Re: Contracting moral dilemma

Subject: Re: Contracting moral dilemma
From: Gurudutt Kamath/Technical Writing Centre <guruk -at- GIASBM01 -dot- VSNL -dot- NET -dot- IN>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 22:04:32 +0530

Hello David!

I am rushing to reply to this moral dilemma. A fixed price contract is a
fixed price contract. Do not undercut yourself.

I remember being honest and refunding money. I remember reducing rates for
getting multiple contracts. But what does the client do -- simply reduce
your rates! If in a fixed price contract, the effort doubles, you will
rarely get paid more. At the most you will get 5 or 10% -- because the
client wants to squeeze more out of you. So please don't even think of it.

One of my clients, promised to pay me a measly Rs.10,000 extra for doing a
Translation Project (which I did as a "favour.). Then they forgot about it
-- despite repeated reminders. These very same clients, I refunded money,
gave them very good deals, lost contracts in Hong Kong/Singapore because
of inordinate delays, tolerated their late payments. I have told the
clients very clearly, until I get this due, I will not work for them
anymore. I have a whole lot of other clients now. For a small loss of
Rs.10,000 I have learnt a lesson. Hope you also learn from my experience.


guruk -at- giasbm01 -dot- vsnl -dot- net -dot- in
for column on Documentation, Internet, etc.
Technical Writing Centre, Mumbai

On Wed, 5 Feb 1997, The Tech Writer wrote:

> My potential dilemma is: what if I spend a lot less hours on the project
> than I calculated for my bid? It is a fixed bid, but I still based it on
> how many hours I thought it would take. If I go over the amount of time I
> estimated, I certainly wouldn't expect to be paid more...but should I
> return whatever portion that I didn't work for?
> Another contract will follow this one. Should I just adjust the other
> contract to offset any unworked-for income on this one?

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