and maintainer of:
Around a month ago I delivered a system to a client (aftermath mentioned in my journal).
They contacted me yesterday about a bug in the system, so I had a brief look at it and started thinking about what the problem could be.
I mailed them that I would not be able to look at it before today ( I am quite busy with other things).
So today a took a copy of their database, replicated the problem - and started to fix it - after about 5 hours of work, debugging and programming the bug was fixed to my understanding - so I made a PDF print and mailed it to the client explaining the fix and awaiting their acceptance. In the mail I included my price for the fix.
No long time after I received a mail addressing that the fix had a cost.
I find it difficult to assert when a bug fix should be free and when it should cost something - the client terminated their contract with me after the delivery of the complete system and the system went live about a month ago.
The client tells me that this is not the normal way and that the bug is an obvious bug.
I can accept and fix bugreports, made just after a delivery, perhaps for up to two weeks after, but I have no intention of delivering lifetime support for free.
The fix is a part of the system, which has no value as such to me currently since it is a part of the system, which was custom built for the client and it will not be generalized until I find the time to do so (or a another client to pay for it). This mean it will not generate any income for me by other means.
So I was thinking about making a policy for bugfixes and a special price, like first two weeks it is free and the price for bugfixes after this has a special low-rate.
But I see a few problems with this, then all bugs have to be discussed with the client whether that where in the spec, or not . whether they are a bug or a missing feature.