nVisionTEKBIM

Customer wants temporary access to my software key?!

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Just now, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I did make a firm no, but just curious if anyone else had such a ridiculous request from a customer.

Apologies Dustin, it seemed like he was still pursuing the option and I did not intend to imply you had not done everything in your power and was more remembering my own experience as my business grew. I have not had a similar request.

 

Here's perhaps a bad example of what I was referring to as it relates to my business. I have been asked in the past to recommend contractors for jobs I've designed and it has gone badly every time for various reasons. I am about tell the clients no, I don't recommend contractors, as it's been a bad move every time. Took me some to learn...Let us know how this ends up if you don't mind.

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15 minutes ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I did make a firm no, but just curious if anyone else had such a ridiculous request from a customer.

 

You want to talk about ridiculous requests...

 

I thought about this and recall the time we were halfway through with a young couple's house and she asked if I would be interested in being a donor so she and her hubby could have a child.  She claimed he had been in an accident that prevented him from getting the job done.

 

I mentioned this to my lawyer and he suggested it sounded like a child support scam possibly.

 

What would you have done? ;-)

 

Okay, anyone have a request to top this?

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I had to "fire" a few unreasonable clients

 

best to part ways than to continue a toxic relationship

 

Lew

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Years ago (decades?) I learned a great lesson, well, several actually.  But this one applies to many situations.

Never, under any circumstances, devote your time and effort so a customer can save money. You can end up spending many times that amount, give up opportunities to work for real customers, and end up losing that one for all your efforts.  It's a lose, lose ,lose effort. And, mostly all by you.

 

Here's an example:
In another life time, in the days before cell phones, I build voice mail systems for business phones.  We had a customer that wanted us to install it in one of their existing desktop PCs.  After many hours of failing to get their name brand PC to work, and after a meeting with their PC tech at their office, a week went by.  At the end of that  week of total wasted time for me, I ended up supply the PC at my cost.  

This is only one example of many.  It's never a good idea to go down this road, it leads to losses, frustration, and resentment. 

 

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1 minute ago, BeachHouse1 said:

Never, under any circumstances, devote your time and effort so a customer can save money.

 

Great point, and a good reminder for everyone. I might change "devote" to "donate."

 

Thanks for sharing.

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5 minutes ago, Chrisb222 said:

 

Great point, and a good reminder for everyone. I might change "devote" to "donate."

 

Thanks for sharing.

Maybe, except donate can have a charitable or spiritual connotation.  Devote, in this case, means you get no spiritual benefit, only abject misery.  LOL

Run away!

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Just now, BeachHouse1 said:

Maybe, except donate can have a charitable or spiritual connotation.  Devote, in this case, means you get no spiritual benefit, only abject misery.  LOL

Run away!

 

Hahaha yes

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Just a couple of thoughts about letting a client "adjust" your model. 

 

At the end of the day, you, the designer, are responsible for the end product.  It will be your reputation that is on the line if the client makes a change that you don't notice, and now floor spans are greater than code allows, or window openings for an unsupported floor analysis of the basement wall.  

 

You may have to carry the cost if he makes changes that need to be fixed.  If the client won't pay for a rental copy of CAP then what are the chances of you getting paid.

 

I get designs from a few clients that have put their wishes in a HD file, and I work from there.  More often than not, they make a total hash of the model doing all sorts of things and you will spend hours fixing walls that don't join, floors that are at wrong levels, framing that is inappropriate.  

 

DON'T DO IT!!!    

 

Even if you have to walk away from a job you will be better for it in the long run.

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8 minutes ago, Doug_N said:

Just a couple of thoughts about letting a client "adjust" your model. 

 

At the end of the day, you, the designer, are responsible for the end product.  It will be your reputation that is on the line if the client makes a change that you don't notice, and now floor spans are greater than code allows, or window openings for an unsupported floor analysis of the basement wall.  

 

You may have to carry the cost if he makes changes that need to be fixed.  If the client won't pay for a rental copy of CAP then what are the chances of you getting paid.

 

I get designs from a few clients that have put their wishes in a HD file, and I work from there.  More often than not, they make a total hash of the model doing all sorts of things and you will spend hours fixing walls that don't join, floors that are at wrong levels, framing that is inappropriate.  

 

DON'T DO IT!!!    

 

Even if you have to walk away from a job you will be better for it in the long run.

I totally agree. This client is a homeowner and started to tell me how the guts of the home should be, so much that I had to take my name completely off of the drawings. I already learned from project (which is over a year old), to never take over a project started by a homeowner. Honestly, I don't even like to take over anyone's project unless it's at my hourly rate providing "labor drafting" with zero liability.

