Volume Discount Plans

The volume discount plans tool is used for making automatic price adjustments and allotments. It allows you to adjust prices depending on the volume of services consumed by customers, allocate a certain volume of free services and transfer a balance to a sub-wallet that has been designed for a particular type of service. These are the three main discount schemes:

For more details about all the discount schemes, please refer to the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

 

Add / Edit a Discount Plan

How to clone a discount plan

To clone a discount plan, follow these steps:

  1. On the Edit Discount Plan page, click the Clone button on the toolbar.

 

  1. In the Clone Discount Plan dialog box, type a name for the cloned discount plan and select who will manage it – the administrator or one of the resellers.

General Info tab

 

 

Field Description

Plan Name

The logical name of the volume discount plan.

Currency

Indicates which currency is used for billing calculations. All discounts in a plan are to be defined in this currency. A volume discount plan can only be assigned to customers, accounts and products that use the same currency.

Managed By

  • By default – Administrator only.

  • The plan can be assigned to a reseller (Managed by NNN) so that it is manageable from the reseller self-care interface.

Apply Discounts To

This options menu appears only if service pools are configured in PortaBilling®.

 

The following options are available:

  • Individual combinations of service / destination group – The volume discount plan will be applied to a single service.

  • •Service pool – The volume discount plan will be applied to several services defined within a service pool. With this option enabled, select the desired service pool from the list.

Destination Group Set

Discounts can be defined for individual groups (e.g. US&Canada, Asia, Western Europe) within this set. Once chosen for discount plan creation, the destination group set cannot be changed later on.

Destination group lookup type

This describes how PortaBilling® matches the charging and discount parameters and then applies the discounts. Matches are performed based on the destination within the rate against the prefix in the volume discount.

  • Same Destination As Rate – The rate in the tariff must be exactly the same as the prefix in the group for volume discount definition. For instance, if a customer makes a phone call to 4206025551234 and a matching rate for 420602 (Czech Republic, Mobile) is defined in his tariff, the billing engine will search for whether any discounts in the volume discount plan are assigned to any destination group containing 420602.

  • By Prefix Of Rate Destination – The rate in the tariff can either be equal to or more specific than the prefix in the volume discount plan. So, if the rate in the tariff is 420602 and there is a 420 prefix in the discount plan, the discount is applied to the call. This puts more load on the billing engine, since an extra pattern match must be performed.

  • By full rating pattern match – This method disregards the destination used in the tariff entirely. It matches the components of the rate match pattern against the longest prefix in the volume discount plan starting from the first component in the pattern.

     

    The rate match pattern consists of several components including special destinations and dialed numbers divided by the “|” symbol (e.g. VOICEONNET\RX|420123456789). The dialed number is usually the last component in the pattern.

     

    PortaBilling® first matches the special destinations (e.g. VOICEONNET) to the prefixes in the volume discount plan and continues searching until it finds the best match. So, if the prefix VOICEONNETRX is included in the destination group for the volume discount definition, the discount is applied.

     

    If no match is found among the special destinations, PortaBilling® continues to search based on the number dialed by the customer. The discount is then applied based on the longest full prefix match between the CLD and the prefix in the volume discount plan.

     

    Let’s say the volume discount plan contains the following prefixes: 420, 4202, 42032. The discount is applied based on the 420. If it contains 420602 the discount is applied based on that.

     

    This puts more load on the billing engine, since an extra pattern match must be performed.

Description

This is a short description of the volume discount plan.

 

When you fill in all the required fields, click the Save icon. After a volume discount plan has been saved, the Discounts, Quotas and Service Wallets tab becomes available.

 

Discounts, Quotas and Service Wallets tab

Here you can define the discount rules within a volume discount plan. For instance, you may include 100 free monthly domestic SMSs, 1000 free monthly minutes to USA&Canada and a special offer of 15% off calls to India once the customer has used more than 200 minutes in calls.

How to add a new discount rule

To add a new discount rule to the plan, click Add on the toolbar.

 

The General Info and Type sections are common for all volume discount plan schemes:

 

Field Description

General Info

 

Service

Choose a specific service (voice calls, messaging, data transfer, etc.) that this volume discount will apply to. You can bundle discounts for multiple services into the same volume discount plan.

