In my previous post “The Cloud – What are your rights?” I mention, in bold, how an agreement should protect you not the provider… I thought I would touch on that in a little more depth. I hear some people refer to agreements as contracts and I think that is not really what it should be. The document should state what you will get not what you are required to do or what will happen to you if you try to stop doing business with the provider, right? If the agreement makes you feel hostage to the provider and there is a lot of legal mumbo jumbo (yes I just said that, see wiki link below) then how can you call it an agreement? Why would you agree to a document that would make you hostage, you are the client and we are lucky to be working with you and your organization to help solve problems, relieve burdens, achieve your business goals and reduce your risks. I have also experienced clients abusing our agreements and this too is odd. Why would we agree to help someone that likes to abuse us and treats us with disrespect? This seems to be normal practice for some but why must we do this to each other? Next time a service provider, our company included, asks you to sign a contract think of it as an agreement and if you don’t agree with it don’t sign or commit to it! If we (all service providers) can’t continue to provide a strong value propostion then what is the point? Keeping someone locked into something they wish they could get out of would only make them feel bad, feel like they agreed to be held hostage.
Make them sign your agreement if you don’t like theirs. A solid relationship, business or personal, requires both parties to feel like they got and continue to get good value.
And here is a definition of Mumbo-Jumbo just for your own knowledge – Wiki Link