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Provide a way to change membership level during renewal

Current Behaviour

During membership renewal a member may have more than one membership level available. Choosing among them is cumbersome. The member clicks one button to renew at his current level or clicks another button to choose a different level.

Also, changing the membership level doesn’t act like a renewal as regards calculation of the Renewal Due date. Desired Behaviour

Use one button for both functions. If multiple membership levels are available, show “Renew and choose membership level” on the “Renew until …” button. This would give the member a choice that looks like that on the membership application form.

The membership Renewal Due date would need to be calculated based on the level that was selected, since different levels may have different renewal periods.

An option may need to be added to the membership level renewal policy to prohibit member self-service level changes, which would prevent the Change Membership Level button from showing on forms. Why

We have in the past only offered an annual membership (Regular). We have now created a three-year discounted membership as another level (Regular – 2011 3-Year Deal). The process for a member to select the new level is too cumbersome and confusing. First, he has to know another level exists. Then he has to use the Change Membership Level button instead of the Renew Until button. If he chooses the Change Membership Level button, the Renewal Due date is calculated differently that for a renewal (it’s based on the current date at the time of the level change).

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    Greig Holder shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    56 comments

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      • Glenn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For those organizations using membership levels to provide multi-year renewal choices, the inability of Wild Apricot to correctly calculate 'Renewal Due On' dates, when membership level is changed during the renewal process, makes it impossible to fully implement self-service renewals. Any renewal, with membership level change, prior to the end of the current membership period results in the member being overcharged for one membership period.

        This issue has been open since 2010, today it has 86 votes and 55 comments, the last comment from Wild Apricot was three years ago and contains an invalid link, no update to development status has been made in eight years, user requests for status of a fix have gone answered, ... on and on.

        Please, Apricots, give this important, necessary and urgent product design defect your attention. At least give us some idea of when a fix will be available and any advice about a workaround (other than to go back to manual renewal processing).

      • LarryJW commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can see this problem has been described in 2010 and has not been resolved. It needs to be. As an organization using WA for the first time and now going through its first renewal cycle, this problem has become transparently obvious.

        On renewal some some members want to change their membership level -- in particular, changing from an Annual membership to a 6-year membership (with a discount). As typical, we encourage members to renew before their expiry date, but in doing so, the new expiry date is NOT calculated from the current expiry date (by simply adding 6 to it). A renewal without a membership level change is handled correctly but the fails when a membership level change is involved.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Piling on -- the Membership Level allows for one level to be a pre-requisite for the higher level, but the higher level resets the membership date.

        We have a membership renewal date based on when the member signs our MSA. When they move to a higher level, they sign additional contracts, but not a new MSA.

      • Jane Guerrini commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have discovered that when a member renews their membership and at the same time changes their membership level (either increases or decreases contribution level) that the renewal date does not move but remains the current date and will have to be manually change. This is a big problem when you are trying to get your membership to increase contributions. Technical support told me that this is an ongoing problem. Are there any fixes in the works or a possible work around?

      • Thomas Berry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have a bunch of different membership levels, and we occasionally have people changing from one to another. Why on earth would someone in WA design think it was a good idea to automatically change the renewal due date if this happens?

        I'm flattered to think the designers believed us users are so perfect that we could never enter the wrong level by mistake and then have to change it after the fact, but that happens.

        We also have members who were in bundles until the administrator decides to have them removed; if we want to keep in touch with these people, we have to change their membership level to individual, and hey presto, they are automatically extended for a year from current date even though they aren't renewing.

        Fix this, please!

      • Printing Historian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a very serious issue. I am dumbfounded that you have been aware of it for so long and have not fixed it. In fact you recognized it as such in your response to me in April 2016 (Inquiry 13088) and stated you were working on it.
        There are two issues here. One is renewing at a different level ($20 student, $50 regular, $100 contributing, etc) and the second is the term of membership (1 year, 2 years, etc.) which is treated as a membership level. The two should be disconnected. A person should join or renew at the desired level and separately choose the term of membership. That would solve a lot.
        The statements in these comments that the program does not change the renewal date for a level change are not exactly correct. What the program does is set the renewal date to the end of the current membership year. In other words, if a member renewed a calendar year membership on 12/27/17 at a different level, the next renewal date would be set to 1/1/2018 -- no change. But a member who renews at a different level on 1/2/18 will have the next renewal date set to 1/1/2019. Only the members who renew before the expiration of their current membership are mishandled. In our organization we get about a quarter of our renewals before the end of the old year and the remainder in the new year. So some members are correct and others need to be manually corrected.
        Frankly, I cannot imagine a situation where a member would want to change levels in the middle of a year and not at the time of renewing. We have been using Wild Apricot since 2011 and have about 700 members and no one has ever asked to change a level midyear. If it ever did come up it would probably be necessary to create a manual invoice as the price would most likely have to be pro-rated. Asking a program such as Wild Apricot to handle these calculations would be unreasonable. Therefore, level changes should simply be incorporated in the renewal process. In fact, all that is really needed is to change the manner in which the next renewal date is set to make it advance one period in all cases. (A period could be one or more years.)
        This is a major glitch and needs to be addressed promptly.

      • Dale commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        All of our membership levels renew/expire on the first of the year. We also need this feature. Right now if a member is paid up to next year and they change their membership level and pay for the new level, the renewal date is not changed. This is bad. What is desired is for the renewal date to be advanced as it is when a member renews. We have to find these records and do it manually now.

