Consulting and Technical Support, Inc.
PICK of the Litter for MultiValue Support since 2003
- and -
Money Back Guarantee
A good name is more desirable than great riches
We work on Retainer just as many PICK Consulting firms and Law firms do. In return, we guarantee your satisfaction or your money back. We accept the following Forms of Payment: check, USPS money order, PayPal, or wire transfer. We accept Credit Card payments ONLY via PayPal.
We collect a percentage of the estimated total as a Retainer when a Service Quote becomes a signed Authorization or a Progress Report requests additional hours. Until you establish an on-time payment record, your Retainer is our Collateral. Work can begin as soon as your Retainer is received. Once a Client has established a consistent, on-time payment-in-full record for three consecutive billing cycles in which a balance was due, we reduce the Retainer requirement by half. But we waive the Retainer requirement entirely for Clients whose accounts have been current for the past 6 consecutive payments.
|Client Type||Description||Retainer Collected|
|New Client||Urgent Request||100%|
|New Client||First 3 Billing Cycles with Balance Due||50%|
|Established Client||Account Current for less than 6 months||25%|
|Active & Current Client||Active & Current for 6 consecutive months||0%|
|Dormant Client||No Activity for One Billing Cycle||25%|
|Overdue or Delinquent||Until Account is brought current||100%|
|Onsite Services||Onsite Services plus Travel||100%|
Need help in a hurry?
If you are new to MvCaTs and find yourself in urgent need of help, our specialty is rapid support by Secure Remote Access. And our Minimum Service Quote is 8 hours. But there is No Minimum Billing Requirement. We bill only for the time it takes to get the job done right. If it takes 4 hours, we bill for 4 hours and place the balance of your Retainer on file as a Credit for the next project. Or you could request a Refund of the unused portion. Your $1,240.00 Retainer is our Collateral (that's $155/hour * 8 hours). Think of it as purchasing a prepaid debit card. We could begin helping as soon as we receive your Retainer, signed Service Quote, and signed Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement.
The urgent nature of your request means a Consultant would need to drop whatever s/he is doing to provide assistance, along with the fact that MvCaTs has no prior exposure to your system or software or database. So an urgent quote includes no discounts and requires a 100% retainer which will act as Credit on Account until applied to Services Rendered. However, if you approve this quote and are pleased enough with the results to request a second project, the second quote will require only a 50% retainer.
PayPal® is perhaps the fastest way to submit a Retainer. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this method. And PayPal is the only way you can submit a Retainer to us using a Credit Card. But you will also need to include with the Retainer the Merchant Fee which PayPal deducts before forwarding the balance to us, currently about 3.00%. As a discount PICK Consulting Group, our rates are not designed to absorb that fee. Let us know if you plan to submit your Retainer using this method so we can include the Fee on our Quote. To send your Retainer via PayPal, follow these steps: 1) Use your browser to log to www.paypal.com; 2) Click the "Send Money" tab; 3) In the "To" Email text box, enter firstname.lastname@example.org; 4) In the "From" email text box, enter your email address; 5) In the "Amount" text box, enter the Retainer plus PayPal Fee amount in US Dollars as indicated on our Quote; 6) On the "Purchase" tab, choose the "Services" option; 7) Then click the "Continue" button and follow the remaining instructions. We could begin servicing your account as soon as we verify receipt of these funds in our PayPal Merchant account.
Wire Transfer from your bank to ours is a fast and cost-effective way to submit a Retainer. Although it takes about 24 hours to verify funds, we could begin servicing your account as soon as we receive a scanned and emailed pdf copy of the Wire Transfer Acknowledgement from your bank showing Reference Number and details. But you will also need to include with the Retainer the fee which our bank charges for Incoming Wire Transfer, currently $18.00. As a discount PICK Consulting Group, our rates are not designed to absorb that fee. Let us know if you plan to submit your Retainer using this method so we can include the Fee on our Quote.
The email Cover Sheet which accompanies our Service Quote will supply details on how to submit a Retainer. Just pick up the phone and call us at (931) 287-7144 to request a Quote and get the ball rolling.
How we do business
Upon receipt of your retainer (or statement payment), a Credit Memo will be issued and placed on file. This Credit will be applied to and referenced on monthly Time Billing Statements until applied in full (or refunded).
