What do you guys do when a client has existing invoices but does not pay him and his account is not cancelled? Do you use some sort of collection service?
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Personally if after a certain period of time (stated in the TOS) if they haven't paid there bill I suspend there account. If you are having them pay at the end of the month for space/bw used then yeah a collections service might be best.
Collection Services can be useful in retrieving unpaid debts and unfortunately is becoming more common. I have had to use collection services for my dads work before but have no experience with debt collection in the hosting service.
You may wish to inquire with a couple well know debt collection agencies. I did a quick search on the topic and came across these guys. They have a decent reputation from what I read.
They send out professional debt collection letters for $12.95 per incident. And if it is necessary pass it on to a collector that charges 33% of the recovered fees.
Depending on how much your client owes. You may wish to try calling them and resolve the issue over the phone. Stating you noticed that they have not cancelled their account and remind them of their past due funds... see what happens from there.
I probably shouldn't reveal this, because someone might take advantage, but:
We let people go 30 days before suspending them. On the 14th and 21st days that the invoice is past due, an email gets sent out that tells them their account is going to be suspended if they don't pay. On day 28 or 29 we make a phone call. If it doesn't get paid, then the account gets closed.
I would not send a shared hosting customer to a collection agency; the cost of doing it probably isn't worth the effort. Collection agencies (in general) are designed for companies that have large amounts of unpaid A/R each month, not for the odd invoice here or there.