Don't allow archived members to renew - or charge them past due fees
We are having a particularly tough time with (past)members who have been archived and suspended being able to log back into their profile in order to renew their membership. I realize looking at the Membership Status http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/How+membership+status+affects+available+functionality functionality that this has been built into the system. My question is why??? My next question then is, is there a way around this?
We have members that do not renew so we archive them. A year and a half later they decide to renew so all they do is sign back in and renew for the coming year. We need to have the ability to make them pay past years dues in addition to the coming year. Basically, with the way it is set up now, there is no advantage, to us, to have them archived other than they don't count against the total number of contacts.
What I need is for them to become suspended and, I guess, not archived. I can suspend someone and once I do, then I get what I want: they can log in and view their profile, but they cannot renew. BUT, once I Archive them, suspended or not, they are able to get back to their profile and renew. This does not work for us. Is there a way around this happening??
Maintaining a renewal trail would be helpful. Members of our society list their membership on their CV for example. People list things like "member from 2005-2013". Most members would prefer to maintain continuity, rather than having to list "2005-2011, and 2013-present". This feature would be a GREAT benefit for us, as it would generate a substantial amount of owed dues. Prior to adopting WA, there was no easy way for members to check if they were current, and so there are many members presently in arrears. This is also a reason that we would like members to be able to pay for an arbitrary number of years in the future, many would like to renew for more than one at a time.
Dmitry Buterin commented
Thanks so much for the details.
I would love to hear from others on this topic - please comment!
Larry Killer commented
Registering using a different email address is a valid point and we've even seen that happen because they did not realize that they could just log back in with their existing email address and re-activate.
We give our members 90 days to renew, after that they are archived and if they do want to renew they can and it is retroactive to their initial join date. The majority of our members are so because they have professional certification through a third party. This third party recognizes our membership when validating a certificants re-certification points. Therefore, we have people that sign up when they initially receive their professional certification and then they do nothing with it until they have to re-certify 3 years later. Then, because they need to use their membership for some of their re-cert points, renew (for the current) year. However, to count all of their membership points for the past three years, they need to be current for all of those years. We do cross check all of our members that are re-certifying with the certification company to verify their membership with us.
The way the system is set up now, someone could pay when they join, expire and be archived a year later and then pay when they re-certify. If we don't catch them, then they are using the two years that they did not pay for their points on re-certifcation. If they are locked out of the system, then the only way they can renew and use those years is if they contact our treasurer and pay all back dues. So, not only are we out the membership dues they skipped over and didn't pay, but more importantly, they are using membership points that they technically shouldn't be, of their professional certification re-cert process. That, honestly, is more important to us than their membership dues.
Dmitry Buterin commented
Hi Larry, thanks for the feedback. One reason we went with the current workflow is that we assumed that most people wouldn't go for paying lats year dues - they would simply register under a different email or something.
Also, why would they be charge the whole year? I assume that if they are overdue, they should be archived within 30-45 days so wouldn't have membership benefits for the whole year.
I would appreciate comments from everyone - this discussion really helps us understand different cases and approaches!
Larry Killer commented
Thank you for the reply Jim.
Our situation is that we have an event coming up where members get the discounted price to go. Typically we would not allow them to attend the meeting under the discounted price until their membership was paid up to date. So, for example, they would have to pay the dues from last year plus the current years dues. Then they could attend as a member. What we are seeing are that some of these members are logging in, which re-activates their membership from archived. Then all they have to do is pay the current years dues and then they are able to sign up for the event at the members' price.
This effectively circumvents the fact that we should still be collecting from them another year worth of dues before they are members in good standing again. Unless we happen to know the names of the members that have been archived, or we search all renewed memberships each day, there is no way to catch everyone that is doing this. In this case since most of them are registering for the event, it is easier for us to find who has un-archived themselves.
I understand where some clients do not want it where their archived members have to contact them in order to renew, but that is exactly what we want and need. I do hope that you continue on the new workflow so that in the future this is something that each client can control to their liking.
Thank you again for the quick response!
Fluid Apricot commented
It used to be archived members were not allowed to login or reapply / renew, but a number of clients requested this change (since it meant archived members had to contact the admin first if they wanted to rejoin). In the current design we basically eliminated this extra step.
Once a member is archived (or lapsed) they do not have any member privileges so it makes no sense to charge them for that past period they did not have access to the system (again this was changed due to a number of requests). There is currently no way around this, but we do plan to redesign the renewal workflow to include the ability to automatically suspend members for example.