 (updated June 2019)