[thelist] contract pitfalls?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 18 15:19:43 CST 2001

> From: "A. Erickson" <amanda at gawow.com>
> So, I feel that I want to give her some document which outlines rights
> and responsibilities, the definition of maintenance, and perhaps my
> rate card for if/when she wants further work done.

i tend to rework existing agreements... ideally your contract for 
building it should have all the rights/responsibilities, so start 
there... in fact, just pull out the old agreement and start editing that 

> What I'm looking for from you guys is maybe a general outline or
> suggestions for what should be included in the document and if any of
> you all have any anecdotal advice about maintenance contracts.

i break my rates down (depending on job/client) so text changes 
are one rate, graphics changes another, database work another, 
and server support (scripting, etc.) a fourth rate... this may be too 
granular for you, and it also forces you to keep explicit track of 
your time...

if you have an inkling of how much of each you'll be doing, you may 
wish to offer a blended rate (average the rates into one, weighting 
the tasks you are most likely to perform)...

> Also, should I specify a turnaround time?

in my agreement i state that barring my commentary to the 
contrary when i receive the changes, all changes received by 3:00 
PM on thursday will be live the following monday at noon (as an 
example, you'll need to tweak that, i'm sure)...

this way you have a pretty simple schedule, the client knows the 
deadlines, and you can still raise a flag should the client send over 
a major overhaul...

consider setting a time that the contract is in effect... for instance, 
one year from signing, 6 months, etc... that way you can revisit it, 
adjust rates, tasks, etc... if it's the first time with this client, 
consider a 6 month contract for now...


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