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If client wants additional geotech information, should we charge them?

Rakra (Geotechnical) (OP)
25 Mar 12 20:03
We have just provided a Geotechnical Report to client for a 5 storey building. Now the client's structural engineer has come back with requests for geotechnical advice on soldier pile and shortcrete for use in a 4m high retaining wall. They want us to confirm maximum pile centres with respect to slope stability.

We did mention in our inital proposal that any subsequent consultation would be charged. But we have just started out and do not want to lose the client, but also dont want to advice on something without being engaged to do so.

Do we charge them for this service or provide it free? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

BigH (Geotechnical)
25 Mar 12 20:37
Was this outside the scope of your original mandate?  If it was, you must definitely charge for the work - as you are taking on responsibility for which you never had agreed.  If your report was complete to the standards of good practice and this is additional work - perhaps a change to the original planning - then, too, you should charge.  If it was something you missed and should have foreseen, you might have to respond but you should negotiate with the client.  If one goes to a lawyer, you would expect to pay for extra input - why not engineering?  Typically, though, when I was doing these kind of reports several years ago, I would respond to a question or two - simple ones but not take on a "new" assignment.
stanier (Mechanical)
26 Mar 12 5:12
The client is not always right. but he/she is always king/queen. Why, because they have got the gold and we want the gold. Go for it!

"Sharing knowledge is the way to immortality"
His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

msquared48 (Structural)
26 Mar 12 14:27
If it is not in the contract, it is extra services.  

Just let the client know what the charges will be be before you start and come to a written agreement - emails OK.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

Rakra (Geotechnical) (OP)
26 Mar 12 17:10
Thanks everyone for your comments.

@BigH...Yes, these are outside our original SOWs. We were only asked to providing Geotechnical parameters for retaining wall design, not the design or type of retaining wall. The structural engineer decided to use soilder piles and shotcrete.

I think I'll pass this one and hopefully they'll take it well.


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