Welcome back to the crazy world of running a small hosting business. This time I am referring back to my column from the end of December.http://www.webhostingresourcekit.com/121.html
I am totally stunned how some people are doing business. This one customer of mine had not paid a single bill on time for the whole year. I finally gave him the boot and canceled his account with 9 days of notice. Two days after I had send out the cancellation I received a check from this customer but I did not wanted to go back to this whole mess. I returned the letter to him next business day and also send him an email. I did not hear from the customer. I monitored the DNS server settings for his domain but nothing changed. At 6.00 AM the second last day of my deadline I send him a reminder email about the coming account cancellation. Tuesday – December 21, 2004. My deadline would expire at 6.00 PM that day. At 2.00 PM that afternoon I received an email from a web designer asking for an extension. He asked for 4 more days. He seemed to be hired at the last minute (poor guy). I declined and let him know that I am not going to be able to do this.
5.20 PM – my phone rang off the hook. My customer was on the line but I let it go into voicemail. He called 2 more times but never left a message. Later that evening I removed the website from my server (after making two backups). Finally. This customer from hell was off my back. Well, so I thought. I got contacted 3 times by the web designer asking for stuff and helped him out. Then I received an email asking if I would have a backup of the email Inbox. The customer had always left his email on the server (he had been advised several times that the server is not a safe place to store the email). I was stunned. Can you believe that a business man knowing that his hosting account will be turned off leaves his email on the server the account is on? I could not believe it. I emailed him the backup file that contained the Inbox and haven’t heard back since then.
Anyway – this experience really made me think. There are plenty of great business people out there. They can be specialists in their field. But many fail to realize that there is a reason that we have car mechanics, plumbers and electricians for a reason. They pick up where the average Joe has to let go. And being a web host or web designer is being a specialist in this field. If the customer decides he knows things better, he might have to pay the bill for it one day.
Until next time ….