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  Post #16 (permalink)   12-24-2010, 10:08 PM
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You will always get clients who take advantage of free service and leave. That is just how it works.

  Post #17 (permalink)   12-25-2010, 02:05 AM
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I think your problem started with the inspiration of offering 6 months free really, a big no to gaining long term Clients.
You only attract people who want something free and all the support and bonuses.

I would first email them and update them the offer will expire soon, and we have another offer say a discounted price, to continue service.

I would include, your service will be suspended after xx many days of non payment, and will be terminated xx days after non payment.
Now of course, this is giving them a clear warning and also offering yet another discounted offer, I see no come back at all on this, so it is the safest route to go.

You cannot force them to pay, ask them for feedback if they do not pay, ask if there were problems with their service. You never know, they may not have been happy.

Next time consider the offers you put out there, there is no point in loosing money to loose money more and not even gain 1 long term Client from it, be careful.

  Post #18 (permalink)   12-27-2010, 10:17 PM
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1. You should define a policy of cancelling orders which remain "unpaid" after X days

2. If these are people who missed out on your free offer, you could contact them once with a new coupon to try
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  Post #19 (permalink)   12-30-2010, 04:44 PM
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In my opinion 6 free months are way too much. Your customers got used to that Your server is like free and I am not sure if they wish to change their habit after such a long time. They should have been informed before about payments. Next time chose less free trial and make sure that Your customers knows everything that they should Good luck with that.
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  Post #20 (permalink)   01-02-2011, 10:02 AM
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I agree that you should warn your clients they have x amount of days to pay or you will cut off service. Yes, they will probably just migrate elsewhere, but no warning is going to give you a bad reputation.

  Post #21 (permalink)   01-02-2011, 02:30 PM
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I agree with Steve if you offer a free trial then collect a setup fee. This way the person is not getting a free ride then moving on after it is over.
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  Post #22 (permalink)   01-03-2011, 05:07 PM
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There should be a payment policy on your website, if you haven't. Always have in your ToS the situations in which you are allowed to close a customer account.

Personally, people receive their account upon payment, so no problem on that part. This will solve most issues.

I usually offers a % off on first orders promotions. This forces a payment, even if there's 50% off which is like 6 free months if someone's first order is for a year. This also reduces problem, as you know people who order have the means to pay afterward. I believe this is why companies like Hostgator have $0.01 on first month promos or other symbolic fees. It tells them people have a credit card or other mean of payment.

Just an example, a kid with no credit cards but who can make websites could for example jump around using free hosting offers and change every few months when his 3 or 6 or whatever months of free hosting expires and do this again. He may even transfer a copy of all his files and then switch nameservers A FEW DAYS before his previous hosting expires. This would minimize downtime.

A money back guarantee is also good.

But in all case, even for first time customers, there SHOULD be a payment done just to be sure customer is trustable and may become a long term client.

I haven't got any difficulties getting my first clients, even if I offered no way to try without paying. Making a low first time payment is the best way to go if you want people to try you and will minimize risks for you.
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  Post #23 (permalink)   02-23-2011, 09:48 PM
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Offering things free usually attracts people looking to abuse your services anyway. I would spend more time getting people that want to buy your services then using valuable time attracting those that want to waste your time.
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  Post #24 (permalink)   02-25-2011, 06:27 PM
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Alwaysget money for the service you provide. If you think giving away 6 months free is a good thing to do than give it away with 6 months of service: "Pay for 6 months, get 6 months free!" Then you;ve established a value for your service and a payment method with the customer. When thier service autorenews you can collect from the same payment method and not have to chase after people for payment.

  Post #25 (permalink)   02-25-2011, 07:18 PM
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Theres really not much you can do. If they dont pay they dont pay. As stated above offering free service at first can be a bad idea as it can attract spammers and abusers.
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  Post #26 (permalink)   02-26-2011, 02:33 AM
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If you want to make something free.. don't. You'll attract the wrong type of people that are just looking for these deals. To check their credibility make it 0.01 USD or something. People that aren't really interested, well just because it said FREE. Will go away..

Also make sure nothing is setup before payment is in. That's something I have never seen.. especially in the hosting industry. It's an open door for hackers that really like to make use of these deals.
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  Post #27 (permalink)   04-01-2011, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by handsonhosting View Post

Free is a dangerous word - it's as bad as 50% off. It can devalue the services that you offer in the first place.

I was thinking about it very long but was not able to formulate it in such short way. Absolutely agree with you.

  Post #28 (permalink)   04-01-2011, 08:15 PM
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Offering free services for such a long time is not at all a good option/offer to give to your customers and when you do this, get ready for the same thing which you are experiencing.

In my opinion, giving a great discount on first payment is far better option than it.
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  Post #29 (permalink)   04-09-2011, 11:52 PM
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To be honest that's just as bad.
It's like walking into a store - it's not buy one get one free, but just get one free.

Offers such as this (free service with no strings attached) or generally $1 offers attracts abusive clients.

You should rethink your marketing strategy.

Originally Posted by Xiest View Post
Thanks for all the tips everyone. Just to be clear, they aren't utilizing the services. THey have an account created, but they never finished payment. I think this may change some answers.

But I will definitely try some 6 months free for 6 months paid offers. Hopefully that will help.

  Post #30 (permalink)   04-14-2011, 01:01 PM
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Giving services for free (even for one single hour) is a bad idea nowadays, because you will have a lot of hackers, of frauders and bad customers that will want just to try their desctructive scripts on a professional hosting server. Some of them do not even have a credit card, or live in a country/region where payments can not be made via internet.
The best way in my point of view is to give them the possibility to sign up for a small amount (for example 0.5 $ for 6 months). By doing this, you have the ability to verify their identity (via PayPal or your payment processor) and are sure that they are not frauders or duplicate accounts.
In addition to this, PayPal has an automatic subscription option. You can ask them, at the moment of the checkout, to authorize you to renew their account automatically
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