I have yet to sort just how the top-up is is to be handled - we really want to make it a secure page anyway (even though completely internal to us and BT). We'll probably just ask for the accounts password to top up. I did consider simple "click through" to agree a top-up, but you can't leave your kids torrenting all day if all they need to do is click "Yes" on a page when it pops up!
It is only tricky because it is integration with billing, which is a carefully controlled system with very carefully locked down interfaces, for obvious reasons. The last thing you want is a script running amok with direct debits!
What we have decided, from various feedback, is to allow three options on reaching quota.
- The default, which is block access, lock down to 128k and provide top-up portal web page.
- Slow down, which is allow access to Internet still but lock down to 128k and take usage from next month's allowance. That may have to have some limits as 128k constantly is more than 25GB a month.
- Auto top-up, which is charging for a 50GB top-up automatically, emailing details. Again, we may need to limit how often that can be done.
We still have a lot to do, for example the form/page to change to the new tariff (which is surprisingly complex), and for new customers to sign up. We would like to sort the new ordering system this year as well, but maybe we'll do a simple sign-up form for Home::1 first.
What is interesting, and hence the title of this blog post, is that most of the people moving to the new tariff today will be paying us slightly more per month than before. It is interesting that people are prepared to pay a few pounds a month for peace of mind ("piece of mind" being brain surgery) and the convenience of not having to watch the clock. Very reassuring.
Update: People leaving us have changed their mind for Home::1 and people that left us are coming back for it. Wow!