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Hetzner billing cycle
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Hetzner billing cycle

ditotoditoto Member

I've been Hetzner's customer for 3 years now.
Now I want to get another server as the specs if better than what I have right now for the same price.
What's the best time to get one (from the SB)?
I'm pretty confused about the billing.
I got my bill every 2nd day every month, so today I have to make a decision whether to order the new one or postpone the next 2-3 weeks.
They have 14 days trial, do I pay right after that?
Or until the end of the month?
I try to make the billing day as close as before.

Comments

  • what specification, ram,core hhd or ssd or nvme ssd, server location.

  • I bought one AX41-NVMe last night. Now I'm waiting for the invoice to see whether I could successfully pay by PayPal.
    Their cancellation period is "30 days to the end of the month" .
    The earliest possible cancellation date would show on server page. So It looks like you could buy the new server a few days before cancellation date to migrate files.
    I'm new to their dedicated services, just my understanding.
    Check this page to see if it helps:
    https://docs.hetzner.com/accounts-panel/accounts/payment-faq/

    Automatic billing for all dedicated root and cloud servers, as well as colocation products takes place on a set day each month. After the first order, you receive the invoice the day after you receive your product.

  • See: https://docs.hetzner.com/general/general-terms-and-conditions/30-days-to-the-end-of-the-month

    Essentially (from my understanding + experience), you get 14 days to "test the waters" with whatever server you order (the "satisfaction guarantee"). If you don't like it or find it unsuitable, you're free to cancel without any obligation in terms of costs. Of course please be sensitive and don't abuse this very nice trial option that they provide.

    Separately, on the billing side, there is a single invoice date on which an invoice will be raised for your current dues. Depending on date of various servers ordered, some may be invoiced for past usage and some may be invoiced in advance/prepaid fashion. But do note that in case something is owed but not yet invoiced, it will be invoiced in the following bill cycle.

    Here's what I think:

    1. Lets say I get invoiced on the 7th.
    2. I order server on 5th.
    3. Invoice for newly ordered server will be raised on 7th (assuming you will be happy with it).
    4. If you cancel (before 5th + 14 = 19th) then there is no cost, but since you've presumably paid for it, it will be credit adjusted in the next invoice.
    5. If you ordered on after the 7th, the actual amount/invoice will only show up on the next invoice (next month 7th) (and I think the typical invoice will only invoice a given server+addons for one month at a time per invoice).

    These dates will vary based on your own account specifics of course.

    I'm not entirely sure on how early you can cancel whatever server - whether it is always rounded up to (minimum 30 days) to end of month or whatever described in the above linked document.

    Perhaps @Hetzner_OL can help us understand the earliest cancellation date logic a little bit better.

    Also tagging @Falzo and maybe @angstrom who seem to natively understand these German accounting principles and procedures much better and can possibly explain it for us lay folk

    Thanked by 1angstrom
  • FalzoFalzo Member

    @nullnothere hehe, I would say you laid it out quite good. and imho it's rather uncommon how Hetzner is handling it, most german providers just stick to their contract terms and cancellation periods.

    overall what they are doing is consolidating on an individual monthly billing date. in your example I think a newly ordered server on 5th might not be billed on the 7th directly because of the 14 day trial period, but I am not 100% sure on that one.

    however if you keep a server as intended and don't cancel it, it's to be paid for from the 5th on, so the 14 days are not free! only if you cancel your order before it will cost nothing.

    for the cancellation: the 30 days till end of month is more a phrase in the terms to have them secure just in case. practically it works out to be more like 'till the end of what has already been paid for'. (speaking of dedis, not cloud or addons/licenses)

    example: your billing date is the 7th and your ordered a server on 21st. on 7th of august you'll get the box invoiced from 21st of july til 21st of august.
    if you would cancel on 8th of august it would only be possible earliest to the 21st, because that's already billed for.
    if you would want to cancel after 21st you could do so immediately, or pick any other date after it because it's not paid for yet and you will be invoiced pro-rated for the days left over on the next 7th anyway.

    TL;DR; to have the option to cancel easily at any time order new service shortly after your billing date ;-)

    Thanked by 2angstrom nullnothere

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  • ditotoditoto Member

    @hiphiphip0 said:

    The Ryzen lineup looks yummy, but I don't wanna pay the setup fee. I eyeballed a 2013 6 core xeon instead.
    I still don't understand the "30 days to the end of the month" policy.
    The latest cancellation date is today.
    3 days ago I made the attempt to get a new one, but the new one got so many problems, so I canceled it.

