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Cloud Services Billing

​​​​​​Whether customers are buying from us for the first time or switching to Liquid Mercury Solutions from Microsoft direct billing, it's important to understand how our billing works and what to expect.

Requesting Changes

We offer full service billing with personal service and attention to detail. That means you can call or e-mail us any time to make a change to your Office 365 subscriptions, and we'll take the time to make sure the requested changes are correct and the best value for your company. Just send us an email or call 410-633-5959 and tell the receptionist that you're a current customer calling about your bill, and they'll make sure you get the right person.

Review Past Invoices

Starting in summer 2016, we're porting all historical invoices to a system that allows us to share them with you using SharePoint. Customers will be able to log into this site using their Office 365 account and/or a Microsoft Account of your preference. Previous to this, all invoices were communicated by e-mail, so we appreciate your patience as we port over the historical data. If you have a need to review a past invoice, you can feel free to contact us and we'll send you a copy. Going forward, customers will receive a reminder notice in email with instructions about how to connect to the site and download invoices. Further information about how to connect will be made available here as it becomes available.

Payment Terms

Payments for the following items are due in advance:

  • Cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365, Admin OnDemand, etc.
  • Computer hardware or software
  • Ad-hoc hourly Support Services including Emergency Services
  • All Professional Services based on Task Orders with estimated total work of 4 weeks or less, such as Office 365 Migrations and Solution Jump Starts

For other Professional Services, our standard terms are NET 15, and we generally require a deposit of between 33% and 50% on larger projects. If you need extended terms, please request a credit application.

Billing Frequency and Pro-rated Billing for Off-cycle Changes

Subscriptions are recurring cloud services that bill on an ongoing basis. Some services are from Microsoft, some are repackaged to include solutions offered by other vendors, and some are provided entirely by us.

We like to keep billing as simple and transparent as possible. Unfortunately, when selling a combination of products from Microsoft and other parties, services as well as our own professional services, this can be a challenge.

For most subscription services we offer, you have three choices:

Monthly

Pay monthly by credit card; control cash flow. Available for most services that we offer.

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In this scenario, your credit card is billed once per month for the upcoming month's service. The specific date varies from customer-to-customer but it's generally the same day each month. Sorry, but we don't accept checks for monthly billing.

Most of our customers prefer the monthly billing option in order to avoid paying out a large cost all at once. For any service where monthly billing is possible, you can also choose Quarterly or Yearly Billing instead.

Pro-rated Billing Policy
Quarterly

For specific products where Monthly Billing isn't an option, pay six months up-front, then pay quarterly. Earns a 2% discount on monthly services if paid quarterly. Company checks accepted if received before the due date.

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For certain services, unfortunately monthly billing isn't a feasible option. Specifically, services such as Periscope 365, Admin OnDemand 365, and HelpDesk 365 must be handled on a quarterly basis. This will always be clearly marked in your quote, proposal, and invoices.

In these cases, we charge for the first six months of service at the start of the subscription, then we bill once per quarter afterwards. Note that six months up-front is not a requirement for monthly services when billed quarterly. If you prefer Yearly Billing, we can do that for all services regardless of whether they're available monthly or quarterly.

Quarterly billing is generally handled by recurring charge to your credit card. The reduced frequency does allow us to send the invoices out to you with sufficient notice that if you wanted to pay by company check instead, it should be possible to do so.

If there are services available on a monthly basis that you'd prefer we bill quarterly in order to keep everything on a single invoice, we customarily offer a 2% discount for those services. Since Quarterly Billing exists as a compromise to keep the costs of specific specialized services as low as possible, we don't provide any special discount where there is no monthly option.

Pro-rated Billing Policy

If you remove a user mid-cycle, we credit the upcoming bill for each full unused month.

For new users on Quarterly Billing, how we do things will depend on whether the subscription in question has a monthly option or not.

For services available on a monthly basis, we'll simply make a one-time pro-rated charge to cover the remainder of your billing cycle. For services that are only available quarterly, we'll make a one-time charge for the first six months, plus or minus 1 month as needed to align the user with your regular billing period. Then you wouldn't pay for the user on the next quarterly invoice.

In either case, going forward, your invoice would be adjusted accordingly.

Yearly

Paying annually simplifies billing and earns a 4% discount on monthly services (2% on quarterly services). Payments can be made by company check or credit card.

