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I have a product that bills our customers, and it bills their users (the customer gets commissions). We need to implement a workflow to suspend the customer if their billing is outstanding, which will affect their users.

Problem is the customers and their users are on separate billing cycles.

Proposed solution

Pause renewals on users until there is an active customer subscription.

When all users are in a paused renewal state, the customer is suspended, the apps are suspended on the app stores, and late payment fees apply.

Thoughts?

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    I don't see where the apps in app stores fit in the picture. – Nicolas Barbulesco Dec 5 '14 at 13:38
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    This sounds much more like a business rules question than UX. – DA01 Jan 5 '15 at 4:40
  • Heads up, folks: there's a lot of missing information in this question that is provided in comments to proposed answers, below. – JeromeR Oct 2 '15 at 3:03
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The proposed solution has one defect.

Let's imagine a customer who does not pay you because he is waiting for money. You close the money tap for this customer. So he keeps waiting for money. So he does not pay you...

It is a vicious circle.

  • In some occasions, I would agree but our customers all have other revenues of income. They're existing organisations that have been in business for up to 25 years. I've described this issue to others with Apple's approach, if your iOS App makes you money and you don't pay the Apple developer subscription, your App disappears off the store. – Dallas Clark Dec 6 '14 at 5:41
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Give you users warning early on, say 30 days in advance. I find no problem if you stop the sub if the sub is out. As long as you communicate properly with your users.

  • It really is all about communication, isn't it? After all, the main client isn't going to want to discontinue the app while their customers have payments to make. Some accounting cycles are longer than 30 days, so perhaps a 60-day notice, a 30-day caution, and a 10-day warning would be best? – JeromeR Oct 2 '15 at 3:06
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I may be missing some context which would change this response but... the proper workflow would be to allow the user accounts to continue for 1 week after the customer is banned. Hopefully the customer will figure out what needs to be done in those days and will be able to resume services with you before his user's billing cycle is interrupted. If the users are interrupted that may decrease users on your platform as pausing billing services is likely to turn customers away.

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    The biggest problem we see is charging a user and then suspending their account because the organisation they have subscribed to have not paid their payments. If we have detected the customer's invoice is overdue, at least we can let the users continue using the service until their next subscription renewal date (< 1 month). – Dallas Clark Nov 7 '14 at 1:42

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