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Need Opinins Please

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a website and it's billed twice yearly.

My last payment for the site was due early December 2006, but because of a situation beyond my control that involved maxed out Blue Cross benefits and a lazy doctor not filling out medical forms for me, I found myself in a really bad financial situation and could not afford to make the payment on my website.

As a result of my not being able to make the payment, my host, 1and1, locked my website after a 14 day grace period.

Locking the website did not delete the contents of the website on their server, but when anyone clicked on my website link they got a 404 Error (page not found) which looked like the website had been deleted.

The only thing I had access to with 1and1 after my account was locked, was the billing area of my host account. I could not "see" my website on the internet. None of the features such as email etc worked. And I had no access to anything but my billing information in my Account area of their website.

At the end of January of this year things improved again financially. My Blue Cross kicked back in and I no longer had to pay out $250.00 per month for my medications, and my doctor finally submitted the medical form and my payments restarted again.

As a result I was able to make my payment on my website. The payment I made was for a 6 month period.

After my website being "offline" for 6 or 7 weeks, 1and1 reinstated my website and all of it's features the first week of February 2007. So once again my website was accessable through the URL and also through my Account page at 1and1's website.

Today I just got a bill from 1and1 for another 6 month period.

Now here is where I need opinions.

Had I been able to make that payment in early December 2006, the payment would have been due again now.

However in my mind my next 6 month payment should be due towards the end of July and not now because I wasn't able to make my payment until the end of January 2007. And while they hadn't cancelled my account and domain, my website was unavailable to me or anyone else for a period of 6 or 7 weeks.

I think they are billing me too early.

What do you think? Should my billing period still be the same as it was before even though they turned off my account for 6 or 7 weeks, or should my billing date be adjusted and moved forward reflective of the date I made my payment and once again had access to my account/website?
post #2 of 17
Hmm i think it shouldnt be the same as before, I think that it should be 6 monthes from when you paid it now.
post #3 of 17
In a perfect world, I think it should be from the date of payment, but I doubt you'll be able to convince your host of that. You'll probably just have to pay it if you want to keep your site up and running.
post #4 of 17
They did keep the contents of your website on their server even while your account was locked out. They could have easily deleted it. I can understand why you are being billed again.
post #5 of 17
Personally, I think they are billing you early. If your website was dark as of mid-December and you paid in full for 6 months at the beginning of February, then you should still have not quite a month paid in full the way I see it.

I would contact your host provider and discuss this with them. They may be able to work with you on the terms. If not, threaten to move your site to a less-expensive server ... my guess is they will be willing to make you a better deal.

ETA: Was there anything in your contract about them keeping your content on their servers for a specific period of time after non-payment?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
Personally, I think they are billing you early. If your website was dark as of mid-December and you paid in full for 6 months at the beginning of February, then you should still have not quite a month paid in full the way I see it.

I would contact your host provider and discuss this with them. They may be able to work with you on the terms. If not, threaten to move your site to a less-expensive server ... my guess is they will be willing to make you a better deal.

ETA: Was there anything in your contract about them keeping your content on their servers for a specific period of time after non-payment?
I did send them an email but their office is closed. I'll try calling them tomorrow and talk to a manager there.

So far as threatening to move to a cheaper host site.... that won't work. They are about the cheapest on the net and they seem to surpass anyone when it comes to bandwidth and space for the prices they charge. Think of them as the "Bill Gates" of web hosts, LOL They have what you need and they know it.

I can't recall what the contract said. I've been hosting with them for a few years and have had several reformats, computer breakdowns and a new computer purchase in that time, so all of their past correspondences to me have long been lost.

My hosting is only about $70.00 per year so a 6 month billing is only about $35.00 US, so it's not like it's a huge amount of money, but every dollar matters when you are on a fixed income. Plus it's the principal of the matter; I don't like to be cheated out of something I'm paying for.

I do see both sides of this and why they would feel that billing me now is appropriate, but I also see that I didn't have access to my website for 6 or 7 weeks. It's not like I was just late in making my payment and I still had the use of my site. They completely cut off my access to it.

I had told them prior to them cutting off my access that I would be able to make the payment at the end of January when my Blue Cross kicked back and freed up a considerable amount of money for me. But they refused to leave my site active until that time.

They had the option of keeping my site on their server and extending me a 6 week grace period to get my payment in when I said I would be able to and continuing to allow me access OR keeping my site on their server and denying me access to it until I made my payment. They chose the later. Either way my site was on their server.

So now I'm being billed for 6 or 7 weeks that I didn't have access to my account...that's how I'm seeing it anyway.
post #7 of 17
I wouldn't want to be charged for that 6-7 week period, either, but it's all going to depend on what you agreed to when you signed up. Hopefully, they'll let it slide and you won't have to pay for those weeks.
post #8 of 17
I can see why they would bill you know as they kept the information on their server, but being that it was down for quite some time, perhaps a phonecall to them will mean they will meet you in the middle on the downtime?
post #9 of 17
I can see it both ways -- they could have destroyed your site and forced you to recreate it, so it's nice that they didn't. But if you talk to them personally, explain that the lapse was due to health issues, and just ask if they can give you a break on the renewal date... surely they'll have mercy.

