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So, I happen to develop an inventory management system for a local store. The main owner (An old timer non-techie) of the store was reluctant about the idea, but his son was the one who wanted the software developed and paid quite handomsly for it.

I gave them a monthy subscription based pricing because the son saw a lot of potential in the software and was quite sure that he would need updates and would surely make it more than just a inventory management tool. The fee obviously had a monthly maintainance fee in it as well, which they had, including the father, happily agreed to.

I am a solo dev and the type of software these guys wanted was not readily available in my repo, thus I put in quite some effort into it but it was okay as the pay was good.

Now, two months later the son has left for his MBA to Canada and I am unable to contact him. So, I have to deal with his father, who, yesterday called me and asked me to come over and fix the shop's internet connection in the name of maintainance.

Not only do I have no clue how to do it, it is not what I am supposed to do but this guy says he'll press charges against me as my contract says-

Help with all the processes in the software and repair any software functionality causing any kind of problem

So, this being a software on the network, internet is a problem and he wants me to repair it.

I thought I'd let him press charges and happily go to court when I realized that I don't really have funds to get a lawyer or anything. Plus my area's police is stupid and would happily accept bribes from this guy to harrass me.

I'm in a fix, what can I do, what are my options here, or am I in the wrong and should actually fix his internet?

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I'd simply state...

"No. That's not what our contract covers. Our contract covers software maintenance as related to the application I've created for you. Nothing more. Our contract does NOT relate to physical issues with your internet connection. You will need to contact your internet service provider if you are having trouble. They are responsible for maintenance of your internet equipment and connection."

The key words in the contract are SOFTWARE functionality. An Internet connection is NOT "software functionality" related to your work.

I don't know why you use the phrase "press charges" -- perhaps in your location there's some criminal infraction here?? In the US it's merely a contracts issue and civil in nature. The police will not get involved in such matters. There are no "charges" to "press". Worst case scenario is a civil lawsuit could be filed -- but that's typically a very hollow threat by most and often never pursued.

I often have to explain to clients that merely because I'm in charge of their hosting renewals and plan I am not their IT guy and am not repressible to assist with IT related issues. They need to hire an IT professional if that's what is needed. I won't help them with a Windows reinstallation or configuring Outlook or whatever.

  • Yeah, makes sense, but my country is kinda stupid. But thanks nevertheless. – bhaskar Oct 28 '18 at 14:42

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