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Subscription System Feedback & Questions

Guest ptrader

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I run IPB for a non-profit organization and use the subscription system to manage access based on membership types.

For me, the subscription manager does its job (most of the time) but doesn't quite perform the way I think it should. I was hoping some improvements could be considered.

I have created several membership packages. The three I consider headaches are good for a membership year, which for us runs until March 31st annually. Initial membership for any given package works fine. It's when renewal period comes around (annually, for us) that we have major headaches. I spent about 12 hours creating manual transactions, fixing and cleaning up the registrations so everyone had (or lost) their access.

Problem 1: For several expired subscriptions the user was not moved to validating. Unfortunately, the other admin was a little too proactive and I didn't get to analyze why that might have happened. Since many were moved properly, I'm not sure what might have caused this, so I'll have to ignore it for now.

Problem 2: Members can not renew their packages through the board MY CONTROLS>MANAGE PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS panel properly. Why? Because the only subscriptions they can manage are UPGRADES to current subscriptions, not renewing expiring ones. It also does not allow the purchase of any other package at the package rates since it applies the current subscription payment and only requires a delta difference. (Hence the term upgrade, versus renew.) I also notice the upgrade does not apply a new expiry date based on the upgrade package, but keeps the old package expiry date (at least, I base this on the words in the MY CONTROLS>MANAGE PAID SUBSCRIPTONS display: You can upgrade to any of the following subscriptions below. You will only need to pay the balance and when payment has cleared your new subscription will replace the current until the original expiry date.).

Recommended solution: Allow the user to be able to renew or purchase any existing package at the package price. Ideally, I'd like the user to be able to purchase additional packages (i.e. timed events that require a different forum access) through here as well.

Problem 3: Can not change the display order of packages on the registration page. Can not toggle subscription packages to display or not display.

Recommended solution: Allow the admin to set the display order of the packages. Allow the admin to toggle the display of the packages based on current specials and/or events.

Problem 4: In my scenario, users currently purchase a base membership the first year and then get a renewal for the following year at a reduced price. This requires two different subscription packages. However, when the base membership expires, the renewal package is not picked up by the system, so the user is moved (in our case) back to validating and I have to manually turn his access back on. If the expiring and new packages match, the user retains their access.

Recommended solution: The system should allow the user access as long as they have a valid subscription with a future expiry date.

Problem 5: Subscription expirys in the packages are set based on a time period (weeks, years, etc). This requires every subscription be manually updated to expire on a specific date (for our purposes).

Recommended solution: Allow an either/or option to allow the package to expire never OR XX time period (as currently done) OR set a hard date MMDDYYY option.

I would be happy to work with IP on these issues, if necessary.

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