In my editorial column from October 8, 2004 I wrote about one of my own customers and my very first experience with a non-paying customer. Well, we’re back where we were. The customer’s hosting fees were due last Friday and he failed to pay. I had invoiced him at the end of November and he failed to pay.
This time I am less hesitating. I usually go the extra mile for my clients. They need help with something and if I have the resources and time – we got stuff done and everyone benefits from situations like that. In this case I am loosing money. All the additional time needed for billing and invoicing writing another reminder is just not covered by a below $10.00 web hosting account and occasional web design. I am running a business. I am not the bank financing this customer’s operations. I am not the Salvation Army helping someone needy. This client is not having financial problems, too. So, with all the respect to the business relationship we had for over a year – this is where I draw the line. He never made a single payment on time. It’s just not worth it and I have to protect my own interests.
So, this customer received the account cancellation this morning. He has 6 business days to move his website somewhere else. This event made me remember how I met this customer and what he told me about his web host at that time. Things sound very familiar. I bet something similar happened at his old web host.
Anyway – somehow I am glad I had the experience from the last incident. It is easier now to make such a tough decision. I am going to loose some income. I hate loosing a customer. I hate being forced to do this. But sometimes you gotta be tough and make decisions that are not very popular. Everyone will hit those kind of points in business life. It’s up to you how you steer through these rough moments. I decided to look out for myself and for my business.
Until next time ….