“I’ll fix bugs, do tweaks, and answer questions indefinitely”

Sent by Jonathan Stark on January 30th, 2017

Today I had a phone call with a client regarding a project that we’re wrapping up after about four months of development.

Three people from the client organization were together in one room on a speaker phone. I was the only other person on the call.

After the opening pleasantries, they asked:

“Now that the system is live, what will the scope of your involvement be, if any, under the terms of the existing development contract?”

In other words, they were wondering:

“If we need your help, do we have to pay more?”

I replied:

“Under the terms of the current contract, I’ll fix bugs, do tweaks, and answer questions indefinitely. If you have any new feature requests, we can discuss and if need be I’ll write up a new quote for the work.”

In other words, 

“I’m going to make sure you’re satisfied with the outcome of this project for the price you agreed to initially.”

There was a long silence on their end.

I was about to say, “Hello? Are you still there?” when one of them said:

“Wow... we’re just not used to getting such a... decisive answer.”

 (some muffled conferring on their end)

“Geez... This is great. I guess... we’re all set. Thanks!”

According to my iPhone, the entire call lasted 6 minutes. 

You’re probably thinking:

“B-b-b-b-but!!! How can you offer unlimited bug fixes etc?!?!”

The answer is simple:

I priced it so I could offer unlimited bug fixes.

I could do bug fixes for a year and still not feel like I was losing money. But I won’t have to do bug fixes for a year.

Why?

Because I knew bugs would just come back to bite me later so I made sure we did a kick ass job in the first place. 

More realistically, there will be two or three bugs/tweaks and maybe a half dozen questions between now and when they decide to hire me for the next project. 

Yours, 

—J


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