What happens when you miss a cloud service subscription payment?

Missing a cloud service subscription payment can be a big concern for some. The worry is mostly because they don’t know what the repercussions of a missed payment will be, and it is not something one wants to test just to find out. While it is better to never miss payments, the repercussions are not so severe that is should cause anxiety.

the repercussions are not so severe that is should cause anxiety.

Cloud service providers want to do business with their subscribers for as long as possible. They will not close your account or delete your data for one late payment because that would terminate a profitable relationship that could have continued for years to come. It is highly unlikely that you will even temporarily lose access while the payment issue is being resolved, if it is treated with urgency.

Once you become aware of a payment that has failed it is best to act quickly. Resolving payment issues can sometimes take a few days, so the sooner the provider becomes aware that you are attending to the problem the more goodwill you will receive from them. Good customers missing payments are not rare, most service providers have systems in place to deal with it relatively efficiently.

Missing payments can happen quite easily, even by companies in a strong financial position with healthy cash flow. Often this if for credit card payments due to events outside your control. Banks change their fraud detection logic or international funds transfer policies, governments change revenue collection policies, issues between the service provider and their bank, computer system errors or human errors. The list is long and you will seldom get a clear reason why the payment has failed.

There are also events within your control that can lead to payment failure. These events come in a wide variety though they usually boil down to insufficient funds in the credit card account because the finance department had incorrect information on the payment dates or amounts. The monthly payment information can vary because of changes to the number of user licenses, changes to license cost or because you subscribed for quarterly or yearly payments. Any of the company credit card holders could also have added a new subscription.

Nothing can be done to prevent failed payment due to causes outside your control, however, keeping the finance department up-to-date with payment requirements is in your control and will prevent a lot of wasted time and effort dealing with missed payments. When the company only has few subscriptions all paid with a single credit card, a trustworthy system can be devised using a spreadsheet to track expenses and a monthly calendar reminder about sending an email to finance with the relevant information for the month.

As the company’s use of cloud services expands it will get increasingly more difficult to use spreadsheets to track license expenses and hand written emails to avoid missing payments. Continuing to use a single credit card for all service subscriptions will remove some of the confusion but you will most likely find that everyone with a company card eventually end up with some subscriptions on their cards.

At some point the emails to finance department will constantly contain incorrect information, or someone will need to spend a significant amount of time to keep the system functional. This is where subscription tracking tools may provide a solution. These kinds of services keep track of all recurring payments with their related information, such as which card is used for payment or who owns the subscription. They automatically generate reports about the expected expense on each account and send them to whoever needs the payment information.

Recovering from missed payments is generally easy but it is best avoided

Recovering from missed payments is generally easy but it is best avoided because it consumes a lot of time and it requires that the remedial actions take priority to avoid turning an issue with no real consequences into a serious one that can threaten the business operations.

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