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  Post #1 (permalink)   01-23-2012, 09:07 AM
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I know sometimes we all have clients who just are bad about paying their bills on time. When you sit down and open a ticket to remind them a bill is overdue, how long are you waiting before you terminate the accounts? Just curious here because we had one today that came in and trashed our public forums because he was terminated, we thought we waited long enough, in his eyes I guess not.
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  Post #2 (permalink)   01-23-2012, 09:46 AM
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We send out invoices 7 days before they are actually due. The client then has 10 days after the due date to pay the invoice before the service is suspended and a late fee is applied. If after 30 days the account is still suspended and invoice remains unpaid, the account is then terminated/removed from the server completely.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   01-23-2012, 11:04 AM
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We send out invoices 14 days before the due date (which is the 1st - so they receive invoices on the 17th of the prior month). We then have a 5 day grace period. On the 5th (after 5 days of reminders of unpaid bills), the system automatically suspends the account. The client will continue to get a DAILY reminder that the bill is unpaid and the account is suspended (scheduled for termination), until the 1st of the month.

If the account is not paid in full by the 1st of the following month, the account is terminated.

Since we do hourly backups on our servers, the client still has the chance for another 4 weeks after that, to receive their files, before the system wipes out their data.

So essentially the client gets almost 2.5 months of notices & reminders prior to termination.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   01-24-2012, 08:43 AM
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That is the thing I do not get, we have daily reminders too and always send out extra info. What is so hard about paying a bill? I have talked to others both in the hosting world and a few others but lately everyone is lazy when it comes to paying their stuff on time.

The worst part is after you cut the hosting and then get a lovely hate email, support ticket, random URL emailed to you about them complaining in public to try and slander you. What for, you waited 3 months to try and pay a bill yet continued to use services for free? Sometimes I really do not get people at all. Its been a rough week, is it Friday yet? The late fees sound like a good idea too.
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  Post #5 (permalink)   01-24-2012, 01:46 PM
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Yeah, not much you can do about that unfortunately - there'll always be an upset customer even if you did everything by the book. Late fees can work sometimes, but it can also backfire and you have the client then saying that you're charging extortion fees for them to get their information. I've never found late fees to work for our clients.
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  Post #6 (permalink)   01-24-2012, 03:29 PM
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I had a client today who has unpaid invoices going back 3 months and then he abuses me via support ticket because he received an LBA
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  Post #7 (permalink)   01-24-2012, 03:33 PM
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Just as bad with domain names going into a redemption status.
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  Post #8 (permalink)   01-24-2012, 06:13 PM
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Yeah, not much you can do about that unfortunately - there'll always be an upset customer even if you did everything by the book. Late fees can work sometimes, but it can also backfire and you have the client then saying that you're charging extortion fees for them to get their information. I've never found late fees to work for our clients.
Yes, late fees can be tricky, but we don't have nearly as many late payments since we started charging a late fee (it's more of a re-activation fee really).. If the client is already suspended and wishes to have the service re-activated, they will need to pay the overdue invoice plus a $10 fee. If they choose not to pay and simply cancel they can do that as well, no hard feelings . If they need their data we will gladly provide them with a backup, if it's available and hasn't been removed/overwritten already. We've had clients come back after +6 months trying to pay their overdue invoice so they can get a backup of their data...
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Last edited by HostLeet : 01-24-2012 at 06:15 PM.
 
 


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  Post #9 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 02:16 AM
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since introducing the late fee we dont get that many late payers now, those that are late, it is very any anyone will dispute and cause a fuse as they are aware they were late and therefore pay extra due to this. if a client contacts us and says they will be late at paying the next invoice and gives a valid reason then i will disable the late fee etc. on their account as they have informed me.

i had 1 client who paid on thime for the first 6 months and then every month he was late, but he never complained and paid the invoice even with late fee. then 1 days he said he wanted to upgrade to a VPS which i told him that if he does then he needs to pay ontime as VPS are provided by a third party. he said OK he will do, so he upgraded and paid ontime for the first 2 months, the third month come and guess what he was late and ignored reminders until a point that the third party suspended and then terminated the VPS of this client, even then stillno contact from this client then i noticed a month later his site was up again, so i decided to do a whois check and found that he had taken out a VPS with the 3rd paty i used direct which i was not happy as he still never cancelled hs account with me and has an overdue invoice. i informed the 3rd party how this client operates, they could not care less, but i noticed within 2 months his site was down , so i suspect he did the same thing not pay ontime.

so yes their are people out their think they can sign up and then you will let them use your services for free.
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Last edited by easyhostmedia : 01-25-2012 at 02:27 AM.
 
