"Nobody would pay for that"



  • I was just reading the comments for the Dollars and Sense article (Phew, that one made me nearly rip my own eyeballs out with a fork) and somebody (apparently seriously) commented that there was no way the customer would pay money for that horrible invoicing system.

    To that guy (and if he doesn't read the forums, his bad):  Why yes.  Yes they do pay money for software that's THAT bad.  In my experience customers will happily pay money for something they completely don't understand.  I do custom software enhancements and there have been times I've gotten all the way through implementation and my testing, and turned it over to the customer for final acceptance testing and they effectively ask me "what is this supposed to do?"  There have been times when, long after the invoice is paid, my customer said something to me that made me think "didn't you even READ the quote you signed?"  Generally when this happens, it's not that they're disputing a feature.  It's more along the lines of the quote stated that we would "enlarge invoice number from 5 digits to 10 digits", and the customer is asking me "what size did you make it so I can tell my [blah]". 

     Oh, a particularly good recent example, I was asked to implement a new AVL interface (automatic vehicle location based on GPS coordinates).  In order to accurately define "non-working" GPS for our quote (we do software only and aren't responsible for hardware failures) I discussed it with the customer, agreed to define it as "no coordinates recieved from the car in the last 5 minutes", and wrote the quote up that way.  For the next YEAR, after the software was in production, I kept having to explain TO THIS SAME GUY what that 5 minute thing was all about.  Apparently even that is too complicated for non-technical people to comprehend.

    From the customer's point of view, especially if they're technically clueless or just short of money, they'll take what they paid for no matter what.  They paid for it, it's theirs.  Isn't it a pretty white elephant?



  • From a software engineers POV, the client never knows what they want. They are either happy with the end result, or they aren't. Without intervention, the client is always unhappy.

    That's why $GOD invented project managers. To protect us from unrealistic expectations from the client.

    Sadly some project managers are worse than others, shouldn't be project managers.



  • Project managers or not, the point is that they will buy anything.  Even on the projects that I've done where the customer clearly had no clue what it was, they never ask for a refund or any kind of dispute.  It just amazes me that people are that careless with their company's money.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Project managers or not, the point is that they will buy anything.  Even on the projects that I've done where the customer clearly had no clue what it was, they never ask for a refund or any kind of dispute.  It just amazes me that people are that careless with their company's money.

     

    You built it, and someone signed it. So at some point in time there must have been a necessity for it.

    Or at least that's what they think, ... i think.

     

    You don't by any chance happen to work a lot for government agencies by any chance? I don't know about the usa, but here where i live they get a specific amount of money each year for a specific or vague task. If for whatever reason they fail to spend it all, they will get less money next year for that task.

    Given that they don't like to get less money next year, they tend to make sure they spend it all. Meaning lots of feature requests on things that might not have been all that important.



  • @stratos said:

    If for whatever reason they fail to spend it all, they will get less money next year for that task.
    There is an urban legend that one of the UK armed forces has accumulated 70+ years supply of baked beans because of this. I'm not sure if it is true, but one would think that 5.56 or 7.62mm NATO ammo would be a more sensible investment.



  • @Physics Phil said:

    I'm not sure if it is true, but one would think that 5.56 or 7.62mm NATO ammo would be a more sensible investment.

    But if you have all that extra ammo around, somebody might expect you to actually get into a fight someday!  I'd rather die of a ruptured colon from eating 70 year old beans than have to go shoot at things.

     

    Seriously, though, the beans thing is most likely false: they probably spend leftover money on something they will need the next year and then spend the money saved next year on a new project.  All government agencies find them selves in similar situations which is why they always find something to waste taxpayer money on, so the next year they can claim a need for more money, and so on...


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.