Billing and payment options

We have a sophisticated billing system which allows several customer options. Some of these may be selected when setting up an account, but contact our accounts department to make any changes you need.

The preferred billing option is calendar monthly, paying by Direct Debit.

Periodic billing

Some services are provided on an ongoing basis. For these you are billed periodically, normally in advance on the first day of the period covered by the bill. We can insist on calendar monthly bills if we wish, but this would normally be if we are having problems with your payments being made on-time. We can also invoice you several days before the period starts.

The following billing periods are available. They relate to all services on the account. We recommend calendar monthly.

  • Calendar monthly: Invoices are for the whole calendar month from the 1st of each month.
  • Four Weekly: Invoices cover a 4 week period, the exact starting week can be adjusted if required (e.g. to align with salary or benefit payments arriving). Prices are based on 23% of our monthly rates for each week billed.
  • Lunar monthly: Invoices are issued each full moon for the period to the day before the next full moon. Prices are based on 97% of our monthly rate for each lunar cycle. Yes, we really do this and we really have customers that use it.
  • Quarterly: Invoices are for Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, and Oct-Dec. We can adjust which month the quarter starts on if necessary. See note below.
  • Annually: Invoices are for the whole year from 1st Jan. We do not normally provide annual billing. We can adjust which month the year starts on if necessary. See note below.

Partial period bills

When a service starts or ends your bill may be for a partial period, e.g. 1.5 months, so as to align to the selected billing cycle. When working out how many months a period is, we work on whole days. Part days count as a whole day. For billing cycles based on calendar months, each day is considered as a part of its month - i.e. 1/28th or 1/29th of February. For billing based on weeks, each day or part is 1/7th of a week. For lunar billing, lunar months are considered 29 or 30 days based the full moon being the first day of the lunar month, and so each day is 1/29th or 1/30th of its lunar cycle.

Note that most services are billed in advance, and if you are ceasing a service or migrating away the billing continues as normal until the cease or migrate completes, and then a credit is issued for part of a period that was billed in advance, back to the actual date of the cease/migrate. This normally results in an automatic cancel or refund of any Direct Debit collection.

Credit terms

We have several credit terms options available for business customers, and can provide custom terms if required. Credit is not a right, and is provided at our discretion only. Credit may be withdrawn. All terms are based on the invoice date/time (tax point) as stated on the invoice (even if the invoice is in advance for future services). All terms define the date/time by which payment must actually arrive - either at our offices or in our bank account.

  • No credit: We do not offer consumer credit, and as such consumer accounts are set up with no credit. Even though we do not give credit, we do allow a short period of 7 days for payment to actually arrive as some payment methods can take time.
  • 7 working days: Business customers are normally on 7 working day terms as this allows ample time for payment to be sent by BACS, fast payment, or other means. This also covers the time taken for a direct debit payment to be collected with notice.
  • 30 calendar days: A common business credit term is 30 days. This is exactly 30 days from the invoice date/time.
  • End of following month: Another common business credit term used by the construction industry. This requires payment by the end of last day of the month after the invoice date.

Payment must arrive in our bank on time, based on the date (and time) on our bank statement - Whilst bank transfer by Fast Payment have a transaction time, BACS payments are shown as midnight (00:00:00) on the (start of) day they arrive.

If you have requested Direct Debit before the invoice is issued, we automatically extend the terms to cover the time taken for Direct Debit to be set up. If you have picked a specific day in the month for your Direct Debit payment we will adjust terms to fit that date and aim to collect on, or immediately after, the date you have chosen.

Even if we offer credit terms, we may request a deposit, or an initial payment in advance, or sent before we provide equipment or enable services.

We are happy to provide a formal letter confirming your agreed credit terms if you wish. If you need different terms, please ask our accounts department. Business customers have to pay within terms to avoid statutory late payment penalties. For consumers we do charge interest on late payments.

If new credit terms are agreed they apply to invoices issued after that point. Each invoice has a clearly stated date and time by which payment must arrive based on the credit terms in force at the time the invoice was issued.

Payment Options

We have several payment options, and some that we do not normally accept.

