About common sense and service contracts…


I’m currently thinking a lot about guidance and best practices around service contracts. There exist many ways to end up with a contract. But are there some metrics that are going to tell you whether your contract is a good contract? Can we relay on a common sense when designing contracts? Let’s take the following incident I had in Paris the last week:

After a nice dinner we decided to go to the hotel bar. Our customers wanted to order a cognac and asked the barkeeper for his recommendation. He showed them the only cognac bottle they had. From our perspective, the barkeeper had enough information to provide us with the requested service. However, this wasn’t the case! When he served the cognacs, we instantly started laughing: The cognac was served in a lemonade glass. As if this wouldn’t be enough, it was served “on the rocks”! We couldn’t believe it, although we have to admit that we haven’t explicitly requested a cognac served in a cognac glass without ice. We just thought that this is common sense when ordering a cognac in bar in Paris. But who is going to guarantee you that the service is provided with the same assumptions? While confronting the barkeeper with our expectations, he confessed that he isn’t a barkeeper but the receptionist… 


While designing a contract, we have to decide whether we want to address a certain artifact in a semantic or syntactic way: We have to decide, whether we have to make that artifact explicit. Do we share the same common sense and context or do we explicitly have to exchange that information prior to our business interaction? At the end it’s all about coupling…

Comments (0)

Skip to main content