H-Sphere Reseller Guide

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Introduction to Billing

 

One of H-Sphere's biggest assets is that it provides fully automated billing for credit card and check payment accounts. This document provides a quick overview of all billing features in H-Sphere.

Plans

Hosting resources and services are sold in plans, each having its own price scheme. Plans operate with such concepts as resources, prices, credit limit, free units, max units, etc.

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Billing Types

Plans in H-Sphere can be commercial and free. Free plans are typically used to host your corporate site or to disable billing for any other reasons. Commercial plans require payments by credit cards or checks. Commercial plans can allow trial hosting for a limited period of time.

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Billing Profiles

For the system to be able to charge customers for the resources and services, each pay user should enter the information about credit cards or check account. Such info is contained in user's billing profile. One billing profile can be used for several accounts. At the same time customers can have multiple billing profiles, but only one active at a time. Trial users don't have billing profiles.

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Prices

The system charges users three types of prices:

  • Setup: only when a user purchases a resource.
  • Recurrent: at the beginning of the billing period.
  • Overlimit: for resources used beyond the booked amount (e.g. disk space, traffic, etc.).

Prices are different between plans and billing periods.

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Limiting Resources

Each plan includes a certain amount of free resources. If need arises, users can buy more, until they reach the maximum possible amount of resources they can have.

Usage of some resources, such as disk space and traffic, can be controlled additionally by resource limits. Users can exceed a resource limit, but every excess unit is charged at the overlimit price.

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Billing periods

You can create many billing periods within a plan for customers to choose from. Billing periods allow you to set discounts for each individual price type - setup, recurrent, and overlimit. The bigger billing period, the bigger the discount.

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Crediting And Debiting Accounts

You can debit (take money from) and credit (put money to) individual accounts. Accounts are mainly credited when you receive check payments from customers or when payments are refunded. Debiting accounts is used less often, usually when you need to charge your customers an extra amount.

You can configure your system to debit accounts automatically on regular basis for services that are not supported by H-Sphere. For instance, you can use H-Sphere to collect payments for antivirus protection that you offer outside the control panel.

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Credit Limit

H-Sphere accumulates user fees up to a certain amount called credit limit. When the credit limit is reached, credit card payment users are charged, and check payment users are barred from buying more resources. Credit limit is set at the plan level and is the same for all accounts in this plan. However, you can enlarge credit limit for individual accounts, and reset credit limit for all users in the system in one go.

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Traffic

Actual use of traffic cannot be physically restricted, but can be regulated by charging higher prices for excessive traffic consumption. At the beginning of the billing period customers pay for traffic they expect to run up. If they go over this pre-paid amount, they are charged for the excess gigabytes at the usage (overlimit) rate at the end of each billing month.

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E-mailing Invoices

When creating plans, you choose whether you want H-Sphere to e-mail invoices to users immediately after they buy resources. With e-mail invoicing on, customers will receive invoices for every single bill entry, e.g. overlimit traffic. With e-mail invoicing off, customers will get no invoices, even at the end of the billing period.

After signup, users can change this option for their accounts.

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Taxes

H-Sphere allows you to apply taxes, such as VAT, to customer charges. Taxes are added to the summary invoice amounts.

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Money Returns

If a customer decides to quit hosting and remove the account after recurrent fees have been paid, he can get the money back under two conditions. One is when a user claims money during the Moneyback period which you can set for each plan. In this case, the user gets back 100% of all payments, including setup and recurrent fees. The other situation is when a user gives up hosting services after the moneyback period has expired. In this case, the user gets back only the recurrent fee for the remaining part of the billing period adjusted for the refund percentage. Overlimit and Setup fees are non-refundable.

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