Provide a way to change membership level during renewal
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).
We have started analysis for this issue, and it seems that key problem is how Wild Apricot handles level changes close to renewal date. The system is currently designed to collect the full new level amount and set renewal date according to new level renewal policy. All prepaid amounts for old levels are disposed. Moreover, since no prorating occurs, the new level might be effective only for a few days.
As a first step, we suggest to redesign how level change is working and add prorating there:- Level would be changed immediately, as now - Remaining portion of old membership level payment will be applied to new level - For new levels with specific renewal date (e.g. annual levels with renewals Jan 1st) apply the pro-rating settings for new applications: - Allow member to pay only a pro-rated amount of the new level fee (e.g. six months before renewal date) - Allow member to renew for one extra period (e.g. when level changed in December)
See attached diagram for details
Do these changes seem reasonable to you? If not – what would you change and why?
If you have some spare time, we would appreciate a short interview with you about your level setup and change level policy – just reply to post or email onesterkin [at] personifycorp.com
Martin Corden commented
Yikes! I requested this be addressed back in 2014. 7 years! wow!
The proposed change won't help us at all. The original issue I reported in 2014 was, if a member changes their level when renewing, the system still treats them as having not renewed. I suggest...
1. An Admin setting where I specify X number of days.
2. If a member changes their level within X number of days of the Renewal date and processes the renewal at the same time based on the new level, the level change only applies from the renewal date.
Oleg, I think separate, configurable pro-ration settings for level changes would work. When a member changes from a 1-year individual membership to a 3-year individual membership, when it starts (May or June) doesn't really matter, it is the renewal date that is important.
I had someone change their membership level earlier this week. They changed from a 1-year individual to a 3-year individual. They were already paid up through 1 Jun 2022, and the calculation WA came up with was a new renewal date of 1 Jun 2024, which was obviously incorrect. Renewing when the membership is still active for several months usually occurs because the member does not remember when they are due to renew. We do not put a limit on how long before renewal is due a member can renew.
Clint, following up your comment:
1. ...Most levels will have a renewal policy of 1 year? 1 quarter? not a few days.
- Imagine when all levels have renewals at Jan 1st (quite typical for Wild Apricot users). In this case when member upgrades on Dec 25th, his new level will be available only until Jan 1st, whilst he/she has paid for the full year.
2. The reason I voted on this topic has to do with invoices and "pending-renewal"....
- This is a separate topic about this in our wishlist (https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932/suggestions/37762123). Hopefully, we will address this too.
3. ...I would argue that his Sept 1, 2020 to Jan 1, 2021 dues would be (($36*(1/3) [new level pro-rated]) - (($24*(1/3) [old level pro-rated])) = $4. Correct with your proposal? Now if they are down-grading from silver to bronze they would have a credit of $4.
- You're right about upgrade calculations, as for downgrades - no automatic refunds here.
4. For my organization we are based on "join date" - not a fixed renewal date.
- Your assumptions for levels with renewals on join date are correct, we're planning to behave the way you described.
Clint Kaul commented
I've got various questions about your "Work in Progress" posting. The first two have to do with the first paragraph.
1. At the end you say "Moreover, ... the new level might be effective only for a few days". That seems to contradict the 2nd sentence "... currently designed ... set renewal date according to new level renewal policy". Most levels will have a renewal policy of 1 year? 1 quarter? not a few days.
2. The first sentence "... how WA handles level changes close to renewal date". Yet the graphic shows a level change 4 months before the renewal date. I suspect most organizations have a "Pending-renewal" window of 14 days (the default when creating a new level)? But maybe you are trying to expand/generalize the concept from just the "Pending-renewal" window to any time a level change occurs.
The reason I voted on this topic has to do with invoices and "pending-renewal". I initially had levels configured to send out an invoice and renewal reminder 14 days before the renewal date (the default when creating a new level). What I found is once the invoice is generated the member cannot change their membership level. Maybe they want to change from 1-year to 3-year but with an invoice they are forced into another 1-year membership. They have to wait until after the grace period has voided the invoice, then they can change levels and renew. I got around this by NOT sending out an invoice and simply relying on the renewal reminder emails.
Getting to your new proposal. The key for me would be "Remaining portion of old membership level payment will be applied to new level". That saves us from having to issue refunds for partially used old membership levels. Let's say our bronze level is $24/year and silver is $36/year. Using your graphic I would argue that his Sept 1, 2020 to Jan 1, 2021 dues would be (($36*(1/3) [new level pro-rated]) - (($24*(1/3) [old level pro-rated])) = $4. Correct with your proposal? Now if they are down-grading from silver to bronze they would have a credit of $4. Not sure how WA handles that.