    This is the document that I don't understand, in this document, I canceled in 1 july, and it will be effective on the 30th, so the cancelation is not immediate.
    But if I cancel it in robot, the server will be wiped on the selected date.

    Essentially (from my understanding + experience), you get 14 days to "test the waters" with whatever server you order (the "satisfaction guarantee"). If you don't like it or find it unsuitable, you're free to cancel without any obligation in terms of costs. Of course please be sensitive and don't abuse this very nice trial option that they provide.

    I understand this, so 14 days to test, let say today I ordered it, the billing will start 1 September or 14 september?

    Separately, on the billing side, there is a single invoice date on which an invoice will be raised for your current dues. Depending on date of various servers ordered, some may be invoiced for past usage and some may be invoiced in advance/prepaid fashion. But do note that in case something is owed but not yet invoiced, it will be invoiced in the following bill cycle.

    This prepaid policy too. If I cancel the service tomorrow (my billing date), do I receive another invoice for august?
    Is it prepaid or postpaid?
    Some say (in another forum) that is postpaid, can't remember the 1st time I pay. But from my recollections, I paid after the trial period, not sure if it's right after the 14th or the end.
    So my billing for tomorrow will be for the time used in July, not August.
    If it is prepaid, then the 1st-month usage (plus trial) is free, is it not?

    Here's what I think:

    1. Lets say I get invoiced on the 7th.
    2. I order server on 5th.
    3. Invoice for newly ordered server will be raised on 7th (assuming you will be happy with it).
    4. If you cancel (before 5th + 14 = 19th) then there is no cost, but since you've presumably paid for it, it will be credit adjusted in the next invoice.
    5. If you ordered on after the 7th, the actual amount/invoice will only show up on the next invoice (next month 7th) (and I think the typical invoice will only invoice a given server+addons for one month at a time per invoice).

    Ok, the new server will be billed on the 7th next month, understood.
    But what about the old server?
    If the new server starts at 7, and I cancel the old server after 7, let's say on the 10th, do I receive an invoice for the last month, or do I pay for the current month (full amount)?
    Some say I will be billed for the time used, so for 3 days only, so the amount will be 3/30, I don't know if this right.
    I found it confusing because it's rather unusual, no hosting service do this, usually, they made me pay for a whole month no matter if I use it only for 3 days.

  • ditotoditoto Member

    @Falzo said:

    example: your billing date is the 7th and your ordered a server on 21st. on 7th of august you'll get the box invoiced from 21st of july til 21st of august.

    So this means it's postpaid, so my invoice tomorrow will be for july, not august right?

    if you would cancel on 8th of august it would only be possible earliest to the 21st, because that's already billed for.
    if you would want to cancel after 21st you could do so immediately, or pick any other date after it because it's not paid for yet and you will be invoiced pro-rated for the days left over on the next 7th anyway.

    TL;DR; to have the option to cancel easily at any time order new service shortly after your billing date ;-)

    Just to be clear, my contract date is on the 31st. The bill came on 2nd (tomorrow).
    3 days ago I select the cancelation date, the earliest possible is 1 august, so I assume this is because I already paid for July (with the prepaid concept in mind).

    Or with the postpaid concept, if I cancel it 5 days after invoice, I expect another invoice for august, meaning I pay double next month.

    I just wanna make sure if I pay tomorrow I don't wanna have to pay again on the 14th, or double next month, I expect payment schedule in a similar order.

  • FalzoFalzo Member
    edited August 1

    first things first: why don't you look at your last invoice, it mentions clearly which dates you already paid for.

    assuming you ordered a server on a 31st (and that wasn't yesterday) you most likely paid for that with your last invoice already till 30th of july.

    your invoice tomorrow then will say you have to pay for 31st july - 30th august.

    and as soon as that is invoiced also your earliest cancellation date for that one will jump to 30th august. so while you can put in your cancellation 5 days after that invoice you won't be able to get rid of it earlier.

    there are no double payments. however, as said above, you can only cancel immediately what you haven't been invoiced for otherwise there will be a cancellation period (based on the order date).

    UltraVPS.eu KVM in US/UK/NL/DE: 15% off first 6 month | Netcup VPS/rootDS - 5€ off: 36nc15279180197 (ref)

  • ditotoditoto Member

    @Falzo said:
    first things first: why don't you look at your last invoice, it mentions clearly which dates you already paid for.

    assuming you ordered a server on a 31st (and that wasn't yesterday) you most likely paid for that with your last invoice already till 30th of july.

    your invoice tomorrow then will say you have to pay for 31st july - 30th august.

