Newsletter Issue: "Refunds"

Hello everyone,

This week I want to address a topic that is probably the biggest "elephant in the room" when you hire a developer: refunds.

Imagine that you've finally found a software firm that you like. Conversations about the project have gone well, maybe some preliminary user interface mockups have been sketched up, and everyone's feeling good.

At some point in one of the conversations - or more likely, not until the contract is about to be signed - the topic of "what happens if everything goes wrong" needs to be addressed.

This is certainly a large topic, way larger than I could cover in one email, but there's one point I want to make if nothing else: whatever you do, at least talk about it and get something in writing.

Here are a few refund options I've seen:

  • No refunds at all
  • A refund is guaranteed anytime the client is unhappy
  • A refund is guaranteed only if the software is provably defective or does not meet the requirements
  • A refund is only available within the first 30 days of the project

There's no right and wrong policy. It's up to you and the firm to find an agreement that's comfortable for everyone.

Have you ever run into a situation where the work performed by a developer left you feeling like they didn't live up to their end of the bargain? Did you get a refund, or did you resolve it another way? Please hit REPLY and let me know. I'd love to learn more about what that was like for you.

In case you're wondering, my personal policy is to refund in full anytime the client is unhappy; however, that's never happened in real life (probably because I only take clients that I can trust and projects I know I can deliver, but as fans of Good Eats might say, that's another show).

Got questions?
Ask me anything.

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Drop me an email: jeffrey@softwareforresearch.com

Find me on Twitter (DMs are open): @jeffcohen