The following are the policies that Silicon Chisel follows for all project work. These are in place to protect both the consultant and the client and are derived from years of industry experience. In general, we believe that having policies which are fair and clear to understand are best.
- All invoices are payable upon receipt. Business moves at “Internet Speed” these days, so just as the work is expected to be completed quickly, so too is payment expected promptly.
- A 50% deposit is required on all projects before work will commence. Period.
- All invoices are kept in an online billing system. Clients will have access to this so they can always check their account status. Online payment is available and encouraged.
- While Silicon Chisel does not generally provide hosting services, for those clients we do host any hosting fees must be paid on time every month. Failure to do so will result in the client’s site being taken offline. Silicon Chisel is footing the bill for the hardware and rack space on good faith for the client, so payment of hosting fees is expected and required.
- Silicon Chisel charges a sliding-scale hourly rate for services. Some tasks – like periodic site updates – are less expensive per-hour. Some tasks – like code development – are more expensive per-hour. Clients with a longer history will get a discount.
- For projects which will take three or more days to complete, a project price will be submitted for the work involved. This gives the client a break on the overall price and also makes accounting generally easier. Our policy is to never exceed the bid price as long as the requirements do not change. We have great faith in our ability to estimate the hours needed to complete a task, if we undershoot, then we eat the difference. But if the client changes their mind part way through, then the price will adjust upwards to take the extra work into account. This policy protects everyone. We have found it best to engage in longer-term projects when both we and the client have an agreed upon set of deliverables which do not change for the duration. No one gets hit with bad news in that case. If there are significant changes required mid-stream, these can often be rolled into a follow-up project.
- There is never any charge to discuss possible work. Some consultants charge for these kinds of interactions, but we do not. Many clients do not know what they need in terms of specific technology, or do not know how much building a certain kind of site will cost. It seems brutally unfair to charge them for such information. We feel that if we inform a client and they go elsewhere for the work we advise them they need, they won’t get the same quality and will come back to us.
- Any fees for licenses for templates, fonts, plugins, or any other items needed specifically for a client’s site will be passed through to the client directly. We do not mark-up anything. All such expenses will be line-item expenses on an invoice.
- Stuff Happens. The economy is not what it was before 2000, so we understand that sometimes business changes and payments for services may slip. All we ask is if there is a reason why a client cannot make prompt payment that they inform us of what is going on, and when they expect to be able to complete their payments. Ignoring invoices and reminders builds bad faith.
- Making partial payments on invoices is not a right. If a client cannot pay in full and on time, sending a partial payment with no explanation or at least asking if that is alright is not sufficient. Lets put it this way, how would the client feel if we only built 3/4 of the site and “got around” to the rest when it was convenient. Fair is fair.