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Resumption Of Postponed Project, And Charging For Extra Work


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#1 rolf

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:59 AM

Long story short, I have a client that put me on a retainer about 18 months ago (x hours per month, x rate per hour, work until the project is finished). I estimated the project would take up to 7 or 8 months to complete, but after 5 months they hit a busy period (or possibly a skint period, but they didn't want to lose face?) and said the project would need to be put on hold for a couple of months. I explained that the project wasn't far from finished and that 1 or two more months might be all that was needed to get to live testing, but they said no and it was put on hold.

I have worked with this client for an hour here or there on a fairly regular basis ever since, but they have never mentioned the postponed project and to be honest I had forgotten all about it.

I have just had a phone call from my client asking me all sorts of technical questions about what is needed to finish the project and when can I get it done. Obviously I told them that it's been such a long time that I would need to look at my notes and possibly stick my head into the code to give anything more than vague ideas, but as far as I could recall from memory we wouldn't need to spend too long getting it to a first 'live' test.

I have now looked at my notes and I think I was right that we're not far from finished, but I will need to have a more detailed look at the code to confirm what my notes suggest and to assess exactly what needs completing, so I can give any kind of realistic estimate of how many hours it could take. My question is, who pays for that?

During the original period I would have been able to work out an estimate at any point fairly quickly without too much research and I wouldn't have charged him, but my client decided to put it on hold for over a year, so should he not foot the bill of my getting back up to speed? I've complete dozens of projects since then and I can't be expected to remember the fine details of his project after this length of time - or can I?

#2 Jill

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:58 AM

Yes, I think you should definitely charge for it. And you may want to also change your original pricing if you now charge more to other clients or anything like that.

#3 rolf

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:20 AM

Thanks Jill, it's good to get some confirmation on these things - I like to be fair to people but I also like being able to pay my bills, so it's difficult to know if I'm being entirely objective sometimes lol.gif

#4 Mooro

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:40 AM

You need to get your mind back into the logic and flow of the application, that takes time. Time is billable!




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