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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    916

    Unhappy the billing blues

    I have read many, many, many of the articles here on the forums and it's one of the main reasons I read the forums here but none of the posts on this topic really say much of anything.

    I'm looking for some feedback on billing systems. I currently have a custom solution in place now for my company and have been trying out many of the other billing systems. The current solution is good but I'm looking for better. I also would like a system that users can login to and check account status and information, then choose to make a payment though our members only payment system. Our current system does not allow online account viewing so they need to call in to make a payment when they lose the invoice or they get shut off for non payment.


    So far my partner and I have done a demo, installed or purchased the following:

    modernbill, (security issues, lacks proper structure, does not support mail billing)
    billing orchard, (seems great but it's a hosted only solution)
    clientexec, (not what we were looking for)
    lpanel, (not what we were looking for)

    -ubersmith (http://www.ubersmith.com), (currently hosted only solution & does not support account credits/overpayments?)

    -platypus (http://resellers.tucows.com/backoffice/), (lacks color)

    -emerald (http://www.iea-software.com/products/), used this with an isp I ran back in 96 not sure how it's progressed over the years. may look at it again.

    Havenít tried any of these: (any of these in the same class as ubersmith, platypus, emerald?
    http://www.isp-billing.com
    http://www.awbs.com
    http://www.digitalpoint.com
    http://nocwizard.com
    any others? price is not really an issue as long as it doesn't cost more then it would for me to have our current system redesigned with what I would like it to do.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    In My Own World
    Posts
    972
    Hi,

    As for Ubersmith, the system can refund some or all of a credit card payment. Once a payment has been made to an invoice, you can find a link to refund it at the bottom of the 'view invoice' and 'mark payment' pages for that specific invoice. From there it's a pretty simple interface to carry out the refund.

    Have a great day!

    Tracy Phillips

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    >>>modernbill, (security issues, lacks proper structure, does not support mail billing)


    Can you be more specific about these issues? We've used it to track close to 10,000 accounts with practically no trouble at all.

    --Tina
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    581
    I also Have used modernbill with no issue whatsoever.


    Please elaborate on this,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    916
    Originally posted by Mr. Weberize
    Hi,

    As for Ubersmith, the system can refund some or all of a credit card payment. Once a payment has been made to an invoice, you can find a link to refund it at the bottom of the 'view invoice' and 'mark payment' pages for that specific invoice. From there it's a pretty simple interface to carry out the refund.

    Have a great day!
    The problem is many of our clients pay by mail and sometimes will send us more then they owe, we couldn't find a way to enter a payment for more then they owe.

    Originally posted by AH-Tina
    >>>modernbill, (security issues, lacks proper structure, does not support mail billing)


    Can you be more specific about these issues? We've used it to track close to 10,000 accounts with practically no trouble at all.

    --Tina
    -Security, do an audit on your database. You will notice none of the information like usernames and passwords are encrypted. This would allow someone to view all usernames and passwords for all clients. Many clients use the same usernames and passwords for everything, bank, credit card login etc. This is a major security flaw in the system that they could easily fix. This could affect your clients several ways, if you had a bad employee, if one of your servers was compromised from a third party program, if a security hole was not patched for some reason & many more reasons to always have username/passwords encrypted in your database.

    This is the only major flaw I saw with the billing system.

    -structure, If for some reason you need to adjust an invoice (some customers will opt for the six month special in stead of paying for just that one month) you need to do it in three places("invoice due", "register balance" & the actual invoice that the client can view if they login) because none of the information is linked in the database like it should be. This was mostly an annoyance.

    -billing, several problems with mail billing, mostly printing & just entering the payment is very time consuming.

    These two issues are mostly only a problem if you accept mail billing. You would be surprised how many people are willing to pay statement fee's because they do not want to or don't have a credit card. Also many larger corporations will only pay by check.

    -other, every once in a while it flaked out on us and required re-launching the browser. Not sure what caused this.

    The people at modernbill were very helpfull and it's not a bad product at all, it's just not for us. Now to find a use for this unlimited license we bought, I guess we could give it to one of our current resellers or something.
    Area51.mn VPS, Dedicated & Colocated Servers.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    385
    Originally posted by Kiamori
    The problem is many of our clients pay by mail and sometimes will send us more then they owe, we couldn't find a way to enter a payment for more then they owe.
    As a user of ubersmith, I find it quite simple to handle this situation. I simply create a credit on the account of the overpayment. I believe this is in-line with GAAP -- it makes more sense from an accounting perspective to do this rather than allowing a payment towards an invoice that is of a greater dollar amount than the invoice is for.

    I'm not sure how other systems handle this or how you would rather it be handled?
    Raj Dutt // CEO // Voxel dot Net Inc
    http://www.voxel.net // [email protected]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    In My Own World
    Posts
    972
    Raj,

    I guess that would work because an over payment is just that... a credit to the account.

    I learned something new today... its been a good day

    Tracy Phillips

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    916
    Yes, I also received the same response from boo at Ubersmith. This would work it just creates an extra step that could easily be automated within the script/software with a check box perhaps? (*Check this box to create a credit on the account for any overpayment)

    I look at it this way, if a billing system is going to save me 4 hours/month over another solution it's worth at least $100/month or $1200 outright over the other solution. So if something as simple as creating credits automatically saves me 1 minute and I have say 60 clients this month that over pay thatís an hour right there.

    Still doing research at this point, thanks for the feedback so far.
    Area51.mn VPS, Dedicated & Colocated Servers.
    Area51 Computers Custom Servers & Gaming Systems. (Since 1998)
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    In My Own World
    Posts
    972
    You guys must have a lot of clients that overpay... 5 years in this biz and I still don't have that have that benifit

    Tracy Phillips

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    916
    It's different when you deal with local customers because they feel more comfortable with our business. Many of them just walk into our office and make a payment; we know a majority of our clients by name. Our online signups do not share the same habits.
    Area51.mn VPS, Dedicated & Colocated Servers.
    Area51 Computers Custom Servers & Gaming Systems. (Since 1998)
    NetAffect Email & Web Hosting Services. (Since 1996)
    Quality Systems & Service Since 1996

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