Here’s the deal – I never used to make clients sign a contract, but, after being taken advantage of due to this, I have changed my policy after many years of doing business.
So, while I still want to hold to the spirit of “no contracts” I’m going to have to ask you to agree to the following:
Purchase of real goods only:
If you are purchasing a pre-designed product like a t-shirt or purse or card set, you agree to pay me and I agree to send you what I advertised. All products that do not arrive within 6 weeks of ordering will be allowed a full refund payable in store credit. If a product is returned for being defective or damaged BEFORE arriving at your address, a full refund may be issued. If returning an item purchased, you, the customer will be responsible for return shipping charges. All returns and refunds will be subject to a 3% handling fee in order to recoup any credit card processing costs, or in the case of a check, the gas it took me to run to the bank.
Purchase of custom designed real goods or services of any kind:
1) You are hiring Vortex Design to provide design, development, assistive, technical, research, creative, consulting or printing services.
2) In hiring Vortex Design to provide the above described services, you agree that for all intents and purposes, Vortex Design or any of it’s representatives will be working as temporary or long term contract employees. W9 forms can be provided if requested within the affected fiscal year. If you will be filing a 1099, you will inform Vortex Design of said tax filing by the end of affected fiscal year. We file our taxes as soon as possible so you must inform us of your intention to file a 1099 in time for it to be properly reported to the IRS.
3) In addition, you agree that you understand that you may fire or hire us at anytime and we will stop work as soon as requested. You will be fully responsible for any and all charges, fees or unpaid hours that were incurred up to the moment of dismissal. This is no different than if you hired a receptionist only to fire her a week later – you still owe the hours she worked. To get extra technical:
- In the event of termination, Designer shall be compensated for the Services performed through the date of termination in the amount of (a) any advance payment, (b) a prorated portion of the fees due, or (c) hourly fees for work performed by Designer or Designer’s agents as of the date of termination, whichever is greater; and Client shall pay all Expenses, fees, out of pockets together with any Additional Costs incurred through and up to, the date of cancellation. In the event of termination for convenience by Client, Client shall pay in addition to the above an early termination fee equal to 25% of the total project fee. Client shall not have rights to use Deliverables except upon written consent from Designer provided after such termination.
4) You agree to provide any files, images, data, logins, account information, copyrights, information, feedback or approvals requested in a timely manner. Be aware that when working with a designer or a developer, most projects are in actuality a team effort. While the designer or developer may do the heavy lifting, so to speak, you, the client are an invaluable and essential collaborator as well.
5) You agree to settle any dispute in small claims court or mediation (at Vortex Design’s discretion) in the state of Ohio.
6) You agree that you will not be entitled to usage rights of any work delivered for consideration or evaluation or even final deliverable projects until all invoices have been paid in full. Until payment for any project has been made in full, no copyrights, usage rights, intellectual rights, account ownership, account information or any rights of ownership at all will be transferred to client/customer. You further agree that any online content authored by Vortex Design will be subject to suspension for failure to pay after 14 days of an invoice being past due and termination after 90 days of being past due. You further agree that Vortex Design does not guarantee to store or archive any work completed for more than 120 days on unpaid or past due accounts. In plain English – if you haven’t paid me for six months, there is no guarantee I won’t delete all your work forever (I’ve never had to do this though).
7) You agree that once any project is finished, and paid in full, Vortex Design will do all it can to store or archive your files for up to two years. We will not be held responsible for mechanical malfunctions, computers dying or online storage companies going out of business. Please request a full copy of all of your files if this is an issue. All clients in good standing are always welcome to all of their files after project completion.
In the event that we have created a website for you:
1) Vortex Design does not keep backups for the websites we work on due to storage restrictions. If backup services are needed, they can be requested for a nominal monthly fee, while the website is in working order. Backup services will be provided by a third party vendor, Manage WP. Backup services are billed to Vortex Design and managed and monitored by Vortex Design, hence the nominal fee. Backup services, once requested, will backup your website on a daily basis and store a copy of the website for up to six months.
- If you have backup services activated but fail to pay your hosting and then fail to notify us within four months of losing your hosting, we cannot guarantee we will be able to recover it but we should be able to so long as it’s under five months.
- If you disable the backup services plugin from your website, called Manage WP worker, and fail to inform us, then later lose your website, we will be unable to assist you in recovery.
- If have backup services but lose your hosting and you fail to notify us within 6 months, it is guaranteed to be gone forever. There is nothing we can do.
- To sum up: Backups must be running on a daily basis. If you fail to inform us of a loss of your hosting or of disabling the backup plugin, in the time requested, you will most likely lose your website. Don’t let this happen to you.
2) Vortex Design will almost never host a client website nor will it be responsible for unpaid hosting fees. We always ensure that clients have full access and logins for their hosting accounts with easy access to billing and bill payment features. It is your responsibility to pay your hosting fees in a timely manner. If you have not opted for site backup services or if you have requested backup services but haven’t informed us of your site being down for more than 5 months past losing your hosting or deactivating the backup plugin, then your website will disappear from the face of the Universe forever. This is completely beyond our control. (Please don’t let this happen to you. I’ve seen clients pay thousands for a new website, have it handed over to them and in the time when I am no longer working with them, lose their website forever because they neglected to pay their hosting fees. Very frustrating for all people involved.)
Now, let me close this out by saying that I, Tabitha Bingham (owner of Vortex Design) am a pretty nice and fairly reasonable person. I work very hard to make sure my customers and clients are happy and will do all I can to ensure your satisfaction. If there is ever an issue, concern, dispute or anything like that regarding my work, please let me know so I can do whatever I can to resolve the issue.