Terms of Service

Terms of Service

Terms of engagement

  • Before beginning any work for a client I will confirm in writing my understanding of the project to be undertaken and ensure agreement of this understanding with the client before commencing the research.
  • It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that the details of any previous research have been conveyed to Professional Family History to avoid any research being inadvertently repeated.
  • I will not exceed the time initially commissioned by the client without prior agreement.
  • I undertake to report the findings of the research with detailed sources of the information obtained. Where research is not successful I will provide information as to the avenues that have been explored.
  • Paid time includes research, analysis and reporting time and time spent communicating with the client by telephone and email.
  • If during the research it becomes clear that research will not take as long as initially expected or research cannot progress as anticipated any whole unused pre-paid research hours will be refunded to the client.
  • In cases where a Family Tree Package has been purchased and it becomes clear early on that research has reached an insurmountable hurdle I may offer a partial refund of the payment received. This will depend on the length of time spent on the project before coming to this conclusion.

Payment Terms

  • For commissions of £100 and under I require full payment in advance of any research to secure a research slot.
  • For commissions over £100 (including Family Tree Packages) a down payment of 50% is required in advance. The remaining balance becomes due on completion of the work, before the report and any supporting documentation is issued to the client.
  • On receipt of the required initial payment (see above) a research slot will be booked in and the client notified. Any changes to the initial estimate will be notified to the client as soon as reasonably possible.

Document copies

  • Documents are supplied at cost price. Where copies of documents are required and a definite cost of these cannot be determined upfront, the cost will be deducted from the amount paid and the amount of research reduced pro rata accordingly.

Likelihood of Success

  • It should be noted by any prospective client that it is sometimes not possible to trace a family back as far as expected or find the expected information in a particular document. Research time includes time spent searching with a negative outcome. However, all research may be considered positive if it is viewed that a particular document or direction has been “ruled out”.

Accreditation and reassurance

  • As an AGRA Member and a member of APG, I have agreed to abide by the Codes of Practice / Ethics of both organisations.
  • In the unlikely event of a client not being 100% happy with the research received from Professional Family History I will endeavour to address any issues as quickly as possible. If a mutually agreeable solution cannot be reached AGRA has a complaints procedure which may be used.

General Points

  • I reserve the right to decline cases where I consider the likelihood of success to be low e.g. if the only information were to be a starting point of “his name was John Smith and he was born in Essex in about 1900”.
  • All research commissioned to Professional Family History will be conducted by Dr Karen Cummings with the exception of research that requires specialist input e.g. out of geographical area research or Latin translation work. In the event of such circumstances the use of a third party specialist would be notified to and agreed with the client ahead of the research. The client’s details would not be shared with a third party without prior consent. Please see my Privacy Policy for more information.

The relevant United Kingdom law will apply to these Terms and Conditions and the relevant courts of the United Kingdom will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to the Terms and Conditions.

When I first started to look at who could help me research my family tree, it quickly became apparent that there were lots of companies out there on the internet who could offer what is basically an ‘off the shelf report’ for what appears to be relatively low cost and probably little reward at the end of the day. I was looking for something more, a professional well qualified researcher who could produce a bespoke piece of work and Karen has certainly met my expectations. The document Karen produced for my family is well written, presented and clearly researched. I have no hesitation in recommending Karen if you want a family tree you can hand down to your own family and keep for future generations as I did.

Sid Lambert.

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