Re: [bitfolk] How much should BitFolk allow you to owe us be…

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Author: Paul Tansom
To: users
Subject: Re: [bitfolk] How much should BitFolk allow you to owe us before we suspend your service?
** Andy Smith <andy@???> [2018-06-19 16:59]:
> So, how can we improve the process?
> The problem with the existing procedure here is that after the
> notification of exceeding limits has been sent, there is no
> follow-up until the end of the measuring period. In a case such as
> this where usage is very high, the data transfer quota can be
> exhausted quickly and then you've got several weeks where it can
> continue at the same rate, building up a huge overage bill.
> In my view what should have happened is that once some level of
> outstanding bill was reached without any response by the customer to
> say that this was expected and should continue, BitFolk should have
> turned off their network to limit further expense. At least until
> they respond to discuss what they want to do about it.

> Should the amount actually be zero, i.e. as soon as you go over the
> limit (despite warnings etc) your network is suspended until you
> acknowledge that you will pay your overage bill?

> Something must be put in place to try to avoid this ever happening
> again, so I would appreciate your thoughts on how it should work.
> Again, rather than just saying it is the customer's fault (no one is
> arguing that it is not the customer's responsibility), please try
> to imagine yourself in the situation where your VPS is running up an
> overage bill and you haven't seen any of the emails or seen the
> Cacti graphs etc. It is a risk to BitFolk. What would you want done
> about it?
> Finally, I should mention that there are currently two customers who
> almost every month run up overage bills that are 10 to 20 times
> their monthly regular bill. They have done so for a long time; they
> have already been advised to commit to more in order to reduce their
> bills, but they keep paying the overage bills. So while overage is
> quite rare across the customer base, for a few customers it is the
> norm. Whatever is decided may involve me forcing those customers to
> change the way they do things.

** end quote [Andy Smith]

OK, I'll start the bidding. I have no idea of your customer base, but believe
you have personal as well as business customers. So I would suggest a
personally hosted server would prefer a known quantity of no overcharge, whereas
a business customer would prefer not to be cut off, at least for a certain
amount. I'm not quite sure how much complication this would have, but may be
worth considering (along with a configurable option to adjust this - which I'm
sure you mentioned and I've snipped to keep the quoting shorter!).

Amount wise, how practical is it to work with a percentage of the included
transfer - say 10%? This means that on a base package (£89.90 annual cost with
1,000 GB transfer) you have a risk of 100 GB transfer costing 100 * £0.06, so
£6. 10% extra should cover the usual 'oops' overuse with a bill that isn't too
horrendous in relation to the annual cost. It would equate to £72 per year if
it happened every month, which is approaching double the annual cost - if that
puts what initially seems a small figure into context.

Having just thrown those figures out, that probably isn't unacceptable across
the board. I'm tempted to suggest 20%, but that is largely based on the figures
from your two customers, and awkward though it may be, I'm reluctant to suggest
basing something round two outlying cases.

If you are wanting to be radical about it you could include a clause that
automatically bumps up the charged transfer amount after three consecutive
overcharge months, possibly back down after three consecutive under usage if
you feel the need (that possibly only being for those that have been bumped up
rather than a general rule).

Right, queue somebody with a completely different suggestion ;-)

Paul Tansom | Aptanet Ltd. | | 023 9238 0001
Vice Chair, FSB Portsmouth & SE Hampshire Branch |
Registered in England | Company No: 4905028 | Registered Office: Ralls House,
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