Our ‘More Than Fair’ Billing Policy
Our ‘more than fair’ policy is such that we will continue to provide our strictly pre-pay services for a period of time if a client has defaulted on their bill (not paid it on time) for the first time, like a courtesy or grace period.
Aaand… sometimes we aren’t that fast to chase clients up for late payment, because debt collection isn’t really our favourite thing.
Most clients on prepay or monthly services who are late paying have just forgotten.
However if clients ‘forget’ to pay us before the due date more than once, we must strictly enforce our terms and conditions. This is because we have staff bills for content and services weekly, which are prepaid. We pay our staff every Thursday, and if we have clients who haven’t paid us, this stuffs us up and we don’t like it. So we are now trying to do everything we can, in a friendly way, to encourage our clients to be good payers and help us provide the well-priced, personal, professional, knowledgeable and just downright excellent service we’re known for.
Currently we don’t offer finance or credit, and can’t ‘bankroll’ our clients for their services in advance, as such. It is up to our clients to keep their accounts current to make sure services are uninterrupted. We agreed that we require 30 days notice to terminate any services. This is requested so that we can get a reasonable notice period to allow us to amend billing and staff hours allocation a month in advance, at our end.
However, we do offer BPoint credit card processing, which allows our clients to effectively ‘finance’ their bills with us by charging them to a credit card. Just contact us with your credit card details and we will put your account through for you on that either permanently or as a one off. We recommend phoning us with the details instead of emailing them as it is more secure. Bpoint is secure and hosted by the Commonwealth Bank.
Consequences of late Webhosting payment
Late or non-payment of invoices not only causes stress at our end but introduces a liability that we do not want. Basically, it costs us in admin time to have to ‘chase you’ for payment; and there is always the chance that we won’t get paid (at all) and have to write off the work we did for you in good faith as a loss.
This is not a position we can accept, and so we have to be fair but firm about this for clients who have ‘forgotten’ to pay us on time more than once and enforce certain consequences.
Webhosting Terms and Conditions
If you have defaulted for the second time (either your credit card on file bounced more than once, or you have paid your hosting or other services invoice late more than once during the last 12 months) these terms and conditions will be enforced.
If you have defaulted before, but it was more than 12 months ago, and you have had on time payment history since then, we may offer a grace period once again, but that is at our discretion.
If your site is hosted with us and you are late with your payments, we will no longer accept the liability of hosting your website files. If you are not paid up in advance, you are basically expecting us to continue to host your website ‘for free’ until you can get around to paying us, but we didn’t agree to do that and we hereby state that we do not offer free hosting as a service.
This is because your website files and emails use valuable space and bandwidth on our servers that cost us money to maintain and can be used for other paying customers. Therefore if your hosting invoice remains unpaid for 30 days or more, we reserve the right to delete all your files and emails. We may have backups stored but this should not be expected. If we do have backups stored and your account has already been deleted, we will charge you to set it up again and restore your website. Emails may be lost as due to privacy, we do not download and back up your emails nor keep a copy of your email account passwords.
This means that if you ever lose or forget your email account password, we can reset it for you to a new password (either we select a secure password for you and tell you what it is, or you tell us what password you would like and we can reset it for you) – but we can’t tell you what the password was. (This is way better security for you, which is why it is done this way!)
In some cases we CAN restore your and emails as well as your website files, although you may lose a week’s worth, depending on the date of the last server backup, and depending on how late you are with payment.
Webhosting default consequences in detail
If your account is not paid by the due date again, (i.e. you default more than once) the following things will happen.
1) You forfeit any special/discount rate, and hosting costs will be increased to our ‘rack rate‘.
WordPress Hosting and Maintenance Package Price Sheet
2) At our discretion, future payments (your ability to stay on as a client) may be accepted by credit card (that we keep on file and process for you monthly) only.
3) If your hosting account is overdue, we will redirect your website to this page or a similar page. Your website account and emails will be suspended until your hosting account is once again up to date.
4) If you stay in default (don’t pay your account), we will only keep your files for 30 days and then delete them (You should not count on us be able to recover them at all after this time.) So if you want to move hosting, you have to be able to access your files AND emails (i.e. to download them and move them to a different web host) so therefore you would need to restore your hosting account with us, including any penalties, so that it is live and then start your new hosting account simultaneously and then copy the files over, then test the new site, and only then you can give us notice to terminate your account with us. (Otherwise your data will be lost!)
