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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Toronto
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    Justified deactivation?

    Just curious what everyone out here would do.

    Summary:

    - Client has hosting + SSL for a year
    - Last year, basically had a "we don't need your god-damn service" call
    - At some point it was lost in the shuffle, so we continued hosting for about a year
    - We called up a few months ago asking for a SSL renew, "we told you, we don't need your BLEEP BLEEP!" .. "er.. but if you don't have it, you can't really take orders online..."
    - They let me know today, some IT guy's going to try to talk to me to get all the info + files + transfer + whatever

    Any suggestions?

    I'm inclined to just ask for last year's hosting, and then be co-operative... but in theory, i probably have no legal or ethical reason to do so.

    Or is it entirely our fault? Any input is appreciated.


    Lawrence
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
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    9,675
    If they haven't paid you, shut down the hosting account and back it up to a CD. When the IT guy comes calling, tell him how much its going to cost them to provide them with the backup.

    --Tina
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ireland
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    If I read that right and they have not paid for 12 months?

    Then suspened the account and charge them for the past 12 months + a nice re-activation fee.
    Adam Hoban.
    ManobanWeb Group
    UK and US - Shared & Reseller Hosting Solutions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    604
    You should have suspended service a while back if they didn't pay, at least they would have made a decision as to whether to continue or not and chosen to either pay or move out. However since you didn't contact or suspend service they must have assumed it is covered and/or use it as a reason if it does go to court. Just my $0.02 here.

    As Tina mentioned you can back everything up to a CD and put a price tag to it but whether it is ethical or not will come down to your conscience based on the above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina View Post
    If they haven't paid you, shut down the hosting account and back it up to a CD. When the IT guy comes calling, tell him how much its going to cost them to provide them with the backup.

    --Tina
    Perfect suggestion. Its always a sticky situation when it comes to providing backups. I strongly suggest keeping the professionalism you have worked so hard for but also don't be a push over. Best of luck and great advise Tina.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Basically, a lot of the issue came about because of an accounting + tech mis-communication error.

    The website was slated to deactivation, and then it wasn't, and then they called up with an exception or _whatever_.

    We don't have a formal agreement about the deactivations.

    The backup + re-activation fee sounds like the fairest way to go. (With restitution for the past year).

    Heh, that reminds me of other tricky clients. "Oh, we owe you 3-months? no problem, can we get FTP just to "see" the files to make sure they are there?" "Sure, it will cost you the 3-months hosting you didn't pay...."


    Lawrence
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Toronto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason_Slominski View Post
    However since you didn't contact or suspend service they must have assumed it is covered and/or use it as a reason if it does go to court. Just my $0.02 here.
    Similarly, if the telco or electricity company doesn't charge you for a year because of an accounting error (or wrong address), and then shut you off after such time, do you really have a legit concern?

    I know REALLY concerned people actually call me up and ask, "i haven't received a bill in a while."


    Lawrence
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    North Kansas City, MO
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    You've provided them with a service for a year and they've used it. If they had moved and wern't using it and you just forgot to shut them of then no, you wouldn't be owed anything.

    Since they used the service they should pay for it.
    Aaron Wendel
    Wholesale Internet, Inc. - http://www.wholesaleinternet.net
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Chicago
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    Quote Originally Posted by WII-Aaron View Post
    You've provided them with a service for a year and they've used it. If they had moved and wern't using it and you just forgot to shut them of then no, you wouldn't be owed anything.

    Since they used the service they should pay for it.
    I agree with Aaron, if they used the service they should pay for it. This should definitely be one of those things you keep in mind for future reference and become more strict regarding payments.
    Stephanie Ostheimer
    Director of Account Management
    SingleHop Dedicated Servers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Toronto
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleHopSteph View Post
    I agree with Aaron, if they used the service they should pay for it. This should definitely be one of those things you keep in mind for future reference and become more strict regarding payments.
    It was only really "triggered" because they had made a request, so we typically do an account-check. But i do remember having the conversation with (as i recall) a rather "angry-man" which is why I have a special interest in this account.


    Lawrence
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  11. #11
    I have had similar problems - quite honestly my billing department is the weakest area of my hosting company and there are definitely customers on my servers who havent paid up for years.

    When I finally get around to finding these accounts, I normally take whatever they owe me and cut it in half or even more.

    For example, I have run into clients who have sites active on my servers for the past 2 years and havent paid an invoice. Let's say they owe me $450 dollars for the past 2 years. Now, no one will ever pay that much money up front so I would tell them something like 'hey look, we have been hosting you for two years without payment - while you owe us $450, there is no way im going to make you pay that much. If you pay $200 now, we will consider the account even and will credit you with an additional 3 months worth of free hosting'

    The idea behind giving away the free months is that the customer is not going to be happy after they pay off your $200 invoice only to find another invoice for the renewal a few days later.

    After all, whats another 3 months if they have been skating by for 2 years...know what I mean?
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  12. #12
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    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbbrock1 View Post
    The idea behind giving away the free months is that the customer is not going to be happy after they pay off your $200 invoice only to find another invoice for the renewal a few days later.

    After all, whats another 3 months if they have been skating by for 2 years...know what I mean?
    Not a bad idea - i like it!


    Lawrence
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    St. John's, NL
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    I would hold them accountable for 30%, which would be fair considering it wasn't entirely their fault.
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  14. #14
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    Apr 2009
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    U still have an upper hand , u can recover your money and give them their backup, thats business sense.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Singapore
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    I would say that deactivation is justifiable in this case as the client has not paid for 12 months worth of service. The logic is this: you pay us, you get a service. You don't pay, no service.

    It is not your fault that they skipped payment - its theirs. Their are entirely responsible for their actions, and you do not have the responsibility to make up for actions that are not even the fault of yours.

    It would make sense to ask for last year's hosting, at maybe a 30%-40% off the price tag, and a few months of free hosting (like what a previous poster had said). You might also want to charge a $2-$5 reactivation fee.

    Or if they're going to move host, you can just give them the backups - for free or for a small fee, its entirely up to you.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto
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    Update:

    Customer was quite disappointed that the website has been deactivated, and how we didn't give notice, how they deal with many other companies, and how we are unprofessional etc. etc.

    I mean, even last year, we re-registered SSL + domain name "in good faith" so it doesn't expire, but i guess that goes unnoticed as well.

    Anyways, we'll see how it goes. I'm dealing with the accountant now. Maybe i had originally talked with the "boss" who was non-technical and wasn't in a good mood.

    Argh!


    Lawrence
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