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It would be nice if when we had to do a manual renewal/level change that when we clicked renewal we as admins had the option to do a level change at the time of renewal. Instead we have to choose edit then select level change. I have many members that do not have emails on file and have to send out mailers. I am obtaining email address slowly but its still a process. Also I have several chapters that have large banquets and the ticket include membership. So each spring I have to manually, one by one renew over 400 people. I can not use the bulk import with excel b/c i need to show payment and be able to export the renewed so I can print membership cards and email. It would be nice to be able to select and renew multiple members at the same time.

      • TangentRW commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Most of our memberships are monthly but we are now encouraging our members to join for longer terms, such as quarterly.

        1) I agree that we should have a button that allows renewal and a level change. When the level change options are shown, the current level should remain on the list of options; this is to allow the member to change his mind or to recover from a mistake in pressing the button in the first place.

        2) There is still a place for allowing a level change within a membership term. For example we have individual converting to bundle memberships and vice versa. While prorating and re-invoicing for this change would be desirable it should at least remain as a option for those organizations who wish to use it.

      • Darlene Devendorf commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For our organization, a level change is a change in the length of the membership period which involves a discounted price not a change in privileges. Members doing a level change as part of their renewal are finding that they have lost membership time if they do it before the current renewal date. When we were vetting Wild Apricot we missed this as being an issue. I would prefer our members not losing membership time to allowing a level change at any time during the membership cycle. Perhaps this could be a "checked" option for a membership level - allowing a change in level but basing the Renewal Due date on the current Renewal Due date for that member vs. basing it on the date of the level change.

      • Stacey Glaser commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I concur with all the other posts in this thread and find it hard to believe that this feature is missing from this system, and for so long. This has been an issue for many people. Please consider at the very least making this simple change so that our members are able to change their membership level at the time their membership renewal is due. No prorating or membership change during the year(s) just the simple ability to change during the renewal process. Thanks.

      • Gail commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think we agree with this comment by Mark commented January 2, 2017 8:29 PM Flag as inappropriate
        Allow membership level changes only during renewal -
        Provide a selection under Levels that allows members to change levels only when renewing.
        That would satisfy our requirements. No need to pro-rate, offer refunds, etc. Members would simply renew at the new level, at the appropriate rate, and for the same membership term.

        Our initial membership term is 3 years, our renewal 2 years.

        The Renewal button on the profile causes problems, it suggests they can renew for 3 years, and will do it .... wrong term and wrong rate.

        We have found we can instruct our members to use the Change button on their profile to select the Renewal membership at the right rate. It is a work around, but will do the job.

        But any user can click on the Renewal button and cause issues.

        We would like an option to remove / hide that Renewal button from the initial member profile page and the member edit page.

      • Suellen Honeychuck commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are new users of Wild Apricot and so far have been very pleased. However, as many have already commented, we have also discovered an issue that is going to cause a lot more work for us. We would like our members to receive the list of all membership levels when they respond to a reminder to renew. We have a number of student members who need to join as voting members once they graduate from their paralegal program and as it stands now they will be unable to do that easily and are less likely to contact us to make the change and thus simply NOT renew which means we lose membership. Please fix this ASAP. This has apparently been going on for FIVE years. It seems like a pretty logical thing one would want an association management program to be able to do without a lot of extra work!

      • Paul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. This issue causes lots of confusion and additional administrative work on our volunteers to maintain/respond to member emails and manually have to update every time someone changes their membership level after receiving a reminder, but before the renewal date.

      • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Allow membership level changes only during renewal -
        Provide a selection under Levels that allows members to change levels only when renewing.
        That would satisfy our requirements. No need to pro-rate, offer refunds, etc. Members would simply renew at the new level, at the appropriate rate, and for the same membership term.

      • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Provide a selection under Levels that allows members to change levels only when renewing.

        That would satisfy our requirements. No need to pro-rate, offer refunds, etc. Members would simply renew at the new level, at the appropriate rate, and for the same membership term.

      • Marshall L. Henley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. Just add the ability to select from your current level or the available levels configured for that level at renewal (we would even say "force the selecion" - so we have a chance to upsell them) . That would solve our problem.

      • Cindy Bruce commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is our first year in using WA and we are facing this problem already, ourselves. We have introduced a lower membership fee for 2017 so as some people are renewing their membership for January, I have had to try to make it clear on our website that they need to "Change Membership Level" when they renew, in order to pay the lower fee, so instead of Adult or Student level, they need to choose the 2017 Adult or 2017 Student level but many of them are missing this. The main problem is that when I set the new levels up, I set the renewal date to be one year from now. Some of them come out correct to say their renewal date is December 15, 2017 but for most of them, it's saying December 15, 2016 and they get freaked out, thinking their membership now expires in one month. So I'm having to go in there on a daily basis, to check everyone's expiration date and manually change most of them to December 15, 2017. This is very time consuming because we will be having over 500 to renew. I've been told by support that because they're changing their level, they're not actually "renewing" and the next renewing date is December 15, 2016. Well, why then do we have the choice of choosing the renewal date when we add a level for them to change to, if it's not going to work the way we think it should, AND why do some of them change correctly and some do not?

      • mcorden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        fix the issue where is someone changes membership level after receiving the reminder, but before the renewal date, the system doesn't renew them.

      • AdminApricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Henry, this is exactly what this suggestion is about - when we start working on it, we most probably redesign current behaviour and remove this difference between renewal and level change. During renewal process anyone will be able to change current level if he wants.

        Still, this is not not in work.

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