Terms of Service
When you applied for an account, you were asked to review and agree to HCoop's Terms of Service. If you have not done so already, please read and familiarize yourself with them.
Each HCoop member has a balance, keeping track of unspent money that member has sent to the co-op. Most members prepay about a year's worth of estimated charges at a time and send new payments when they see their balances going low. Our policy is that every member must keep a refundable deposit of $21 with us. Your balance will be debited $7 on the last day of each month as a dues payment.
Before we give you an account on our servers, we need an initial payment from you. New members are exempt from the balance requirement for the first month (at least 30 days) and you only have to send us $10 for your initial payment. You may still receive automated e-mails during that time period warning you that your balance is negative, but you can safely ignore them. Once the month is up, we will feel free to terminate your membership if you haven't yet made another payment to bring your balance up to the usual requirements.
You may opt to prepay as much as you would like. Like we said, prepaying an estimated year's costs is popular. If your balance becomes negative (meaning the difference between the amount of money you've sent us and the amount you've been charged is below $21) for three months, we'll be forced to cancel your membership, unless there are extenuating circumstances. This means that paying the minimum amount will require that you remember to make frequent payments.
You can pay electronically using PayPal on the new member payment page. You can make things easier for us by writing that the payment is for "New Member payment for yournamehere" where "yournamehere" is the UNIX username you asked for when you applied. If you authorized us to charge your Paypal account after confirming your application, you should expect your account to be created shortly (often a few hours, at worst a day).
You can use any other reasonable payment method you want, as long as it involves United States dollars reaching our treasurer. However, please e-mail email@example.com about any method of payment not found on the payment page before using it, and wait for approval before going ahead.
After your first payment, we also support payments using Stripe. As of mid-2014, we are still working out the details of allowing Stripe for initial payments because their identity verification requirements appear lower.
Keep in mind the service fees associated with each method. We consider service fees to be your expense, not ours. For example, PayPal's fees are such that you save money by sending as much money at once as possible.
You have the option of arranging with a current member to have your dues debited from his balance. If you want to do this, then, instead of sending a payment now, ask this member to open a Bugzilla "bug" asking to have your new account linked to his balance.
Your account will not be created automatically when you make a payment. You will be unable to log into any HCoop service until your first payment has been processed manually, and you'll be notified by e-mail when that happens.
The MemberManual/PayingDues page contains more information on payment policies.