Attention IT Consultant,
I have come across this issue many times and I have yet to find a solution that makes everyone happy. In our company, we are IT consultants but not independent contractors. We work for Company X Consulting. We are paid a base salary as well as a bonus based on the amount of billable hours submitted for the month. So obviously there is incentive to accumulate billable hours. So let me give you an example to preface my question.
Client A hires us to install a new server. We purchase the server and the client is billed for the hardware/software. We then install and configure the server and the client is billed for the labor. However, during the installation we encounter a few issues that takes days to figure out. This includes a technician to be onsite Friday until midnight, all day on Saturday until 5am, and Sunday another tech is onsite until 8PM. It is discovered during this time that the issue is caused by a faulty hard drive in this new server which is replaced and all is well.
Should the client have to pay for all of this time spent debugging an issue that ultimately turns out to be faulty hardware in the new machine that we purchased for them? If not, should the technicians that spent their weekend working on the issue be robbed of their time that they spent discovering the issue? Who should ultimately eat the bill on this? How is this situation handled within your company?
Thanks in advance for your comments.