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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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    SlickwixelSlickwixel shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    44 comments

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      • Tamara LovelandTamara Loveland commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Event attendees should have to pay online at the time of registration for an event. I don't like that an invoice is created and left open. Open invoices make it difficult for us to get an accurate head count because the open invoices are not always paid. Additionally, an open invoice holds a registration spot that another member can take if there is a limited number of registrations available. Bottom line, paying online means an attendee must pay online AT THE TIME OF REGISTRATION.

      • Tracey BoothTracey Booth commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like you to disallow unpaid events to be processed. I keep getting people registering for events and then not paying.

      • Walt BilofskyWalt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Susan commented "Is there a way to change the color -- maybe to RED -- of the 'Confirm' button ... We have an issue with our members forgetting to click 'Confirm'."

        Us too.

      • Randall RenschRandall Rensch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It absolutely IS a major issue. Our club spends thousands of dollars for a bus trip, and if we get reservations we can't depend on (unpaid), we stand to run a loss, or waste spots that other people could take.

        Support was as helpful as can be expected (short of miraculous feature creation), suggesting a sort of imperfect workaround. It begins with accepting payment online only, and then what seems like a fair amount of busy-work by our financial people. But why isn't this an automatic no-brainer option?

        Also, a few people prefer to mail a check. Registration should allow the registrant to select their preference: Pay now, or hold the reservation for X days for a check to arrive. If there is a deadline, the X days would end on that date (or X, whichever shorter), and if that isn't sufficient mailing time, then and only then might admin intervention be required. (The option to pay online would still be available.) But checks are a minor consideration, by far.

        A related need is "early bird" payments. If there is a discounted price for paying by a certain date, after which the price rises, and if a registration is allowed (by us) to remain open for later payment, the Amount Due should rise if not paid by the early bird deadline. Currently, since there is an open invoice, our financial person has to cancel unpaid early birds and email them to start from scratch. What retailer would operate that way? Support has suggested we instead manually revise the invoice(s), and that when people pay an invoice after the deadline, the revised price will be charged. Again, whether this works and is clear to our "customers," it's work for something that should be automatic.

      • Randall RenschRandall Rensch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Option to make Registrations incomplete unless paid; make payment an integral part of the registration process.

      • bwsmembersbwsmembers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We hold several events with limited registration limits, but high demand. If people register, don't pay, and don't show up then we end up with empty seats even though we know a lot of people could have filled that spot.
        If there was a feature where you could set a date by which payment must be received or their registration is canceled, then we wouldn't have to manually monitor and try to contact people regarding payment for each of these events. Related featured if you implement this:
        1) Of course setting a date would also mean I'd like to have the ability to set an automated reminders, some number of days before the event, that payment must be received or they will be canceled from the event.
        2) An automated notification that their registration has been canceled (to "registrant" and event manager for the event.)

      • PaulPaul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Many event registration sites have this as the default. At a minimum this should be an option for administrators to toggle on/off to require payment before holding a reservation - or give a window of time that the payment must be submitted before the registration is automatically cancelled.

      • RobRob commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I like this request. Some events we host need a positive commitment (i.e. payment) and not just a "place holder" for the event.

      • Darren CrovitzDarren Crovitz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'd like the ability to require registrants to pay at the time that they register for an event. Can you create an option that requires immediate payment in order for a registration to be processed (i.e., no "balance due" status?

      • SusanSusan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is there a way to change the color -- maybe to RED -- of the 'Confirm' button on the last 'Review and Confirm' page of an event registration.

        Or, maybe putting a message at the top of the page: 'Don't forget to click on 'Confirm' to finalize your registration.'

        We have an issue with our members forgetting to click 'Confirm'.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would love to be able to clicka button to require payment upon registration. 8 out of 10 that sign up and dont pre-pay dont make it to our events. Waste of labor and spaces that could have been used by paying customers.

      • LeBon AbercrombieLeBon Abercrombie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We would like to allow payment by check, but not confirm the registration until the check is received and posted.

      • LizLiz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I completely agree with Walt's comments on this feature. Make "mandatory payment" an option when creating an event. This should also remove the confusing "Invoice Me" button from the registration flow, so that the only option is to continue to the pay screen.

      • Walt BilofskyWalt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is important - really should be a bug fix, not a feature - but let's think about it a bit.

        We only require prepayment online when an event really needs it. However, our members have figured out that they can reserve and then drop out of PayPal, and more and more of them are doing it - about 25% on the most recent event.

        This creates work for the volunteer event organizer to chase them down, and then for the treasurer to clear the invoices after the event. So we need this feature.

        But think about it: If 25% don't pay online, how many of those would we lose if we enforced payment? Some of them the event organizer might be willing to allow to pay at the door, or to mail her a check.

        So here's what I suggest:

        If a registrant doesn't complete payment, send an email to the event organizer with a link they can click to approve the registration and leave the invoice open, and another link they can click to cancel the registration. If they don't do either, then the default happens - automatic cancellation within X hours, or by the registration deadline, if the invoice remains unpaid.

        Also send an automatic email to the registrant explaining that they are not registered yet, telling them the situation, and providing a link for them to contact the event organizer if they need to make special arrangements.

        This makes the organizer's life easier while leaving them the flexibility to deal with each case and make exceptions on a case by case basis.

      • Walt BilofskyWalt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We run into this all the time. However, there is some utility to letting them register and have an open invoice, because some members insist on mailing a check. So they register and then have to contact the organizer and arrange payment. We are OK with that, but some organizations aren't.

        So there should be an option in the event to choose what happens when a member doesn't complete a required online payment. He gets an open invoice, but either (1) the registration is in effect, as happens now, or (2) the registration is saved as pending, but only goes into the registration list when the invoice is cleared, and he gets an email explaining that.

        If the event sells out before the invoice is paid, then pending reservations get cancelled.

      • commodorecommodore commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to see an option where registration for a paid event is not completed unless the paypal process is successfully completed during registration (ie you pay when you sign up, or you don't get signed up). This will relieve the problem we have of people registering but not paying and taking up limited spaces in an event (lesson, for example)

      • Nicole ChappellNicole Chappell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        When you register for an event if payment is not completed within 24 hours that registration is automatically deleted from the system.

        We are having individuals that are registering for events and never pay. It would make the admin's life a little easier if that process was automated.

      • Cindy BruceCindy Bruce commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, this needs to be added! I just made one of our events "live" and already, the first person that has registered, did not pay and they are an exhibitor reserving 2 tables to exhibit at our convention. He filled out the form, submitted it but didn't pay online like we have it set up for. He was sent an invoice by WA and I have sent him 3 emails telling him his tables can not be reserved until payment is made. I haven't heard back. We will be having over 500 attendees for this annual convention with different applications. This is our first time using WA and I'm extremely nervous that this can be a potential nightmare.

      • Riley JacksonRiley Jackson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I understand the issue and agree with the concept, but options are needed. Someone who registers but wants to send a check in the mail should be able to keep his place in the event queue unless his payment is not received by a certain time. At least that's the way I need it to work.

      • Bob VinsonBob Vinson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Issuing an invoice and waiting for payment is a major accounting inconvenience for us. Would rather that payment be forced online before registration is booked eliminating us having to chase after attendees who have registered but not paid the invoice.

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