What are emergency rates?
Emergency rates are triggered by a time urgent request from a client that requires investigation or intervention within the next six hours, typically for a business critical need. They are not triggered when I am able to quickly turn around a request - I will always strive to assist as quickly as possible. Rather, they are triggered when a client contacts me with an extremely urgent request that must be worked right away. In many cases, this outreach occurs via multiple channels (email, text, phone calls) because the client is desperate to get in touch right away.
Why are you instituting this policy?
There's been a growing number of requests to assist immediately with urgent situations. In some cases these situations are true emergencies - there is a serious business or personal impact. In other cases, they are items that have come about as a result of a lack of planning or a perceived urgent need where there is not an immediate business impact. This policy is designed to compensate for situations where I receive an urgent request that requires me to drop whatever I'm doing to assist.
This fee compensates for the stress associated with such requests as well as some of the practices I engage in to ensure I am ready to handle them (e.g. it is rare I go anywhere without either my laptop or iPad and I almost always have cellular service available by running multiple SIM cards on my phone). These are situations where I'm stepping away from a meal, balancing an iPad on my lap in a metro station, or needing to pause on a committed time-critical project because something else unexpectedly popped up.
How will I know when emergency rates are triggered?
I will communicate, either by phone or in writing, in any situation where emergency rates come into play and get explicit consent ahead of beginning work. I do not want to surprise anyone with a bill higher than they were expecting.
How do I avoid being charged emergency rates?
Almost all situations that would trigger an emergency can be mitigated in advance. I am happy to work with you in order to put in place solutions that provide protection against an emergency scenario. Examples include - backup strategies that involve near-real time or multiple backups, clients requesting a snapshot be taken of their sites ahead of making major edits or changes, and engaging in more detailed planning of a time critical project so there are not surprises at the last moment. If we put these types of protections in place, emergency rates will generally not be triggered if you need my help to take advantage of these projections.
Web Hosting Clients
Requests surrounding a down website that did enter that state through client intervention will not trigger the emergency rate. Management of sites and uptime is included in the annual hosting fee you already pay and is not an emergency.