Policies & Procedures

The Policies and Procedures may or may not apply to you, whether it be in whole or in part, if you are a client who is on a one-time flat rate project or package (i.e. WordPress website), or otherwise agreed to. 

This page is for the information of current, new and potential clients which outlines practices and procedures of ODesk Solutions.

Business Hours

I am generally available for work and email contact during standard business hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PST).  However, because my line of work is specific to social media and WordPress websites, at my own discretion I will work on ongoing projects outside of these normal business hours.

Conference Calls

My availability for conference calls depends on my daily and weekly workload.  If there is an urgent matter that you would like to address, please feel free to email me and I will gladly provide you with times/dates that I am available.

Chargeable Hours

Any agreed service, including ongoing email communications and project management, fall under chargeable hours.  Each client is allotted up to one (1) hour per month for conference calls (Telephone/Skype/Zoom, etc.) at no charge.  

Communication

Email is preferred, but texting and messaging through Facebook, SMS or Skype is acceptable. Telephone/Skype/Zoom calls are always planned in advance to avoid any possible interferences. I respond to non-urgent emails within one (1) business day, and to urgent emails as soon reasonably possible.

Programs/Software

I work with the following programs on an ongoing basis.

  • Hootsuite (social media management)
  • PostPlanner (social media management & posting)
  • Trello (project management)
  • Asana (project management)
  • Google Docs & Drive (word processing & cloud storage) 
  • Microsoft Office & OneDrive (word processing & cloud storage)
  • DropBox (cloud storage)
  • RightSignature & 17Hats (esignatures)
  • ShareFile (cloud share & storage)
  • Toggl (time-tracking);
  • 17Hats & PayPal (billing & invoicing)
  • Zoom, Skype & Hangouts (tel/video conferencing, IT Support)
  • Canva & Photoshop (custom graphics)
  • Deposit Photos.com and Pexels.com (stock photos)
  • Typeform (questionnaires & intake forms)

Most of these programs are suitable for sharing and collaborating.  Clients will never be charged for my use of any of the programs I choose to work with.  Using a program of the client’s choice is always possible, provided that the client will cover any fees.

Time-Tracking

Staying accountable for monthly hours used is a top priority for me.  My time is tracked in real time.  Example: If an assignment/task is completed by me in 39 minutes, I will bill against the monthly hours/retainer for that assignment as 39 minutes.

I use specialized software from Toggl for accurate time-tracking.  I provide timesheet updates on the 1st day of the month (with invoicing), 15th day of each month and/or when 70% of monthly hours has been reached.  If you have reached 70% of the monthly hours and there are outstanding tasks/assignments, you can either purchase additional hours, or request that the work be completed during the next billing cycle/month.  

Monthly Retainer Package

Monthly support plans and retainer packages are intended to be used within 30 days. However, if there are any hours left over at the end of the 30 days, 25% of those hours will automatically rollover to the next month of service.  

Billing & Payments

  • Invoice Due: 1st of each month
  • Reminders: 3-5 days before 1st of each month (courtesy reminder)
  • Late Invoice: Invoice will be considered late at 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd day of the month, and a late fee with automatically be assessed in the amount of $50.

Please note: monthly retainer packages are considered as monthly recurring fees, so you will automatically receive an invoice every month.  The full invoice needs to be paid upon receipt.  

Payment Methods

Payments can be made via PayPal (preferred) or bank transfer. No checks are accepted.

Return & Refund Policy

Once any payment is processed, ODesk Solutions will not be able to grant refunds for unused monthly hours. All payments are non-refundable and are intended to be used as hourly credit for services rendered throughout the month, and as laid out throughout the Agreement. If a cancellation notice is received after payment has been made by the client, and an hourly credit balance remains on the account, said hourly credit balance shall be non-refundable and shall be liquidated for damages to ODesk Solutions in the event of an untimely cancellation, or breach of contract.

Additional Work

Additional work beyond the scope of your contract must be negotiated separately and will require a separate Agreement. Services requested that do not fall within the scope of your Agreement will be billed separately at the standard hourly rate. Full payment for one-time projects is required before work commences.

Status Reports, Meetings & Telephone Conference Calls

With a virtual relationship, I believe it is important to check in on each other on a consistent basis. For that reason, each client with a monthly retainer package will receive an update email about the status of projects, task and/or current assignment on an ongoing basis.  The monthly retainer package also includes up to a total of 1 (one) hour per month telephone call to be used during the month at no charge.  During that call, you can discuss your priorities, objectives and potential ideas moving forward. Update emails and Skype calls are also available for “hourly rate only” clients and will largely depend on the scope of their projects.

Referral Program

Clients who refer a new client to me will be rewarded with either a $50 referral fee or a 10% discount on your next month’s invoice. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Referral fee only applies if the person actually retains me for either ongoing monthly services, or makes a website purchase greater than $750.   

Meetings

Although virtual and telephonic meetings are preferred, I am open to meetings on location for special occasions. Appointments are charged for meeting and travel time (based on either the monthly retainer package rate or the hourly rate), and travel expenses.

Holidays & Absence

I am not available for work on the following days:

  • January – 1 New Year’s Day
  • March/April – Passover
  • May – Memorial Day
  • July 4 – Independence Day
  • September – Labor Day
  • September – Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur
  • November – Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
  • December – Winter Holiday/Vacation

If I will be absent due to holidays or traveling (e.g. in summer/winter), clients will receive a notice at least 2 weeks in advance, but always as early as possible. Of course, it’s also possible that you, client, will be absent for a(n) (in)definite period of time. I kindly request you to inform me about your absence at least 2 weeks in advance. In exceptional and/or acute circumstances (such as illness or death in the family), however, I understand that it’s clearly not possible to communicate this well in advance.

In the case of absence, there a couple of options:

  • If you are a client with a monthly retainer package, extra work may be taken on before the planned period of absence.
  • Work can also be halted temporarily, in which case any unused hours can rollover to a future month.

Privacy & Confidentiality

My client’s privacy is of great importance.  Private and confidential information will never be disclosed, loaned, leased, rented or sold to third parties, or made public without your permission unless I am legally obliged to do so. Personal data and information that I receive, e.g. contact form messages via the websites, newsletter subscriptions and any information from and about clients is kept confidential.  The data and information I receive will therefore only be used to optimize and/or improve the services that I offer. Some non-personal data about my website visitors has collected automatically; e.g. name of the Internet service provider and web browser, which pages are visited and length of time spent on each page. The identity of visitors remains anonymous unless they manually submit information on the website. All passwords are encrypted and I work with Internet security and virus protection.

Policy & Price Changes

I reserve the right to change this policy and the prices of my services. I may occasionally update this policy and will timely notify my clients if there are significant changes. In the case of a change in price, clients will receive a notice 30 days before any changes become effective.

Agreement & Termination

To protect both my client’s interest and mine, I ask all monthly retaining clients to sign an Agreement to protect our work relationship. Work will commence after the Agreement has been read, understood and signed.  The Agreement is non-binding and does not oblige us to commit to a long-term partnership; either of us is free to terminate the working relationship as laid out in the Agreement.

Effective as of September 1, 2017. 

 

Ana E. Patterson

Advertisements