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jpointer2_merged

Commerce Subscriptions need to be desperately simplified

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Hello,

I've had my forum for just over 12 years now, for the majority I've ran a subscription service that simply charges $10/year through a PayPal payment, they then get upgraded to a different user group and offered more forum features, no advertisements and prize draws.

This was the majority of my income, unfortunately, since IPB4, that now makes adding an address on checkout compulsory (which is not relevant for either me or my members) it is grossly off putting and deters people away from upgrading.

Further more, the invoice system is a joke, it's a fun, community forum. I completely understand the requirements of invoicing for business but it needs to be simplified, most teenagers or young adults, have no idea what to do with paying invoices upon renewal, it's confusing and again, a deterrent.

My income has dropped by over half since these changes, people just can't be bothered and uneasy with entering address details for a simple 'donation' subscription.

I desperately ask for there to be an option to do a simple Paypal checkout with no address requirement for Subscriptions like IPB have done in the past. This is the first change IPB have done I am very strongly against in the 12 years of using them.

Thank-you,
Nick.
 

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I agree with this. I don't think my members should have to input their addresses if they are just using paypal to pay for a subscription. I have had users tell me that they were going to subscribe but did not want to give "me" their name and address. Not that they don't trust me they just don't think it's necessary and neither do I.

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57 minutes ago, MADMAN32395 said:

I disagree. The information the forums is collecting is for tax purposes. So what you guys are saying is you guys are evading taxes? I use subscriptions on my site just fine using both PayPal and stripe. And since IPS 4 I've seen an increase in income.

Not at all, I appreciate your opinion but IPB should not dictate this, we should have a choice. Just because we don't use a certain system does not mean we aren't having our own in place for tax purposes - an address for each transaction is not a requirement for tax (speaking on behalf of my origin).

Edited by jpointer2_merged

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I don't want to get in a discussion about tax because that's not what I'm trying to suggest. I just want to make it SIMPLER.

PayPal records the users address, why can't it just push this address through, instead of them having to type it again, it would solve my issue straight away.

And while I've not tested it the IPB commerce then allow a "donations" system, that if I'm not mistaken requires no address, if this is possible, why can't the Subscriptions?

I still don't see why IPB doesn't just give a choice and please everyone.

Edited by jpointer2_merged

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19 minutes ago, jpointer2_merged said:

I don't want to get in a discussion about tax because that's not what I'm trying to suggest.

But it is what matters. You want a choice about requiring or not requiring an address. If that is a choice between running your website in a legally correct way or not in a legally correct way, then IPS will very likely not give in and fulfill that wish. It’s not their job to help you break the law. 
If, on the other hand, you can provide a valid case for doing everything correctly without needing an address for commercial subscriptions, by all means, explain that case clearly as part of your feature request and IPS can then judge how many users would benefit from this and in turn how useful it would be to add this feature again. 

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5 minutes ago, opentype said:

But it is what matters. You want a choice about requiring or not requiring an address. If that is a choice between running your website in a legally correct way or not in a legally correct way, then IPS will very likely not give in and fulfill that wish. It’s not their job to help you break the law. 
If, on the other hand, you can provide a valid case for doing everything correctly without needing an address for commercial subscriptions, by all means, explain that case clearly as part of your feature request and IPS can then judge how many users would benefit from this and in turn how useful it would be to add this feature again. 

You do not need a address for every transaction.

If I own a shop and I sell a product over the counter, I do not ask them for their address. It's not a requirement.

I do a self assessment each year, should they investigate me for income/outcome, I can show them my source of income in both IPB and PayPal without addresses and completely legitimately.

Further, I said:

Quote

PayPal records the users address, why can't it just push this address through, instead of them having to type it again, it would solve my issue straight away.

 

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5 minutes ago, jpointer2_merged said:

You do not need a address for every transaction.

If I own a shop and I sell a product over the counter, I do not ask them for their address. It's not a requirement.

False analogy. For a local sale the local tax applies. For online sales various taxes can apply and therefore you need the address first. 

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10 hours ago, jpointer2_merged said:

You do not need a address for every transaction.

If I own a shop and I sell a product over the counter, I do not ask them for their address. It's not a requirement.

I do a self assessment each year, should they investigate me for income/outcome, I can show them my source of income in both IPB and PayPal without addresses and completely legitimately.

Further, I said:

 

1 if you own a physical shop. you charge tax up front.

online sales you end up either calculating it into your total, or if you don't charge tax to the customer you pay on your backend out of your income.

 

2. in IP.commerce. it records the address, so it doesn't keep requesting one from end user.

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On 09/12/2015 at 9:22 AM, opentype said:

False analogy. For a local sale the local tax applies. For online sales various taxes can apply and therefore you need the address first. 

The world is not the USA. :rolleyes:

All that is required in the UK is that income is properly declared. There is no requirement in law for a seller to take the buyer's personal details no matter whether face to face or online.

In fact, the buyer has a right in law to NOT to give his personal details and the seller has to accept that.

 

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20 minutes ago, dancingbear said:

The world is not the USA. :rolleyes:

Who said anything about the USA? I only said “various taxes can apply”, which is correct. I am not from the USA and I wasn’t talking about the USA. 

 

20 minutes ago, dancingbear said:

In fact, the buyer has a right in law to NOT to give his personal details and the seller has to accept that.

