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TQI Dispute Resolution Policy 2019
This policy outlines specific actions on the part of TQI and TQI Clients as it relates to use of TQI services. TQI reserves the right to invoke or modify these policies at any time without notice to stay in compliance with any laws, regulations, business and security requirements. By using TQI services, every Client and user unconditionally accepts the terms of these policies.
I. Dispute Prevention
Most frequently occurring disputes arise because of:
- Expectations of objective deliverables not defined well enough at the start. For this reason, TQI attempts to break the job down into milestones and define tangible deliverables for each. This is the joint responsibility of both TQI and the Client. This is also the reason TQI utilizes Project Change Requests (PCRs) the moment we recognize a need for a change of deliverable time, materials, process or functionality. For all complex projects, TQI utilizes Asana tools to improve accuracy in communications.
- Expectations of ‘subjective’ elements like ‘look and feel’ not defined well enough. For this reason, TQI gives examples, where possible, and agree on number of iterations from the start. For all complex projects, TQI utilizes Asana tools to improve accuracy in communications.
- Poor communications. For this reason, TQI stays engaged with the Client from start to finish. Our Directors and employees are highly involved in expectation management. They insist on Clients actively participating throughout the entirety of projects. It is just as essential for a Client to have a dedicated project lead as it is for TQI. For all complex projects, TQI utilizes Asana tools to improve accuracy in communications.
How to avoid Disputes
To avoid Disputes, experts agree and recommend the following:
- Take the time at the beginning of the job to clearly define and agree with each other on the deliverables expected, the timescales and the payment schedule. Documentation of this process shall take on several forms over a period of time, including formal agreements, technical specification documents, change requests, time tracking databases, support tickets and e-mail. Combined, these documents form a Service Agreement.
- When agreeing on timescales for the delivery of the work, always allow for enough time to deal with any potential issues that might exist when the work is first delivered. Communicate time constraints, assumptions, dependencies and expectations.
- Ask for the other party’s working hours/days and response times and be clear about your expectations on this.
- Communicate frequently and agree on regular status updates so that any issues can be resolved in a timely way.
- Always try to resolve any issues in an amicable way to ensure that all the work is delivered properly, and all the payment is received – disputes can take a long time to resolve and a better solution can frequently be reached by constructive communication between the Client and the Project Lead.
II. Qualified Dispute Resolution
- Dispute resolution is a method and process whereby a Client may request a review of charges made for services they requested. The qualified dispute of an invoice does not imply that the Client has a right to withhold payment of the invoice in dispute. The qualified dispute process shall, however, permit the Client to voice a complaint and seek a refund or partial refund once the payment has been made and once the qualified dispute process has been fulfilled according to the terms of this policy.
- A good faith agreement on the part of TQI is to provide certain services without requiring payment in advance for their work. This is not a Client’s right, but a privilege based upon trust. Client’s obligation upon their request of the service is to pay the associated invoice without deduction or set offs in advance of a concluded qualified dispute resolution. This is an obligation of good faith on the Client’s part. Failure to pay an invoice in whole, albeit in dispute, is considered a breach of good faith, an erosion of trust and may result in collection activity and the forfeiture of invoicing privileges. (See www.TQI.Solutions/collections).
- Once the dispute process has been initiated in accordance to this policy, all facts shall be investigated, and a determination of action shall be made within 30 days. One of three outcomes may be determined.
- There may be a partial credit of the fees associated with service in dispute.
- There may be a full credit of the fees associated with the service in dispute.
- There may be a finding which determines the dispute is not qualified and/or denied.
- Clients may dispute invoices for programming, Tier II, Emergency Support, AskEVA Support and e-News Support during the ten (10) business days following electronic issuance of an invoice. There are no exceptions for reasons of delays. In order for a dispute to be qualified, it must take place within this time period.
- It is the Client’s responsibility to review all invoices on a regular basis and to file any disputes in a timely manner. Once the dispute period has passed, the charges are considered to be automatically accepted by the Client and shall no longer be a qualified for dispute.
- Once the dispute period has passed, the charges are automatically accepted by the Client and shall no longer be accepted as a qualified dispute. All rights for dispute are forfeited if not acted upon within 10 business days of issuance of an invoice.
V. Dispute Process and Check List
- Qualified disputes must be filed within the Client Review Period and submitted via e-mail to disputes@TQI.Solutions.
- TQI shall respond to disputes within 20 business days and shall take the appropriate action on the Client’s account per the results of the investigation. Resolution of the dispute shall be determined at the sole discretion of TQI. If the dispute is denied by TQI, then the dispute shall cease to be a qualified dispute. If the qualified dispute is justified, a credit shall be applied to Client’s account within 30 days.
- All dispute filings must contain the following information:
- Client Name
- Invoice number(s)
- Service or services in dispute
- Client’s reason for dispute
- Reasonable supporting evidence sufficient for qualifying the dispute which shall be used in the investigation.
- If a Client does not furnish enough information to support an investigation, the dispute shall be rejected.
- Supporting evidence must include, but not be limited to, the net cost of the service and the amount the Client believes should be paid instead.
- At no time will a dispute be considered by TQI if the following criteria are not met by Client:
- A Qualified Dispute must be initiated by client within 10 business days of receiving the invoice(s) challenged.
- A disputed invoice must be paid by client Net 20 even if the Qualified Dispute was initiated. Withholding of payment before the Qualified Dispute process is complete shall waive the Clients rights for dispute and the Qualified Dispute will be considered void. (See Section II, Paragraph 2 above.)
- A Qualified Dispute must include 100% of the information requested in Section V, Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 3ei and 3eii.
VI. Payment of Disputed Fees
- Upon completion of the dispute process investigation, a dispute shall be considered closed and all payments and/or credits shall be satisfied.