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Old May 22nd, 2012, 09:52 AM   #1
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Contracts - Paper or Online

Hi all - I'm thinking about using an online contract form instead of a paper one as I'm currently getting more people booking my basic packages where I don't always go and visit the client - If I'm making a 2 or 3 hour round trip I'll need to factor that into the cost and I'm keen to keep my prices low, so my alternative has been to post one.

I'm wondering if anyone had gone down this route yet - it's common in software for a tick box 'I agree etc etc...' to be OK for licensing so I wonder if it would suffice for wedding videographers

Cheers

Pete
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: Contracts - Paper or Online

The popular ones in the states are:
ShootQ - Photography Studio Management Software
Táve 3.0

Both have the ability to sign contracts electronically.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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Re: Contracts - Paper or Online

You might want to look in a service like this: The Global Standard for eSignature | Electronic Signature, e-Sign, and Digital Signatures from DocuSign
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: Contracts - Paper or Online

I'm so old school it's not funny so I want a hard copy with their signature for my files. Just something I've alwaays had and always do. I send them a serice agreement, they sign it and send it back in the stamped envelope I provide. They can either make a copy for themselves or I'll make one for them and send it to them. The whole deal costs me less than $2.00 and now I have a hard copy. For me it's not even a question.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Re: Contracts - Paper or Online

1, Contract liability does not even require a signature in many common situations. If there is evidence of the intent of the parties with a statement of terms and price, and email can be sufficient to bind a party. Confirming oral agreements with an email may be enough, though an acknowledgment is even better.

2 As to signatures, even faxed or scanned signatures are sufficient to prove a party contracted for services.

3. The Statute of Frauds does require certain contracts be in writing. Of particular concern there would be a contract that takes longer than a year to complete.

All that being said, whether its paper, electronic or oral, the contract is only as good as the person making the promise and there is where your one to one eyeballing actually cements your confidence.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 06:34 AM   #6
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Re: Contracts - Paper or Online

What Chris says is true, according to my lawyer, so I archive emails. However, some clients are more comfortable with a contract, or statement of work. In those cases, I do like Don, with the exception of letting the client know that scanning the document and attaching it to an email works fine for me.

It's important to screen your clients. Trying to force someone to pay up usually isn't worth it. Better to avoid problem clients from the start. Honest people can be trusted. Dishonest people can't, contracts or not.
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