A Handshake Just Isn't Good Enough
Why a Contract is Necessary
Issue: 9.4 (May/June 2011)
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,900
Starting Page Number: 80
RBD Number: 9410
Resource File(s): None
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Excerpt of article text...
I recently had a dispute with a client over money. I lost and it's a lesson that I won't hopefully ever repeat again. The reason? I was being stupid and did work when I didn't have a contract with the client.
I didn't have a contract in place for all the wrong reasons. This client was a referral from another Real Studio developer that I've known for a long time and trusted. This client has deep ties with Real Software. He said all the right things about his history with developers. He could be trusted, right? Wrong!
Now, I've ridden this rodeo a few times so I keep copies of all my emails and iChat texts because it's a handy reference. This way I know what I've agreed to and what the client instructed me to do. This client, however, really likes video conferencing, which, unfortunately, isn't an automatic recording. Without proof of conversations it's all a matter of my word against his.
Without a contract you have no leverage. Unless you have something in writing you have few options to get what's owed you. There's always legal action but that can be expensive and there's no guarantee that you'll get your money.
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