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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Merville BC
    Posts
    608

    Consistantly late customer - what would you do?

    I am at my wits end with a customer. Every month I chase him for payment, and after up to a couple of weeks he finally pays.

    I warned him last month that further payments beyond his due date would result in immediate suspension until payment received. And of course, he is late - again.

    Would you make a point and suspend with no further warnings?

    I am just so tired of chasing this guy - I appreciate the business but I am spending way to much time getting him to pay for his hosting.
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    US
    Posts
    597
    Yes I would suspend him until he makes the payment. No need to chase after him.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,750
    I am just so tired of chasing this guy - I appreciate the business but I am spending way to much time getting him to pay for his hosting.
    Yeah but dont you think thats not the type of customer you want? Yeah 1 or 2 days late fair enough but if you have to constantly chase after him then just suspend until he pays etc etc
    Regards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Miami FL
    Posts
    288
    I would suspend his account untill I get payment. more than likely he will move on to another host he thinks he can play games with, but is one account really worth the hassle to you month after month?

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Merville BC
    Posts
    608
    Thanks for the input on this. I really dont like to have to suspend, but I did it and I guess if I loose him I loose him. SeeServers, my wife agrees with you. Its just taking too much of my time,
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    48
    Suspend him or charge him late fees. Also check your TOS to make sure its clearly written out what happens in situations like this so that you are somewhat protected in the future.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by okanagantech
    Thanks for the input on this. I really dont like to have to suspend, but I did it and I guess if I loose him I loose him. SeeServers, my wife agrees with you. Its just taking too much of my time,

    Whether that is a single case or in multiple?

    No person want to loose a prospective customer, as it takes lot of time to find a customer, I agree, you should send 2- 3 reminder of payment in advance before the due date.

    I observe that some time particular customer needs a specific treatment as per the situation, and we should react accordingly rather than directly loosing a valuable customer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Merville BC
    Posts
    608
    Suspend him or charge him late fees. Also check your TOS to make sure its clearly written out what happens in situations like this so that you are somewhat protected in the future
    Billing Policies
    1. We accept payments made by Paypal and upon mutual agreement, personal check. Payments made by check must be received before the due date. Checks not received before the due date will result in suspension of hosting services. We charge an additional $20.00 for returned checks

    2. Payment is due at the beginning of the term you have signed up for. All services are due and payable in advance.

    3. Payments not received on the due date can result in suspension of your hosting services. Payments in arrears over 7 days are subject to a $20.00 account reinstate fee.

    4. If an account is in arrears for over 30 days, the account may be closed and all files deleted from the server. A full backup will be kept for 3 months, which can be obtained by paying any outstanding hosting fees, $10.00 per month for storing your hosting files, plus the reinstate fee of $20.00.

    Whether that is a single case or in multiple?
    On and on and on over six months now

    I just dont feel the need to chase him anymore
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  10. #10

    Customer's point of view

    I've had some serious problems with a former host's online billing application. They used "World Pay" ... it sucked. They switched to "Modern Bill" but my bank didn't like online payments to the UK for some reason. You'll see a post about my problems with the people who took over 4web-space in anothet post.

    Bottom line, there's two side to every coin... even those that arrive late.

    Dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,361
    You could give him some discount for signing up for 3 or 6 months at once.

    Since he has problem remembering paying because he is a very busy man, he would want to consider your option.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    895
    If it was a long term customer I wouldent be too conserned about the odd late payment.

    But since its an ongoing problem id suspend the account.
    I could tell you a joke about UDP. But I'm not sure you would get it!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Butler,TN
    Posts
    2,413
    Hi!
    I would suspend and start charging late fees. I'm sorry...but that's why we *must* have a late fee policy and enforce it too.

    Having a policy you do not enforce is worse than having no policy at all.

    Bryon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    334
    Sounds like a customer that needs to be fired. Id warn once, suspend once, then drop the acct. Its really not worth the money for hosting if you have to chase the customer around every month.

  15. #15
    I get the occasional 1 or 2 clients who never pay on time. I give them a final notice before suspension usually 24 hours and if no payment is received, I suspend the account. I'm actually thinking of charging for late payment fees because of the hassle of sending out letters, suspending and then reinstating.
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  16. #16
    I think charging late fees to the late paying customer; will make them regular in payment other hand there is also chance that the particular customer can shift to other place seeing the total outstanding + late fees, hence the late fees should be normal not very high.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    Consistantly late customer - what would you do?
    Apply the TOS to the letter. Should it be a one time issue I would cut the customer some slack, but seeing how the issue repeats itself over and over, leaniency obviously doesn't work with this individual.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    294
    I have a customer like that myself. I cut him some slack a couple of times and now he is late every month. Now, I just let the system suspend him until he pays. He didn't like that, but why should we host someone who doesn't pay?
    Mark Oberg
    Techweenies.com

    (No longer affiliated with Uneedawebsite.com)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Fairborn, ohio
    Posts
    916
    If you want to be business like about things, enforce your rules. My billing system sends one warning if the payment is 1 day late, and on the 3rd day late, the account is suspended. If anyone has a situation to where they HAVE to pay late, they are to contact us beforehand and let us know.

