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The Retirement of Max the Bill Collector

For each Wistia account level, there's a limit for bandwidth. When someone goes over that limit, that's an overage. This might be hard to believe, but here at Wistia, we've never had a real system for account overages, other than the manual way that Max struggled to collect them for some time. This method could be inconsistent, and it was unclear when we'd notice the overage and get in touch. We wanted to be more consistent and upfront and devise a fair system that works better for everyone.

Collecting overages is, for obvious reasons, important to our business -- we are, after all, taking a monetary hit whenever someone goes over their limit and doesn't pay us (unlike love, bandwidth does cost a thing). We had a lot of conversations about how to handle overages fairly. We wanted to be sure that we never took anyone by surprise.

Here's how the system we devised works:

  • In "Settings" in your Wistia account, you can turn email alerts about bandwidth overages on or off, at the bottom of the list under "Email Alerts." After 10 and 20 days of each month, we'll look at where you're at with bandwidth, and you'll be warned if it seems like you might go over.
  • For paid accounts, users can either pay more in advance (you save some money for buying bandwidth in bulk ahead of time) or get autobilled for overages.
  • For free accounts, users can either pay for extra bandwidth or have your videos temporarily turned off. There's a five-day grace period before the shut-off on free accounts, and they get reset automatically at the start of the next monthly period.
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