When a Client grants MvCaTs permission to log onto their multivalue system for the first time by Secure Remote Access, we expect the Client to hand-hold our Consultant all the way through the login process until we have fully and accurately documented & verified all steps in that process. There are dozens of access methods out there so we cannot be expected to know, support, or afford them all. If a Client has a preferred method of access which is foreign to us, the Client has two options: 1) install their preferred method free of charge on our Consultant's PC, or 2) allow MvCaTs to install a free 30-day evaluation version of AccuTerm on the Client's system. AccuTerm is our preferred method of access and comes with tools such as a File Transfer Wizard and a Windows Editor that enable us to work faster. And when we work faster, the Client gets results more quickly and billable time is reduced. Another benefit of installing AccuTerm is that ALL of our Consultants would then be able to access the Client's system to provide future support.
Any Software Development on the Client’s system will be kept completely separate from applications currently running. If existing applications require editing, each routine will be cloned to a development version before any modifications begin. No work will be activated until demoed for the Client and approved for activation.
On the first business day of each month, we will issue a Time Billing Statement which summarizes Services Rendered the month prior and applies any earned Discounts and any Credit Memos on file. If a Balance is Due, it must be paid by the 20th day of the Billing month so that projects can continue uninterrupted. On the Statement, our Service Codes are listed by Category - SubCategory. For example, Software - Consultation is where we log time spent consulting with the client about their software, whether by phone, email, or live messenger (and on occasion in person). Software - Evaluation is where we log time spent evaluating the client's software. Software - Modifications is where we log time spent modifying the Client's software. Software - Documentation is where we log time spent recording an audit trail of what was said, what was evaluated, and what programs were modified.
Periodically throughout a project, we provide Progress Reports and demo what has been developed thus far. We also document any additional Client requests. Sometimes, a Progress Report will request Additional Hours to be authorized. All amounts on a Progress Report must be initialed and the Report itself signed by the Client, dated, scanned as a pdf file and emailed back to MvCaTs before work can continue. This constitutes Approval of both the work completed and any additional hours requested.
Upon completion of a project, another demo of the Finished Product is performed and a final Progress Report is submitted for Approval. A Time Billing Statement will be issued for any Balance Due on the project. Payment of the Amount Due on a Time Billing Statement constitutes Approval of the services performed. Once payment has cleared our bank, any development source code will be installed then activated for use by the Client. Minor adjustments to the activated product will be addressed at Client request.
If a Credit Memo balance remains after final corporate Time Billing charges have been billed and deducted, the Client may opt for a refund or may leave the balance on deposit toward the next project. However, if the Credit Memo balance is insufficient to cover final charges, a Time Billing Statement will be presented for the difference. Payment of the Amount Due on a Time Billing Statement constitutes Approval of the services performed.
If a Progress Report or the demo of the Finished Product was disapproved, we would first remove from the Client's system any unapproved development software related to this project. Then, a Refund (of the Client's Credit Balance as well as all monies collected which relate to the unapproved software) would be on its way back to the Client the next business day. Future projects would be subject to review. (Bank Wire Transfer Fees are non-refundable.)
If a Project was canceled by the Client for reasons other than disapproval of the results, a Partial Refund would be issued for any Credit Memo balance remaining after accrued corporate Time Billing charges were deducted. But if the Credit Memo balance was insufficient to cover these accrued charges, a Time Billing Statement would be presented instead, requesting payment for the difference. Any development software on the Client’s system relating to this project would remain there, incomplete and inactive.
On the Clock
After a Client signs a Service Authorization, submits the Retainer, and takes advantage of the Two Hours of Free New Client Consultation, most contact which follows will be On the Clock, just as it is after retaining a defense attorney. Once you pay the Retainer, the firm begins gathering information to prepare your defense. If part way through the information gathering process, the suit is dropped and you inform the attorney there is no further need for his/her help, you will receive a bill for services already rendered. After all, the work was begun in good faith at your request.
Another analogy may help to clarify this concept. Once you hail a city cab, climb into the back seat, and tell the driver where you want to go, the meter starts running and you are On the Clock. The driver does not turn off the meter at a stop light. Nor does the driver turn off the meter if a traffic jam impedes progress. Such delays are out of the driver's control. The meter continues to run until you get out of the cab, whether or not you reached your destination. But unlike the cab driver or the attorney, we offer a variety of discounts to mitigate the cost. And of course, courtesy services such as Quotes and Administration of your account are performed Free of charge.
