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Re: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!

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Bill Allen, S.E. wrote:

Bill -

In your proposal, was the scope of work clearly defined?
I believe it was, yes.

When the actual work exceeded the basic scope of work did you write a
proposal for additional services including a fixed fee for those services?
Well, the actual work didn't really exceed the scope; it's just that when it came time to pay the owner balked.

If not, this might be the source of the problem, not your client, not the
owner nor your CFO.
I forgive you because you live in this silly world of legalisms that the lawyers have concocted for us. But in the end, right is right.

I did the work, as Rajendran put it, it "added value" to the project. The fee was quite reasonable.

But when the work is done, and they have a "fait accompli," all of a sudden it "wasn't THAT much work." That's why I used the allusion to the "Pied Piper" story.

There is nothing wrong with fixed fee agreements as long as the scope of
work is clear and the client is aware (via verbiage in your proposal) that
you will write a proposal for additional services when asked to do work
beyond the basic scope of work and will require a signature before
proceeding with the additional services. This way, there's no
misunderstanding and that should raise your expectations of getting paid.
I suppose there IS "nothing wrong" with fixed-fee--after all, I use it all the time. But it's a pain in the b*tt to have to go over the same territory again and again, before, during and AFTER the fact.

I don't know if adopting the position of getting paid hourly will be a
successful strategy move. I've met few clients who are willing to write a
blank check to me even though I deserve it. There are a few folks that can
charge by the hour, but those are generally involved with investigations of
existing structures and expert witness testimony.
I think there are some projects that really lend themselves to hourly billing. This was one such.

I say forget the $600, apologize to your client for the misunderstanding and
the angst you caused between he and his client.

Er, excuse me? I got the first clause, but the rest was garbled in translation. I could have SWORN you told me to "apologize" to the client for his not paying me as originally agreed.

Sorry, must be bad bits on my end.

Tell him that you will be more clear in the future regarding scope of services and fees for those
services to avoid such misunderstandings in the future.

Hm. Do you suggest translation of all contracts into Latin, perhaps?

After that, review
and modify your proposal so this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

I appreciate the fact that you, too, apparently think our efforst aren't really worth much.

Bill Polhemus, P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company

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