Destination Group

This parameter defines a destination group (a list of prefixes) that will be used in a volume discount definition. Select a destination group from the list.

Included Services / Destination Groups

(available only for Service Pools)

Indicates which services and destination groups are defined for this volume discount plan.

 

This field is read-only; service / destination group pairs are taken from the selected service pool configuration.

Based On

Select whether you will use thresholds based on the charged amount, or on consumed traffic:

  • Monetary means the threshold is measured in currency units (e.g. USD), and the counters will go up by the amount that the customer should have been charged for the service before the volume discount plan was applied.

  • Volume means the unit is minutes, MB, SMS, etc. depending on the selected service.

For example, you can use thresholds based on the call cost (10% discount after more than $10 worth of calls) or on the call time (e.g. 10% discount after 200 minutes).

NOTE: Let’s look at a situation in which a customer’s balance is $10.00 (and the volume discount counter is also $10.00). The customer makes a 30-minute call, and the tariff rate is $0.20/min. The call is charged as 30 * 0.20 – 10% = $5.40, and this value is stored in the CDR for the call. Thus the customer’s balance will be modified by $5.40, to become 15.40. At the same time, the volume discount counter will go up by the amount without the discount because the discount applies to a standard rate. Thus the counter will go up by $6, to become $16.00.

Type

Select a type of discount to be provided:

  • Service Wallet – This scheme makes it possible to divide the customer’s balance into virtual sub-wallets. Therefore, money transferred to a sub-wallet can only be used for a specific service (e.g. only for calls to the US or only for sending SMSs, etc.). Service wallets can be topped up via the self-care or administrator web interface.

  • Quota – This scheme enables you to allocate a defined volume of services for your customers. For example, provide 100 minutes for calls to Canada and 3 GB of Internet traffic for a $30 monthly fee (a subscription).

  • Discount – This scheme enables you to adjust prices depending on the volume of service consumed by customers. This helps you encourage them to use the service more in order to receive the discount (e.g. spend $20 for calls to the UK and get a 30% discount for the following calls made during the rest of the month). You can also use discounts to make special offers (e.g. new customers receive 50% off for 10 GB of Internet traffic).

NOTE: Once a discount is selected and saved, its type cannot be changed.

 

The other information on the tab differs depending on what was selected for Type.

Service Wallet is selected for Type

 

Field Description

Details

 

Tax Transaction Code

The predefined list of transaction codes by which taxes are calculated. Available for EZTax, Avalara, Sure Tax and GST taxation methods.

When service wallet is empty (only for the Internet Access service type)

Configure the service restrictions when the service wallet is empty:

  • Block the service – The service becomes unavailable until the customer tops up.
  • Draw funds from other wallets / main balance – The service remains available for  customer but funds are drawn from the main balance or from other applicable service wallets.

Service wallet balance expires

Select whether your service wallet will have a lifetime:

  • Yes – The service wallet has a lifetime that can be extended by a top up.
  • No –  The service wallet does not have a lifetime. Service availability is limited only by top-up amount.

NOTE: Service wallets with an initial balance do not have an initial expiration date. Their lifetime starts with the first top up.

Zero initial Balance

This option makes it possible to divide a customer’s balance into virtual sub-wallets. Each sub-wallet is designated for a specific service and destination group. Therefore, money transferred to a sub-wallet can only be used for a specific service (e.g. only for calls to the US or only for sending SMSs, etc.).

Initial Balance

Use this scheme to grant specific service quotas to your customers for one time only. For example, grant your IPTV customers 1 GB of Internet usage as a promotional offer, free of charge.

 

Specify the volume of traffic or the cash value (depending on the threshold type) in the field below.

Topup Service Wallet

Here you define the top-up options that will be available via the administrator, customer or account self-care interfaces.

  • Volume / Amount – The volume of traffic or amount to be topped up.
  • Fee – The price you charge for a defined volume of traffic or amount.
  • Lifetime, days – The number of days for which the service wallet will be extended.

Click on the Add icon to add a new row.

Click on the Delete icon to delete the current record.

Additional Info

 

Wallet-to-Wallet transfers allowed

This allows end users with identical service wallets to transfer and receive services.

