1. These are the terms and conditions for working with Robert Matthews (‘Betterwrite’) in the capacity of freelance copy-editor, managing editor and proofreader.
2. Agreement to and acceptance of these terms and conditions is considered binding at the point of: a. receipt of the work (or the work in part, if it is being delivered in stages); or b. receipt of written confirmation from the Client; or c. receipt of deposit, first instalment or payment in full.
3. If the Client has a signed agreement or recorded correspondence (e.g. email or written correspondence) with Betterwrite that deviates from these terms and conditions, this agreement takes precedence. Any terms not covered by this agreement but included here apply.
4. This agreement is subject to the laws of England and Wales, and both Betterwrite and the Client agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.
Working with Betterwrite
5. The Client is under no obligation to offer Betterwrite work; neither is Betterwrite under any obligation to accept work offered by the Client.
6. The work will be carried out unsupervised at such times and places as determined by Betterwrite.
7. The completed work will be delivered on or before the date agreed by the Client and Betterwrite in recorded correspondence.
8. Betterwrite may renegotiate the fee and/or the deadline if: a. it becomes apparent that significantly more work is required than was stipulated in the brief; or if b. the Client requests that tasks additional to the content of the brief are undertaken.
9. Similarly, if, during the term of Betterwrite’s work, additional tasks are requested by the Client, Betterwrite may renegotiate the fee and/or the deadline.
10. If Betterwrite’s contribution to the work has been substantial, the Client will provide one free copy of any physical, published version of the work.
11. Betterwrite guarantees that any work subcontracted on behalf of the Client will be completed to the same standard, schedule and budget and with the same conditions of confidentiality.
12. If Betterwrite’s work is deemed unsatisfactory by the Client, Betterwrite will rectify it without further charge to the Client. Claims of unsatisfactory work must be: a. reasonable; b. based on demonstrable breaches of/failures to meet the brief; and c. made within 7 days of the completed work’s delivery to the Client.
Quotations and deposits
13. Betterwrite will provide a cost quotation in good faith based on information provided by the Client and/or its assessment of the work.
14. Quotations are valid for 30 days from the date of issue.
15. Betterwrite reserves the right to ask for a non-refundable deposit either at the time of booking or before work begins. The amount paid will be deducted from the final invoice on completion of the work.
16. Betterwrite is a self-employed enterprise of Robert Matthews, who is responsible for his own income tax and National Insurance contributions and will not attempt to claim benefits granted to the Client’s employees.
17. Payment for the job will be in advance of completion. If payment is made in instalments during the progress of the job, the final payment will be made before delivery of the completed job.
18. In exceptional circumstances where a special arrangement to defer payment has been made in advance between Betterwrite and the Client, payment will be made within 30 days of receipt of Betterwrite’s invoice, according to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (amended 2002 and 2013).
19. If payment is late, Betterwrite reserves the right to apply interest fees in accordance with the above legislation.
20. All fees incurred for international bank transfers to Betterwrite must be covered by the Client.
21. If the Client’s payment is very late, Betterwrite reserves the right to engage the services of a debt collection agency. Betterwrite will always endeavour to give the Client fair warning, but if debt collection services are engaged, the Client will also be liable for any charges to Betterwrite by the debt collection agency.
22. As agreed in recorded correspondence, the Client will pay Betterwrite a fee per: a. 1,000 words; b. hour; or c. day.
23. If for any reason the work is terminated while it is being undertaken, Betterwrite will retain all received instalments and/or deposits and reserve the right to charge a closing fee on a pro rata basis for work already completed. Once this is paid, completed work will be released to the Client and the working arrangement will be considered terminated.
24. Either the Client or Betterwrite has the right to terminate a contract for services if there is a serious breach of its terms.
25. If a contract is terminated by the Client without good reason Betterwrite may charge a cancellation fee. Non-communication or ‘ghosting’ by the Client for 30 days or more before completion of the job also constitutes termination of the contract. The cancellation fee may be a percentage of the remaining payment up to 100%.
26. It is the Client’s responsibility to share with Betterwrite any regulations, advice or instructions from the Client’s academic institution, supervisor, professor or tutor before the project begins.
27. Betterwrite cannot assist, advise on or critique the Client’s content during the process of academic proofreading work.
Rights, plagiarism and confidentiality
28. Betterwrite does not provide a content rewriting service and will not engage in any work adapting unattributed content from sources without the copyright holder’s written consent.
29. Any content created by Betterwrite as part of the work will become the copyright of the Client.
30. If there is evidence of deliberate and/or extensive plagiarism in the Client’s work, the work will be terminated with immediate effect. Betterwrite reserves the right to use an online plagiarism detection service, and any charges incurred will be payable by the Client if deliberate and/or extensive plagiarism is detected.
31. Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Client and Betterwrite may keep on record such information (e.g. contact details) as is necessary. Either may view the other’s records to ensure that they are relevant, correct and up to date.
32. The nature and content of the work will be kept confidential and not made known to anyone other than the Client and Betterwrite’s contractors without prior written permission.
33. Betterwrite may use the Client’s name and the name(s) of the Client’s publication(s), and any quoted comments deemed to be relevant and accurate, in its promotional material.