General Terms and Conditions of Johnson & Witte Partnerschaft, Fachübersetzer + Sprachdienstleister


The language services we provide (including translation, editing, proofreading, language tuition and interpreting) are subject to our General Terms and Conditions of Business detailed hereinafter. These are binding upon both private clients ("consumers" within the meaning of the law) and business clients. No other provisions shall apply unless we have expressly agreed them with our customers.

1. Any orders placed with us shall only be binding upon us once we have confirmed them in writing.

2. In regard to translations, you may provide us with texts or files, either in the form of paper-based documents, sent by email/uploaded to our ftp site or by fax. In that respect, we shall not be liable for any loss or damage incurred to the document en route to us unless it was our fault. We undertake to treat the documents/files entrusted to us confidentially.

3. We charge for our services on the following basis:

(a) The basis for calculation for translation fees is the number of words or number of standard lines containing 55 characters, including spaces, in the source text, unless any conversion of .pdfs, image files, faxes or paper-based documents into a format which may be processed electronically fails. In that case, as long as the customer agrees, we charge based on the target text.
In such cases (where the conversion to text fails), we can alternatively, when quoting, specify to the customer a range of standard lines or number of words that the source document will probably extend to once an editable working file that largely reflects the formatting of the source document has been produced by us manually, and then, after translating the working file, charge based on the actual number of source words or standard source lines. In rare cases, in particular
- if the print quality is poor or the source document involves complex formatting, where our formatting efforts are no longer adequately compensated by charging usual market word or standard line prices, or
- if, at the time of quoting, it should prove to be very time-consuming to establish the source word or standard line count or ascertain the range into which the source word or standard line count falls,
we reserve the right to prepare the offer based on lump sum prices or per page prices (in cases where the customer has not yet finished preparing the document for translation at the time of enquiring). Should the customer place the order with us based on our only quoting an individual price per charging unit (e.g. based on our quotation "We offer to take on this translation for you for the price of X euros per standard line of 55 characters with spaces in the source text."), i.e. without our putting a figure to the actual or anticipated quantity of charging units, a legally valid contract is deemed to have been concluded unless the customer contradicts such offer prior to our commencing the actual processing of the order and indicates that, in addition to the individual price per charging unit, he or she needs to be given an indication of the actual or anticipated quantity of charging units.

(b) Proofreading fees are either based on the word count or line count or otherwise charged for by the hour, as agreed.

(c) Interpreting assignments are charged for by the hour or based on lump sum prices for half-days or full days, as individually agreed. For interpreting assignments a minimum fee per appointment, amounting to 1.5 working hours in the case of direct clients and 2.25 working hours in the case of agency clients, shall be agreed, on account of the preparation time involved.
In regard to the minimum fee, translations and any other language services provided by the company (except for interpreting) will usually amount to between 0.75 and 1.25 working hours at the hourly rate applicable to the type of client, and shall essentially not exceed the latter amount.
If our services are subject to German sales tax based on the country of residence or domicile of the customer (Germany/EU/outside the EU) and/or the customer's fiscal status (entrepreneur/non-entrepreneur) we show the statutory sales tax component on all invoices for any language services.

4. Invoices may be paid by bank transfer, PayPal, Western Union or MoneyGram, or in cash.

(a) In cases where we deliver our work results through the mail or electronically, invoices shall be payable without any deduction within 21 days of the invoice date. If the documents are collected personally the invoice shall be payable immediately, without any deduction, in cash. Interpreting services are due for payment in cash immediately afterwards, unless the customer is an agency. Other than as laid down above, due to their role as an intermediary individually agreed credit periods shall be negotiated with translation and interpreting agencies for any language services with which they commission us.

(b) Should our invoice still not have been paid following a second written reminder, we charge default interest as is available to us under German law (for our private clients, 5% above the base rate as published by the European Central Bank; for our business clients, 8% above the base rate as published by the European Central Bank).

(c) In special cases (such as in the case of customers from non-EU countries or when undertaking very extensive projects), we reserve the right to require down payment from our clients.

(d) In rare cases we reserve the right to not only require down payment for certain orders, but, instead, require advance payment in full. In the case of customers domiciled in Germany the client then has the opportunity, as the business relationship develops, to obtain regular client status and be approved for payment upon receipt of an invoice (with a credit period) once five orders have been paid for in advance.

5. We make every effort to provide our services in good time or prior to the delivery deadline. Delivery deadlines shall only be binding upon us once we have agreed them with our client in writing. Should we fail to meet the agreed deadlines, the client may set us a reasonable grace period in which to complete the order. Should this grace period also expire to no avail, for reasons which are our fault, the client shall be entitled to withdraw from the contract. Such withdrawal based on non-adherence to the grace period shall only be effective if we receive it before we have provided the service in full. Other than as provided for above, withdrawal based on non-adherence to the grace period shall likewise be invalid if 90% or more of the translation or other linguistic service has been completed at the time of withdrawal. Withdrawal based on non-adherence to the grace period shall, moreover, also be invalid if it can be shown that the translation had already been edited in full, i.e. proofread involving text comparison at the time of withdrawal from the contract (i.e. withdrawal due to non-adherence to the grace period is excluded once the post-production phase has begun).

6. We provide our language services to the best of our knowledge and belief. Should the latter nonetheless be defective, we shall remedy the defect or defects as soon as possible. The defects will therefore be remedied within 96 hours or, if possible, quicker than that (calculated based on a working week of Monday to Saturday). Our business clients are required to notify any defects within a period of 30 days. Should they notify them at a later date, we shall no longer be obliged to remedy any defects. If the remedying of the defect fails, the client shall have the right to reasonably reduce the amount of the invoice. The company's liability for any pecuniary losses incurred to the client through any defective linguistic services provided which are our fault shall be limited to EUR 75,000 per order. In addition, the statutory provisions on limitation shall apply.

7. Should the client cancel the order placed with us while it is still in progress, our claim to payment of our fee shall be in accordance with the value of the part of the order which has already been completed.
Should interpreting assignments be canceled up to 48 hours prior to commencement of the journey to the agreed location, only the actual traveling expenses already incurred (such as cancellation fees in the event of scheduled use of public transport) shall be invoiced. Should interpreting assignments be canceled less than 48 hours prior to commencement of the journey to the agreed location, however prior to the day of travel, we shall in addition claim flat-rate compensation for the preparation time invested and lost profits amounting to € 65.00 plus statutory sales tax (if any). Should interpreting orders be canceled on the day of travel, or - if the date is different from that - on the day for which the interpreting job is scheduled, the aforementioned flat-rate compensation shall amount to the above-mentioned minimum fee per interpreting assignment in the amount of 1.5 working hours in the case of direct clients and 2.25 working hours in the case of agency clients, as well as, in the event of the service being canceled when the interpreter is en route to the location where the interpreting is to take place, the actual time traveled until the time of cancellation at the specific hourly rate relevant to the type of client plus the time required for the return journey and also the actual outlays incurred (allowance per kilometer and any parking fees or train tickets and any tickets for local public transport; if unavoidable, also taxi fares and/or costs of overnight stay).

8. Should any provision contained in our General Terms and Conditions of Business be or become invalid, the remaining provisions shall nonetheless remain valid.

9. In so far as statutorily admissible, the court having jurisdiction for our company's registered office is agreed upon as the place of jurisdiction for any claims arising in any disputes with our clients.



 
 
 
 
 
Sebastian Witte, 2009