February 17, 2010

Why do people not think?

Have these people never heard of budget planning?

Imagine the following scenario. I'm sat at a table in a bar somewhere, and the bartender knows that he should pull a fresh pint and bring it to my table when I've finished the one I'm drinking. That is, unless he's been told that I didn't want any more. Now suppose that this system has been working for several years already without a hitch, but one day I go into the bar, drink as much as I want, but when the bartender brings me a fresh pint, I say “Thanks, but I've had all I want.”

What does the bartender do with the pint he just pulled for me while working under the assumption that I wanted another one? All he can do is pour it down the sink, which is a huge waste.

Webhosting is a similar situation. When I host a site and manage mail for a client, I have to pay the registrar for the year's domain registration in advance and I have to pay my own provider for webhosting in advance.

In order to avoid nasty surprises, I notify clients that their webhosting will soon be up for renewal 8 weeks and then again 4 weeks before the renewal date. I then send the bill 2 weeks before the renewal date. In both the reminders that are sent out before the bill, I ask the client to let me know if they don't intend to renew before the day I send out the bill.

Imagine my frustration, then, when a client who knows that he or she is no longer going to need my services sees the first notification, 8 weeks before the renewal date, and says nothing. The second notification, 4 weeks before the renewal date, goes by and they still say nothing. By this time I've already paid for the domain registration and and I've paid my own hosting bill. Only after I've sent the bill do they wake up and tell me that they've gone out of business and that they no longer need hosting.

Not one, but three clients have pulled this stunt on me in the space of a week. On top of that, there's another one I'm keeping an eye on, who I'm almost certain is going to stiff me the same way.

How am I supposed to do any form of budget planning in these conditions? Some of my equipment here is getting old and beginning to show it. I need to replace some of it and I was banking on some of this income to be able to do so. Obviously, there's no way I can spend the money before I have it and I don't have any credit facilities, so this means putting off the purchases. It also means that I'm out of my own pocket with the expenses I've already had. All I can do is pour the beer down the sink having pulled it for these clients. It's extremely annoying.

There's not a lot I can do about this so, really, I'm just ranting at how inconsiderate people can be. I'll just have to redouble my efforts and find new customers to replace those that I've already lost and probably will lose in the near future.

Grrrrrrrrr........

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