Ugh…I have been in this position before, but never to this extent.  This past week, I had to turn off a customer’s website because of non-payment.

As a part-time freelancer, I still have some income from freelancing dedicated to certain bills, like server hosting, rent, etc..  I am blessed that a portion of my income comes from my successful SaaS products that generate revenue on a monthly basis (like Diner Connection), but it doesn’t cover my full lifestyle (the summer villa in Italy, the winter house in Maui).

This is a client that I had recently acquired, and in acquiring them, I wanted to make sure to put my best foot forward and treat their requests as top priority.  I had done some time sensitive work for them during holiday season, and completed the projects in time and they turned out well.  I had always completed requests in a reasonable time and to better than Geoffrey standards.  I was happy with my work, and I hope that they were too.

In my defense, I had sent this client six (6) notifications of their bill, and it was at more than 50 days overdue.  Turning off a customer’s website is not an easy thing to do….ok, it is just a right click and a mouse click on “turn website off”, so it was very easy, but emotionally it was very taxing.  It was gut-wrenching.  I had talked to other people about it and had gotten support that I was in the right.  I had no doubt that this was the right decision to make, but it still sucked.

So I turned their website(s) off.


And you know what?  They paid their bill, just like they should have done 50 days ago.  And I was able to pay bills that I had been putting off for too long.  I hate that I had to do it.  I wished they had paid them on time like all of my other customers.

Confrontation sucks….but I stuck to my guns and made them bring their account current, just like my gas bill, and electric bill, and water bill, and hosting bill, and my internet provider bill.  I am providing a service, just like my utilities do for me, and I cut them off, just like my utilities do to me.

I got paid, just like my utilities get paid.


P.S.  They are still doing business with me, just like I keep paying my water bill.  I don’t know if the water company feels as bad as I do for having to turn off a customer, but in the end, it’s about paying for what you are getting, and if you don’t pay, you don’t get it.