At one time or another, clients will run into billing concerns and questions. Lately, there seems to be a high number of users who are a bit confused as to how the billing is calculated for their account when they’ve switched from one plan to another. Hopefully, this week’s blog will clear up some of the confusion.

When you sign up for an account with Benchmark Email, your billing cycle will begin on that same day. You will be charged the full amount of the plan you selected and the billing cycle will run for 30 days from that point. So let’s say you sign up for the 2.5K Plan on March 15th. You will be charged the $19.95 on March 15th and that will cover you until it is time for your plan to renew. On April 15th, your plan will automatically renew itself. You will be billed $19.95 on April 15th and your plan will continue for another 30 days.

Here is where it may become confusing though. Benchmark Email allows users the freedom to move from one plan to another at any time during their billing cycle. If you find that you have maxed out your allowed number of emails and are in need of more, you can upgrade to the next level without having to wait until the end of your 30 day time period. However, by making changes to your account, you will be making changes to your billing cycle as well. Each time you change the plan you are on, you will be billed in advance for that new plan and the 30 day cycle will start fresh from the day you make the change.

For example, let’s say you signed up for the 2.5K Plan on March 15. You would be billed $19.95 at that time. Then on March 25th you realize that you have already sent out 2,500 emails. You still need to send out another 2,000 emails before April 15th. So you make the decision to upgrade your account. On March 25th you select the 5K Plan. This has created a new billing cycle for you. You now have the ability to send out 5,000 emails between March 25 and April 25. You will be billed $35 on March 25th for the new plan and your renewal date will now be April 25th.

When you look at your billing statement, it will appear as though you were charged twice in one month (the March 15th charge for $19.95 and the March 25th charge for $35). This is because you first paid for the 2.5 Plan and then decided you needed the 5K Plan. Essentially, you purchased two plans from us.

Many users do not realize that by making the switch from plan to plan, they are responsible for paying the full amount of each plan. They also do not realize that any unused portion of their plan at the end of the billing cycle will not roll over into the next billing cycle.

Benchmark Email’s policy does not prorate your account and we will not process refunds. If you want to avoid paying for two plans within a short time frame, try to make the changes to your account within 3 days of your renewal date. This will help to space out your costs and reduce confusion in your billing statements.