Billing Compliance Enforcement
September marks another huge month in which we’re cleaning up some of our old “small business ways and means” and replacing them with industry standards, in every facet of our business. But before we get into that, as the changes are both service related and product related, we would again like to remind you to sign up for the big webinar we have on September 5th:
ExchangeDefender New Stuff Webinar
Wednesday, September 5th. Noon EST
“I cannot urge you enough to attend the webinar and see the changes and improvements that are coming to our products and services. You truly need to understand the structure and the vision behind it because we’re doing the same thing we’ve always done: respond to client requests and how the marketplace dictates what people will pay for and how. So I urge you to please attend the webinar and hear directly from me what we’re up to and how you can run into fewer issues and make more money with us.”
None of the following policies are new or designed to impact our clients in good standing.
Our billing policy has not changed in 20+ years, but we’ve never enforced it fully, and we believe it won’t be an issue for anyone. So for the record:
– We need a 30 day notice on any services you wish to remove from ExchangeDefender (and any of our products, sites and services). We tend to be fairly flexible with this and will continue to do so.
– Any services cancelled within the last 2-3 business days of the 1st of the month will be billed on the 1st and there will be no refunds. See the 30 day policy above.
– Service cancellations will be disabled within the last 12 hours of the month. Our staff will not be able to process them via phone/tickets, they will be locked out as well.
The reason we are suddenly enforcing this policy is because we’ve noticed a significant amount of fraud related to people gaming first/last of the month (where you cancel the service on the last of the month, skip the billing cycle that runs on the 1st, then setup the new service on the 1st and get a free month). If our enforcement of our billing policies seems unfair please keep in mind that we do give you free service from the moment you sign up for the service until the 1st of the month. The other reason is that we cannot process changes and update invoices within hours of the amounts being submitted to the credit card processor.
Late fees will also affect a small but persistent contingent of our client base that is trying to game and hide from what are fair business practices of paying the vendor. Because we’ve never charged late fees we have a few dozen clients that hide, provide fake credit card numbers or otherwise try to get as much free service as possible. Payment for all services is due on the 1st. If the invoice isn’t paid by the 5th (12:01 AM) invoice will automatically get a $39 late fee. If the invoice remains unpaid by the 15th (12:01 AM) the services will be suspended and subject to other legal remedies, along with an additional $69 re-connection fee.
These policies have not been enforced as a matter of personal courtesy we extended to our partners during the economic collapse of 2006-2009. Today, they require personal interaction and activity by a member of our staff, and every unpaid invoice and billing ticket about not cancelling the service in a timely manner is costing us (and our partners) which isn’t fair.
As mentioned above, these policies will not be an issue for anyone but a small handful that has been abusing the system. As a security company we are constantly being audited and leaving open invoices, not charging, late fees, policies that aren’t being enforced and so on are constantly flagged by our accounting, legal and even compliance auditors so we’re being forced to get a grip on everything. Thankfully, it won’t be much of an issue and we look forward to using freed up resources to deliver a better service to all of our clients.