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RE: Question about SLAs

  • From: Barry Shein
  • Date: Fri Feb 09 17:06:43 2007

On February 9, 2007 at 09:41 [email protected] ([email protected]) wrote:
 > > An SLA is a contract.
 > > 
 > > A contract is... a contract.
 > Does that mean you can take them to small claims court if they don't pay
 > you the agreed SLA credits?

Oh I'm certain you could if you wanted to be bothered, it's a contract
with a promise of value like any other. Absolutely nothing unusual or
even very difficult to understand unless it gets into a real technical
pissing match that confuses the referee.

But that's all a crap shoot at best and time-consuming. One reason to
always avoid direct legal action is that even if you get what you're
due it's exceedingly rare to be awarded legal or other
expenses. Expect only the prima facie value. Despite common folklore
it's just not done, that's the cost of not figuring out some other way
to settle the matter as far as the court is concerned.

In fact, at least here in MA, I don't believe a small claims court has
any authority to award either legal fees (and even if you don't bring
a lawyer it might be a good idea to rack up a coupla hours with your
lawyer to make sure you're using the right lingo and statutes etc), or
punitive damages tho they can award some direct costs like if you had
to (reasonably) pay a moving company to move some object in question,
something like that, and you'd better have a receipt and it better not
be a "normal" expense (like don't bother asking for bus fare or
gasoline for your car or phone calls or other incidentals.)

I'd just say you want to go to legal means for things like this only
as a very last resort and maybe not even then. What you want to do is
figure out ways to raise the stakes in a way to make them into better
people even if it goes entirely against their nature.

        -Barry Shein

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