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Thread: client wants error-free clause in monster project

  1. #1
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    client wants error-free clause in monster project

    She wants a mega 3D/Flash custom spec order form by Jan 1st with no errors. I'm working hourly. Essentially my client wants to charge me if anything goes wrong. She's protesting my clause saying

    does not warrant that the functions contained in these web pages or the Internet web site will meet the client's requirements or that the operation of the web pages will be uninterrupted or error-free. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the web pages and interface design is with client. In no event will Floodlite Multimedia be liable to the client or any third party for any damages, including any lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate these web pages or interface design, even if Floodlite Multimedia has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

    Since a lot of the project is dependent upon assistance from multiple members of her company (some of which think the project is a waste of time)I know there will be errors and gaps. There's not going to be enough time to fully test everything. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    Re: client wants error-free clause in monster project

    Originally posted by coldsore

    does not warrant that the functions contained in these web pages or the Internet web site will meet the client's requirements or that the operation of the web pages will be uninterrupted or error-free
    well, i'd be willing to bet she has a problem with the above statement, that's for sure.

    would you buy a four thousand dollar tv that said "may not work all the time" or a car that may or may not start?

    i think you should clarify that upon delivery everything will work to client's requirements, and then charge a retainer for maintenance.

  3. #3
    Old Member gecko2's Avatar
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    Tell the client you'll either do the work with no clause or they'll be no work. What does your contract with the company state exactly if you don't mind me asking?
    Keep it rural.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SJT's Avatar
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    Perhaps you need to reword it slightly, error-free is a pretty unlikely requirement but you should probably narrow it down a bit to be more along the lines of "there is a likelihood for a margin of error" or whatever tather than bluntly stating it possibly won't work and there's nothing you can do about it...
    Sam



  5. #5
    Senior Member dlowe93's Avatar
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    Re: client wants error-free clause in monster project

    Originally posted by coldsore
    does not warrant that the functions contained in these web pages or the Internet web site will meet the client's requirements or that the operation of the web pages will be uninterrupted or error-free.
    I agree with erova. This statement essentially says that you will not be held to deliver to the client's specs or that it will work once delivered. I'd probably balk at that too.

    I think what you are trying to communicate is that you will be responsible for delivering to the initial specs as scoped up front, under the original timeframe, provided that the client meets their expectations with regards to content, feedback, and other deliverables and meets them on time according to the schedule. Any delays on the client part or changes to the original specficiation will either add additional cost, additional time, or both.

    Of course, if you don't mean that, i think the client is doing the right thing by refusing it.

    d.
    dlowe93

  6. #6
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    ^exactly what i was going to post^

    if i buy something, i expect it to be error free. but if i cause the error then i wont hold the company responsible. Make it so that any error on your part will be covered by your company, but if it is caused by miscommunication on the cliets part or them messing with the files once youre done, you are not responsible. although you would want to define exactly what is and what is not considered an error on your part.
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  7. #7
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    If the error was definately caused by you, then you should be held liable... however, if people within her company are also working on the project, then there needs to be an understanding about where fault lies on errors.

    If an error occurs, she can not blame you, unless it's without a doubt, caused by something only you yourself touched. However, with her own employee's in the mix, there is no way to put any liability for error on you.

    However, you should rewrite what you wrote, because as people have pointed out, you are stating you make no claim that the program will work even 1%.

    If she wants to be 100% positive.. they need to contact a temp agency.. get about 4 people in there and have them just beat the hell out of it.. error testing all day long.
    ..tween this

  8. #8
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    I would think that it's unlikely any project, especially a 'monster' project, would be launched totally error-free. You can only hope that it might happen, and if there are errors, then you would be liable for their fixing. That's just common sense. If the client does not think that you will do your damndest to hand over error-free content, I'd have to question why they hired you in the first place. Isn't it part of the designer's job, making sure that your creation does what it's supposed to, and if they don't trust you to do that, what has happened previously for them to doubt that you would?