Notify end user when the service wallet balance drops below ...

This option allows you to define a notification threshold. When this threshold is reached, email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them that their service wallet balances are lower than the threshold.

Notify end user when the service wallet is empty

When this option is selected, email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them that their service wallets are empty and they can no longer use the allocated service until they top them up.

Notify end user …. days in advance that the service wallet expires

To encourage customers to make timely top ups, enable the option to send advance email notification that their services will soon expire.

 

This option is available only if the Service wallet balance expires option is set to Yes.

Notify end user when the service wallet expires

When this option is selected, email notification is sent to your customers informing them that their service wallets are expired.

 

This option is available only if the Service wallet balance expires option is set to Yes.

Quota is selected for Type

 

Field Description

Details

 

Reset Threshold Counters

This option allows you to define how a quota will be applied.

 

If you select Daily, Weekly, Twice monthly or Monthly, then the quota counters reset accordingly.

For example, you can provide a triple-play package that includes quotas such as 1000 minutes for domestic calls, 1 GB of Internet traffic and 150 domestic SMS – for a monthly subscription fee of $40. Once the quota is consumed, the service is unavailable until the following month.

Off-Peak periods

Select one of the options to define a different set of thresholds for peak and off-peak period(s).

Spending Quota

  • Type a threshold value for the quota here. The threshold value is measured either in currency units or volume of service (e.g. minutes), according to what the thresholds are based on. The value entered must be numeric (with a period allowed) and greater than zero.

     

    Usage  is ... when Quota exhausted – These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

    • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
    • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.
    • Blocked – The service becomes unavailable. 
  • Unlimited FREE service – Select this option to provide a special “unlimited” value for the threshold.

     

    Usage – These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

    • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
    • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.

Peak Spending Quota

These options are only available if either the Separate one Off-Peak Period or Separate two Off-Peak Periods option is selected in the Off-Peak Periods list.

 

  • Type a threshold value for the peak quota here. The threshold value is measured either in currency units or volume of service (e.g. minutes), according to what the thresholds are based on. The value entered must be numeric (with a period allowed) and greater than zero.

     

    Usage  is ... when Quota exhausted – These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

    • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
    • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.
    • Blocked – The service becomes unavailable.  
  • Unlimited FREE service – Select this option to provide a special “unlimited” value for the threshold.

     

    Usage – These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

    • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
    • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.
  • Apply regular rates – Select this option to apply regular rates for using the service during peak periods.

Off-Peak Spending Quota / Second Off-Peak Spending Quota

These options are only available if the  Separate two Off-Peak Periods option is selected in the Off-Peak Periods list.

 

  • Type a threshold value for the off-peak quota / second off-peak quota here. The threshold value is measured either in currency units or volume of service (e.g. minutes), according to what the thresholds are based on. The value entered must be numeric (with a period allowed) and greater than zero.

     

    Usage – These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

    • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
    • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.
    • Blocked – The service becomes unavailable.
  • Unlimited FREE service – Select this option to provide a special “unlimited” value for the threshold.

     

    Usage – These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

    • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
    • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.
  • Apply regular rates – Select this option to apply regular rates for using the service during peak periods.

Usage is ... when quota is exhausted

(only for the Internet Access service type)

These restrictions apply to a service when the quota is exhausted. Select one from among the three restriction modes:

  • Not restricted – The service remains available at the standard rate.
  • Limited – The service is limited by using the Internet access policy.
  • Blocked – The service becomes unavailable.

NOTE: When either Limit Usage or Block Usage are selected, quotas that have lower priorities will not be applied.

Additional Info

 

Prorate thresholds for first usage period

This prorates the quota thresholds according to the number of days remaining in the first usage period after the volume discount plan assignment.

 

For example, a volume discount plan is created with a 1000-minute quota, and a regular rate is applied after that. If a customer has a monthly usage period and the volume discount plan is assigned on October 20th, then the threshold becomes 367 minutes since there are 11 days remaining in October. For the following month the threshold becomes 1000 minutes.

Rollover unused minutes to the next usage period

If at the end of the usage period (e.g. at the end of the month), there is unused traffic left (i.e. minutes, Internet traffic, messages, etc.), it can be rolled over to the next usage period.

