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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    1,573

    Account suspension and billing policies?

    Recently a lot of clients are falling behind with their payments. What are some good rules for late payments to make sure they pay on time? How long after the payment is due before you suspend a clients account? Do you send an email after payment is late and warn them before suspending their account?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    453
    Well we utilize the autosuspend in MB, we suspend if 7 days past and haven't received payment yet.

    at 2 days, 4 days, on 7th day it sends suspension notice and suspends account until they make arrangments with us on payment.
    ................

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    1,573
    Ah ModernBill is the answer eh? I'm using ClientExec and it doesn't have anything like that built in. I guess it's time to find a new billing system..

    Is ModernBill ok to use with just Paypal?
    I'm really getting tired of Paysystems.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    453
    Yes, you can use ONLY paypal if you wish, they also support alot of other processors as well. Can even work with Paysystems
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,579

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    1,573
    Thanks for the info, I'm using Paysytems now and I'm getting sick of them. I want to move to a processor that offers instant payments because Paysystems can take up to 48 hours to verify a payment which drives me nuts and the client nuts while waiting.

    Cheers
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  7. #7
    Ramprage, check out CDG Commerce. They have WHT specials and I think their Merchant Accounts don't even have a start up fee. (You have to double check that though).

    Check out their own Gateway, it works extremely well. It is so much nicer than Paysystems (or any other 3rd party processor) and gives you all the control you could want over your payment processing...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,734
    Give them a week then suspend. a month then delete

  9. #9
    I think it needs to be case by case for suspension.

    Case in point;
    I have a client that runs another business overseas. They end up there for about 4 months a year and where they go has extremely limited Internet access. A change was made on their account right before they left and there was a problem with the credit card going through. There wasn't anything wrong with the credit card, but with a security measure I have in place. It's been several months since I even heard from them, but I just got an email filling me in on their Internet access. When they get back we will get their account all squared away. No suspension, deletion or anything else was necessary.

    Now this is most likely the exception rather than the rule but it goes to show that a blanket policy could end up hurting you down the road. Also, if you are getting a lot of delinquencies you might want to re-evaluate where your customers are coming from...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    246
    We are with Pay Systems and after 3 denials we contact the client with an email telling them they have been denied and pointing them to the TOS. After that it's up to them to either pay the fee or be deleted. If they are suspended there's a fee to reactivate the site, otherwise they are deleted. Haven't had any problems with this yet, but I would say 3 days after the 3rd denial before deletion. The card is charged every 3 days, so that's a week.
    Sara

    Sara Nelson Photography Preserving your moments since 1973.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    England
    Posts
    819
    I've found that having a hefty re-connection charge in your TOS makes people pay on time

    cg
    NetHosted - UK based hosting solutions.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    342
    Yea we charge a simple 10 to unsuspend an account. Our invoices are sent out a week before and we suspend 3 days after due date. This means they have 10 days to pay it. With our unsuspend payment they usually pay within the first 2 days
    Centation Web Services
    Bristol based web design
    Offering website design, SEO, website hosting, website development and domain registration.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Proud She-Geek
    Posts
    1,722
    Unless the client has contacted us prior to their due date their account is suspended after 72 hours; we send reminder invoices on the 3rd and 5th days, and if they still have not paid by the 7th day we personally contact them and ask them what they wish to do with their account.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    5,010
    Wow you guys are STRICT, Personally we wait 45 days and suspend. Once suspended a $25 re-activation fee is added to the account and will not be paid until all invoices and the re-activation fee have been paid.

    Not sure of where we came up with 45 days but I figure everyone can have a rough month so I give the first 30 days, notify on the 30th that suspension will be on the 45th day with re-activation fee.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Australia (Crikey)
    Posts
    2,271
    Originally posted by OKIHost
    Wow you guys are STRICT, Personally we wait 45 days and suspend. Once suspended a $25 re-activation fee is added to the account and will not be paid until all invoices and the re-activation fee have been paid.

    Not sure of where we came up with 45 days but I figure everyone can have a rough month so I give the first 30 days, notify on the 30th that suspension will be on the 45th day with re-activation fee.
    45 days!? your giving them more than a months free hosting if they never pay again!

    your one generous hosting company

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    6,889
    I normally give 15 days before suspending. Had a couple instances where people were out of the country for a week and couldn't put in the new billing info, etc. Doesn't hurt us too much waiting an extra 8 days. During that time we send a warning message every couple days.
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boston:Mass
    Posts
    231
    10 days

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Proud She-Geek
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    1,722
    Originally posted by OKIHost
    Wow you guys are STRICT, Personally we wait 45 days and suspend. Once suspended a $25 re-activation fee is added to the account and will not be paid until all invoices and the re-activation fee have been paid.

    Not sure of where we came up with 45 days but I figure everyone can have a rough month so I give the first 30 days, notify on the 30th that suspension will be on the 45th day with re-activation fee.
    Unfortunately, we had to become strict because clients were 'forgetting' to pay their bills.

    We try to take it on a case by case basis; for example, one client just had a baby and he wasn't able to get to the computer when his payment came due - however, he notified us ahead of time of his situation and we didn't suspend or terminate his account, even though it was nearly 2 1/2 weeks overdue (hey, we remember what having a newborn at home is like LOL ). As soon as he was able to get to the computer he brought his account current.

    Now, had this been a customer who was chronically late with a different crisis every month, we may not have been so flexible.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    110
    I think keeping a strict policy on deadlines will force customers to make sure payments are ontime, and that there is not the monthly 'my dog died', or 'my wife is having a baby' each month. It also extends to some form of litigious embodiment, in case, on deletion of the account, the prior customer loses some information or such of a very high value stored on the server.

    When it comes down to it, it's like everything else, you go with what YOU wanna do. I think you stick to what the TOS is, unless there 'could' be a problem. But, if that problem is every other month, then take action, or, better yet, tell them monthly payments will no longer be an option for their account, and that paying every 3 months or more is now there only option....with a reminder email one week prior, and then up to a week after. At that time, their account is deleted.

    On the other side, you might have a client who routinely leaves the country, or is just away(not everyone does have internet access, no matter what the hosting package might be), and missed a pay. If they do not respond and no action is taken on their account, try your every method, but only suspend after so many days(what you feel is necessary. Don't delete, because they had no POSSIBLE way of seeing your messages, nor them being able to pay.

    I still am hesitant to go into hosting/development business in an ownership role for that fact...with the internet, you not only don't know if the people are fibbing, you cannot be sure that they are who they claim to be

    LAter,
    Jim

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,512
    My favorite is the client who always tries to claim financial hardship, but it is very appearent that they have money (or have been spending money, regardless of where it came from).

    What we do for dedicated servers and co-location is send out a collection demand via certified mail. If payment is not received within 10 days of that post mark, we will shutoff the port until payment is received.

    For smaller accounts such as shells and web hosting, we will often allow as much as 30 days before suspension (not to say that this is a good policy, its just the current status quo).

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