How to ensure your client's acceptance of your proposal
Proposals which have been e-mailed or otherwise electronically-transmitted to your potential customer asks the customer to click a link, sign the proposal (assuming they accept your terms), and return the proposal with signature to you via reply e-mail. But what happens when you receive an 'accepted' proposal - but there's no accompanying signature?
A Dot By Any Other Name...
...is a signature? Let's examine how the electronic signature process works.
Electronic signatures on your phone or tablet (or touchscreen computer) work much the same way as a signature pad at your local retailer: you're presented a signing area on which you'll use a stylus (or your finger) to apply pressure to the area, hopefully creating something which remotely resembles your actual signature. But the pad only stays 'active' for a brief period of time, and accepts basically anything you write or draw on the signing area. This means you could sign with your signature... or a picture of a stick dog... or a dot. The signing pad has no way of knowing or validating if your attempt is your signature or not.
Look closely at the image above... it would be difficult to see if it were not for the red rectangle, but this was an actual 'signature' as returned by a potential customer after 'signing' the proposal. Whether it was an intentional attempt to avoid signing, or merely an inadvertent attempt by a technically-challenged user, the computer/phone/tablet accepted this dot as a valid signature. REMEMBER: when capturing a signature, a singledot is as good as a million pixels as it relates to satisfying the minimum requirement for the signature.
Examining a Suspect Signature
If you need to retrieve a signature for a proposal, you can examine the signature by going to the Edit mode for the visit or job, click the Attachments button, and select View/Edit Signatures from the dropdown menu.
How to Ensure the Customer Has Truly Accepted the Proposal
If you find this is a common occurrence, SingleOps has provided a means to further require the potential customer to acknowledge that they accept your terms. You can enable a setting called Require clients to type to sign proposal. This setting can be found in Admin >> Account Settings >> Job near the bottom of the page. Click the slider to toggle the setting ON. Be sure to click the blue Update Settings button at the bottom to preserve your changes.
Enabling this setting will now require the potential customer to sign the proposal and type their name before transmitting the accepted proposal back to you. Should the signature be illegible (or miniscule), the customer will have a more difficult time contending they did not accept the proposal if they've typed their name in addition to the signature.
What does "Accepted by IP" Mean?
In the event that a proposal was transmitted electronically to your customer, their acceptance transmitted back to you will bear a designation 'Accepted by IP:' followed by an IP address. This is the IP address from which it appears their acceptance was transmitted, and is often used by retailers, financial institutions, internet providers and law enforcement agencies to establish identity and/or location. While it is sometimes helpful, it is also worth noting that it is not a 100% reliable method as these addresses can be intentionally 'spoofed' or faked, and even under unintentional circumstances may only offer broad, general information (e.g., 'it seemed to be a Comcast internet provider' or 'it seems the party was located in the Eastern U.S.').