I highly doubt that this is true in general. Got a source where I can read about that? What type of products or services? What type of sales? To consumers? To businesses? Within the country? Within the EU? Worldwide?

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11 minutes ago, opentype said:

Who said anything about the USA? I only said “various taxes can apply”, which is correct. I am not from the USA and I wasn’t talking about the USA. 

OK, fair enough. Tho this isn't really a discussion about taxes, but about software functionality - where the functionality doesn't cover all tax law possibilities around the world.

 

11 minutes ago, opentype said:

 

I highly doubt that this is true in general. Got a source where I can read about that? What type of products or services? What type of sales? To consumers? To businesses? Within the country? Within the EU? Worldwide?

It's derived via VAT (sales tax) law. A seller is required to provide a receipt detailing VAT on request by the customer, and the customer has to provide nothing in return.

Other laws and regs can impact over that, but that's the baseline and would be applicable in most retail transactions (which would include online for the occasions when no goods need shipping so no details are required).

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1 minute ago, dancingbear said:

… where the functionality doesn't cover all tax law possibilities around the world.

Which was my point from the beginning: anyone who has a legitimate case, where sales can legitimately happen without an address should explain that case in detail to IPS so they can think about that functionality. Just saying “I want it” or “there might be a case somewhere but I can’t really proof it just yet” wont help very much.  

 

1 minute ago, dancingbear said:

It's derived via VAT (sales tax) law. A seller is required to provide a receipt detailing VAT on request by the customer, and the customer has to provide nothing in return.

That wasn’t an answer to my question. I still don’t know to what sale situations that applies or not applies and you haven’t provided a source. For example: A company buys a software (license) through IPS’ Downloads and Commerce app. Are you really telling me that in the UK I could make that order as anonymous@trashmail.com and provide nothing else. That sounds very unlikely. 

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37 minutes ago, opentype said:

That wasn’t an answer to my question. I still don’t know to what sale situations that applies or not applies and you haven’t provided a source. For example: A company buys a software (license) through IPS’ Downloads and Commerce app. Are you really telling me that in the UK I could make that order as anonymous@trashmail.com and provide nothing else. That sounds very unlikely. 

I do exactly that (not software licences tho, ad-free subscriptions). I declare the sale amount, I pay the required VAT on it as tho every sale is an internal UK sale. Job done.

I am not required to keep buyers details, tho I can be subject to a tax investigation at any time where I might have to justify everything I've done towards tax and suffer the consequences if I can't,. For the amounts i'm talking about proof of transactions accurately recorded would suffice (and that would be easily done by the PayPal front page numbers matching what I have recorded in my accounts).

Edited by dancingbear

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35 minutes ago, opentype said:

Which was my point from the beginning: anyone who has a legitimate case, where sales can legitimately happen without an address should explain that case in detail to IPS so they can think about that functionality. Just saying “I want it” or “there might be a case somewhere but I can’t really proof it just yet” wont help very much. 

In the real world there's a full paper-trail back to the buyer's full details via the PayPal transaction so the buyer isn't actually able to deny the seller those details.

But having discussed it with the few users who'd made this lack-of-anonymity complaint to me, they wanted their details on the systems of as few places as possible from where it might get hacked, which is fair enough. And as there's no need for me to know who these people are, why would I want it anyway?

For some websites operating in some of the darker corners (and not necessarily anything remotely illegal), this can be a bit of an issue. I think in my case it's a few with leanings towards tin foil hats, but there you go. :p

 

Edited by dancingbear

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Regardless of tax / laws / country, I don't understand why IPS needs to force us to abide by their system.

I don't see why either of the 2 changes could be made:

  • Allow an option for transactions to take place without an address
  • Allow PayPal to handle the address / customer information for fast checkout

It seems the majority in this thread agree with me here.

Edited by jpointer2_merged

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Agreed with the OP. Unfortunately I don't think your sound logic is getting through to everyone. If you like the way commerce works now, then great, I'm glad it works for you. It clearly doesn't work for every use case and the argument that those who want options to simplify the system just want to avoid taxes is insulting and completely besides the point that the OP was making.

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On 09/12/2015 at 6:11 AM, jpointer2_merged said:

Hello,

I've had my forum for just over 12 years now, for the majority I've ran a subscription service that simply charges $10/year through a PayPal payment, they then get upgraded to a different user group and offered more forum features, no advertisements and prize draws.

This was the majority of my income, unfortunately, since IPB4, that now makes adding an address on checkout compulsory (which is not relevant for either me or my members) it is grossly off putting and deters people away from upgrading.

Further more, the invoice system is a joke, it's a fun, community forum. I completely understand the requirements of invoicing for business but it needs to be simplified, most teenagers or young adults, have no idea what to do with paying invoices upon renewal, it's confusing and again, a deterrent.

My income has dropped by over half since these changes, people just can't be bothered and uneasy with entering address details for a simple 'donation' subscription.

I desperately ask for there to be an option to do a simple Paypal checkout with no address requirement for Subscriptions like IPB have done in the past. This is the first change IPB have done I am very strongly against in the 12 years of using them.

Thank-you,
Nick.
 

I had the same issue. So i disabled the app and just wrote it off as a waste of money. Stuck with paypal.

I made threads at the time. No one cared.

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