Unless otherwise noted, Pre-paid Retainer Consulting Hours (RCHs) are usable for effort (including design, consultation, and implementation) related to basic changes to Web-site content (such as adding or modifying text on existing pages; simple processing of new images for inclusion on the site; etc.) as well as to larger projects whose requirements are not adequately specified. Chargeable consulting effort includes correspondence, discussions, and analysis required for and related to the work nSiteful performs and/or will be performing.
More complex modifications (e.g., those requiring special programming) may, at nSiteful’s discretion, constitute an Enhancement Project and would be billed at a negotiated fixed rate, based on clearly defined project requirements.
Please note that nSiteful does not provide estimates for work covered by Pre-Paid RCHs. Under a Pre-Paid RCH arrangement, neither the work that will be done nor the time it will take to do the work is specified. A primary reason we are willing to discount our RCHs so steeply is to avoid the process of developing fee quotations for projects whose requirements are not adequately specified and for multiple, small mini-projects. If you prefer or require a fixed-fee quotation for a definable scope of work, we will be happy to consider presenting a fixed-fee quote for those requirements.
Estimates and Purchasing Advice
While we can sometimes give rough estimates about a defined scope of work, please do not treat those as binding estimates or as the sole basis for your decision as to how many hours to pre-purchase.
The decision as to the number of consulting hours a client pre-purchases is always the client’s decision. nSiteful tries to incent clients to buy MORE hours at one time by:
- offering increasing discount levels
- allowing rollover of hours
- allowing trade-in of hours
Purchasing at least the number of hours in the most steeply-discounted bracket is always the most economical for the client, and our rollover and trade-in policies make that option attractive.
Consulting effort is tracked and decremented from Client’s bank of Pre-Paid Retainer Consulting Hours in tenth-of-an-hour (6-minute) increments, based on our time sheets.
We won’t nickle-and-dime you, and we always try to err on the conservative side in determining your charges. For example, we will not charge you for time spent researching technical issues that have broad applicability (i.e., we are likely to use with other clients). We will not charge you for time spent debugging our own code. We want your experience with us to be a happy one, marked by the belief that you’re getting a great deal.
nSiteful will notify you when your bank of RCHs is close to being used up. nSiteful may, as a courtesy, provide you with occasional summaries of the status of your RCH bank. If you have questions about work performed and charged, we will provide summary reports at your request and then answer any questions you have.
Client’s bank of Pre-Paid Retainer Consulting Hours do not expire.
Extra Work performed by nSiteful when Client’s bank of Pre-Paid Retainer Consulting Hours is used up or is in a deficit is subject to being invoiced on a Time-Billed basis. If the product of the Extra Work has already been delivered (e.g., changes uploaded to your live Web site; artwork delivered; etc.), said invoice will be due and payable in seven (7) calendar days (adjusted for any intervening holidays observed by the U.S. Postal Service).
On a Time-Billed basis, nSiteful will perform updates and maintenance services for you at the Standard hourly rate for one (1) RCH (see current rates here), subject to a half-hour minimum per incident/request and tracked in quarter-hour increments. Invoices are sent by e-mail; payments are due seven (7) calendar days after invoicing; and changes are published to your live site upon receipt of payment.
We have two rate schedules for Retainer Consulting Hours:
- Standard Rates
- VIP Rates
Eligibility for VIP Rates is at the sole discretion of nSiteful. Clients under qualifying Maintenance Services Agreements are automatically eligible for our steeply discounted VIP rates. For other clients, eligibility is based on spending and credit history.
RCH Trade-In Policy Policy
In our continuing efforts to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations, nSiteful offers the following policy:
If a client contracts with nSiteful for a Fixed-Fee project, the client may trade in any RCHs that are in its bank of hours at the time of receipt of nSiteful’s Fixed-Fee Quotation as a credit against the fee for said services. As of December, 2008, this Trade-In Policy extends to fees for these previously-excluded services: Web Hosting, E-mail Services and Technical Support.
For trade-in purposes, RCH hours shall have a value equal to the hourly rate corresponding to the highest discount level in the VIP rates category at the time RCHs were last purchased.
This Trade-In option does NOT apply to the following:
- Services paid through PayPal Subscriptions
- Disk Usage overage charges
- Bandwidth overage charges
- Late Fees and other penalty charges
To trade in RCHs, the client’s bank of RCHs must be in good standing (i.e., in the black) PRIOR to the time nSiteful delivers its Fixed-Fee Quotation. Further, the maximum number of RCHs the client may trade in is the number of RCHs in his or her bank at the time nSiteful delivers the Fixed-Fee Quotation.
RCHs are non-refundable.
(This illustration assumes that the trade-in rate is $70/hour.)
Acme Consulting, Inc. has eight (8) pre-paid Retainer Consulting Hours in its bank. Acme tells nSiteful it is interested in adding Intranet functionality to its Web site, and nSiteful and Acme thoroughly discuss the requirements and specifications. Although this enhancement constitutes a complex modification, Acme has been an excellent client with an excellent credit history, and nSiteful offers to perform the enhancement under the RCH arrangement (whereby Acme’s bank of hours would be debited according to actual work performed, and no estimate is provided). Acme responds by requesting a Fixed-Fee Quotation, so that they can weigh their options.
(Note that, under a Fixed-Fee arrangement, a client does not pay extra if it takes nSiteful longer than projected to finish the job — provided there are no departures from the project’s specifications.)
nSiteful delivers a Fixed-Fee Quotation of $1,000 for the Intranet project. Acme elects to go the Fixed-Fee route, and they choose to apply 6 of their 8 RCHs to the project (amounting to a credit of $420), and the balance due on the Intranet project is $580.
nSiteful’s RCH discount structure encourages clients to purchase more RCHs at one time: the more you buy, the greater the per-hour value. However, concern that a future enhancement might not be payable by RCHs could discourage you from purchasing RCHs at the more economical rates. nSiteful wants to remove that discouragement. Hence our RCH Trade-In policy.
(The Golden Rule pretty much dictated this one; if our roles were reversed, I would definitely want to have this option.)