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UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

We're testing out UCRM, and have run into a few absolute dealbreakers regarding payments.

Automatic payments for service(s) - So far it looks like this has to be set up as a "recurring payment" which sets the amount as the CURRENT cost of service. I don't see a way to add a payment method to be used for services going forward that supports pricing changes...?

If the customer adds additional services, or if the service price changes, or even if the sales tax amount changes, only the original service amount is automatically paid, and there doesn't appear to be any way to update the subscription in a way that it actually gets paid. At this point it looks like I'd have to contact every single customer and have them, what, go add a new subscription for $0.23/mo to account for a sales tax increase? Or me go individually to every single customer and do the same?

If that's the case, it's a complete dealbreaker. This would just lead to random service suspensions over mere cents in a sales tax inrease, when customers thought they had an automatic payment.

 

This is not how any other billing system I've used or tested works. I don't know the ins and outs of Stripe, but am familiar with it. Can't we just use the stored card/token at Stripe and then have the ability to process whatever the invoice total is this month? I.e. using the saved card token vs setting up a "dumb" subscription in stripe?

My clients want a "set it and forget it" type of payment system, and I want that too. I dont want to be 6 months in and then have to contact clients to say, "Oh that CC you set up to auto pay -- we need that again" or "Well, yes we have your billing info, but can you go add $5.00 as an additional recurring payment so that your invoice actually pays out in full?"

Am I completely missing something here?

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

@bw1

 

yes, automatic payments for services are recurring payments, called "payment subscriptions". The default value is set to the current service price. 

 

I agree that the process of price changing is not user-friendly now. We will investigate what we can do to improve this for Stripe, or other payment gateways if they enable this.

 

 

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

I don't mean to sound as condescending as I probably did in my initial post. It's just frustrating.

 

I can't comprehend a new billing system not being able to handle something as simple as a salex tax increase, or a service change, without completely re-setting up the recurring payment from scratch.

 

You should be saving the Stripe token and processing it properly each month at whatever the CURRENT bill is; not what the original payment was initially.

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Understand. We will improve this for sure.

The reason why it's not there yet is that we have currently 1600+ WISPs using UCRM around the world and to keep this easy & simple & universal for most of the users, our approach is to develop the basics of a feature and then improve it according to the requests of the majority.
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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

We have been using UCRM along with Stripe and the above mentioned issues are quite annoying. We have not had anyone suspended however we do have quite a few customers that have an additional balance on their account due to payment subscriptions being setup during install and then discounts given later on or changes to their service plans.

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Absolutely agree. Being able to establish recurring payments is nice, but autopay would be so much better. With PayPal I think you have to use PayPal Pro vs plain old PayPal but I am not sure.

 

We sent out our first set of invoices this morning. We have 28 customers that had not yet paid last months bill. The first invoice from UCRM accounted for that fact, but recurring paying only pays the preestablished amount, not the invoiced amount.

 

Autopay is preferred.

 

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

[ Edited ]

Another observation with regard to Stripe and reoccuring payments.

 

I have not enabled "Approve and Send Invoice Automatically" but at the time invoice drafts are generated for approval Stripe appears to get the bump to trigger the reoccuring subscription payment.

 

If I were the customer and learned my CC was getting hit before the invoice was approved and sent it would make me a bit distrusting of the service provider.

 

Sorry if this is a hijack, after reading the thread it seemed related 

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Thanks for your feedback folks, we will improve this soon.

@biffenager it's the same issue as discussed above. The recurring payments are issued regardless of the invoice (its balance due or issue date) - that's the basics of recurring payment which is more associated with the service and its price than with the invoice.
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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Thank you.  Usage-based billing is going to depend on the fix.

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

I would argue that -billing- depends on the fix. I certainly won't be using UCRM to send anyone bills, when to make any changes I have to go manually re-establish all billing.
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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Add me as another voice.  We were hoping to spend the next month migrating our WISP to UCRM.  But I will be forced to put that on hold if this is how billing works.  I NEED the customer to be charged their account balance, not the amount of a particular service.

 

Occasionally a customer has service issue. If I put a $10 credit on their account, they'll still be charged the full amount.

 

If they purchase a router or something else, they'll be charged the normal service amount and the additional service won't be charged.

 

I'm just starting to offer VoIP services.  While it should be a flat rate for the most part, they could make international calls that have to be added to their bill.  The current solution won't handle that.

 

My state is going to be eliminating sales tax on Internet services starting July 1st of this year.  If I set up 400 accounts now and roughly 1/2 of them are on auto-pay, that will be 200 people I will have to contact and ask them to update their subscription otherwise they will be overpaying.

 

People don't like to mess around, and this is something that will cause us constant tinkering and will just plain look bad for us.  UCRM looks great, but as mentioned above, this is a dealbreaker for us as well.

 

I know you've said you would like to improve it soon, but I'd really like "soon" to be a little better defined.  If this is going to be a month, I can wait.  If it might be 6 months or a year, we'll have to look at using a different system.

 

Please advise....

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Another situation I forgot to mention in my last post:

 

I have a lot of seasonal accounts.  And people who just need to suspend their service for a few months for whatever reason (vacation, lack of funds, etc).  When those accounts are suspended, we only charge a small monthly fee to cover the equipment rental for their CPE.

 

My uderstanding is that in order to accomplish this, when they suspend, I would have to have them cancel the existing payment subscription, and then set up a new subscripton for the lesser amount.  Then when they resume service, they have to do the same and cancel the small subscription and setup a new one again. 

 

That's just a major PITA.  I'm really hoping that you have some good news for me about this because until I saw this thread, I was planning on installing my UCRM server next week so I could start migrating my customers over to it next month.  If nothing else, please advise if that is a totally unrealistic goal.

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

@starwire I understand your concern. We will check all the payment gateways we currently support whether they enable this. The improvement for the most used gateways could be released in 1-2 months.

Which gateway do you use?
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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

I currently use Freshbooks so I'm using their payment gateway.

 

I planned on using Authorize.net when I switch to UCRM, unless there is a different one that makes more sense.

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

While sorting out the reoccurring / autopay issue.

 

alternate billing methodologies would be great.. 

 

My upstream bills based on 95th percentile transport utilization it would be nice to mirror this with my customers as it has power users pay a premium and low end players just pay a base rate.

 

 

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

@biffenager What exactly do you suggest by "alternate billing methodologies"? Of course, you can set different service plan for high and low bandwidth.
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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

It sounds like he's looking for 95th percentile (speed) based billing rather than usage (bytes passed).

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

Thank you @MimCom

 

@UBNT-Petr - My reference to 95th Percentile billing as example.

 

Certainly I can setup various service plans for low and high bandwidth but as this thread demostrates switching between plans isn't viable for customers setup on reoccuring payment plans.

 

My thought would be to provide a plan that mirrors what I have with my provider in that I create a service plan with a flat fee for transport and bill based on bandiwdth utilization.

 

In my scenario the amount of data moved (as shown in the dashboard) is irrelevant as my service is focused on overall utilization. Using various service plans to control available PtMP bandwidth is important. It does leave (in some situations) a lot of unused bandwith available that I could be billing customers for. 

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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

@biffenager that sounds interesting but currently, there is nothing like "speed-based" billing in our scope. Please, create a separate feature request for this at https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UCRM-Feature-Requests/idb-p/UCRM-Ideas
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Re: UCRM Dealbreakers: Recurring Payments

I can build an API that will allow all users of UCRM to integrate nearly any payment processor of choice. It can have fluid monthly recurring billing, echeck integration, and more. They told me to contact UCRM on how to build this API. Who should I connect with?