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Payment Schedule

 
Ranch Hand
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Hi:
I am hired to do a project for a company as an independent contractor. I hope to know: what is the standard payment schedule in the US? or is there one?
For instance, 25% up front, 50% after phrase one, 100% on delivery. Does this sound ok?
Thanks for your help!
 
High Plains Drifter
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Whatever your client will agree to and can deliver. There's no generally agreed-upon standard.
If you're developing a property (source code or technical dcoumentation), experienced clients will usually agree to some advance money. In my experience, payment upon delivery is a great way to go. I show up with the source code, demonstrate it, then expect payment before I hand it over.
For pure "services," where all you're really selling is your time, you can get jerked around quite a bit. That's why setting an hourly rate is often a more constructive way to go.
 
Anonymous
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Thanks, Michael.
I will develop several programs for a company. I probably won't meet them in person, because we are over 1,000 miles apart. Even on delivery, I think it is most likely by email or regular mail.
 
mister krabs
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Just make sure that all the features are EXACTLY written down. A popular way to cheat developers out of their fees is to complain about all the features you left out. And how come it wasn't written as a web service and how come it isn't compatible with x, y, and z.
 
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

For pure "services," where all you're really selling is your time, you can get jerked around quite a bit. That's why setting an hourly rate is often a more constructive way to go.


What if I have plenty of time for my client cause I know how to work around time and I don't mind them jerking me around?
 
Michael Ernest
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You could turn the tables on him. Spending every waking hour imitating an incoherent pinhead on some website instead of doing the work he expected you to do. That'll show him.
 
Johnson Chong
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
You could turn the tables on him. Spending every waking hour imitating an incoherent pinhead on some website instead of doing the work he expected you to do. That'll show him.


Somehow I just laugh out loud at the above suggestion. Was it due to the way it was posted and how I interpreted them?
233th post! 3 more posts to 236th post as told to me by Cindy Glass, or was it her....ooooooh my failing memory!
[ September 23, 2002: Message edited by: Johnson Chong ]
 
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Maybe its a cultural thing (or maybe I'm just a bad negotiator), but I've never been able to get anyone to agree to payment up front here in the UK. Give the choice between staged payments throughout the project, or a single lump sum at the end, I'd always go for the staged payments. That way even if the client goes bankrupt (or more likely, loses interest in the project) you still get paid for the work you have done.
Also, I'd like to double-underline and highlight Thomas's comments about hard requirements. My top tip is to spend serious time agreeing not just "features" but the actual acceptance tests which will be used to verify that you have done your job. Get all of the exact acceptance criteria in writing, it's the only way for both you and the client to know when you have finished.
Trust me, I've been burned by this one
In my experience, payment upon delivery is a great way to go. I show up with the source code, demonstrate it, then expect payment before I hand it over.
I'm intrigued how you manage this. Again, maybe I just deal with different customers, but I usually have to deliver my software to some sort of "test team" who spend a while evaluating it to make sure it meets the specification. Only after this stage is completed, can the payment process start. And sometimes it can be weeks or even months before the purchasing people finally issue a cheque.
 
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