First Dispute with Stripe

Over the years I’ve used a few Credit Card Processors, oi. Some good, some bad, some nightmarish (coughpaypalcough)

Well, today I start the journey of a disputed charge with Stripe. I love the service; I love the ease, the UI for the phone app & web end, smooth, clean, suggest it night and day to customers.

Well, I just got the chime on the phone & the email explaining to me the dispute at hand, that a client (who likely just didn’t realize his two years was up and needed to pay again) disputed two charges one for the domain, and one for another two years of hosting. Not exactly what has helped me “wind down” tonight, but such is life. Buckled down, showed the invoices, the email chains with each invoice, and terms of service about canceling service.

So we shall see, the only thing I don’t like (but I understand) is that Stripe is taking funds from my bank -> repay the “fraud.” The last transactions for my account before Christmas is them removing the funds I got + $15 fee for each. I’ve submitted my info, I’ve emailed the customer, hoping between the two we can sort this out and get things rolling smoothly.

I will say this compared to my first “terminal” I used & PayPal’s dispute process, so far I like the quick info provided & a well structured response system. We’ll see if it pays off.

Webhosting is a Blessing!

13 years and counting. Hard to believe that its only been 13 years! Feel like the spirit of what FlockHosting does has been around a lot longer! I started helping Christian bands ages ago my old friend Pete Prevost before he was in Sanctus Real was in a band called “Johnny Come Lately”, I remember all those years ago building a page for the payment of … Taco Bell.

Well in some ways not much has changed, FlockHosting is an act of love, hosting over 100+ churches (looking forward to doing more!), I have customers all over the world and others here at home!

I’ve been insanely blessed, sure I’d love to see it produce a bit more income, but when you hear things like this:

Thanks so much for providing this service, we’re seeing new people come to our church just because they could find us on the internet when they move to the area and see what we do. I hope God is blessing you in all the work you do. – Andy C.

Wow. Plain wow. This is what I’ve always wanted to see folks do with FlockHosting, sure I have Thrust Networks which is the real core company, it’s the LLC everything is under, and operates, but honestly I love doing this ministry to churches.

I want to grow FlockHosting even more, I’d love to see it really just spring into action but the world of Shared Hosting slows down, as more and more companies offer the design, hosting, etc. all in one price, and I don’t have 3,000 employees – but who knows maybe I can find a way like I mention in the recent FlockUpdate doing some design at affordable rates (not the $10,000+ you see some places) but keeping it affordable and looking good! So some challenges ahead!

God is Good, and just give Him the entire business to do with as He sees fit!

Let’s get down to business….

For over 10 years I’ve owned my own business – maybe not the most successful in terms of dollars and cents, but I love it! I’ve had days I’ve not been a fan, and had stress from it, but in the end over the last decade it has changed and evolved into what it is now, something a bit more manageable!

Me and My Big Brother Ron (We are so cool!)
Me and My Big Brother Ron (We are so cool!)

I remember back in 1997-1998 working Modern Networks with my brother (okay so I was the tag-along to what big brother was doing!) it was fun! We had some folks we worked on their websites using a re-seller hosting platform and it was fun, I remember still using it years later as I split off and was doing my own thing for friends, helping host band websites, local ministry’s and such – and then joined a company bringing my customers and a slew of my own websites called Mass Communications – which was fun too as I got to work with friends like Dan, Adam, Tom, and My Brother as well! It was going well but took some snags and too just didn’t work as a long-term fit, but thus Thrust Networks was born.

The Business!Within a year of starting Thrust Networks a lot of changes were on-going – had outages, stress, a PG&E Gas Main rupture behind the building, many many many many many many many *breath* many many many nights without sleep or little sleep – had a break-in (or at least a window shattered by a rock) – but it was quite the first year of business – but then I began moving customers from our little rack shown here to datacenters outside of Bakersfield, as we were pushing the limits of a T1 line, a growing customer base between two companies, and there wasn’t room to keep it all local anymore, we’d out grown our local ability (well affordably).

As things moved forward outside of the local area, I began to see more and more needs out in the Christian Community, sites I was a fan of getting hit with overages/outages – needed to do something and thus FlockHosting was born to offer the Christian Community a safe and affordable option for hosting.

And things have been going since! Now over a decade later I’m still working on things! Thrust Networks is actually getting a site coded right now as I haven’t actually had a active website for Thrust Networks for nearly 8 years – FlockHosting is getting some TLC as we enter the second half of the year, and its all coming together nicely!

I am excited about what God can do with this business, what he can make happen and how he can support me and one day a family, it’s not perfect right now and is in a BIG growing stage, but like anything that grows it must be prepared for the growth to come, so big cleanup of servers, big change up of software/configurations – a lot of work is to come! Can’t wait to see what will happen over the next decade, but too looking around for options too for a side job maybe even part time to balance out the budget, pay down debt faster, and just get things smoother and smoother sailing!

For now though my business is doing its job, and giving me a place to live, but I want to see it flourish and grow and become even more, that one day it will do even more and more for more and more people, I’m blessed to serve – and hope to serve folks for many years to come.