    (01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020) so this means I prepaid it for July.

    and as soon as that is invoiced also your earliest cancellation date for that one will jump to 30th august. so while you can put in your cancellation 5 days after that invoice you won't be able to get rid of it earlier.

    there are no double payments. however, as said above, you can only cancel immediately what you haven't been invoiced for otherwise there will be a cancellation period (based on the order date).

    Right now I already selected the 14th august just to be safe as the cancelation date, so if I pay tomorrow's bill, do I have another bill at the 14th (to prepay the new server after the trial period over)? Or it will start at the end of month? (this means the new server 1st month is free)

    Should I set the cancelation date tomorrow so I don't have to pay for august and start the new server now (assuming i would have to pay in the 14th day).

  • FalzoFalzo Member
    edited August 1

    it's best put like that - it's a combination of prepaid and postpaid, depending on the difference between order date and billing date. order date close before billing date -> more prepaid. order date short after billing date -> more postpaid

    they'll always invoice a full month for the uncancelled service anyway.

    @ditoto said: Right now I already selected the 14th august just to be safe as the cancelation date,

    this is a good option and your bill then will show a prorated amount for 1st-14th only.

    so if I pay tomorrow's bill, do I have another bill at the 14th (to prepay the new server after the trial period over)?

    no. your next bill will arrive on the next 2nd and it will charge you for either one month of the new server (if you keep it) from whenever you ordered that one or if you cancel the order within 14 days nothing for the new server will appear.
    (again, the up to 14 days are only free, if you cancel the order, keepers have to be paid for in full from day 1)

    if you decide to cancel your cancellation of the old box after tomorrow you will then be billed for your old server from 14th-31st and the next 1st-30th on that next invoice (sep 2nd).

    @ditoto said: Should I set the cancelation date tomorrow so I don't have to pay for august and start the new server now (assuming i would have to pay in the 14th day).

    one can kind of play around with that by putting in a cancellation shortly after the invoice date to maybe spare a few days, as you can cancel the cancellation and will be invoiced prorated on that one afterwards anyway.

    however if you set the cancellation date for tomorrow, the server will be gone tomorrow, so that does not make much sense. you probably want a few days to test the new box properly. I'd rather put in a reasonable date instead of risking anything here.

    also ordering the new box I'd rather do after tomorrow, though I think even if you order it today, it won't appear on the invoice tomorrow, because it's in the 14 day period. so first month will most likely only appear on the september invoice, though this would also hold the second month then if ordered on the 1st (see above)
    however, as mentioned before on that I am not entirely sure about the invoicing during initial 14 days, haven't ordered one in a while.

    TL;DR; there will be no 2nd invoice in between. there is nothing free if you keep it, what's open might only be invoiced later.

    Thanked by 1nullnothere

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  • @Falzo - thanks for your detailed and patient write up. I think I mostly get it (and irrespective, I'm quite comfortable with Hetzner's way of billing).

    In essence, I think the way the cancellation works is as follows:

    1. Post invoice generation, your earliest cancellation date is such that it will be AFTER the already invoiced period (i.e. typically Hetzner will not refund any money - so you can only cancel based on the alread paid for period).
    2. Pre invoice generation, there is a minimum 30 day period initially (I think this is key) - i.e. during your first service invoice period. After you've had the server for > 1 month (or maybe more?), you can cancel such that (1) above is satisfied.

    Irrespective, there will be a follow up invoice if there is any unbilled/uninvoiced amount (and I think this too will come on the standard "invoice date", i.e. once a month). There maybe a way to "close" your dues if you really want to settle everything immediately and not wait for the bill generation date.

    All in all, this is (IMHO) very convenient for the end-customer (esp. longer term steady ones) as they can be sure that there's only ONE invoice a month.

    Just to compare, say with Netcup (maybe also MyLoc and likely others), they will raise separate invoices per order (I think maybe if you order multiple servers at the same time via a single checkout/cart, it may be classified as a single invoice/order). It is definitely painful to deal with once you cross a number of services with them. Hetzner in comparison "unifies" the services into a single invoice and is very "business" friendly in that sense.

    @Hetzner_OL - it'll be great if some of these kinds of questions (raised in this thread) are captured along with example answers in your doc/wiki for future customers to get much better clarity. I'm sure these are fairly standard issues many customers raise.

  • ditotoditoto Member

    @Falzo said:
    this is a good option and your bill then will show a prorated amount for 1st-14th only.

