Harsh conditions on your service provider might backfire
When working with external service providers like agencies at some point you will need a contract in which you want to manifest everything that seems important to you.
But you can exaggerate with the things you want to fix.
A few years ago there was a process in my company that aimed to create a master contract that all service providers had to sign. This makes sense as it provides equal conditions throughout the projects so that no one has to recheck all the time what was included and what wasn’t.
However these contracts went a bit to far.
They also included a large set of liabilities like how long after delivering the project they had to fix bugs. It was all very detailed. The small print.
It seems sensible at first sight to do something like this and for some companies this might work very well. However we as a company have often proved to be a difficult client that changes his mind a lot and who’s attention is often distracted leaving the service provider alone quite often.
In other words a large part of all the bugs and misconceptions in our projects are either caused by ourselves or don’t get noticed because we don’t pay attention. That’s life and not easy to change.
It is most of the times easy to fix though. And most service providers I worked with are only happy to do that to deliver a project that makes their client happy.
But if you treat them bad during the project and negotiated a price that barely makes a profit and have a harsh conditioned contract. Would you expect them to be doing anything the contract doesn’t cover?
In my experience you can get a whole lot more service out of a service provider without harsh contracting but by simply being cooperative.
You will easily get six person days of work for a bugfix for free when you ask for it. But if your contract says you get five there is little chance to get more.