Multiple Pricing plans on one account

Wendy Simpson's Avatar

Wendy Simpson

21 Mar, 2019 07:46 PM

We really need the option of having multiple pricing plans on an account at 1 time, also preferably an "expiration date" on a plan as well.
Example. We have a client that signs up with us. They have a launch fee and a monthly maintenance fee. The launch fee is normally a 1-time charge up front, and then the monthly is set up on with a pricing plan. We do have customers that split up their launch fee into 2-6 months, so we would like the option to add an additional pricing plan on top of the monthly subscription. ANd be able to tell it to charge X amount every month for X number of months.. and then come off the account.
We also have clients that are on an annual plan, but add temporary users monthly. So we would have their annual pricing plan set up, but then also a monthly one set up for those extra users. Right now all these things are manual, and we are just too large to continue to do it this way. We may have to look at other options for our billing system if we can not do all of the things we need.. but we would like to try and stay with you guys if possible.. Is there any help you can provide?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Meghan Turner on 22 Mar, 2019 04:44 PM

    Meghan Turner's Avatar

    Hi Wendy,

    We certainly want you to be able to stay with us, too! I understand why this manual process would be tough to scale as you grow, so let me spend some time with our engineering team early next week to evaluate possible solutions. I should be able to meet with them on Tuesday, so I'll send you an update Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning.

    Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.

    Meghan

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Meghan Turner on 28 Mar, 2019 06:00 PM

    Meghan Turner's Avatar

    Hi Wendy,

    Sorry my reply to this is a little delayed! I've been working with the engineering team to determine the best way for you to automate the process of adding time limited installment charges to a customer's bill and we think that you can use some of Cheddar's existing tools to add the customization and automation you need to scale your billing process.

    Specifically, we'd recommend using our subscription billable webhooks to review invoices and the API to add custom charges for setup fees that are being billed in installments. The subscription billable hook is triggered when a customer's invoice becomes due, but before it's transacted. When you have that hook enabled, Cheddar's recurring engine will send the hook instead of transacting the invoice, leaving the invoice in an "outstanding" state. This enables your hook listener to automatically execute actions on the outstanding invoice prior to transacting.

    We think this process is ideal because it lets you bundle all of the charges into a single recurring invoice and gives you the flexibility to apply charges whenever you'd like. If the customer is subscribed to multiple pricing plans, they'd most likely be dealing with multiple monthly invoices which introduces a number of complications to the billing cycle (for example, what happens to the customer's subscription if the setup fee invoice is declined, but the subscription fee invoice runs?).

    Here's what that process for using the subscription billable hook would look like in practice:

    • Customer signs-up and requests installment payments of the setup fee
    • In the create customer API call to Cheddar, include information about the installments (number of installments, amount, dates due, etc) in the customer metaData or notes field
    • When the customer's bill is due, Cheddar fires a subscription billable hook to your hook listener
    • Your hook listener has logic to examine the metaData/notes field to determine if an installment should be added to the customer's bill
    • If an installment is due, use the API to add a custom charge to the customer's invoice
    • Cheddar will transact the invoice in the next run of the recurring engine (usually runs every few hours) or you can transact the invoice immediately using the customers/run-outstanding API endpoint

    For customers on annual plans who need to be charged monthly, for users you could do something similar with their annual fee:

    • Put the customer on a plan that has a $0 recurring monthly fee and use tracked items to charge for user fees
    • Use the API to add information to the customer's metaData or notes to indicate when the customer's annual bill is due
    • When the customer's bill is due, Cheddar fires a subscription billable hook to your hook listener
    • Your listener logic examines the hook payload to determine if a custom charge should be added to the customer's invoice for their annual fee
    • If so, use the API to add a custom charge
    • Cheddar will transact the invoice in the next run of the recurring engine (usually runs every few hours) or you can transact the invoice immediately using the customers/run-outstanding API endpoint

    To make these automated workflows possible, your dev team will need to implement a few things:

    • Decide how to store data about installments. Use metaData (only supported via the API) or notes (viewable and editable via the API and your Cheddar dashboard) to store this in the Cheddar customer record and implement a process to add that data to the customer record when necessary using the API
    • Set up hook listeners with logic to examine subscription billable hook payloads from Cheddar and add custom charges when installments are due and configure the hook listeners in your Cheddar dashboard

    We have a couple of resources that should simplify the process of setting this up:

    I hope this outline of the processes and resources I've provided are helpful, but please let me know if you or your team have any questions Wendy!

    Meghan

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