  • Direct Debit: This is the preferred payment option for all regular customers or those with ongoing services. We send an emailed notice of collection 5 working days in advance of collecting from your bank account (or 2 working says if individually agreed for a one-off payment). If you pay the same amount periodically, such as at the start of every month, then we will send a notice advising this and then do not send a notice each following period unless the amount changes. You can pick a preferred date for us to collect payment if you wish, and we will try to aim for that, but the emailed notice of collection states the collection date for each payment.
  • Bank transfer (Fast Payment): This is preferred for your initial payment with order or for any one-off purchases. Most internet banking payments now use fast payments where the payment arrives within minutes. Please ensure you make your payment by the due date and time as shown on your invoice. If services are suspended/slowed for payment reasons, you will normally find they are restored immediately and automatically if you make a suitable bank transfer by Fast Payment. We will try to email a statement immediately on receipt of such payments.
  • BACS: You can pay by Bankers Automated Clearing Service. BACS payments take two banking days, so allow for English public holidays when making payment. The payment date/time is 00:00:00 (start of day) on the banking day it arrives.
  • CHAPS: You can pay by Clearing House Automated Payment System. Bear in mind that CHAPS allows you to select fees paid by payer or payee, and if we have fees we deduct from the amount received.
  • Other bank transfer: There are other ways to send money to our bank account. For foreign currency payments, we will record the payment as the GBP amount received.
  • (NO) Card payment: We do not normally take payment by credit or debit card. Note that you can make a fast payment from most UK banks now and we can ship goods immediately based on such payments. On rare occasions our accounts staff may accept a card for a small remaining balance on a closing account, but this is at our discretion.
  • (NO) Cheques: We don't normally accept cheques. If you do send a cheque there will be a substantial admin fee (£60.00 but we may change at any time) for processing the cheque. For the purposes of late payment penalties, the payment date will, however, be the (working day) it arrives at our offices, but the cheque may be banked much later. We are asking all those currently paying by cheque to change to Bank Transfer or Direct Debit. Seriously, it is not the 16th Century - use your bank to send payment!
  • (NO) Cash: We do not normally handle cash. Sending cash by post is at your risk and not recommended. We don't accept postage stamps as a means of payment. In the event we receive cash we will charge a substantial admin fee (£60.00 but we may change at any time). Obviously legal tender paid to a court to settle a debt after we successfully sue you is accepted without an admin fee, as that is the meaning of legal tender, but otherwise, don't pay using cash.
  • Bank counter: This is not recommended, but you can pay in cash or cheques at the bank or post office using our bank details. This may not show on our statement immediately, and the bank may charge you a fee for making such a payment. Getting such payments to quote the correct reference may be tricky, and hence incur an admin fee if not correct.

Fees: If there are fees we have to pay for receipt of a payment, e.g. CHAPS where you select "payee pays", we deduct the fees from your payment.

Reference: If sending a payment to us you have to get the reference right. If not, then you may have to contact us to have the payment allocated correctly, and we will charge an admin fee for doing so (£6.00).

Date/time: The payment must arrive on time to avoid penalties and/or interest. Unless otherwise stated above, the payment date/time is as shown on our bank statement.

Failed-DD: If your DD fails we can recollect within 2 banking days, and we charge an admin fee of £1.00 .

Payment with order

A deposit paid with order is applied to your account with us, and applies to invoices until used up. If you do not complete the order we, normally, automatically refund to your bank in a few days. You can request a refund of the balance of your deposit at any time. Refunds paid to UK bank accounts via BACS, after deducting anything you owe. In some cases we can refund a deposit on the same day, but this is not guaranteed.

If we cannot simply make a refund payment by UK BACS (e.g. you paid from a foreign bank account or some account without a normal UK sort-code and account number) we can deduct an admin fee from your refund (£6.00), and if this is more than the refund amount, not make the refund. This is not an issue for normal UK fast payments with your order.

If you have any problems ordering, or any concerns over such a payment, please contact our accounts department. Accounts staff can move the payment to a new/different account if needed, e.g. if you make a separate order later and get a new account number. Bear in mind that accounts staff are only available during normal office hours.

If you can't pay order for some reason, that may delay your order until payment is received and cleared.

Multiple invoices

We apply payments to your account with us, clearing the oldest invoices by due date. As such you do not have to send several separate payments for multiple invoices on the same account - one payment will be fine.

It is also very important that if you are not paying an invoice for some reason, and paying later invoices, that you let us know the dispute for the invoice you are not paying - otherwise your payment will clear that invoice and leave later ones unpaid.

Your payment must include your account reference with us (e.g. A12345A), and as such it is not necessary or helpful to send a separate remittance advice. If you send payment without the correct account reference we may charge an admin fee.

Multiple accounts

We normally operate on the basis that each legal entity that is a customer has one account with us for all services. The P/O and reference options allow different sites to be billed on different invoices if required, but one account. If you have set up multiple accounts by mistake, please do contact our accounts department who can merge them in to one account for you.

However, some large customers operate different business units. We can set up multiple accounts for a customer in such cases. If you have multiple accounts you must make separate payments for each. If you are paying multiple accounts with one payment we will merge the accounts in to one, or charge an admin fee each time we have to split the payment.

If you also supply goods or services to us we normally operate a single account, and will pay, or accept payment, of the net balance due.

Purchase order number, and service reference

Ongoing services will be shown on your periodic bill. The bill will normally have all of the services listed on the one invoice.

When ordering a service you normally have two options - purchase order number (P/O) and reference. If you specify a P/O then we will group all of the services which have the same P/O on the same invoice, and ensure services with a different P/O are not on the same invoice. Using different P/Os means one invoice for each P/O each period.

Where a reference is specified we aim to quote this on the individual line items on the invoice to help you identify the services we are supplying.

We allow specifying a P/O and reference for your convenience. You can log in to the control system and change the P/O or reference on the login for any service(s). If you need a different P/O for each monthly invoice you'll have to log in every month and set it. Bear in mind that a wrong P/O does not negate late payment penalties, as they apply by law once you are given notice of the debt, and that non payment can lead to service being suspended as well as penalties and interest.

