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  1. #1
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    Billing reminders: how much is too much?

    I have a server with a well known company here (no names), and it renews early each month. I pay on time, without fail, but chose not to have a CC on file with them. On the 8th day after paying (on the due date), it generates the next month's invoice, sending me a notice email that it couldn't apply payment because there's no card on file.
    8 days after paying (~22 days before due).
    6 days later, another notice (~16 days before due).
    Then one per day, every day (10 so far this month), until it's finally the next month again and I pay it, starting the cycle again. Frankly, it's getting so annoying I'm considering moving providers. Told them, they whined about how they have to pay their providers (but obviously not for this box they sold me) far in advance so I should basically buck up and take it.

    I create invoices 14 days in advance and send a notice, then 7 days out, 3, then 1. 4 times, more closely together as the due date draws near seems proper, but I'm not selling dedicateds as they are.

    I wanted to get people's take on it. Would you consider this constant badgering excessive, or par for the course when dealing with dedicated server sales? I have boxen with several other companies, and this is the only one that feels they need to browbeat the customer in this manner to ensure payment.
    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    I think that if you voiced your opinion to them, and the essentially blew you off, Then it may be time to start looking for a provider that cares more about you as a client and how you feel, rather than badgering you to pay a bill that you pay on time anyways.
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  3. #3

    It is how you look at it

    Hi I have always considered email as something fun, in that if it is from a junk source I just send it to my junk mail never to view it again. If it is from someone I know I give it a chance like billing at any hosting company. I feel good when Host-gator sends me billing on an account that I have, it remind me that I am in the hosting business and I made some money using they account. See it is how you look at the email. Each time I get one I think of the clients on the server and how I can get more of them or provide them with more services. Plus I just added a new server and I am looking forward to seeing they billing system at work how it compares to mine and paying it. So look at the good side of the bill and it will be rewarding...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HostWinds View Post
    I think that if you voiced your opinion to them, and the essentially blew you off, Then it may be time to start looking for a provider that cares more about you as a client and how you feel, rather than badgering you to pay a bill that you pay on time anyways.
    I think you're going way to far over the line here To leave a company because of billing invoices? Get real. Will you leave the next company because the newsletters are not formatted in html?


    One company I'm currently with does it about a week and a half before due date and the other two weeks.
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  5. #5
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    I think that's way too many billing reminders, although I probably wouldn't leave them because of it. Just set up a filter in your email that picks out only their invoice reminders, and have them marked as read and dropped into a sub-folder - this is how I usually deal with automated emails that I don't really need to see, but would like to keep a record of.
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  6. #6
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    That would get really annoying after a while.. Perhaps you can talk to them again, but have them escalate the request to someone that has a bit more pull and can actually help you. I don't see why coming up with a solution for this problem would be so hard, if the dealing with the right person.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HostLeet View Post
    I don't see why coming up with a solution for this problem would be so hard, if the dealing with the right person.
    Most billing packages have general settings on reminders. I do not know if this is true for the provider mentioned, but its very likely that reminders are a general setting in their billing package.
    They might have experienced that in general, their clients need more reminders before paying their invoices. Now one (maybe more then one, but all we know is one) client likes to have the setting changed. Likely if they change it for him, they have to change it for everyone. Since they seem to have experienced faster payments because of their frequent reminders, they seem reluctant to change it.

    Personally i think its too frequent, but maybe the majority of their clients appreciate the reminders or react on it, by paying their invoice more promptly.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftnoc View Post
    Most billing packages have general settings on reminders. I do not know if this is true for the provider mentioned, but its very likely that reminders are a general setting in their billing package.
    This is either broken or intentionally changed by them. I'm using the same billing app, and it natively only allows for the sending of 4: invoice created, and three reminders before the due date. This appears intentionally changed, or they might have stated "something's wrong" instead of what they had.
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  9. #9
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    I think every day before it's due is a little excessive and annoying. We send them out every day but only after the due date during the grace period.
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  10. #10
    We don't overdue any invoices! But we will suspend the service the customer is using after 14 days!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PremiumHostingIndia View Post
    We don't overdue any invoices! But we will suspend the service the customer is using after 14 days!
    And you sell dedicated servers and use the same billing tactic on that? could become a very expensive affair for you. All good and well with a hosting package, but a dedicated server is another matter entirely.
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  12. #12

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by swiftnoc View Post
    And you sell dedicated servers and use the same billing tactic on that? could become a very expensive affair for you. All good and well with a hosting package, but a dedicated server is another matter entirely.
    We did not launch Dedicated Server packages yet and when we launch we will provide strict rules like cancellation will be held if payment is not received till 5 days or we will overdue the invoice just for Dedicated servers only. For other products including VPS we will only suspend!