 

For example, a customer has signed up for 100 monthly bundled minutes of free calls to Canada. By the end of the month, only 90 minutes have been used. The 10 minutes that remain are rolled over to the next month, so during the next month, the customer will have available 110 free minutes.

 

Please note that if you change the customer’s volume discount plan (e.g. change an add-on product), then the unused minutes will transfer only if the new volume discount plan has the same discount entry (for more details see the Change of Volume Discount Plans for Customer / Account chapter in the PortaBilling Administrator Guide).

Allow no more than: … rollover(s)

The maximum number of usage periods that unused traffic can be rolled over.

 

For example, if the usage period is monthly and you select 2, the unused traffic from the first month will be rolled over to the second month and if not used completely, to the third month (2 rollovers). If unused traffic is not completely used by the end of the third month, it expires.

 

Note that if unused traffic from two or more usage periods is rolled over to the next one, the quota with the earliest expiration time is used first.

Split xDRs

When a session spans several rating periods (e.g. covers both peak and off-peak periods), it is divided into portions.

 

Select the Split xDRs check box and then multiple xDR records will be produced for sessions like this one. Each xDR record will be linked to the applicable discount level / rate.

Notify end user when … are left in the peak period

This option allows you to define a notification threshold for a peak period. When the threshold is reached, an email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them about their remaining volume of services / funds.

Notify end user when … are left in the peak period

This option is only available if either the Separate one Off-Peak Period or Separate two Off-Peak Periods option is selected in the Off-Peak Periods list.

 

This option allows you to define a notification threshold for an off-peak period. When the threshold is reached, an email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them about their remaining volume of services / funds.

Notify end user when … are left in the peak period

This option is only available if the  Separate two Off-Peak Periods option is selected in the Off-Peak Periods list.

 

This option allows you to define a notification threshold for a 2nd off-peak period. When the threshold is reached, an email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them about their remaining volume of services / funds.

Notify end user when quota is exhausted

When this option is selected, an email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them that their quota has been exhausted.

 

Discount is selected for Type

 

Field Description

Details

 

Reset Threshold Counters

This option allows you to define how a discount will be applied.

 

If you select Daily, Weekly, Semimonthly or Monthly, then the discount counters reset each day, week, half a month or month, respectively. For example, provide a monthly deal of the first 100 minutes for calls to the UK at a standard rate and all following calls to this destination at a 30% discount. When the next usage period begins, the customer’s calls to the UK are charged the standard rate.

 

Select One Time discount to provide a permanent discount with no time limitation. For example, provide a rate that is 10% cheaper for a wholesale partner.

Off-Peak periods

Select one of the options to define a different set of thresholds for peak and off-peak period(s).

Additional Info

 

Prorate thresholds for first usage period

This prorates volume discount thresholds according to the number of days remaining in the first usage period after the volume discount plan assignment.

 

For example, a volume discount plan is created with a 100% discount for up to 1000 minutes, and a regular rate is applied after that. If a customer has a monthly usage period and the volume discount plan is assigned on October 20th, then the threshold becomes 367 minutes since there are 11 days remaining in October. For the following month the threshold becomes 1000 minutes.

Combine with Other Discounts

Select a mode to combine this discount with other discounts.

NOTE: To see more examples about how to use these combining modes, please refer to the Modes for Combining Discounts chapter in the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

  • Never – This mode of combining provides full override. It implies that a higher priority volume discount plan prevents the use of all lower priority ones. This means that even if the higher priority one is used up, the lower priority volume discount plans are ignored.
  • Always – Using this mode of combining, discounts are summed up to 100% (there is no money back for a consumed service). For example, two 30% discounts will result in a 60% final discount; 70% + 40% discounts will result in a 100% final discount.
  • When discount lower than 100% is active – If a higher priority volume discount plan has a threshold with a 100% discount defined within it, only this volume discount plan is applied to a session until the 100% discount threshold is used up. Only after the volume of the consumed service exceeds the 100% discount threshold can the rest of the discounts be applied. If discounts defined in both the higher and the lower priority volume discount plans are applicable to the same call, they are summed up to 100%.
  • After reaching the last threshold – A higher priority volume discount plan prevents the use of lower priority ones until its “unlimited” threshold is reached or the last (i.e. biggest) threshold is exceeded (regardless of discount value). For example, calls to Germany, discounted by 100% exclusively for 50 minutes are followed by a 50% discount for 1000 minute calls, while another (lower priority) volume discount plan for the EU offered a 30% discount. For calls to Germany the EU discount would only become applicable if the full 1050 minutes are used.

