Recently I started freelancing as a full-stack developer in Brazil and it's been very good so far, but I am a little stuck on this one client.
By far my biggest client yet, they want a customized software solution that runs and monitors their operations and also allows their clients to access accounts and generate reports, monitor progress of services being performed. It will also be a tool for the employees, who will use it to finalize service orders via their smart phones. This client will also be expanding to the rest of Latin America. The bottom line is if the software stops, so does their business.
So I think we can agree that it is a fairly large project. I offered them a package of 600 hours at a huge discount because I was assured I could charge a monthly fee. They also requested exclusivity and access to the source code which I also agreed on at no extra cost.
However, now this client doesn't feel that it is fair to pay a reasonable monthly fee for technical support, code maintenance and database administration.
I am perfectly capable of doing all three of these things but 8 hours a month just seems very little for a software of this scale. They responded with my original maintenance fees proposal of 30 hours a month with a request for a breakdown of the costs which was a big mistake because then they started asking questions like "Do we really need database administration? How will the software behave without any of these things?"
Now I am getting the impression that they only want to pay when things go wrong. Were my expectations for the monthly fees too high?