New Billing System

We have migrated to a new billing system.

How to Access

The following “billing system landing page” will let you jump to either the old or the new billing system.

In most cases, you will access the new billing system for the first time after you receive an invoice in email. Please note down the email address to which the invoice was sent. Then go to the billing system landing page above, and follow the “New billing system password reminder” link. Use the email address that you noted down above to get a new password in email.

Now you can go back to the “billing system landing page” again and go to the new billing system and log in.

How to Pay Invoices

After logging into the new billing system, go to “My Invoices” to see a list of invoices. Each one should be marked as “paid” or “unpaid”. To pay an unpaid invoice, view it first.

At the top right corner of the invoice, you can now select the payment method (currently: Google Checkout; Paypal; Mastercard or VISA; Will mail payment). After selecting this, just follow the prompts.

To pay using Discover or American Express, please use either Google Checkout or Paypal.

To mail payment by check or money order, please select this option and simply follow the payment instructions that you see (and be sure to write the invoice number on your check or money order).

Note: Even if the invoice says that it will be automatically billed to your credit card, this will happen only if the new billing system has your credit card information. Please see “Saving Credit Card Details” below.

Paying Multiple Invoices

Multiple items billed on the same day should end up on a single invoice. During the billing system migration, you might end up with multiple invoices. If sending a check, you can just send one check for the total, and please write all the invoice numbers on it. If paying online, you can either pay each invoice separately or, if you prefer, use our “add funds” mechanism (see the section “Paying Extra Online” below) to prepay the total, then go to each invoice and pay it from your credit balance.

No matter how many payments you make, everything should end up correct so long as the totals are correct. If you see any discrepancy please notify support@rahul.net.

After August 1, 2009, if you get multiple invoices due on the same day, please contact us and we can probably adjust your settings so all items will be billed on a single invoice.

Saving Credit Card Details

To pay future invoices automatically with Mastercard or VISA whenever they are generated, go to “My Details” → “Change Credit Card Details” in the billing system and enter your credit card information there, if it is not there already.

Please make sure the billing system shows the payment method for each of your billed items as Mastercard or VISA. If not, ask support@rahul.net to set it this way.

From then on, future invoices will be auto-billed to your credit card.

To pay current invoice(s), view the invoice to be paid, select Mastercard or VISA from the pull-down list in the top-right corner of the invoice, and enter your credit card information, and click the submit button. This makes the payment for that invoice.

Annual Billing

In most cases, you can go to “My Services”, then click on your services, and use the upgrade/downgrade option to switch to annual billing. If this doesn't work for you, it might be because we haven't fully deployed this new billing system yet. Simply send us a request via a trouble-ticket and we can switch you from monthly billing to annual billing.

A switch from annual billing to monthly billing may require you to first pay any pending invoices.

Automatic Bill-Payment Services

To use a bill-payment service that periodically mails a check, if you can include an invoice number on each check, that is ideal. However, the following method will also work.

To manage without entering a current invoice number on each check, please include the following two items on the check:

  • Your name or company name as it is listed in our billing system.
  • Any old invoice number, in the form: “old inv 9999”.

This will let us correctly apply the check to your account.

If you don't include the above information, we might accidentally apply your payment to the wrong account.

How to Pay Ahead of Time

If you pay more than the amount due, the billing system will keep track of your excess balance and will use it as needed to pay future invoices. To pay more than the amount due, please follow the instructions below. (Also, please see the Downgrades, Cancellations, and Refunds policy below for how we handle refunds.)

Paying Extra by Mailing Payment

If you are mailing payment, simply mail the amount you wish to pay, even if it is greater than the amount due. Be sure to put the invoice number on your check or money order. The excess payment will be automatically kept as a credit balance and applied to future invoices. You don't need to include a note mentioning the prepayment (but you can if you wish).

Paying Extra Online

This is slightly complicated, but it works! You have an invoice A for some amount, but you want to pay more than that. For example, suppose invoice A is for $15 but you want to pay $90.

Don't pay invoice A just yet.

Instead, go back to your main screen, and look for the “Add Funds” link. Now enter the amount you wish to pay, and specify the method as “Google Checkout” or “Paypal” or “Mastercard or VISA”. This will generate a new invoice B for the amount you wish to pay. Now pay this new invoice B.

In this example, invoice B, the “Add Funds” invoice, is for $90, and you have just paid $90.

Your payment will show up as a credit balance. The billing system will automatically use this credit balance to pay future invoices, but you still must pay existing invoices explicitly.

Now go back to the original invoice A, and pay it. The billing system will let you apply your credit balance to pay the invoice.

In this example, you applied $15 to invoice A, leaving you with a $75 credit balance.

Note: If you accidentally generate an “Add Funds” invoice, you won't be able to delete it yourself. Please use the trouble-ticket system and ask us to delete it and we will be happy to do so.

Note: After paying the “Add Funds” invoice, if you don't go back to invoice A and actually pay it from the credit balance, invoice A will remain unpaid and you will keep getting payment reminders.

