We would like to thank the vast majority of clients who have already confirmed that they will pay their next invoice on time, and those who have already done so. We appreciate your loyalty and support hugely.
A number of clients have asked about our policy regarding fees during the current Coronavirus outbreak and shutdown, when many of our clients are entirely closed or are suffering a severe impact on their activities. So we wanted to set out a policy that is as clear as possible, which respects the difficulties that exist for everyone at the moment, and which seeks to ensure fairness among all our clients and a secure future for ClubNet so we can serve you in the months and years ahead.
It is worth remembering a few key points, which are the starting point for understanding our policy:
- We do not provide a "drop-in / drop-out" subscription service; our Standard Terms of Business, which apply to all clients unless a variation has been agreed in writing, make clear that we provide service for 12 month periods and any reduction or cancellation to services is subject to giving suitable notice in advance of the renewal date
- We source services from third parties as part of our service delivery to our clients, and these are also subject to terms agreed with them - one reason for our annual supply of services is so that we can get the best possible pricing for clients on services so that your fees are as low as possible, but this does come with a restriction on switching those services on and off
- Many of the services we supply need to be maintained throughout this downtime, even if they aren't being used nearly as much as normal - for example, websites will still be used as a key communication tool to your members, membership systems enable you to maintain contact with members and record payments as they come in from members who choose to support the club etc
- There is a huge number of announcements about government support for various sectors of the economy and society, including a number that our clients should be able to tap in to; however, we haven't yet seen anything to support us specifically as we're a small business which needs to continue operations, we can't lay staff off for the downtime etc.
So, our policy is that fees should be paid in full and on time in the normal way. However, we also want to reassure people that we do understand how difficult things are, and we're working to make things easier wherever we can. It's a bit difficult to know where everything will end up at this stage as there is so much uncertainty, but here's what we think we may be able to do for our main modules for clients who keep their accounts up to date through the current circumstances:
- Website - we will maintain the website and take the opportunity to apply updates and upgrades where we can, whilst recognising this remains an important tool for you during these difficult times
- Bookings - we will maintain the bookings system so you can access it as necessary, extend any "closure" block bookings as required, access any reports you wish to analyse etc - for each full calendar month (from the 1st of a month) that your club / organisation is closed, we will offer half a month's credit for your next renewal (capped at 1.5 months' credit for a 3 month closure), which will be calculated and credited against your next annual renewal following the lifting of government restrictions
Update: facilities permitted to re-open on 13th May 2020 due to the lifting of governement restrictions (e.g. for outdoor tennis) are no longer eligible for credits from this date. However, other facilities which are required to remain closed continue to be eligible for credits until they are permitted to re-open.
- Competitions (clubs) - we will maintain the competitions system so you can access it as required, view any statistics or historical leagues etc, and we will continue preparations for the rollout of the new version of the competitions module ready for when clubs re-open - for each full calendar month (from the 1st of a month) that your club / organisation is closed, we will offer half a month's credit for your next renewal (capped at 1.5 months' credit for a 3 month closure), which will be calculated and credited against your next annual renewal following the lifting of government restrictions
Update: competitions permitted to re-start from 13th May 2020 due to the lifting of governement restrictions (e.g. for singles tennis) are no longer eligible for credits from this date. However, other competitions which are required to remain on hold continue to be eligible for credits until they are permitted to re-start.
- Competitions (counties) - we will maintain the competitions system so you can access it as required, view any statistics or historical leagues etc - for each full calendar month (from the 1st of a month) that your club / organisation is closed, we will offer half a month's credit for your next renewal (capped at 1.5 months' credit for a 3 month closure), which will be calculated and credited against your next annual renewal following the lifting of government restrictions
- Membership Database - following discussions with our third party provider of the database platform, we can provide a credit of £12.50 per paid admin user per month for each full month of closure for any users not required during this time, subject to a requirement to retain a minimum of one active user (e.g. if you have three users normally, you could reduce this by two users to leave just one) - this will be effective from 20th April and a full month of closure counts as 20th of one month up to and including the 19th of the next month; to apply for this credit, you need to email a list of users whose access should be temporarily discontinued to firstname.lastname@example.org before 5pm on Thursday 9th April; this credit will be calculated and credited against your next annual renewal following the lifting of government restrictions. After government restrictions are lifted or you require your database users to be reactivated, whichever is the sooner, your number of users will revert to the pre-lockdown level
- Access Control - following discussions with our third party provider of the door entry system, they have confirmed that DoorFlow is still providing a security service, whether or not the door(s) / reader(s) are in use by members, staff or visitors etc. Like us, they still have server infrastructure to maintain and they need to retain staffing to keep things running. However, if a site wishes (as a one-off in these exceptional circumstances), they can mark their door(s) as un-commissioned and sync (to do this, edit a door controller, untick the commissioned check box and click the "Update Door controller" button, then click the Sync button in the top right of the screen), a pro rata credit will be calculated and credited against your next annual renewal following the lifting of government restrictions. The credit will be £20 / £5 / £2.50 per door per complete month for your first, second and subsequent doors respectively (additional doors will be credited first, then the second door and finally the first door). This pro rata period would apply until the government lifts current lockdown restrictions or until you re-commission your door(s), whichever is the sooner.
Any credits offered will only be available against future invoices and will not be payable as a refund. We appreciate there are other services and add-ons not detailed above, and honestly we're not yet in a position to give full details on everything. But where we can go further, we will, and we will keep the situation under review as the situation unfolds. If we find that some Government support will help us, we will of course look at how we might pass on a share to our clients.
We are not able to extend terms to clients and we are not in a position to pay third party fees to keep your services live if you aren't paying us. Additionally, the credits and actions detailed above will only be available to clients who keep their account up to date.
As a reminder of our Payment Terms:
Payments are due to be received by us in full no later than the last working day before the Renewal Date. If you are late in making payment for an invoice, ClubNet may:
- suspend provision of services, and charge a reconnection fee equivalent to 50% of the prevailing standard setup fee for those services
- charge interest in accordance with the terms of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1996
- delete permanently all data and settings held in relation to the services if payment is not received in full within 30 days of the renewal date
So please help us to help you, now and in future. Please keep your account up to date, and let's work together to get through the current difficulties.