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In this scenario, you pay up front for the full year. If there's a monthly subscription availabl​e for the product that you purchase, we customarily attach a 4% discount for the annual payment. Likewise, we'll grant a 2% discount to any quarterly subscription that you pre-pay annually.

These arrangements are often paid by check, but we do keep a credit card number on file in order to handle changes that may occur throughout the year.

Pro-rated Billing Policy

Since users may be added and removed successive times over the course of a year, removal of users in annual subscriptions will not be pro-rated. These licenses remain available to you throughout the year to use as new ones are needed. At the end of the year, we'll work with you to make a decision regarding whether to scale back.

For new monthly subscriptions on Yearly Billing, we'll make a one-time charge for those users to cover the balance of the year. For services that are only available quarterly, when there's less than six months left before your annual renewal, six month's service will be charged and the balance that overlaps the year will be credited to the following year's invoice.

Because of the way our suppliers charge us for certain services, regrettably we can't currently offer monthly billing on every service that we sell. When this is the case, it will always be clearly indicated on your quote, proposal, and invoice.

We try to avoid pro-rating whenever possible, because it makes invoices more difficult to read. However, that's not always possible. For example, suppose you have a yearly subscription, and part-way through the year you decide to add more users. Please see the Pro-rated Billing Policy for your preferred billing method above for details about we handle each case.

Annual Billing for Office 365 via Microsoft Open

Traditionally, it has been possible to offer annual subscriptions to Microsoft products using MS Open or Open Value. We've done our research and determined two things. 1) The monthly equivalent for the annual prices that we get from Microsoft and our distributors when quoting MS Open are actually slightly higher than the monthly cost under Cloud Service Provider; and 2) The level of technical support from Microsoft and the distributor is significantly less than under Cloud Service Provider. These facts may also be true of other volume licensing programs, but there are too many options to speak broadly about this. Therefore, at this time, we will only quote against Microsoft Open or Open Value for those products which can't currently be purchased through Cloud Service Provider. Our client should are advised to know which program is being quoted when seeking comparable pricing from other vendors.

Important Cycle Dates

Due to recent changes made by Microsoft on July 1st, 2017 and passed on to us through our distributors, we are no longer be able to provide pro-rated credit for reductions or cancellations made part way through a calendar month. For reductions, we will apply the change for the following calendar month, provided that the chanages are requested in time to be effective in Microsoft's billing system and/or those of our distributor. To be safe, please try to make any such requests prior to the 21st of the month.

Late or Missed Payments and Suspension

Please note that in many cases, suspension of service is at the discretion of Microsoft and/or our distributors. If for any reason we're unable to charge your credit card or obtain a method of payment by the deadline mentioned above for making billing changes, your account will be subject to suspension until the billing issue is resolved.

It is our policy that all payments received will be applied to the oldest outstanding invoice first, then in the following order of priority:

  1. Past Due invoices for Professional Services
  2. Payables for other products (such as hardware/software)
  3. Invoices for Cloud Services (whether Past Due or payable)
  4. Any other payables

Thus, if you expect a delay in payment for any reason, you should contact us immediately in order to make payment arrangements and avoid any potential interruption of service. Open communication is the best policy.

Disputes

As a general policy, lack of contact will be taken as acceptance of your invoice. It's hard for us to take a billing dispute seriously when concerns aren't brought to us in a timely fashion. Plus, we're known to be pretty easy to work with if you're having difficulty paying your bill. So, if you have a question or concern about your invoice, you should call us right away. See Request Changes above for contact information. Our standard Terms of Service provide more details regarding this process.

Refunds, Returns, and Cancellations

When necessary, w​e will work with you to request a refund or credit. All refunds are contingent on the return policy of the publisher. In a nutshell, you may only return Microsoft software in cases where Microsoft and our distributors allow it.

Cloud service subscriptions are annual agreements. We are generally bound by the cancellation clauses of Microsoft and our distributors. In most cases, a 60 day cancellation policy is in effect, which depending on the timing may result in billing for up to 3 months after you request a cancellation.

There are certain conditions in which Microsoft will waive the cancellation period, such as if we're moving you into another subscription plan. We'll work with you to request a waiver in such cases, but please understand we can't offer any guarantees.