Time Billing Policy
We bill just as electric, natural gas, and water utilities do. Payment is due about three weeks after the statement is issued. And we do not extend credit. If payment in full is not received by the Due Date, we, like they, have the right to impose penalties and also suspend service until the bill is brought current.
A Time Billing Statement (eStatement) will be emailed on the first business day following a month in which any billable services were rendered. Payment in full is due by the 20th day of the month of issue (or the last bank business day before the 20th if the 20th falls on a Sunday or a bank holiday). There is no grace period. Failure to receive a statement or late notice does not exempt from paying statement balance or late fee or having service suspended.
MvCaTs is a small corporation operating on a cash basis. We neither borrow nor lend. Our accounting package does not release funds for our once-a-month payroll until ALL Clients have paid their balances in full AND the deposits have cleared our bank. Late Payment Syndrome is endemic in our industry. Every Freelancers Union Publication contains at least one article offering tips on how Consultants may be able to induce their Clients to pay bills on time. If our Clients do not pay by the Due Date, we cannot pay our own mortgages, utility bills, and other financial obligations on time. That is why, for more than a decade, we have successfully maintained a policy of Zero Tolerance for Late Payment and notification to Consultants and Staff regarding any Clients who miss the Due Date. If the Due Date comes and goes without our bank receiving your payment, we have no recourse but to "share the pain" with you.
Timecards containing Statement details are available on request. A line near the bottom of the Statement will list the number of Timecards created during the billing month along with the Transcript Fee to include with the payment if you wish to receive copies. The Transcript Fee of One Percent of our Remote Rate per Timecard covers the cost of administrative time to pull them, paper, ink, & electricity to print them along with address & return labels, time to prepare & stuff the envelope, and postage to mail them.
If payment was not
received by the 20th, these Overdue Penalties would
Your account would
be flagged as Overdue and Consultants would be instructed to Suspend All Service immediately. 2) A
Late Fee of 1.5% per month (18% annual) would be levied on the
Statement Balance. 3) Payment
of the Statement Balance and Late Fee must be received by
our bank by the
last business day of the billing month in order to avoid loss of
Discounts and continued Suspension of Service. If any amount due
remains outstanding in the month following, that month would not
qualify for any discounts. Service would be
Restored as soon as payment in full was received and the bank flagged
those funds as available.
If payment was not received by the last business day of the billing month of issue -or- if payment was less than the amount billed including any Late Fee if levied, your Account would be flagged as Delinquent, all Discounts for billable work on the original Statement would be forfeited, and the Statement would be reissued to reflect the Delinquent Balance at our Full Rates (plus Late Fee recalculated on the New Balance). Until your Account was brought current, these Consequences would apply: 1) Suspension of All Service would continue; 2) Any software which was activated but not yet fully paid for would be temporarily deactivated; and 3) Until the next on-time payment was received, any new servicing requested after the Account was brought current would require a 50% Retainer; and 4) The only acceptable Form of Payment once an Account goes Delinquent would be ACH or Wire Transfer to avoid further delay, with all related fees paid by Client. After the Account was brought current, the required Retainer percentages would revert to New Client levels -and- Client must reestablish a consistent, on-time payment record for three consecutive billing cycles in which a balance was due.
a Late Fee is incurred for a given month, billable hours for the month
following will not qualify for discounts since discounts are a reward
for on-time payers.
IF work under a Service Authorization has not yet been completed when our COLA rate increase goes into effect on January 1st, AND initial work under that Service Authorization began within 2 weeks of the Client Signature Date, AND hours worked thus far total less than the quoted billable hours, the quoted rates would be "locked in" and would continue to apply until the quoted hours had been worked AS LONG AS billable work is requested and performed each consecutive month. BUT if that project goes dormant for a full billing cycle, the new rates would take effect and the former rate lock would be forfeited.
The Client has so much to gain by contracting with us. We want repeat business and will go the extra mile to ensure complete satisfaction with the finished product and the final price. Our goal will always be to deliver twice the performance at half the price, twice the value in half the time.
(Rates and terms are subject to improvement without notice.)
(Once a Travel-related expense has been incurred, it is not subject to our Money-Back Guarantee.)