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flexible recurring payments

Trying to use recurring payments with a time incentive referral bonus

7:13 pm on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hello. A little help for a newbie developer please. This is my first post here although I have already solved many problems with postings here. Great site!

My question is, does anyone know a way to somehow use recurring payments on a website, but also have the recurring payment date be flexible to accommodate a time incentive bonus for referrals?

My website is a subscription based directory where members pay an annual fee. If they refer someone to the site and that person successfully enrolls, I would like to add 3 months to the referring members end date.

I am hoping to do all financial transactions off-site, preferably with PayPal, but it doesn't seem like they offer this type of functionality.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!


2:42 am on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Welcome aboard ckonline, give some examples of "flexible."

With most processors (that I've worked with,) the subscription can be set in the merchant account itself (in which case it's not variable) or at the time of the first subscription signup, you can pass any period and duration (up to 3 years) you want. So user A can sign up on a 3-month renewal, B on a 6 month renewal, C on an annual - which is how you do different subscription packages.

However, once those are set, they are set. B cannot skip the 6th month payment and pay at the 12 month mark.

I do believe payPal has this functionality, but it **might** need to be integrated with payFlowPro (unverified, been ages since I had a serious payPal integration.)

5:54 pm on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Most payment gateways enable you to set a variety of recurring payment plans and you have the flexiblity to change among plans.
5:40 am on Nov 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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where members pay an annual fee

I am completely opposed to annual fee auto-renewal. (Automatic monthly renewals for various services are a different matter.)

The best that I have seen displays my expiration date on every login, so I can always see where I am in my year. When it runs it out - I am locked out. Then I choose to renew. Just takes a moment and Username and Password are retained. Code up something similar, and you should easily be able to extend the expiration date.

Do you trust the value of your service?

A service that needs to auto-renew a yearly subscription has problems. It ain't for your convenience as a customer.

5:07 pm on Nov 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone for your input.

Yes, I'm thinking about ditching the auto-renewing function. It seems it would be next to impossible to incorporate with a time-extension referral incentive anyway.