Upgrades

Some upgrades can be done automatically within the billing system. If so, they become effective almost immediately and your account will be adjusted and prorated effective the date of the upgrade

If the billing system does not let you do an upgrade from its menus, please send us a request via the trouble-ticket system. In that case please specify whether you want the upgrade to be effective the 1st of the current month or the 1st of the next month. Partial month adjustments are not done manually, so if you request an upgrade effective the 1st of the current month, you get billed at the upgraded rate for the whole month.

Downgrades, Cancellations, and Refunds

Some downgrades can be done automatically within the billing system. If so, they become effective almost immediately and your account will be adjusted accordingly. Any resulting credit balance will be applied to future invoices.

If the billing system does not let you do a downgrade from its menus, please send us a request via the trouble-ticket system. In that case, for services billed on the 1st of each month, a downgrade request received by the 25th of any month becomes effective on the 1st of the following month.

Cancellations are always processed manually and may take a few days. For any service billed on the 1st of every month, we will process any cancellation that reaches us by the 25th of any month to be effective on the 1st of the following month. Any cancellation reaching us on or after the 26th of a month becomes effective not on the 1st of the following month, but a month later. Cancellations must be submitted either via the trouble-ticket system or via email. Please make sure you get an automatic acknowledgement from us, and save the ticket-id or other identifier. If you don't get an automatic ticket-id within a few minutes, it means we didn't get your cancellation request.

Cancellation and downgrade requests done by telephone or by postal mail do not generate a ticket-id and do not cause the entry of your request into our database. Thus they will never get processed.

Some services may be billed on some date other than the 1st of each month. In such cases, a cancellation entered into the system at least five days before the billing date will become effective on the next billing date. For example, if a service is billed on the 27th of each month, a cancellation entered by the 22nd of a month or sooner will become effective on the 27th of the same month; while a cancellation entered by the 23rd of a month will become effective on the 27th of the subsequent month.

In the case of a downgrade or cancellation, or if you simply sent us too much money, if you want us to give you a refund (whether online or in the mail), we will deduct a $15 administrative fee. You can, of course, continue service and use up any credit balance.

If you have an email address or website URL that uses the ”rahul.net” domain (e.g.: ”user@rahul.net” or ”http://www.rahul.net/user/”) and you wish to prevent loss of service when you cancel your account, please see our suggestions on the page Moving Away.

Reporting Problems

The new billing system has a built-in trouble-ticket system. In case of any problems, please try using this trouble-ticket system, as we want to test it and fix any problems in it.

If you run into problems with the built-in trouble-ticket system, please send email directly to support@rahul.net.

Overdue Notices in July 2009

[Note: We are now past the switch-over process mentioned in the next paragraph, so this is no longer a current problem.]

During July 2009, as we migrate each account to the new billing system, a July invoice will be generated for the period 2009-07-01 - 2009-07-31. This invoice will be due immediately, and the billing system will begin sending you overdue reminders a day or two later. Please make arrangements to pay the July invoice at your earliest convenience. If you need more time please let us know by entering a trouble-ticket or by sending email to support@rahul.net. This is a one-time phenomenon only. Subsequent invoices will be generated some weeks ahead of time.

Common Problems

Following are some of the common problems customers have encountered.

Problem: Failed Second Charge

If you are trying to pay two invoices for the same amount each using Mastercard or VISA, the second payment may fail. The credit card gateway tries to protect you against accidental duplicate charges by rejecting a second charge attempt for the same amount. To make the second payment manually, please try again about an hour later. (Actually about fifteen minutes should be enough, but if you misjudge the time, the second charge will fail and cause more frustration. If you wait an hour the second charge should definitely go through.)

Or you can let the billing system try the charge automatically on its nightly run. To let this happen, go to “My Details” → “Change Credit Card Details” and enter your credit card information there, if it is not there already. Then view the invoice to be paid, and set its payment method to “Mastercard or VISA”, and then close that window. On its next nightly run, the billing system will run the charge through and you will get confirming email.

Problem: Google Checkout Delay

Google Checkout goes through several fraud check and verification stages. Completion of payment will usually take a little over 15 minutes, and in some (rare) cases up to about 24 hours. (During this time you can go to your Google Checkout account and cancel the payment.) These processing delays are normal and are no cause for concern.

Problem: Can't Log In

  • Please check to make sure you are accessing the desired billing system. Your login information from the old billing system will not work in the new one. If in doubt, use the Landing Page (see earlier in this document) to jump to the billing system you want.
  • The new billing system uses a login email address (e.g., joe@example.com), not a login name (e.g., joe).
  • The password used by the new billing system isn't necessarily the same one that you used to access the old billing system.
  • When you use the password recovery link in the new billing system, it assigns you a new password. Thus if you use the password recovery link several times, only the most recent password that you get is the correct one.

