Why your submissions don’t reset upon billing

An occasional source of confusion with SurveyCTO is why the monthly recurring submission allowance, which is part of your subscription, does not reset on your billing date. If you started using SurveyCTO and enjoyed any part of our 15 day trial before upgrading to a paid subscription, your number of submissions won’t start over after your payments. The reason is that SurveyCTO servers have two different cycles: the billing cycle and the usage cycle.

Usage cycle

The usage cycle starts when your trial begins. Find this date by clicking on the usage button in the upper right corner of your console:

usage_cycle.png

Billing cycle

The billing cycle begins when you start paying for SurveyCTO under a paid subscription. It refers to the date until which you need to make a payment. Otherwise the server will close due to non-payment if there is no positive team-month credit balance. You can find this date by clicking on your user account, in the upper right corner of the server console, and then on the manage subscription page.

Let’s say that you started using the 15 day free trial on January 10th and then upgraded to a paid account on January 25th - your usage cycle then starts on the 10th of each month, while your billing cycle starts on the 25th of each month (15 days later). The image below illustrates this example:

usage_billing_cycle.png

Cycle synchronization

The usage cycle can be synchronized to the billing cycle only if you immediately initiate payment on the day you started your trial, and it is not possible to synchronize them later. Yet there are benefits to this approach. In practice, this means that you only start paying for your current usage cycle mid-way. Your usage cycle resets on the 10th, unlocking the next usage period’s recurring submission allowance (before making payment), then only 15 days later you pay for a service you haven’t been charged for up until that point. If a subscriber cancels their subscription on the 20th, for example, between the 10th and 20th they could make use of part of their new month of server service, including a full month’s submissions allowance, without paying again on the 25th.

The status of your own account might be more complicated as it is possible to downgrade to the free community subscription and also allow your account to expire in between paid periods of service. Hopefully the above serves to clarify the concept of the usage cycle and billing cycle.

If you need more advice and are a support user on a paid server, start a support request from the My requests link in the top right of this page.

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