    In basic, if you let the rules slide, people will continue to bend and even break the rules. Sure, you may lose a client or two because of your strictness, but on the plus side ALL of your current customers will be paying on time and less hassle. In all honesty though, if you didn't pay your car payment on time, would you not expect a late fee? It's the exact same concept.
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Merville BC
    Posts
    608
    Well, got a call this morning asking why his site was down. Explained the billing issue, put him on a paypal subscription and problem solved.

    With everything I have to do in a day, I simply dont have time to send emails, suspend/unsuspend accounts. It takes my time away from more important things. I think I might strengthen my tos to include one day grace/suspension and late fee.
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    141

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,830
    Originally posted by okanagantech

    I warned him last month that further payments beyond his due date would result in immediate suspension until payment received. And of course, he is late - again.

    Would you make a point and suspend with no further warnings?
    I realise you have resolved this now, however I just wanted to bring up a point about the part I quoted above.

    When you give a warning to a client that X will happen, stick to it. When you give a warning and then let it slide, you are basically telling them that you don't keep your word and they won't take notice of it at all in the future.

    We have a reminder that goes out 6 days before the due date, then when the payment is due we have a reminder every day for 10 days. On the 7th day, a 10 fee is added and the account is suspended on the 10th if payment is still not settled.

    When payment is nearly at the fee stage, then a call is made to the client to alert them of the problem. You would be really suprised how many people will pay as soon as you call them, whether it is because they forgot about it or whatever.

    If a customer contacts you and explains they are having financial problems, work with them to find a possible solution. Remember that business is not black and white, working with the client can seriously improve the relationship for the long run.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Pineville, LA
    Posts
    10
    If one of our customers is late 2 months in a row, we make any customer pre-pay for hosting 2 months in advance before we re-instate the account or charge a late fee. After a customer is late more than 3 months consecutively we suspend the account until we get a credit card on file that we can run monthly. Otherwise their account is permanently suspended.

    Regards,
    Marlin Todd
    TechGether.net Hosting Services

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    93
    If payment is not made within 1-2 weeks after it is due, sometimes the only way to get their attention is to suspend their account.

    About the minute you suspend the account you will get a request asking why the account was suspended and payment generally gets applied right away.

  25. #25

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chennai , India
    Posts
    4,608

    Re: Consistantly late customer - what would you do?

    Originally posted by kelownatech
    I am at my wits end with a customer. Every month I chase him for payment, and after up to a couple of weeks he finally pays.

    I warned him last month that further payments beyond his due date would result in immediate suspension until payment received. And of course, he is late - again.

    Would you make a point and suspend with no further warnings?

    I am just so tired of chasing this guy - I appreciate the business but I am spending way to much time getting him to pay for his hosting.
    Try to tell him politely that you should pay his bills in time.

    also conclude him that bussiness can only be run if u pay us the bills in right time. quoting that we have to pay server bills/

    if still he presists in same way, i would put forward him to pay in quaterly rather than monthly.

    but would not suspend his A/c for any reason.

  27. #27
    Your suggestion is good but those type of customer don't care of it on other hand they will enjoy your service without making payment.

    I should suggest to suspend him if he fail to pay in spite of three four reminders, if you suspect that he is intentionally doing it.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chennai , India
    Posts
    4,608
    well getting an customer is hard in my terms. if he is intented in doing then we have no other choice/

    see a client must not wait for a support for a whole week/ as well as an host must not wait to get his payments.

    so better way is try to get the payments for half yearly or quaterly , if he does not then say him to pay the monthly fees in time, if he again fails to do so , donot suspend.

    wait for some more time, then proceed as all commented.

  29. #29
    It really depends if you are collecting in prepayments or end of the month after service is rendered. I tend to be more lenient as it's pre-payments. But after about half a month, our tune will change to be more hardline.

    We do have about 2-3 clients that is punctual usually but due to cancelled cards, billing failures etc, have to resubmit new information and ended up 1-2 months late. but once they resubmit, future months is fine again. ! of them did need to have all sites suspended before he reacted (when he was close to 3 months late)

    It really depends on you and how tolerant you are.
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  30. #30
    We can't change our past, we can't change the fact, that people will continue to act and behave in certain way, we can't change the inevitable, the only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our positive attitude.
    Don't forget it's as a whole your own business.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,051

    Re: Consistantly late customer - what would you do?

    Originally posted by kelownatech
    I am at my wits end with a customer. Every month I chase him for payment, and after up to a couple of weeks he finally pays.

    I warned him last month that further payments beyond his due date would result in immediate suspension until payment received. And of course, he is late - again.

    Would you make a point and suspend with no further warnings?

    I am just so tired of chasing this guy - I appreciate the business but I am spending way to much time getting him to pay for his hosting.
    Use or create a billing program that, if after so-many days a client is late, it suspends their account. If they don't pay within x-number of days, still and have made no contact, and your attempts to contact them over the phone, email, etc., fail, to terminate the account.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Merville BC
    Posts
    608
    Again, thanks to everyone for the comments. It is such a difficult business these days... customers can jump ship with dns changes within hours now... and leave the host high and dry with no warning.
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    412
    Just turn his account over to a collection agency.

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