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Recurring billing and timezones - when do you suspend your customers?
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Recurring billing and timezones - when do you suspend your customers?

Hi,

I got a VPS with a provider listed on LowEndBox. I got a monthly option and clicked the PayPal subscribe button to setup recurring billing. The payment was made on 10 Mar 2015 | 20:55:50 GMT and set to reoccur on 10th April, 20:55 GMT.

Now, 9th April comes around, late in the day, and I get an email saying my VPS has been suspended for non payment. I imagine it was the 10th April in some timezone and it tripped the switch.

It should have waited until 20:55 GMT, surely? Response from the provider:

we can not prevent that.

So, is that true? How do you guys handle this issue?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Change the provider? It's not that they can't do anything to prevent that, is that they don't want to do it.

  • 2 options.

    Update your subscription to pay 1 day early or pay manually.

    I have a 48 hour window from first notice to make sure this does not happen.

    Thanked by 2geekalot jvnadr
  • @AnthonySmith I don't think I can change the date on an active subscription. I'd need to cancel it and then create a new one I think, but yes, that's currently my option. Very annoying! I like your 48 hour window solution a lot better..

  • Awmusic12635Awmusic12635 Member, Provider
    edited April 2015

    Suspension happens at whatever the timezone of the billing system is. These are typically run via cron so when the system time hits the time the cron runs, suspension happens.

    Most billing systems are exact down to the minute in which you ordered, they work by full days.

  • d60eba said: Very annoying! I like your 48 hour window solution a lot better..

    Yep, to be fair it used to be 24 until exactly this sort of problem became apparent :)

  • Base on provider's location.

  • we can not prevent that.

    They can, they just won't. If they won't see things from customer's point of view, I doubt they do well on support and customer satisfaction too. Perhaps time to switch provider.

  • Steven_FSteven_F Member
    edited April 2015

    Once we roll out our billing panel, clients will be suspended 9 AM EST/EDT. This gives them 8 hours to notice and contact us to remedy the situation, before billing is closed for the day.

    Most people just do it at midnight. We will also be sending out an automated phone call 24 hours before hand to give clients notice. Suspension should really be a last resort and some people just need to be reminded! I'm contemplating a text message at suspension.

  • Steven_F said: We will also be sending out an automated phone call 24 hours before hand to give clients notice.

    Because everyone loves automated phone calls. Please. Don't. Do. That!

  • vedran said: Because everyone loves automated phone calls. Please. Don't. Do. That!

    Or at least do it only for people who opt-in. Also SMS is better than a call.

  • Let me take a guess... it was VMBox.co? Same thing happened to me. My payment was due on the 9th and I got a suspension email on the 8th 23:00GMT.

    I emailed with a 'What?' and got the following response. "It's the 9th in the UK, cronjob runs at mid night.". Come on... give a few hours at least.

  • jarjar Provider
    edited April 2015

    This is why I wait a stupid length of time and manually process suspensions. I'm really not out all that much money for letting someone ride 15 days, but there darn sure isn't any right to complain about it when I do. Everyone's circumstances are different, relaxed policies here cut down on support requests and that in itself saves money.

  • TIL: Time zones are hard

  • ehabehab Member
    edited April 2015

    isnt Mr.AnthonySmith a cool guy or what :D

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