Problem: Can't save multiple phone numbers

In the “My Details” section, if you wish to enter multiple phone numbers for yourself, enter them separated by blanks. Use hyphens within each. This way you can save two phone numbers. E.g.:

  800-123-1234  408-293-9706

Problem: Can't delete credit card information

Once you save your credit card information into the billing system on the “Change Credit Card Details” page, the billing system will let you replace it but not delete it. If you wish to just remove it, let us know and we can remove it for you. If you are in a hurry, you can replace your credit card information with this test number:

card type = VISA  
card number = 4111 1111 1111 1111
exp date = anything you wish

This is a test credit card number that will always decline a charge.

The please ask us to remove it completely.

Problem: Invoice not automatically billed to credit card

Suppose you have an invoice due on the 1st of next month. You get an email reminder to pay the invoice and you wonder why the billing system didn't automatically bill your credit card.

Automatic credit card billing occurs on the day the invoice is due. But the billing system will send you a reminder about a week ahead of time. This lets you pay the invoice manually by any of the supported methods. For example, you can mail a check, or use Google Checkout or Paypal. If the invoice remains unpaid on its due date, then and only then will automatic billing occur to your credit card, if on file.

Problem: Credit Card Charged Too Many Times

Here is a counterintuitive situation that can occur if you use the “Add Funds” link to pay by credit card.

After you use the “Add Funds' link to pay some amount, that amount becomes a credit balance, and it will be used to pay future invoices. But any already-existing invoices remain unpaid.

The next day, the billing system notices that you have unpaid invoices, and also notices that your credit card information is in the system. It proceeds to bill your credit card for the unpaid invoices.

Now you still have the credit balance, and this is a confusing situation. Why, if you had a credit balance, did your credit card get billed again for the unpaid invoices?

Because this is a limitation in our billing system, and we hope to address it in the future.

Please allow the credit balance to stay, and it will be automatically used by the billing system to pay future invoices.

Solution for next time: Don't use the Add Funds link; go to the unpaid invoice and pay it directly. Or, if you do use the Add Funds link, then after completing that, go to your My Invoices screen and make sure each unpaid invoice get paid from your credit balance.

Problem: Check Mailed on Time but Overdue Warning Received

Incoming checks are processed in a batch approximately once a week. A check that reaches us shortly before its due date might not be processed until a week later, resulting in our billing system sending you an overdue notice. We do not suspend or cancel an account in such a case, since we are aware of our processing schedule. However, you might find the overdue notices annoying. Mailing checks so they reach us at least a week before they are due will prevent these annoying overdue notices.

How the Billing Cycle Works

In the new billing system, the billing cycle for all existing accounts always begins on the 1st of a month. The system will generate an invoice for any month a few weeks ahead of time. For example, for service for Janary 1–January 31, an invoice will be generated around the 10th of the preceding December. The invoice will be due on January 1. You will get a reminder to pay the invoice about a week before it is due. If your default payment type is Mastercard or VISA, then your credit card will be automatically charged on January 1. Otherwise, your payment should be made by the 1st of January. If it's not received by then, you will begin to get automatic reminders beginning on January 2.

Here is a list view of how this works:

  • Billing period: January 1–January 31.
  • Invoice generated: Approximately December 10.
  • Reminder email: About a week before January 1.
  • Payment due: January 1.
  • Credit card automatically billed: January 1.
  • Reminder for unpaid invoice: January 2 onwards.

Customized billing cycle. We can change your billing cycle to begin on any other date in the month, if you so request. For example, you could have your invoices always be due on the 21st of a month. This will result in one pro-rated partial-month invoice, and then all future invoices will cover one month beginning on the 21st. There is no charge for doing this once. A second or subsequent adjustment in the billing cycle will cost you $15 each time.

Opening a Trouble-Ticket

The new billing system includes a trouble-ticket system. You can open a trouble-ticket by going to http://billing-new.rahul.net/new/, logging in, going to “My Support Tickets”, and then clicking on “Submit Ticket”. Even though you opened the trouble-ticket within the billing system, you will get responses from us both by email and as messages within the billing system web site, and you can respond in either manner.

You can also send mail to support@rahul.net for support issues, or open a ticket from within DirectAdmin. These mechanisms are supported too, and you should use the mechanism most convenient to you.

However, for support specifically related to billing issues, we highly recommend creating a trouble-ticket within the billing system, for most efficient and rapid support.

Old Billing System Closing Run and Status

[Note: The billing run described in the next paragraph occurred on schedule.]

On August 1, 2009 the old billing system will make a final closing run and will email you a statement with the subject heading 'Customer Statement' and a trailing line identifying itself as the old billing system. This statement will show you all transactions, including any needed to transfer a balance from the old billing system to the new billing system, up to and including August 1, 2009. If all goes well, the statement generated by the old billing system will show your final account balance as exactly zero. If you notice a nonzero final balance please bring this to the attention of support@rahul.net.

After this the old billing system will remain active for the following purposes.

  1. The old billing system will retain your account history going back several years.
  2. The old billing system will continue to show your dial-up connections, if any, including connection time and disconnect events.
  3. Until the password change facility is migrated to the new billing systems, any password change needed in the Classic Linux environment must be done through the old billing system.

All future financial transactions will occur only in the new billing system.

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