To prevent misunderstandings, here is the legalese:
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Generally this policy is meant to free us from dealing with problem customers and customers who turn rude and abusive. But rude and abusive people are usually in denial about their problem and won’t be convinced by us; so, we adopted the “for any reason” wording to make things simpler.
“Rude customers” includes: Customers who suggest (without evidence) that we are incompetent, sloppy, error prone, lazy about security or anything else, likely to drop or shuffle their cards, or that we are unaware and need reminding that their cards are valuable and important to them. Strangely, these implied messages seem to only arise the minute we discuss payment, and before any work has been done. People are a little jumpy about dollar signs these days.
False accusations terminate accounts.
Occasionally we hear from a cocky young graduate student who has never seen a punch card before but has the nerve to imply that we don’t know what we’re doing — as though his ignorance and inexperience were proof of ours. We reserve the right to deal with mature and knowledgeable contact people.
We reserve the right to refuse or terminate any Customer’s account if:
If at any time the Customer lies, misleads, exaggerates, or misrepresents a fact regarding his or her order, in a way that needlessly costs this business time and/or effort. Leading us on with unnecessary promises is not cool.
Customers who exaggerate the number of cards in their orders (customers who submit fewer cards than advertised) shall not be eligible for discounts.
Selective Compliance: If the Customer ignores our work-related e-mails, questions, and/or instructions.
If promises are broken: For example, if the Customer repeatedly tells us “The cards are ready, we’ll be sending them to you right away” but nothing ever arrives. We find that people who do this rarely turn into real customers.
If the Customer requires unusual amounts of hand-holding, spoon-feeding, reassurance, or conversation not related to processing a batch of cards. If the Customer asks a lot of questions which are already answered on our website.
If, based upon our experience, the Customer seems unlikely to pay. Examples would be: Customers who have never made an online purchase before; customers who have never used PayPal; customers who try to get the price lowered after work begins. Our service is for paying customers only.
E-mail is not chat:
We do not need to be notified when you are going to lunch;
we do not need to be told that you are going to make a phone call to someone;
we do not need status updates telling us that there is no change in status and you’re still thinking about using our service —
and yet, we’ve had customers interrupt our work with one-line e-mails telling us all of those things. We’re not your parents, you don’t have to check in. And we reserve the right to bill for our time.
Customers are expected:
to maintain a working e-mail account which does not lose data, images, attachments, or entire messages.
to check their spam folders periodically.
to communicate in writing. To prevent misunderstandings, and so that there can be no disagreement over what was said or not said, we do ask customers to send all communications in writing, by mail or by e-mail.
to be familiar with their own cards. (Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised.)
to make photocopies of randomly selected cards before sending them to us, so that Customer may verify our output against the cards before payment. Customers who do not do this sometimes falsely accuse us of reading their cards wrong. False accusations of inaccuracy are a very serious charge. Failure to recognize your own data (from memory) does not constitute evidence.
to tell us the full truth about their project’s size, budget, funding status, approval status, urgency, importance, and timeline. (Sometimes customers “exaggerate to impress”. Do you like it when your boss lies to you about your income and your benefits and your work schedule? No? Neither do I.) A sufficient pattern of misleading us and lying to us, especially about payment, will terminate your account and/or lead us not to consider doing larger projects with you. We have terminated accounts for this.
Lien: As we have no other way of enforcing payment, we require full payment before we will release cards or data to the Customer.
Late Payment: A surcharge of 1.5% per month shall be applied to past-due accounts.
Payment Problems: A service charge of $25 shall be applied for each returned check and credit card chargeback.
PayPal is our credit card processor. All payments shall be by PayPal. No exceptions. We chose PayPal because PayPal is secure and easy for customers to use. Always look for https://www.paypal.com/ in your browser’s address bar, and never give your credit card number to strangers.
Preferred Customers: Polite and compliant customers may receive a discount on their second visit and later visits.
We charge $25 per hour for special handling (i.e. special requests from the customer involving labor).
Our standard prices include card reading, statistical anomaly detection, checking the results by multiple methods, certain kinds of database reconstruction, colorization for easy viewing, and sometimes, innovative experimental services which our competitors can only guess at.
For hardcopy cards: We charge $1 per card to process cards which cannot be read mechanically due to damage. At our discretion, we may allow (handle manually) a small number of such cards at no extra charge.
For scanned card images: We charge $1 per card to process cards which do not meet our requirements for scanned images (see list). At our discretion, we may allow (handle manually) a small number of such cards at no extra charge. Batches which show a high rate of non-compliance will be sent back to the customer for re-scanning.
The Mailbox Rule: Prices change. To make prices predictable for our customers, we use the Mailbox Rule: we process your cards at the price in effect on the date you postmark your cards. On the day you ship your cards, please visit our website to check the current price.
Mailing your order to us constitutes your agreement with these terms of service.