How Can a Freelancer Safely Fire a Client
February 18, 2009 1:27 PM Subscribe
What's the best way, once I tell a client I'm done with her, to protect myself from claims of unauthorized access or sabotage on the systems I configured for her?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm breaking off relations with a client I installed and configured a number of software packages for. I have ongoing access to all the software I installed -- shell accounts, database & other passwords -- because I agreed to do hourly support once the software was up and running.
My first thought is to prepare a notarized letter and send it via registered mail, providing a list of administrative accounts/passwords and advising the client to change them. My second thought is that I'm overthinking this and should just e-mail my point of contact with the information she needs to reset the passwords for herself, assuming that if she eventually does something foolish and breaks something she won't do anything vindictive and shift the blame to me.
I do have reason to believe a certain amount of vindictiveness is worth planning for in this case. Even if it's not, this seems like the sort of thing I should know in the future: The sort of people I do work for are not hiring extra technical help when they contract with me -- I am the technical help -- so there's not an in-house admin or engineer to close and lock the door behind me.
Looking beyond this instance, are there standard contract clauses or procedures among technical contractors that deal with this sort of thing? I'm more of a shade-tree mechanic than a high-speed consultant, but if it means setting up an LLC or something similar I'll do it if that's what it takes to keep relatively lucrative side work coming in.