I have a custom pay-per-click advertising service on my website. Clients subscribe to the service free of charge, but are metered throughout the month with a simple clicks x rate formula. At the end of the monthly billing period, they will be charged for the amount of clicks they racked up.

My question is whether or not it's okay to just straight out charge them and send them a receipt, or if I need to send an invoice as a warning and wait a period of time before charging their card (I gather their card info upon signup). Keep in mind that the clients have a dashboard they can visit at any time and see how many clicks they have so far in the month, so the charge shouldn't be unexpected if they are keeping up with the dashboard.

If indeed I do need to invoice and wait a period of time to charge, how long would make sense?

  • 1
    This sounds as if the correct answer would also have to rely on local legal requirements. That would be off-topic, of course, but sending an invoice beforehand sounds like it is safer and more user friendly in any case.
    – Crissov
    Sep 28, 2015 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


I have few good suggestions

1) Users should be in control of their settings so there must be an option to check "Inform me 3 days before first Charge" (Really good UX)

2) I have seen this "Inform me before Charge" recently on Amazon Prime and i being a user really felt safe as i was trying out their Product

3) When users feels secure and in control, it will win their trust and they will ultimately have good User experience

4) Always show user current status "You will not be charged until 30th Sep 2015"

So even after they opt out of your trial period you can show something like Amazon Prime is showing

Amazon Prime options


As long as you're clear about the change, you're fine. Change your TOS to state exactly how billing will take place.

So, warn them before the change happens (the first time). Then, bill them automatically in the future.

Look at Google Adwords. They typically take money upfront, then charge against the balance. When it gets to a certain threshold, the advertiser is notified that they need to add more money. You might want to consider this method since you get pad upfront and the advertiser know exactly what they've paid at any given moment.

  • I would like to use the Adwords example, but for now I'm not as famous as Google, and so I want to instill trust through a no-risk proposal for now. If they get no clicks, they pay nothing. (They'll get clicks though) Sep 26, 2015 at 17:24

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