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Triggered payment reminder when payment due is 0

Oct 25, 2016 6:44 AM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

Hi, I have a guest who chose to pay her balance early. I did it by changing due date in the system so that payment collected earlier. So by the time her date due came, her balance due was 0. However, payment reminder email still triggered:

"We wanted to remind you about your final payment for your upcoming booking at XXXXX.

Your final payment is due by which is ."

I would think if the balance due is 0, payment reminder should not trigger? or do I need to change some setting? Thanks

Chris Hynes
Oct 25, 2016 9:05 AM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1400 posts

Hmm. You're right, that shouldn't happen. There are checks in the system to only send if there is an amount due, although we are working on an overhaul of the triggers right now so its possible something was affected.

Did you change the date on an existing scheduled payment or collect an additional payment manually?

Can you give me the booking number so I can have a look? Open a ticket if you don't want that to be public...

Oct 25, 2016 9:11 AM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

The guest wanted to make couple of payments early. So each time I would change existing payment date to next day and amount to what she wanted to pay. then the remainder was supposed to be collected on due date. But, she asked to pay the balance early, so when due date rolled around, the remaining due was 0.
I was afraid to use 'collect additional payment' as I thought that would cause to collect money ==in addition== to her outstanding amount due. I thought collect additional payment was meant for price changes such as extra money for extra people or pets added later, or some rebooking/change fee. etc added after the fact.

P.S do I get an "award" for QA testing and discovering quirks? LOL

Chris Hynes
Oct 25, 2016 12:37 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1400 posts

Yeah, you definitely deserve an award for finding all the quirkyness! We should have a user badge for "Test Pro" or something that shows up on your forum account. ;-)

I see what's going on here though... the reminder that was sent out was a custom one that you've got scheduled on a trigger. The built-in one goes out automatically 10 and 5 days before payment is scheduled as well as as the day of. The built-in one won't be sent if there is 0 balance due. In this case, that worked correctly and it wasn't sent.

You can see the status of this in the booking Payments tab. If there was a reminder scheduled to go out, you'd see that info and have a button there to skip instead of the status that no reminder will be sent:

However, you also have a custom "Payment Reminder" email template with a trigger set for 37 days before arrival -- that's the one that was sent. We don't have support for advanced criteria on triggers yet, although we're working on it. So it's just going to go 37 days before, unless you skip it in the Email tab of the booking:

Notice how the subsequent triggers there have a "Skip" button? You can't skip the Payment Reminder on this booking because its already been sent, but if you had clicked Skip next to it before, then it wouldn'tve been sent. That's the manual skip you've got to do for now until we have criteria on the trigger that will allow you to say "send trigger 37 days before arrival, but only if there is a payment amount due".

You can collect manual payments at any time. If you have a scheduled payment for "Remaining Balance" and the amount due is 0 by the time the scheduled payment is collected, then that collection will be skipped.

We also check when you try to do an "Collect Additional Payment" and only allow it if there is an actual balance due. If not, you'll get a message like this when you go to Collect Additional Payment:

Collect Additional Payment may need to be reworded slightly -- it doesn't mean an additional payment on top of the charges, but an additional payment different from the automatic first and second payments.

In any case, you won't be allowed to collect more than is in the booking Charges -- if you did want to do something for price changes, you actually have to change the Charges first to create an amount due before you can collect the additional payment against it.

Oct 25, 2016 12:58 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

Thank you for the explanation. I have disabled custom and hopefully now the standard will run.

Oct 25, 2016 1:02 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

The reason I had set up custom reminder because for scheduled payments it says " No additional automatic reminders will be sent to the guest because there is a scheduled payment waiting to be collected.". I wanted a reminder to the customer that their card on file will be charged UNLESS they want to use other card, pay by check etc and sending that 37 days out would give them 7 days before due to make up their mind to pay by check (for example) or let it charge to the credit card. The above message "No additional automatic reminders will be sent to the guest because there is a scheduled payment waiting to be collected." made me think that since we have CC on file. the reminder will not be sent at all and CC will simply be charged without any reminder.

Chris Hynes
Oct 25, 2016 2:57 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1400 posts

Yep, and that makes perfect sense. The built-in payment reminder emails are only for the case where payment isn't scheduled -- for example when none or partial payment has been made by check, or paypal, or you've removed the auto scheduled payment on a credit card etc.

That notification in that case is that there is no payment scheduled so they need to manually pay. They aren't sent out if the payment is scheduled or if there is no amount due.

What you've got right now with the 37 days before trigger is the way to do it. Just keep in mind if you do have a case like this where a guest pays early for whatever reason to go into the booking and skip the email -- it's configured in the system as 37 days before on the trigger and will go out then if you don't skip it.

If you disabled the trigger entirely, I'd recommend not doing that -- just leave it in place and remember to skip the trigger email on the booking if the guest pays in full. They can't do that without your interaction, so you'll always have a decision point of "guest wants to pay in full... let me charge them and then go skip the reminder email".

We've got stuff in the works for making the skip auto -- eventually you'll be able to go into the trigger and do something like add criteria of "only send if amount due > 0" so that it is date and rules based, but we're not quite there yet.