 

When you fill in all the required fields, click the Save button, and the Discount dialog box opens.

Discount dialog box

In the Discount dialog box you can define threshold values and corresponding discount values for peak and off-peak periods.

 

A threshold defines the maximum counter value (call duration or charged amount) within which the current discount may still be applied. If the last available discount is to be applied regardless of the counter value (e.g. first 200 minutes – normal rate, up to 500 minutes – 10% discount, and 20% discount after that) then this last discount will be created with a special “unlimited” threshold.

Discount

 

Field Description

Threshold

 

First…

(or Following …)

Type a threshold value here. The threshold value is measured either in currency units or time units (minutes), according to the type of discount. The value entered must be numeric (with a period allowed) and greater than zero.

Unlimited service

Select this option to provide a special unlimited value for the threshold.

Discount

 

%

Type a percentage discount here. The percentage discount value must be numeric (with a period allowed) and less than 100. A 0% discount means that standard rate will be applied.

100% (Free Service)

Select the 100% (Free Service) check box, to provide the service free of charge.

Notifications

 

Notify Customer / End User when … minute(s)

This option allows you to define a notification threshold. When this threshold is reached, an email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them that the volume of services consumed is approaching the discount threshold.

Notify Customer / End User when Threshold reached

When this option is selected, an email or SMS notification is sent to your customers informing them that the discount threshold has been crossed and the discount no longer applies.

Additional Info

 

Split xDRs

When a session spans several rating periods (e.g. covers both peak and off-peak periods) it is divided into portions.

Select the Split xDRs check box and then multiple xDR records will be produced for sessions like this one. Each xDR record will be linked to the applicable discount level / rate.

 

Off-Peak Discount Scheme

This tab is only available if the Separate one Off-peak Period option is selected in the Off-Peak periods list. Here you can define a discount for the off-peak period. The mode of doing that is similar to that for Discount Scheme, as described above.

 

2nd Off-Peak Discount Scheme

This tab is only available if the Separate two Off-peak Periods option is selected in the Off-Peak periods list. Here you can define a discount for the second off-peak period. The mode of doing that is similar to that for Discount Scheme, as described above.

 

How discounts work

The billing engine decides which discount is to be applied, depending on whether the counter for the given destination has reached one of the defined thresholds. Note that the “charged amount” counters record charges as they are defined in the tariff, i.e. before a volume discount is applied. If there is no “Unlimited” threshold discount, and the counter exceeds the last (i.e. biggest) threshold, any further calls will be billed according to the standard tariff rate.

 

For example:

 

Discount type – Volume, minutes

 

The discount is defined as 0..100 – 50%; 100..200 – 20%; 200..unlimited – 10%

 

The first 100 minutes are billed at a 50% discount (half the price specified in the tariff), the next 100 minutes are billed at a 20% discount, and thereafter all calls receive a 10% discount.

 

The discount is defined as 0..100 – 100%

 

The first 100 minutes are free; all minutes above that are billed at the tariff rate.

Discount type – Amount, USD

 

The discount is defined as 0..10 – 0%; 10..20 – 10%; 20..unlimited – 20%

 

When the customer begins making calls, each call is charged according to the normal rate until the total charged amount exceeds $10. After that, the customer is given a 10% discount on calls. When the total charged amount exceeds $20, all calls receive a 20% discount.

NOTE: Let’s look at a situation in which a customer’s balance is $10.00 (and the volume discount counter is also $10.00). The customer makes a 30-minute call, and the tariff rate is $0.20/min. The call is charged as 30 * 0.20 – 10% = $5.40, and this value is stored in the CDR for the call. Thus the customer’s balance will be modified by $5.40, to become 15.40. At the same time, the volume discount counter will go up by the amount without the discount. Thus the counter will go up by $6, to become $16.00.