Parallels H-Sphere Documentation Administrator Guide

 

Billing Periods

versions before 2.4
 
 

Related Docs:   Billing Periods (version 2.4 and higher) Introduction to Billing Creating and Editing Plans

Last modified: 06 Sep 2007

 

WARNING: This documentation covers Parallels H-Sphere versions up to 3.1. For the latest up-to-date Parallels H-Sphere documentation, please proceed to the official Parallels site.

Billing periods determine how far in advance users pay for resources and services. This document talks about :
- understanding billing periods
- creating billing periods
- changing billing period starting dates
- setting discounts for billing period

 Understanding Billing Periods

In each hosting plan, you can create one or more billing periods for users to choose from at signup. Prices for the actual billing periods will be calculated as the default billing period prices multiplied by the duration of the billing period in months, adjusted for the refund percentage if specified. See more in Creating and Editing Plans (steps 3 and 4).

Also, you can explicitly set prices for each type of resource in actual billing periods using plan creation / edit wizards. IMPORTANT: If prices are set explicitly in the plan wizards, discounts won't apply.

When a new account is activated upon signup, a billing period opens, which makes it start differently for each individual account. A new billing period starts:

  • on activating paid account (accounts can be created but not activated as in case of account moderation)
  • on switching from trial to paid account
  • on resuming suspended account
  • on switching to another plan
  • on switching to another billing period

A billing period closes:

  • on quitting hosting
  • on suspending account
  • on switching to another plan
  • on switching to another billing period

 Creating Billing Periods

To create a billing period:

  1. Select Plans in the INFO menu.
  2. On the page that appears, click Settings for the hosting plan to edit.
  3. Make sure Billing is ON.
  4. In the Billing Configuration section, click the Add icon:

    • Interval: the time unit used to specify payment interval duration.
    • Size: the number of such time units in this payment interval.
    • Setup D, Usage D, Recurrent D: discounts for different type of fees.
    • Control: click the Edit icon to modify settings for the above parameters.

In H-Sphere billing periods cannot be deleted, but you can change their duration. For instance, if you decide you don't need your yearly billing period, you can change its duration to two months. Warning: Don't change the duration of a billing period if it has live accounts, as this will mess up billing for them. Instead you can create an identical plan with the same set of resources but different billing periods and move accounts to this plan. Once you know you have no accounts under this billing period, you can safely change its duration.

 

Changing Billing Period Starting Date

To change or reset the beginning of account's billing period:

  1. Find the account using the Search utility.
  2. Click the Date icon in the Billing column.
  3. Enter the starting date of the next billing period.
  4. Click Submit.

Be very cautious when using this feature. Changing the billing period starting date may result in major problems:

  • If you shift the period starting date back, the client will be charged the recurrent fees twice for the overlapping days (for the remainder of the old period AND for the new interval). For instance, the initial one month billing period started on November 11. If on November 26 you set the date to October 2, the system will:
    • Refund half of all the recurrent fees for the interrupted billing period.
    • Charge the recurrent fees for October 2 - November 2
    • Charge the recurrent fees for November 2 - December 2
    Thus, most likely, you will want to credit the extra charged amount back to user's account.
    Note that traffic won't be reset. User control panel will show the traffic that was used from the billing date you have set till the present.
  • If you shift the starting date forward, you will interrupt and close the current billing period which will cause the refunds of all recurrent fees prorated to the time left to the end of the billing period. The next payment interval, however, will start only on the date that you set. This way, you will create a gap between the billing periods. The system does not charge the customer for the time gap. The customers are only charged the recurrent fee for the resources like traffic or MySQL Quota that they actually use up. Also, if a user purchases some resources during the gap period, the system will charge the recurrent fee for these resources. However, it will calculate the price from the moment of purchase till the end of the new billing period. Say, you close the current billing period on November 11 and set the new starting date to December 1 (with a one-month payment interval). This way, the user does not pay any recurrent fees the remaining days of November. Still, if a user buys a resource on November 20, he/she will be charged the recurrent fee for the interval of 40 days (November 20 - January 1).
  • If you set the same billing date for many customers, the system may become overloaded on this billing day.

 Setting Discounts for Billing Periods

Billing periods allow you to set discounts for each individual price type - setup, recurrent, and overlimit. The bigger billing period, the bigger the discount. For example, you can create a monthly, a quarterly, and a yearly billing periods, each with its own discounts. To set or change discounts for a billing period:

  1. Select Plans in the INFO menu.
  2. On the page that appears, click Settings for the plan to edit.
  3. Make sure Billing is ON. In the Billing Configuration section, click the Edit icon for the selected billing period.
  4. On the page that appears, enter discounts for each price type:
  5. Example: Entering 2 in the Size box and 10 in the Recurrent Discount box will reduce the recurrent fee by 10% for all accounts with the payment interval of 2 months.
    Users signed up for one month billing period pay $10 as a recurrent fee each month.
    Users signed up for two months billing period pay $18 every two months.

  6. Click Submit Query.

Related Docs:   Billing Periods (version 2.4 and higher) Introduction to Billing Creating and Editing Plans



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