End of following month - batch billing

Customers with end of following month credit terms will, by default, have batch billing. This means that we will try and ensure we only invoice you once each period (per P/O). One off charges will normally be issued as a proforma invoice on your account (not normally sent to you, but visible on the accounts web pages). These are then included on your regular invoice with other regular service charges. Many customers with complex payment systems find one bill per period useful. However, we cannot guarantee only one invoice per period. You can have this turned off on your account if you prefer. Customers with batch billing and longer than a monthly period (e.g. quarterly) can receive an interim monthly invoice if there are new services or additional charges due rather than these being delayed for more than a month. Some services may result in interim bills where charges are accumulating significantly (e.g. call charges). If you have selected different purchase orders for services they will result in multiple invoices as each invoice quotes only one purchase order reference.

For regular periodic bills, customers with end of following month credit terms are normally billed one day before the start of the period (i.e. the last day of the previous month for monthly/quarterly billing). This means payment is due within 28 to 31 days depending on the length of the following month. This makes this credit option almost the same as 30 day terms, or possibly even worse in some cases, but is specifically designed to work with companies payment systems that expect to batch all invoices by the month and pay the following month. If you need variations on this, please ask.

Split billing

Some customers on quarterly or annual billing with 30 day credit terms fail to pay within the 30 days. If customers persistently pay late in such cases we may change your account to split billing. This means your quarterly bill or annual bill will become 3 or 4 invoices - one for each month or quarter. They are issued on the same day with the same payment terms at the start of the period, and can be paid by one payment - so they are equivalent to once invoice for the quarter of year. Of course, if you would prefer your bills to be split by month like this we can set this up on any account, or change you to monthly billing if you prefer. Each bill incurs commercial late payment penalties independently.

Direct Debit and credit terms

Credit terms are there to allow you time to send us payment. They are not an interest free loan with every invoice. We understand that many companies have complex and time consuming processes for approving invoices and sending payment - hence allowing the time to pay.

If you are paying by Direct Debit, then the time taken to pay is down to us. It is how long it takes us to collect payment. We have a BACS run every day and so can collect payment within 2 working days (or 5 working days with the notice email sent for changed amounts). As such, we only need the invoices to have credit terms long enough to allow for us to collect payment.

As such it makes no sense to have Direct Debit and long payment terms like 30 days. That would only make sense if we were giving an interest free loan with every invoice!

Having said that - we would rather payment by Direct Debit. It is cheaper and more reliable than most other payment methods. So, we do sometimes allow Direct Debit and long credit terms to exist at the same time. This allows time for you to have invoices approved and signed off before the money is taken - and so time to query the invoice if you think there is a mistake. If there is a query, it is obviously better to correct this (e.g. credit note), and then take the right money, rather than have to send a refund later.

With Direct Debit and long terms we will take the payment soon enough for us to be able to try again within the terms if there is a problem. This normally means around 7 working days before the end of the payment terms. For end of month terms and 30 day billed on the 1st this is usually around the 20th to 22nd of the month. However you can tell us a preferred date for collection if you prefer from 1st, 9th, 17th or 25th. Bank holidays, especially in December, have an impact on the exact date, obviously.

We will send advance notice of each payment 5 working days before it leaves your account if the amount or date changes.

VAT invoicing

Business customers are normally billed showing the VAT exclusive amount for the goods/services, and then VAT added to the total at the end.

Consumers are normally billed showing the VAT inclusive amount for the goods/services and a total at the end. If issuing a formal VAT invoice we show a summary of the NET and VAT at the end.

However, you can opt for either style of billing if you prefer. This can make a difference of pence in some cases.

Some of our consumer targeted tariffs are only available to non-VAT registered customers as a condition of the tariff option. In such cases a VAT inclusive invoice is issued which is not a formal VAT invoice, does not have a breakdown of VAT charged and cannot be used to reclaim VAT. Only VAT registered customers can demand that we provide a formal VAT invoice, and if you make such a demand where you have services that are only for non-VAT-registered customers, your bill will be credited and re-issued on the corresponding business tariff as a formal VAT invoice, and the additional charges will be due.

Invoice email format

Invoices are sent by email. They always include in the email a plain text version of the invoice, which is the formal invoice. As a courtesy, we normally attach to the email a PDF version of the invoice with our full letterhead for printing.

You can opt to have the invoice in plain text only if you prefer, with no PDF attachment.

In either case, the plain text is electronically signed as required by European electronic invoicing directives. It is not usually encrypted, though that is an option.

The PDF invoice may have attached information as well - e.g. information relating to the invoice, or new services, or changes to terms, etc. The plain text states if there is such an attachment. If you are unable to open the PDF from the email then it is also available on-line. Ask our accounts department if you need any help.

We also have the option of an XML or JSON bill attachment which you can access on the control pages or have emailed to you on your bill. This provides the bill in a form you can automatically process, and includes itemised call and text details.

Contact Sales

phone 03333 400222
(Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
sms 01344 400222

Contact Support

phone 03333 400999
(Mon-Fri 8am-6pm,
Sat 10am-2pm)
sms 01344 400999