    Anyway, to roll out on Jan 1 with no errors, though, you'd better forget Christmas and use December for testing, testing and more testing. That way, you can reduce your likly exposure for any problems, by solving them before they go live.
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  9. #9
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    Everything is better now and the project is a go. I threw in a clause stating that I will make every good-faith effort to test the Alpha version thoroughly and make all necessary corrections as a result of such testing prior to handing over the Alpha version to the client.

    I appreciate all of your comments. I should have explained more in the original post. This is a rush progect with me modeling in 3D, Actionscripting and using Coldfusion. They wanted it all done (and error free) before a Managers meeting that they are having on January 5th to train the managers how to show the customers how to use the site. So, this is pretty much a 40 hour a week project. Also, my Primary contact is in Europe until the end of the month and apparantly I need to hunt down two VP's in the company (who are against the project and dislike my Primary Contact) and get all the info for the project from them.

    I saw the original clause in a sample contract online and thought it was perfect. It would prevent me being liable if they don't provide me all of the info accurately or soon enough.

    The lady who is my current primary contact wants to charge me a fee if it is not done on time or if there are any errors. I might understand that if I was getting paid on a project level but they insist on paying me hourly so Acct doesn't have to approve any large bills or kill fees.

    I talked her out of any fee explaining that at this meeting, I'm sure that the managers would have valuable input into the project and I think that that meeting ought to be used to make sure all the technical information is correct. I reminder her that this meeting is right after the hollidays and that it would be pretty difficult to get people to test it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    This looks like a disaster waiting to happen to me. I would definitely add a clause that states they are resposible for providing all required material by specific dates or you will not be held accountable for an incomplete product. The state of affairs within the company would also give me cause for genuine concern. Mark my words...it is EXTREMELY likely that you will have trouble getting the information you need, and might even have trouble getting paid for the project. The fact that the people who you have to get your information from are against the project AND dislike your contact will make this whole process very difficult for you. If you need the money, then good luck...if not, I would recommend finding another client.
    mrush


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  11. #11
    ScreenResolution
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    We eliminate client worries with a 100% satisafaction guarantee - if they're not happy at the end of the day they don't have to pay us. Might sound risky, but it puts the client at ease, make them more likely to buy and i've not had an unhappy customer yet.

    I would just state that you can't be held responsible for the failures of third-party software.

  12. #12
    ScreenResolution
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    Also, due to the nature of the job, get some cash up-front.

  13. #13
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Owen Sutton
    We eliminate client worries with a 100% satisafaction guarantee - if they're not happy at the end of the day they don't have to pay us. Might sound risky, but it puts the client at ease, make them more likely to buy and i've not had an unhappy customer yet.
    Sound risky??? That sounds completely mad.

    Hey, I'll work until the client's happy (well until I consider they're taking the piss, anyway), but they are never, never given the option of not paying.

    Did I say never given the option of not paying? Good. Just wanted to make sure I got that across.
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  14. #14
    ScreenResolution
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    It's no way as risky as it sounds. The way I see it, if the customer's not happy, I've not done my job and don't deserve paying.

    Like I said before, no-one's ever refused to pay, and I know for a fact it's given me the edge on a couple of occassions over my competitors. I know it's bound to bite me in the ass at some point, but if the guarantee brings in more business than it loses then It's worth it. The majority of people out there are honest and don't mind paying for a good service. Plus, you can usually tell when you first meet with the client if they're gonna be arsey and I just refuse to work with them.

    People are very weary of the web and the more risk you can eliminate from the process, the more likely they are to give you their money.

  15. #15
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    - if they're not happy at the end of the day they don't have to pay us.
    COOL - I wish I was filthy stinking rich AND/OR had all the time in the world! That must be great.

  16. #16
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    We use a clause where we are not responsible for Hosting changes, Server software updates, Flash player updates, or any chnages to the web site made from a third party involvement.

    We only guarantee error free operation on delivery.

    We also require a detailed spec. signed off by the client.
    Any changes from that point require additional billable hours
    and delivery date extention.

    If a client does not agree to these clauses we do not accept the project.

    Toby Mack
    Best regards
    Toby Mack

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