Do Customers Have Implicit, Unspecified Right to Documentation?

Subject: Do Customers Have Implicit, Unspecified Right to Documentation?
From: William Swallow <William -dot- Swallow -at- aptissoftware -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:56:08 -0500

Though from a user standpoint I hate to say it... If they signed a contract
that did not specify documentation, it's their loss. You have every legal
right to charge for it. However, seeing as this appears to be a delicate
case, I suggest coming to a happy compromise with the client. Perhaps online
documentation in PDF format for free and then charge for hard copy and Help?
Or lay out the options and tell them you'll do one for free or reduced cost
and charge $X for the rest.

Just some ideas to consider, but since documentation was not specifically
mentioned in the contract, they are not entitled to free documentation. The
ball's in your court.

<snip>
Here's the situation:
* Custom software for one client.
* Contract does not specify documentation of any sort...nor does any project
plan.
* Customer now feels he should not have to pay extra for documentation.

I have created a proposal to do info
planning/specifying/creating/delivering. I am reluctant to say whether users
get online help (and whether it is context-sensitive or not), printed
procedures, reference manual, quick-ref guides, until I perform info
planning...and can specify the library. Same with systems doc.
Client says, "We expect 'normal' documentation to be implied in the delivery
of software." When pressed what "normal" means, client says, "Oh, you know,
admin guide, user's guide, c/s online help...Word documents and stuff."
</snip>




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