I'm selling software that lets users manipulate critical information.
In my licence contract (drafted by a lawyer specialized in this field), I've got a standard clause reading:
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR ``AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
I've seen equivalents in almost every single software I've been using so far.
So far, all of our clients accepted that without difficulty, but now one potential client is contesting it. Actually he's telling me something along the lines of :
You mean that if I use your software to buy something at $10 from a third party company, and there's a bug in your software (as you don't guarantee there aren't any), and you transmit a $20 order, I shall pay the $10 difference, not you?
I'm a bit stuck between what seems like common sense on his part, and the fact that my insurance companies would probably not insure me for those kind of risks, and if you consider we're talking millions, not plain $, it doesn't feel comfortable being responsible for that kind of potential loss.
So far, the best answer I've come up with is that everybody does it in the industry (Microsoft doesn't guarantee that the mail you've sent using Outlook won't be altered, e.g., by turning all the $10's into $20's ...)
Any advice on how to handle this? (apart from doing our best to ship bug-free software, of course :p)