  13. #13
    It's interesting for me to read this topic, because I have essentially the opposite problem with my hosting provider. I pay on a 3-month plan, and get an invoice once every three months. That doesn't sound bad, except that the invoice says along the lines of the following (for an e-mail dated March 1st):
    Invoice Issue Date: 01-Mar-2011
    Invoice Due Date: 01-Mar-2011
    I don't have a problem paying stuff on the day it's due -- that's my normal operation for any bill I have. But not even being notified until it's due is a little weird. Makes me wonder what would happen if my Internet was out of commission (or I was out of town) on the first of the month.

    Going back to the original poster's topic (and Jesse's reply) ... personally, I would absolutely consider leaving a provider if they were badgering me over a bill being due. I understand that companies are risking money if a bill isn't paid, but I always pay my bills either the day they're due or the latest I can before the due date. Certainly never when the bill is generated. To avoid the spam of the notifications, if nothing else, I would at least consider leaving a provider that had such a billing method.

  14. #14
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    We invoice 7 days before the due date, midnight AFTER it's due, then server shut off 48 hours after it's due + reminder + late fees + reconnect fee. Customers know they have bills to pay, the 7 day notice is simply a courtesy. So far late fees haven't been assessed to any of our customers, they all pay on time! Customers are welcome to prepay their accounts to avoid all invoices and simply receive receipts once per billing period. I think this is the best way.

    I would be annoyed in your position too with the massive amounts of notices!
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  15. #15
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    New one today, that's 11 since I last paid.
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  16. #16
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    While I can definitely see that getting annoying, and certainly not the greatest move by any provider. At the end of the day...it's just automated email. Filter it out. If you're happy with the service otherwise, this is hardly something to move providers over.

    We invoice 7 days before due, and reminders 1 day before due.

    The other option is to just pay when the invoice is generated and pretend THAT is your billing date instead of what it actually is. That way, you'll actually be able to go 30 days without and invoice and reminders...I think.

  17. #17
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    I think 4 reminders is enough as follows,
    1 ) - Invoice creation time
    2) - First overdue
    3) - Second overdue
    4) - Third overdue , then terminate service
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noppix View Post
    At the end of the day...it's just automated email. Filter it out.
    I don't mind reminders, just not so many, so filtering these would only hurt me in the end if they needed to send me something important.

    They're blaming Authnet for this, as that's the gateway it's set to use for CC. The emails are generated from their billing app, apparently because it's trying to rebill daily...and it's not Authnet's fault for that. It's their app, their settings, since Authnet doesn't pull, the billing app pushes.
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  19. #19
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    Awesome.
    Not to be outdone, today 2 notices arrived about 45 minutes apart.

    Browbeaten, bear goes to pay since it's due Wed anyway...new invoice in 11 days.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    ...new invoice in 11 days.
    Let us know how that goes.

    Personally - I wouldn't put up with it. And here I thought I was more patient than a bear!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    New one today, that's 11 since I last paid.
    Try paying the next Invoice too. As soon as the Invoice is created.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteTech View Post
    Try paying the next Invoice too. As soon as the Invoice is created.
    So you recommend paying two months in advance for a server just to get the constant reminders to stop?
    Umm, no.
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  23. #23
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    While the reminders would annoy the hell out of me, I think the thing that would bother me more, is that if you DID leave a credit card on file, they would be charging you 30 days before that payment is actually due...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WII-Aaron View Post
    I think every day before it's due is a little excessive and annoying. We send them out every day but only after the due date during the grace period.
    This seems more reasonable. Generally I don't pay inovices until they are actually due. Hostdime is the worst about this. I pay my bill the day it is due, but before doing so probably receive at least 10 e-mails from them.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by skullbox View Post
    This seems more reasonable. Generally I don't pay inovices until they are actually due. Hostdime is the worst about this. I pay my bill the day it is due, but before doing so probably receive at least 10 e-mails from them.
    Did you know you can actually disable this in your core account? https://core.hostdime.com/ login and you can change it to send you no notices. Based on the feedback in this thread we are happy to implement

    Normal: As is currently
    Low: when generated, when due
    None: No notices

  26. #26
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    Break is now over, billing begins again for June, some 21 days from now.
    "Due Date: 06/04/2011"
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