For my organization we are based on "join date" - not a fixed renewal date. So for this case, using your graphic, I wouldn't worry about pro-rating the new level. Just reset the renewal date from Jan 1, 2021 to Sept 1, 2021. Although the fee for the level change would be pro-rated based on the "remaining portion of old membership level". So using our example (($36 [new member level]) - ($24*(1/3) [old level pro-rated])) = $28.
Thanks for comments, DeeDee,
Let me confirm your example:
1. One year membership is active from Jun 1st 2020 to Jun 1st 2021
2. Member changes level in May 2021 to 3 year membership from Jun 1st 2021 to Jun 1st 2024 that costs 70$
In this case it seems reasonable to pay for the whole 3 year membership AND renew till Jun 1st 2024, which is conflicting with your new members policy.
What do you think, if we make separate configurable pro-ration settings for level change - will it work for you? E.g.
1. Don't prorate membership level change
2. Instead, charge full regular level fee and extend renewal one additional period starting 1st May
Also, what is the bigger concern? Losing $ or that new level privileges will be available in May, not June?
Your proposal would not work for us. We have an annual renewal date of 1 June. We only have membership level changes at the time of renewal. We want members to renew in May. An example of a level change: a member changes from a one-year membership at $25 to a three-year membership at $70. Your pro-rating proposal appears to result in less $ and the time period covered would be the same.
In addition, we have a different type of pro-rating system for new members. Our fiscal year runs from 1 Jun to 31 May. Our policy is if a member joins after 1 Dec, their membership runs until the second 1 June. For example, a member joins on 4 Dec 2020, they are not due for renewal until 1 June 2022.
Jim Morrison commented
members should be able to change levels during renewal. Currently the software doesn't allow change in level if "pending renewal". Pending renewal starts we send a notice that is time to renew. We have several membership levels and if a member wants to change levels, even though there is a permission question on renewal window, the system does not allow change in levels. This has been frustrating for some of our members and we don't know a work around for it.
Rodney Wise commented
Our organization has many member levels. Each year we bill our renewals based on annual budgets of our members, which means that the member must choose what level to renew in. In addition, the cost per membership changes each year, so we have to setup new member levels. Currently, there is no way to force member renewals into new levels for this year. There is a need to have a selection in the renewal policy for member levels that says "what levels are valid for renewals?" so we can force them to choose a "this years" level.
I am having a significant problem during our membership renewal drive. Our renewal date is January 1. If a member renews at the same membership level the system moves their renewal date to January 2022. However if they want to change levels it keeps the renewal date as January 1, 2021. I then have to go in and change this manually. This causing a signficant amount of time for tracking and changing manually. A feature that allows for level changing and renewal at the same time would help tremendously. It could be a setting of "x" number of days before renwal you could activate.
We have recently moved our membership database over to WA. We wanted to offer our members recurring payments, since many of them have requested this. There were two options to do this. The first was to change ALL of our members to recurring payments, which was not feasible. The second was to create a second member lever which was identical except had recurring payments and allow members to switch from one to the other. Sounds simple, right?
Well, for members who renew before the renewal date it bills them the full year's dues and leaves their renewal date the same since we have a fixed membership year. For members who have paid more than one year in advance, not only does it not advance their membership by another year, but it wipes out the advance payments! The worst part is, that it doesn't keep a record of what their old renewal date was, so I have to go back and research the date.
This is a nightmare! And I'm being told by the developers that THIS IS BY DESIGN. This is the way they INTENDED it to work.
Brad Cottrell commented
My club is currently in a trial of WA. We were almost ready to start our paid account, when we discovered this serious problem with membership level change. Please bring this request up to priority and get it done soon.
MLA Association Manager commented
We are getting strong feedback from our members that they would like to have the ability to change membership level at the same time as renewing.
Ali Siegert commented
Members should be able to change their membership level when they are renewing (i.e. when their status is pending). For our organization, the renewal period is the ONLY time a member would change their level. PLEASE make change so that our members can change their level when renewing their membership.
Kenneth Koubek commented
We have discounted membership levels for unemployed or student or retirees. We also have our renewals based on the calendar year. If a persons employment level changes for any reason during the year and they want to take advantage of the discounted level for the upcoming renewal, they have to wait until their membership expires so that they can change the level without a new invoice being issued (essentially extra invoicing during a calendar year). We also are initiating an auto-renewal membership that includes a discount. If a person wants to change the level before the current membership expires, they are automatically invoiced for the new discounted level for the rest of the year, even though they have paid for the full calendar year without a discount. When renewal notices go out to members during the last quarter, if they want to renew at the discounted rate or at any other level, they have to ignore the notice and wait until the current membership expires to change the level which then generates an invoice for that next year and effectively renewing their membership but at the new level. Renewals should allow a choice of levels for the member so that they can renew at any time at the new level without automatically issuing a new invoice till the end of the current membership term.
Glenn Ostrander commented
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).
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.
Karen Garritano commented
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
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?
Tom Berry commented
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!
David Goodrich commented
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.