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Mandatory payment for event registration: complete a registration only when a payment is received

I have two sites that I have just created and thought before hand (Prior to last update) that I tried the registration process. I recall being able to turn off manual or offline payments which in turn would only complete event registrations only if an online payment was received.

Now that I have built these two sites and see that "invoices" are being created and people are regsitering without paying online, it is creating a major problem and adding a tremendous burden on our businesses in multiple ways.

1. A bunch of our events have limited registration so when people register without paying, It is closing our events to participants that have no financial committement yet to us, which causes issues trying to receive those payments before the scheduled events.

2. Most of our event participants are not members of our site, and one of our sites we have even used css customization to completely take out the username/password box so when people register for events and don't pay they don't have anyway to do so in the future except the one email they get afterwards showing they have an invoice.

3. A lot of our events are online so we don't physically see the participant. This goes along with the first point in trying to collect payments prior to the event starting and the pain that goes along in trying to collect registration fees from a registered guest.

I don't understand how this is not a larger issue with other sites. For example:

Dinner Events - Multiple guests can register for the event that didn't pay, not show up and the business is out money.

Bracketed Events - We are running a sports tournament that have a max of 16 competitors in each division. The winner of the division gets a paid trip to the world championships. If competitors register and don't pay and don't show up, we are out of the money and have to pay out of pocket for the competitor in that division to go to the world championships.

Online Events - I started a fantasy sports site where each event consists of 10 teams that have a specific online draft date. The winners get the prize money. If a team registers but doesn't pay, then we have to pay winners out of pocket.

I understand invoices are created and we can send them ourselves and spend time trying to collect payments afterwards. However this is very time consuming and risky. If there is a way to limit registrations to only participants that already paid online then I would be extremely grateful if someone would be able to explain it to me. If not, is there anything in the works to fix this issue.

Through creating the site I have used WA support and it has been very helpful...except when I called about this specific issue which the lady was pretty rude. I just want to say thanks for the help so far and I apologize for how large this post got. I just need to find a solution for this issue prior to moving forward with the businesses I am working for/with.

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  • Alan Glasser commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Not sure if I like 15 minute deletion of unpaid online event invoices. Many times people register with smart phone but wait to get back home to pay bill with credit card info. If there an option do remove this "new" feature?

  • Michele Messina commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    People who are registering for an event must have to pay during registration. it is inconvenient for the account holder to have to constantly monitor and resend invoices for payment.

  • billsaling1942 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Wild Apricot's continued inability to address the online pay only issue of allowing a contact to register for an event without receiving payment is becoming a real problem. We find ourselves having to email or call a registrant to follow up on getting paid. We raised this issue before. If Wild Apricot cannot address this issue we may need to explore other membership software options.

  • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Katya, I see a problem if the admin has to proactively select the Registration cancelled email. Many of us copy an existing event to create a new one. We may not have that email selected now. We won't remember about this new feature and that we need to select it.

    (I have the same problem on user cancellation of registration. It's a great feature but I have to remember to enable it when I copy an old event.)

    So I would suggest that if a registration is automatically cancelled, an email automatically be sent to the user,

    While I'm thinking about this workflow - why doesn't Registration cancellation email default to enabled? That would solve most of this problem. (But only if it is applied to all existing events.)

  • AdminKatya Tyukina (Product Manager, Wild Apricot by Personify) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Walt, thanks for suggestions. Actually, it will work exactly as you described.

    If registration was cancelled, the user will receive only the Registration canceled email, if it is selected in the event emails settings. And the Registration confirmed if registration was paid only (the same as it works now). So to notify your members you need to set up these emails in the event email settings.

    Regarding the payment method. Yes, to turn off the automatic cancellation you would have to select the 'Offline / Online' payment method. That could increase the workload, but at the same time, the feature will decrease it for those who use Online only payments now. Our statistics say that this option is used by 30% of customers (at least once).
    And we are ready to handle such requests (turn-off the feature) manually since we do not expect that there will be many of them

  • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Katya, we would like the turn on/off option, but it should default to "on" as most users will prefer that.

    A few of our members have figured out that they can pay by check under the current situation, and we can handle that.

    With automatic cancellation, we would have to enable both online and offline payment. If more members choose offline, it would increase the workload for the organizer, who might have to chase more people for payment.

    It would help if there were a way to send an automatic payment reminder to those who select offline payment but then don't pay right away. There is a wishlist item for that: https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/9360177-event-payment-reminders

  • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Katya, it's great that this is being implemented. Two comments:

    Will a member whose reservation is automatically cancelled be sent an email notice? Otherwise, if there is a problem with the payment that the member doesn't notice, they may show up at the event not knowing their reservation was cancelled.

    Also, what is the workflow for an online payment? Does the member receive both a Reservation pending and a Reservation confirmed email?

    I suggest that if they try to pay online, then no email should be sent until they complete payment or 15 minutes elapses. Then if they have paid they get Reservation confirmed, and if not then they get either a cancellation email (if online payments only is selected) or a Reservation pending email (if online or offline payments are selected).

  • AdminKatya Tyukina (Product Manager, Wild Apricot by Personify) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Brett, good questions, thanks.

    For sure, we are going to include all the information to the registration process on the public side. The time they have and the consequences that will be (cancellation).
    Also, you always could use event payment instructions to include additional information for your registrants.

    And, forgot to mention, we are considering the turn-on / off option for this function. But this is under the question now, will be decided later based on the feedback.

  • Brett commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    So to be clear is this place now? Could people think they are registered and be removed in 125 minutes? Does it tell them this fact? I run over 250 different events in a year and really count on knowing who is at the events. I am 100% wanting them to have to pay upon arrival but need clarification.

  • retreat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please, please restrict registrations to only those where payments have been applied- either deposit or paid in full. It creates a nightmare to constantly be emailing those who have registered and not paid ANYTHING. (Aside from having to constantly change those who actually did leave a deposit-- to full registrations- this is also a big problem, and an additional step for admins.) SO, to be clear, we WISH that
    1) All registrations require a deposit or payment in full- or the registration is not processed/accepted.
    2) When a deposit is made (or that option is chosen) the system automatically applies that to the full registration cost and emails the registrant a confirmation of the deposit amount, and shows the balance due- reflective of the total cost, less the deposit.

    These two small changes could make a huge difference to administrators!!!
    Thank you

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the original poster. I run a small business and when members register for an event without paying, it takes away a spot from a paying member and I then have to spend time tracking down the member for payment and in some scenarios, the member cancels last minute with no penalty. This should be a high priority to the WA developers.

  • Camille Scent commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, this is absolutely a HUGE issue! I did not actually realize that unpaid registration was an option when "online payment only" is selected. Why in the world would unpaid registration be an option? Item number 1 from above is our primary issue: 1. A bunch of our events have limited registration so when people register without paying, It is closing our events to participants that have no financial commitment yet to us, which causes issues trying to receive those payments before the scheduled events.
    PLEASE fix this!

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