 


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  Post #10 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 07:05 AM
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if a client contacts us and says they will be late at paying the next invoice and gives a valid reason then i will disable the late fee etc. on their account as they have informed me.
Yes, I've done that as well. I even went as far as letting one of our loyal customers stop paying their invoices for about 3 months due to personal and financial problems. The client was really upfront and honest about the whole situation and had never missed a payment before, so I agreed to keep their site up for the 3 months without hesitation. The client is still with us to this day (2+ yrs now) and has even referred a few other people.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 07:15 AM
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what gets me is when you get clients who have paid ontime and then suddently they stop paying and you find thay they have moved hosts ( changed nameservers) but have not informed you or cancelled and then complain to you to why they still get invoices from you
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  Post #12 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 11:14 AM
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Yes, I've done that as well. I even went as far as letting one of our loyal customers stop paying their invoices for about 3 months due to personal and financial problems. The client was really upfront and honest about the whole situation and had never missed a payment before, so I agreed to keep their site up for the 3 months without hesitation. The client is still with us to this day (2+ yrs now) and has even referred a few other people.
Not sure if that's something necessarily advisable to do, because once you said yes to 3 months, you are vulnerable to extending it to a longer period, but I guess it was a bet that paid of for you this time.
 
 
 


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  Post #13 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 03:09 PM
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Depends.

But frankly, you may all be sat there waiting but a week and I clean up that crap, I have no time for overdue invoices and suspended accounts, clear them out the way and crack on.

However, when it is a client with a lot of services or a good track record, I rarely even suspend them, I just email them and they inform me on the wait and I say ok!

I take backups so it is easy to replace if it is terminated, but frankly, you don't pay and ignore my email, say bye, I have every right.
Being too nice never works.

Problem is, people think they don't have to cancel or renew if they wish to not bother anymore, which just causes me problems because if you demand the final months due, they either 1) spread crap on a forum or 2) send hate emails

So I prefer to just get rid and deal with it.
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  Post #14 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 03:25 PM
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Depends.

But frankly, you may all be sat there waiting but a week and I clean up that crap, I have no time for overdue invoices and suspended accounts, clear them out the way and crack on.

However, when it is a client with a lot of services or a good track record, I rarely even suspend them, I just email them and they inform me on the wait and I say ok!

I take backups so it is easy to replace if it is terminated, but frankly, you don't pay and ignore my email, say bye, I have every right.
Being too nice never works.

Problem is, people think they don't have to cancel or renew if they wish to not bother anymore, which just causes me problems because if you demand the final months due, they either 1) spread crap on a forum or 2) send hate emails

So I prefer to just get rid and deal with it.
i have a clear invoice structure set out and is part of our TOS and is in our Knowledgebase.

we invoice 14 days before due date and then again the day before. From the first invoice to termination they have 28 days, so plenty of time to say they want to cancel etc. if they follow out cancellation process as we use WHMCS this will be done automatically with the next cron run (3am in the morning) as this would cancel any invoices etc. they fail to cancel and account terminates with overdue invoice then they get sent an LBA. only once have we followed up on an LBA when the then client become very abusive and threatening and we won and he ended up paying 300 on a 50 overdue invoice and then his internet was revoked for abusive and threatening email afterwards and he ended up in court with a 6 month jail sentence for this
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Last edited by easyhostmedia : 01-25-2012 at 03:28 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #15 (permalink)   01-25-2012, 03:51 PM
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Not sure if that's something necessarily advisable to do, because once you said yes to 3 months, you are vulnerable to extending it to a longer period, but I guess it was a bet that paid of for you this time.
Yes, you're right. The only reason I agreed was because the client already had a good track record with us (8-9 months) and had always been on time making payments so I didn't see much risk in giving out a helping hand.
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