Did you contact them at the time of the missed payment and explain your situation? If so, that would make it even more likely that they'd at least meet you halfway now.
post #10 of 17
Y'know, I was just thinking... do you suppose they have a monthly or bimonthly payment plan? Maybe it would be easier to pay a smaller amount more often. I know I could never come up with that much at once! That way, if insurance gets snarled up again, you don't have such a big hit...?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post

Did you contact them at the time of the missed payment and explain your situation? If so, that would make it even more likely that they'd at least meet you halfway now.
Yes I did, a few times. I even told them that I would be able to make the payment at the end of January 2007 for sure because by then my Blue Cross would have kicked back in and freed up $250.00 per month. But that didn't seem to matter to them at all. They locked my account and barred access to it until I made the payment at the end of January and they didn't unlock my site that day either, it took them a further week to do that. I had to call them 2 times before it was finally done.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Y'know, I was just thinking... do you suppose they have a monthly or bimonthly payment plan? Maybe it would be easier to pay a smaller amount more often. I know I could never come up with that much at once! That way, if insurance gets snarled up again, you don't have such a big hit...?
No, they only have twice yearly billing.

However, when my medical forms are filled out in a timely manner and my payments not interupted, my finances are "just" adequate for my needs. It's when my doctor shirks his responsibilities with his paperwork that gets things messed up for me.

It very well might get knarled up again. I gave my doctor 3 medical forms to fill out and one has to be done by the 1st of July and it's still not filled out..which means that I could very well find myself in the same situation again. However, I'm giving him another 2 weeks and then I'm going to report him to the College again. None of this waiting a year and stressing out trying to get him to fill them out on my own. I'll let his licensing body deal with him about that.
post #13 of 17
Well, from the sound of things, I'd say they've already cut you as much slack as they're going to, in not dumping your site. It can't hurt to ask them for clarification of their expectations, but I'd be surprised if they were open to any negotiation.

Likely their view is that the term of the contract was not changed, only the level of service for a particular period of time during which they didn't have their money. And if they are the best deal going, there may not be enough margin for them to provide free storage for several weeks, even to a current client, which is what they'd have been doing if the period covered by your payment began after the down time, rather than when the payment was due.

It's a bit of a bummer, but I think I'd be grateful that the only loss was those few weeks, and not all your data, too.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
Well, from the sound of things, I'd say they've already cut you as much slack as they're going to, in not dumping your site. It can't hurt to ask them for clarification of their expectations, but I'd be surprised if they were open to any negotiation.

Likely their view is that the term of the contract was not changed, only the level of service for a particular period of time during which they didn't have their money. And if they are the best deal going, there may not be enough margin for them to provide free storage for several weeks, even to a current client, which is what they'd have been doing if the period covered by your payment began after the down time, rather than when the payment was due.

It's a bit of a bummer, but I think I'd be grateful that the only loss was those few weeks, and not all your data, too.
Had they deleted my site I wouldn't have lost anything but some time reuploading it. I don't use a web template, I build my site on my computer and upload via FTP.
post #15 of 17
Sheesh. If you talked to them at the time and gave them a date for payment, and they still acted this way... hmph. I hate that kind of rigidity. I'm sorry you have to deal with them!
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Sheesh. If you talked to them at the time and gave them a date for payment, and they still acted this way... hmph. I hate that kind of rigidity. I'm sorry you have to deal with them!
LOL, me too. I guess with price you compromise customer service?

Prior to changing to them I used to have my site hosted at bappy.com but I found out that they were horridly expensive and offered next to nothing for website space and bandwidth. I forget how much I was paying, but I think it worked out to about $170.00 CAD per year and I only had something like 50 MB of webspace, and they had terrible trouble with their servers and my site was down fairly often, plus they kept a cache of the site for longer than necessary and if I uploaded a changed file with the same name as one already on my site, the change didn't show up for up to 2 days. Finally after loads of complaints they started allowing us to dump the cache 2 times per 24 hours.

When my host contract came up I looked for a different host and 1and1 came highly recommended because of not only the price, but the amount of webspace and bandwidth. Since I've been hosting with them I've seen the space and bandwidth limits increase dramatically.

I'm overall happy with the hosting, but this early billing is rubbing me the wrong way, especially given the fact that they could very easily have just left me access for that short period of time. Like I said, access or no, my site was still taking up "space" on their server. But because they locked my account I was denied access to my website for a number of weeks. And it's kind of bugging me that they seem to feel I should pay for the time I didn't have access to my website.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
Personally, I think they are billing you early. If your website was dark as of mid-December and you paid in full for 6 months at the beginning of February, then you should still have not quite a month paid in full the way I see it.

I would contact your host provider and discuss this with them. They may be able to work with you on the terms. If not, threaten to move your site to a less-expensive server ... my guess is they will be willing to make you a better deal.

ETA: Was there anything in your contract about them keeping your content on their servers for a specific period of time after non-payment?

I agree with gayef.
contact the provider.
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