I tell my wife at least once a week that in my short but very educational experience as a small business owner one of the most important things I’ve learned is this: Make it easy for people to give you money.
You’ve done all the hard work. Set up the business. Advertised. Made the sale. Got the contract signed. Great. Now just open up your arms and accept the money. Its surprising how difficult some businesses make this.
Here’s a truly remarkable example for you. I have a small client (my very first paying client) who has changed ownership a few times and for various reasons we have decided to part ways, as my business has changed and so has theirs, and it no longer makes sense. Parting on good terms. Anyhow, as a favor I’m helping them to switch all the billing info for the domain, hosting and other services into their name as I had been running them through me. Fair enough.
So I write to them asking simply – What do I need to do to change the contact person and billing information on file for this account?
They write back basically saying to go to a form on their website and follow its directions. Here’s the ingenious form:
Take a moment to check it out. Wow! Here’s my reply to them:
[===> Please enter your reply below this line < ===] Are you serious? That's got to be a joke. That's the most absurd thing I've ever seen just to change the name, email and credit card on file. You'll much sooner just lose our account as getting that thing signed by a notary and sending over a copy of my articles of organization is just WAY overkill for a $100/year hosting account! You've made it so much easier to just switch companies and go to a competitor of yours. I'll change the billing info in the meantime but wow I just wanted to tell you that's really something. In fact I'd like to thank you for the entertainment value of that alone, its truly unbelieveable the amount of info you are trying to obtain and the hoops you want someone to jump through just to keep a customer for you and make sure you can keep collecting the hosting fees! Good luck! Truly, that form is remarkable. I'm going to share it with others as its truly an excellent conversational piece! [===> Please enter your reply above this line < ===]
Truly their thinking that this is a good business move is in error. I’m trying to get/save them a customer! They already did the hard part – they GOT me to be a customer. I’ve been paying them for several years. I don’t think I’ve even contacted them for support in at least 2 years. Its the ideal relationship for them – they do nothing and collect money. I’m just trying to help them continue that.
- They want the form signed and notarized by a public notary.
- They want a certified copy of my firm’s articles of organization.
Wow. Truly amazing. Just wanted to share that.