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Old 12-18-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: SoCal
345 posts, read 880,040 times
Reputation: 401

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Hi all,

I came across a small project to work on from home as a consultant. I sent a proposal that had 2 parts. It came back signed, but with some handwritten notes revising part 2 that requires about 40 additional hours to complete. My estimate for part 2 was only about 8 hours max. and my fee was small.

I completed all work per my proposal, but went back today and re-read the contract. I overlooked this one written note

This is clearly my fault for not addressing it in the beginning, but how should I respond?

Part of me just wants to suck it up and just do it for free, but I clearly dont have 40 hours to spare.

On the other hand, I can just talk to him and give him part 2 "as-is" with 50% discount on part 2.

Note: part 2 is not very important to him. It is just something used for him to evaluate. Part 1 was the crucial item and I delivered that beyond expectations.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,879 posts, read 57,977,821 times
Reputation: 29322
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandK View Post
This is clearly my fault for not addressing it in the beginning, but how should I respond?
Part of me just wants to suck it up and just do it for free, but...
But nothing.

Unless the other person deliberately changed or edited your text to their advantage...
you suck it up and make good on it. It's a learning experience.

You can (and should) tell them about your error and how you're planning to eat the expense.
Do it right and they may even add a bonus payment. But mainly you tell them so they aren't
expecting similar error pricing on any future contracts.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:32 AM
 
4,383 posts, read 8,689,802 times
Reputation: 2332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
But nothing.

Unless the other person deliberately changed or edited your text to their advantage...
you suck it up and make good on it. It's a learning experience.

You can (and should) tell them about your error and how you're planning to eat the expense.
Do it right and they may even add a bonus payment. But mainly you tell them so they aren't
expecting similar error pricing on any future contracts.
It's common for changes in contracts when changed for both parties to initial and then both sign. It's dirty pool to change the contract and then not say anything about it, and hope the other person doesn't notice so you get free labor out of it. I guess if the OP wants to work for the the client again he might eat the cost however I'm not sure I would want to work for this person again.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: SoCal
345 posts, read 880,040 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm2008 View Post
It's common for changes in contracts when changed for both parties to initial and then both sign. It's dirty pool to change the contract and then not say anything about it, and hope the other person doesn't notice so you get free labor out of it. I guess if the OP wants to work for the the client again he might eat the cost however I'm not sure I would want to work for this person again.
That's what I was thinking.

I just discussed the error with the manager in charge. he agreed the added work to part 2 was not important and we came to an agreement, but I still discounted part 2 50%.

I need to read this stuff carefully. lesson learned.

Also, I never signed the contract. Only the CEO.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:57 AM
 
17,175 posts, read 22,205,059 times
Reputation: 31304
if its a signed contract,,,then it may be binding you may not have a choice

however there's no downside in asking.....but ask with no high pressure,,, if you go directly at someone,,,they get defensive,,,be casual,,like it was an oversight,,,can we meet half way?
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,879 posts, read 57,977,821 times
Reputation: 29322
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm2008 View Post
It's common for changes in contracts when changed for both parties to initial and then both sign.
It's also just as common to add/delete/change details.
The onus is on the issuer of the contract to review for these things after being returned.
As said, unless the client has deliberately hidden their changes...

Quote:
It's dirty pool to change the contract and then not say anything about it...
Fair point. But A) we don't know that they didn't and 2) the onus still is on the issuer to look it over.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:34 PM
 
14,404 posts, read 16,320,098 times
Reputation: 12888
Maybe add a disclaimer to the bottom of all contracts that says any modifications, additions, deletions require a re-estimate and this could result in changes to the number or hours, the due date, the scope of the project.

Maybe do the modifications in a change order like builders do and have the original contract handle the original agreed upon work items. And modifications handled in change orders.

It's pretty common to get tweaks (requirements changes) throughout the life of the project. You want to come up with a simple way document them and get paid for them
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:09 PM
 
9,844 posts, read 13,938,774 times
Reputation: 10734
You just said - clearly my fault. Suck it in. Be careful next time.
What you should do, is to complete the project, as required by extended contract. But:
1. No contract should ever be signed with any handwritten notes on it. No big deal to have it fixed properly
2. Before you complete it, you contact employer, and honestly explain to him situation. As in - I am very sorry, I overlooked that note. But, I am a man of honor, and I shall have project completed per yor request. I hope, you understand, that I have to put 40 more hrs into it, but I shalle leave it to your discretion to pay me for it or not. Even discounted pay will be appreciated.

What happens next is 2 things:
1. You just bought yourself a long term customer
2. They are very likely to pay, maybe less than normal, yet..
3. It's good PR

And if they don't - you finish it still, but they are off your book for the lifetime.
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