5) A late fee penalty of $30 plus GST will be applied to your next hosting account if it is more than 3 days but less than 14 days overdue.
6) You will need to pay an account restore penalty fee of $240 plus GST for us to reactivate your account if your hosting bill remains unpaid after 14 days.
7) If you wish to continue with us as a hosting client, you will need to provide credit card details by phone or email (name on card, expiry date, CSV, card number) and send us an email stating that you have read and agree with the terms and conditions on this page and that you authorise us to debit your card monthly for the charges outlined on this document.
8) If your unpaid invoice is for other services provided by us rather than hosting, but you also have hosting with us, we reserve the right to suspend your website until your account is up to date.
9) These terms and conditions should ideally never have to be read, as we wrote them to protect us from the liability type of client that no business can afford to have. So, if you are reading these because you are experiencing any consequences such as an interruption to services, please know that if all our clients just paid on time we wouldn’t have to write any of this in the first place, let alone enforce it. While we unfortunately still have bad payers once in a while, we have to make these rules. Our fees and charges are fairly low in terms of comparing them to other business costs, such as rent, staff, plant, or other non-web forms of marketing. Clients should pay our fees as a priority, because we are getting your leads, and leads keep your business running.
SEO, Consulting and PPC Terms and Conditions
As our clients have all been informed, there is a 30 day notice period to stop services if you are not on a contract. If you are on a contract that has a fixed term to it, such as our commencing SEO 4 month minimum time-frame, you are liable to pay for the full 4 months before you can give us the 30 day notice if you wanted to stop services after that for any reason.
Our services are strictly in advance, so late payment by clients causes us stress and sometimes we even need to arrange finance to cover payroll for staff working on our client’s sites, Ad campaigns, and SEO.
We reserve the right to charge 10% finance per month for late payments, and 20% per month if the account is paid more than 7 days late, and add that charge to the next month’s bill. We reserve the right to do this rather than stopping services, because we need to give our staff 30 days notice to stop services, plus, often this is an oversight or a technical glitch from our clients and we don’t want to cause the performance of our work, carefully layered up over a repeating monthly work schedule, to be disrupted. Our SEO clients are clients we know personally, have consulted and worked quite closely with, and we like to treat them well! Hence, we will continue services but charge finance penalties.
To further explain why: Our SEO services have a monthly cycle which commences with content creation, starting on your rollover date. By the time your bill is as little as 3 days late, we have already staff costs due to our writing team, who have already started work on content for you for that month.
Think of this: 3 days late is actually 10% late. 6 days late is 20% late. It doesn’t take many days of late payment for us to have a big staff/payroll liability, and that’s a liability we don’t want, are not in a position to accept, and didn’t agree to!
The first time an SEO client is late, if they are a good client who’s been with us for months or years, of course we usually waive this and just ‘deal with it’ internally. However if the client is a serial late payer, or if the amount is large, we reserve the right to charge for finance at 10% of the month’s bill. We also reserve the right to suspend a client’s site and pause their campaigns if we are owed more than $1500 for longer than 14 days or if the client has already defaulted before and we have already allowed them one ‘more than fair’ grace period, and if we are also hosting their site.
Late payment voids guarantee
We offer a performance guarantee for all our SEO packages – that they are guaranteed to raise your website rankings for the keywords that we have chosen together (that we both agreed have relevance x traffic x ‘doability’ within your budget and time-frame). If your rankings don’t go up by any chance, we work for free until they do. Unfortunately, late payment voids your guarantee. This is because the agreement made for a service guarantee was made with a client who agreed to our terms and conditions and has now broken them.
We provide excellent service with personal ‘concierge level’ support and timely response to any enquiries, and take our responsibility for your website very seriously. We like to build lifetime relationships with clients – we just don’t want ‘liabilities’. So if you want to stay on as a client, we only ask that you keep your account up to date.
If you do your bit (keep your account up to date) and we do our bit (create content on your website, promote your site through SEO, Podcast and Video creation services, backlinking and promotion, and manage your Adwords account) – then we promise that you will get the benefits of the leads and customers that our work will create for you, because we guarantee our work!
It’s that simple!
Worst case, we reserve the right to take legal action to recover unpaid bills. We realise that there are businesses who take advantage of the difficulty and cost associated with recovering outstanding debts through collection services or through legal action. We have never yet used a debt collection agency, but we reserve the right to do so, and also to register your business as a bad payer on CreditorWatch, a publicly accessible website. If it ever comes to this (it hasn’t yet!) – this could affect your credibility and trust in the market place.