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Policy Updates for 2021

January 1, 2021

Important Update

Below are a few important policy changes and updates to bring to your attention that will effect how Phantom Freelance conducts business moving forward.

Firstly: If you hadn’t heard, I have legally changed my name from “Karen Gill” to “Keryn van der Dijken”. Please update your records where applicable and make sure that any cheques or payments are directed to my new legal name.

Second: The following changes will take effect from January 1st, 2021 onward;

  • All emails requiring research time and/or changes will be billed at a minimum of 15 minutes of development time. This applies to block hour contracts; clients billed by the hour; retainer clients; clients on support contracts and websites in development.The idea is to try and streamline your requests into one longer email vs. sending 3 emails 30 minutes apart. You may still do this if you wish but the minimum time will now apply to each email.This rule does not apply if I have to respond to email #1 with a clarifying question and thus you need to respond with a 2nd email. Both of those emails would be considered one.
  • Clients on a per-hour billing agreement will no longer be billed once the ‘project’ has been completed but will be billed at the end of each month for any work done in the previous month. We all know there is always that something extra that can be added to a site, but some of these requests turn into months of development so I need to add a little consistency to the billing cycle.
  • For clients using block hours; current open contracts will be honoured as stated, however new contracts sent out will see hours expire after 365 days from the date of the contract. You may cancel your contract before the 365 days has elapsed, however all hours used to date will be charged at the full non-discounted rate (unless you are on a support plan).
  • Lastly there is a change for clients on WordPress support plans that will apply to all current/open monthly contracts. Support is done monthly as I have no desire to lock you in for years at a time (although you’re welcome to stay!) That being said it’s come to my attention that listing the included development hours ‘per-year’ is slightly confusing.Support hours are meant to be used at ‘x’ hours per month (your total included hours divided by 12) and typically don’t carry over to the following month if unused. I like to allow my clients the freedom to use more or less hours per month as needed, but this does come with a few caveats:
    • To prevent clients from signing up for 1 month and using 12 hours of development time and then cancelling the contract, any development hours that have been used over and above the amount of months you’ve been hosted with me, will be charged at my full hourly rate upon cancellation of the contract. Your website and its files will be held until this debt has been paid.
    • Moving forward, all unused monthly hours do not carry over to the following month. This is primarily to avoid a client from using no hours during the first 11 months, and then requesting all 12 or 24 hours to be used at the end of the contract. I am after all only one person and can’t physically accommodate that sort of request without prior scheduling. It is of course up to my discretion to allow unused hours from previous months to be honoured, if the request is reasonable and I have availability in my schedule, I generally have no issues.

I have tried my best to update contracts throughout the years as things have changed and new situations arise, however I felt these were important enough to share in an official blog post. After just over 3 years of being in business for myself I thought it was time to try and alleviate some of the pain points on my end so I can better manage my time to be able to help you out on your end!

If you have any questions or concerns about the above changes or would like to request an updated contract for your services, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Official Email Statement sent out to clients on December 30th, 2020 @ 10AM PST

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