My client's web hosting company changed some web server security rules which made the site not work properly. I spent 4 hours diagnosing the problem and emailing their tech support back and forth.

I'm thinking of billing my client for this, but it could be counterproductive because it doesn't happen that often that I have to work around web hosting issues. On the other hand, I hate working without getting paid.

Should I:

  1. bill them for working around web hosting issues (they chose the web hosting company)
  2. threaten to bill them next time and advise them to change their hosting company
  3. let it go and just incorporate any potential web hosting issues into the price for future jobs

How do you do it?

  • 2
    How would your client's changing web hosting service provider help? – James McLeod May 17 '14 at 13:44
  • 3
    Bill them. If it's not your fault, then it's just their cost of doing business - stuff breaks, stuff changes, etc. – Michael Kohne May 17 '14 at 13:57
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    If it's work you wouldn't have been doing if you weren't engaged with this client, bill them for it. If you believe the goodwill you'd generate by having done this will be worth more in the long haul, don't bill them for it. Either way, this is off-topic because it isn't about programming. – Blrfl May 17 '14 at 15:26

Call or visit your personal contact at Client and let them know about the issues, their reasons and what you did. If Client values your work he will ask you to bill them (happened to me). If Client says "thanks for the freebie", start looking for Client 2.0.

Sometimes Client can't issue work orders after the fact, so they'll hint at the possibility of hiding these few hours in the next regular invoice.

But let me repeat: Let them know that you've been there for the problem that they did not even know about.

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