    I see so i would only pay up to the cancelation date.

    so if I pay tomorrow's bill, do I have another bill at the 14th (to prepay the new server after the trial period over)?

    no. your next bill will arrive on the next 2nd and it will charge you for either one month of the new server (if you keep it) from whenever you ordered that one or if you cancel the order within 14 days nothing for the new server will appear.
    (again, the up to 14 days are only free, if you cancel the order, keepers have to be paid for in full from day 1)

    Yes, I understand there are no free 14 days.

    if you decide to cancel your cancellation of the old box after tomorrow you will then be billed for your old server from 14th-31st and the next 1st-30th on that next invoice (sep 2nd).

    Ok if i cancel tomorrow the earliest cancelation date would be 15th, not 1st august because I presumably paid till 14th.

    also ordering the new box I'd rather do after tomorrow, though I think even if you order it today, it won't appear on the invoice tomorrow, because it's in the 14 day period. so first month will most likely only appear on the september invoice, though this would also hold the second month then if ordered on the 1st (see above)
    however, as mentioned before on that I am not entirely sure about the invoicing during initial 14 days, haven't ordered one in a while.

    That's what worried me, if I order the new one today, the next bill will be double (for this month and the next). If that's the case then it would be reasonable to order the new one near the end of the old.

  • @ditoto said: That's what worried me, if I order the new one today, the next bill will be double (for this month and the next).

    I think (please verify) it is safe to assume that on any invoice a maximum of 1 month of service for a server is billed. So your invoice will have some servers billed into the future (service end date), and some billed only to the past (at the point of invoice generation). Ultimately you will be billed on a pro-rated basis for each day of use of your server in case you cancel it.

    In terms of balancing your cash flow, I think it is safe to assume that you're not going to be double billed in one month for 2 months of service.

    This flexibility and reasonably minimal lock-in is very customer friendly and I wish other (German) providers used something like this (esp. if you have multiple services with different service end dates in a month assuming monthly billing).

  • ditotoditoto Member

    @nullnothere said:
    I think (please verify) it is safe to assume that on any invoice a maximum of 1 month of service for a server is billed. So your invoice will have some servers billed into the future (service end date), and some billed only to the past (at the point of invoice generation). Ultimately you will be billed on a pro-rated basis for each day of use of your server in case you cancel it.

    So are you saying that if I were to get a new one on the 5th, I will be invoiced:
    5aug-31aug + 1aug-30sept (almost double)
    or only for the upcoming September, since the initial one is less than 30 days.

  • @ditoto said: So are you saying that if I were to get a new one on the 5th, I will be invoiced:

    5aug-31aug + 1aug-30sept (almost double)

    From what you mentioned earlier:

    ditoto said: I got my bill every 2nd day every month

    So you're billing date is 2nd (assume). On 2nd whatever services you have are billed as is.

    You ordered a service on the 5th (AFTER you invoice is generated). So this is a post paid service (as in you will pay for it in the future).

    Next month 2nd, your invoice will have a bill for the service from 5th of previous month to 5th (of that month when your invoice is generated).

    You will not be billed 2 consecutive months for the same service in one shot (normally).

    Essentially on the bill generation date you will be billed for whatever service is active in your account for the full period of that service (i.e. 30 days from the start of the service). If you had any cancellations, those are billed pro-rated till the actual end date of the service.

  • ditotoditoto Member

    @nullnothere said:
    Next month 2nd, your invoice will have a bill for the service from 5th of previous month to 5th (of that month when your invoice is generated).

    You will not be billed 2 consecutive months for the same service in one shot (normally).

    Aah. so the next bill would cover from 5 aug to 5 sept, so I will mostly post paying this moving on. I understand now.

    So I will just get the new one near the cancelation date to reduce the damage.

  • FalzoFalzo Member
    edited August 1

    @ditoto said: Aah. so the next bill would cover from 5 aug to 5 sept, so I will mostly post paying this moving on. I understand now.

    this! that's what I meant with you will always pay a full month for servers that are not cancelled. and as @nullnothere understood correctly the earliest cancellation date will adjust to that end date of each server during the day the invoice is issued.

    only you have been now before your next invoice you could pick a free date after 31st of july for your actual box. tomorrow that will change then ;-)

    @ditoto said: That's what worried me, if I order the new one today, the next bill will be double (for this month and the next).

    I think yes, this could be the case but only for new orders, because I think they will not bill the new one tomorrow already but wait out the 14 days and then bill 1st aug to 31st aug + 1st sep to 30th sep together on 2nd of sep.

    @Falzo said: TL;DR; to have the option to cancel easily at any time order new services shortly after your billing date ;-)

    :D :D :D

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  • ditotoditoto Member

    ok thank you guys for clearing this up.

    Thanked by 1Falzo
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