Pay Subscriptions Only

We have brought forward a feature that was planned for the new software, making it available in the old framework, because of this year's circumstances making it urgent for some clubs.

You can now turn on a page for payment of subscription invoices separately from other amounts owing. This new page allows payment of subscription invoices without payment of the entire outstanding balance. To turn it on, go to Site Config and filter on PAY_SUBS_INVOICE, edit this and tick the box. This will add an item to the members' menu "Pay Outstanding Subs", just below the existing "Pay outstanding balance" menu item.

Payment instructions are given on that page, so far only Paypal is hooked up for online payment. If you need this feature and your club uses eWay, get in touch.


In our last newsletter we talked about iCal synchronisation with other booking services. Now it's already obsolete! After years of searching, we have found what appears to be a viable way to connect to a Channel Manager service. For clubs that take public bookings, and want to list on e.g. or, a Channel Manager synchronises bookings instantly, both ways. The service we are using is, and tests so far are good. One gap is that Smoobu isn't partnered with Inntopia, the reservation system in use by Buller Holidays, but we are hopeful this channel will be added soon.

Right now is probably not the best time to be soliciting bookings from around the world, but when things get back to normal, listing on channels is one way to get started again quickly, so get in touch if you would like to start testing, we need testers!

Outbound emails

Email is an increasingly contested area, thanks to the efforts of spammers and counter efforts of Internet Providers. Recently for example Telstra (BigPond) in their infinite wisdom decided to start refusing all emails from servers on the Amazon Cloud. It took a few days for us to (a) discover this and (b) get whitelisted, fortunately in time for all waiting emails to be delivered. We spend a lot of time chasing up email problems like this one. Bigger players such as gmail and outlook are a bit smarter than Telstra, thank goodness.

For some of our other projects we use bulk email sending from Amazon's Simple Email Service which avoids many of these issues, but we haven't introduced this for the Booking Service because it would require validating each individual email address, not only is this time consuming but it would require coordination with the recipient of each address. So we work instead on maintaining the reputation of our webserver so that emails will be delivered.

As part of the reputation effort, and to improve the chances that your emails will be delivered, we recently introduced a validation so that the sender of each of the various outbound emails must use your club's domain. The domain name is set via Site Config EMAIL_DOMAIN, you can't edit this field but we can. What this avoids is you sending out emails with a sender domain such as "bigpond" or "gmail" which makes us look like an imposter. Such emails are more likely to go to junk folders, and it hurts our server's reputation, increasing the likelihood of everyone's emails being falsly classified as spam.

If you find all this email stuff confusing, we don't blame you, so get in touch if you have questions

Reporting room allocation for clubs that don't book rooms

In your booking reporting page (via admin menu -> bookings -> booking reporting), report 4 has a row for each person in each booking. For book-by-room clubs this always included the room, this now shows in all cases, so it will be blank if no room is allocated (for example an infant not requiring a bed never gets allocated to a room). These reports are spreadsheet downloads. There is another report showing room allocations on the next line "view report", viz 1. Room allocation. This report is designed to be printed, and doesn't include guests who aren't allocated a bed, so report 4 fills that gap for the lodge manager who needs to see all names.

Optional Extras got more optional

You can now hide the "quantity" field in your Optional Extras - find them via admin menu -> tariffs -> Optional Extras, which is a few items below "Optional Extra Tariffs".

The quantity is set behind the scenes to 1. This is appropriate for yes/no options such as "cot required".


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