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1 minute ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

I totally agree. This client is a homeowner and started to tell me how the guts of the home should be, so much that I had to take my name completely off of the drawings. I already learned from project (which is over a year old), to never take over a project started by a homeowner. Honestly, I don't even like to take over anyone's project unless it's at my hourly rate providing "labor drafting" with zero liability.

I am not saying don't take it over, but just consider the client's work as being a guideline for the final design.  Most clients do not understand that building code may be different on a jurisdictional basis and that there are some things you just can't avoid.  Here, for example, a living room must have an exterior window with a ratio of window size to floor area of 10% (just the glass, not including frames and sashes.)   A building must have 2 exits.  No protected openings facing a lot line if space is less than 1.2m and so on.

 

I have had clients provide as-built models for a reno.  I then include a note [ as-built dimensions are provided by the owner, the contractor must verify all dimensions prior to starting work].  

 

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38 minutes ago, Doug_N said:

I am not saying don't take it over, but just consider the client's work as being a guideline for the final design.

 

When I first started my business, I would sometimes offer discounted flat-rates for clients providing me with a Revit file or a Chief Architect plan file, but started to realize that it took me more time to fix things than if I just referenced it and started from scratch. Just too many hidden issues.This is why I changed to be all hourly rate for any project started by someone else.

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I really do not like the saying "no good deed goes unpunished" so I change it to "not all good deeds go unpunished" and be careful!

 

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It sounds like everyone pretty much agrees. 

I will go so far as to say that it is a bad idea to even give them the plan file.  export it as DXF.  Home owners won't care and builders are often notorious for building multiple copies of the house.  One time licence only, and stay in control of your property. 

It is after all, your intellectual property. 

 

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Joe Sanders raises a couple of important issues.

It sounds like everyone pretty much agrees. 
I will go so far as to say that it is a bad idea to even give them the plan file.  export it as DXF.  Home owners won't care and builders, are often notorious for building multiple copies of the house.  One time licence only, and stay in control of your property. 
It is after all, your intellectual property. 

You raise a couple of issues in your post that deserves comment, but the major issue is control of your design.   I never do any work without a contract which includes "

19. Proprietary Information.

The work done by the Designer is for the use of the Client for one building in a specific location.  This agreement does not transfer the copyright of the design to the Client beyond the use for the building or buildings at one specific location.  The Client may make sufficient copies of the documents to convey information to contractors, suppliers and the municipality as required for the project. "

 

Also on every page of the drawing (include in your template) "© %designer.company% ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, DUPLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THIS PLAN WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED."

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2 hours ago, Doug_N said:

Joe Sanders raises a couple of important issues.

It sounds like everyone pretty much agrees. 
I will go so far as to say that it is a bad idea to even give them the plan file.  export it as DXF.  Home owners won't care and builders, are often notorious for building multiple copies of the house.  One time licence only, and stay in control of your property. 
It is after all, your intellectual property. 

You raise a couple of issues in your post that deserves comment, but the major issue is control of your design.   I never do any work without a contract which includes "

19. Proprietary Information.

The work done by the Designer is for the use of the Client for one building in a specific location.  This agreement does not transfer the copyright of the design to the Client beyond the use for the building or buildings at one specific location.  The Client may make sufficient copies of the documents to convey information to contractors, suppliers and the municipality as required for the project. "

 

Also on every page of the drawing (include in your template) "© %designer.company% ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, DUPLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THIS PLAN WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED."




I left out the legal part because I didn't want to give legal advice.  I completely agree with you on this. 

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Homeowner is on crack

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10 hours ago, BeachHouse1 said:




I left out the legal part because I didn't want to give legal advice.  I completely agree with you on this. 

Thanks, but I'm not concerned about any of this because this project was designed entirely by the homeowner and provided to me as a HD pro file to complete in premier as a permit/construction set.

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11 hours ago, nVisionTEKBIM said:

Thanks, but I'm not concerned about any of this because this project was designed entirely by the homeowner and provided to me as a HD pro file to complete in premier as a permit/construction set.

I understand, It's just something I have paid a high price for in the past. I worked as an employee to a custom builder once, some of my most important work is owned by them.  I will never give out my 3D designs to anyone again.  

Just a thought.

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If you work as an employee, then what you have done is part of your compensated employment, and the product of that work belongs to your employer unless there is something in writing that says otherwise.  If the employer provides you with the software, pays for your time etc. then you are just an element of the employer's business.  That is entirely different than working as an independent practitioner.  

 

I am not a lawyer so what I say is just opinion and not legal advice.  Add to that and laws being different in each jurisdiction, so it is important to state in writing who owns the design work and how it may be used.  Consult a lawyer to design a scope of work agreement to use with your clients.  

That's my 2 cents anyway.  A verbal contract is not worth the paper that it is written on.  lol.

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