Bizarre request for info - how to decline
We are a small privately held company with fewer than a dozen employees. We have several programs for sale including one particular small niche program that is very well regarded in its field as the best in class. It sells for around $100. I recently received a purchase order from a pretty large, well-known corporation. They want to buy one copy. As a condition of paying us, they have a process that involves filling out a bunch of forms, including all kinds of personal information about our business, stuff that we don't reveal to anyone other than our accountant. They want information about our incorporation status, tax id numbers of employees, affidavits of US citizenship for the principals of the business, stuff like that. It is all under the auspices of being for their own private 'expanded' version of the W9 form, which is the form to collect tax information for independent contractors, which really doesn't seem relevant since we are not offering to do contracting for them, this is simply an order for a single small, inexpensive program.
Just send a reasonably civil note that states that their conditions for information disclosure are unacceptable and out of line with your business practices, and therefore you cannot complete this transation.
> I don't want to seem unprofessional
Im in favour of the F* approach. Sometimes you have to stand up to the big guys.
pedestrian walking by
Require the same information from them, and then some. Then after they have sent it all to you tell them that you don't want to do business with them.
Just fill out the parts you're willing to fill out and send it back half-empty.
(By the way, we keep a stack of filled-out W-9 forms around which we send or fax to anyone who asks. You are legally required to disclose some things, like your incorporation status and that business about backup withholding)
So Joel, did you tell the guys who wanted to change your license agreement that you would gladly do it if they agreed to pay for your legal expenses plus a $xxx/hr "consulting fee" :-) ?
I worked with a really big company's purchasing folks on at least 50 huge RFP's. They had a very expensive and professional process for vetting vendors, particularly software, for big projects. Those guys were strict. They also had exceptions to avoid wasting time on small purchses. The person who asked for the information may be a purchasing amateur who read the wong pages of their ten volume purchasing manual.
> Require the same information from them, and then some. Then after they have sent it all to you, tell them that you don't want to do business with them. <
Thanks to all for the helpful replies. I agree that the guy sending it is just some clerk mindlesly following or possibly misunderstanding some policy intended for big purchases.
"Im in favour of the F* approach. Sometimes you have to stand up to the big guys. "
"Thanks to all for the helpful replies. I agree that the guy sending it is just some clerk mindlesly following or possibly misunderstanding some policy intended for big purchases."
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