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I need custom programming done. What is your policy?

We build custom products, programming and work at 3plains. Our policies, risks and cost work estimates for custom work are as follows:

Policies for Custom Work

We build products to be as "turn-key" as possible, but sometimes our clients have special requirements — we're happy to accommodate, but there are some guidelines we must work within:

  • The client is responsible for the risks involved
  • The client pays for time, not complete solutions
  • Our free support team does not support your custom code
  • Estimates are given merely to assist the client in their budgeting effort, and are non-binding
  • The client must pay for all time invested into the custom project
  • We do a reasonable amount of testing of your customizations, but you (client) are expected to test it, too.
  • 3plains is diligent (within reason) about reviewing clients' concerns when custom projects take longer than estimated

Custom Work Estimates

3plains will not agree to fixed bids for custom work. When we provide an estimate, it is intended as a rough guideline for the client's own budgeting efforts. The following caveat always applies:

  • When you approve custom development from 3plains, it is with the understanding that the work required may take more time than was estimated. 3plains will not cease the work until the requested objective is completed – we will not stop when we reach the estimated time, unless that has been specifically (and clearly) requested by the client in advance. If your budget does not allow for the project to significantly exceed the time estimated for it, you are advised to refrain from engaging in custom work.
  • We offer hours in bulk at a discount.


Custom development at 3plains is performed with recognition of certain risks, for which the client is responsible.

  1. Sometimes, our custom code will be found to have an issue, some time after the developer is signed off. In such a case, we consider the original order to have been left incomplete, and we are happy to open a new project to finish the work. We do not entertain the notion that the work was "done wrong and should be fixed for free". Website technologies are complex and cannot be subject to guarantees without a long period of testing. Since thorough testing of custom projects would pass a much larger bill to the clients (we must get paid for the time required to test), we do an acceptable amount of testing. But this means that some projects come back to the production floor for a bit more work, and there should be no hard feelings (unless you think the developer was somehow remiss – and we are always willing to review that possibility, though it is extremely rare). Summary: If you paid for a custom project and it doesn't work the way you expected, you are required to pay for any time you request to be invested to make the website work in the way you would like.
  2. The client may have ordered custom work that inadvertently affected a normal (non-custom) function of the website. In such a case, any time requested by the client to restore normal function, is billable at our standard custom rate.
  3. Some 3plains clients have customized their websites to a very large extent. In such cases, they may find that requests to our non-billable Support team are often replied to with the following: "Sorry, but that function of your website is customized to the extent that it would require a custom project to address any of your concerns about it. Support cannot address this for you."

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