This article was written on 11 Apr 2013, and is filed under Alpine Bookings Newsletter.

Newsletter 11/4/2013

Reporting on our Summer Maintenance for 2013

We are a bit late with this year’s maintenance owing to clashing deadlines,but most of what we planned is now complete, and deployed to some customers.  If you are interested in an option and don’t see it yet, get in touch and we will put you up the list for deployment.  The reason we don’t deploy a large amount of change to all clubs, especially at this busy booking time, is to minimise any bugs that get ironed out soon after release.

Waiting List System

This was used by some clubs last year, thanks for being the early birds and helping us to locate the gremlins – not too many, and mostly minor.  We have revised this and cured the remaining issues ready for wider adoption in 2013.  Get in touch if you need a hand getting started.

Custom member fields

You can now add custom fields to the member database (that is, you will be able to as the new code is deployed, again, contact us if you would like to get this sooner).  The titles of up to 4 custom fields are entered in your Site Config -> Club details page.  This has been requested for fields such as locker numbers, share certificate numbers etc.  The fields will be editable by members.

Price Influencer

This is the feature that you use to give a mid-week discount, depending on season.  We have both simpified this and made it more powerful, and added a multi-night discount feature.

Previously you chose which nights would receive a discount, now you just enter the discount for midweek, and/or a surcharge for the weekend (Fri/Sat nights).  One additional feature is that these can now be entered for each room type (if for example you have en-suite and shared-facilities, or some lodges use single-bed vs room).  So you can set the tariff discounts independently for the two room types, and thus get exactly the tariffs you want.

For the multi-night discount, you set the minimum number of contiguous week-nights, and the percentage discount.  For example, 5 nights for the price of 4 requires a minimum of 5 nights and has a multiplier of 80%.  This multiplies the midweek price influencer percentage for a further discount.


Secure Committee Documents

You can now store documents within the booking system, and set an admin level that can access these (e.g.  Committee).  You can store PDFs, word docs, indeed, any type of file.  If you don’t see this in your admin menu, and you want to use it, get in touch.


New Payment Option

Up to now, the only payment option has been Paypal, which is easy to set up and has no fixed fee, but a per transaction charge of 2.4%

You can now choose to use a credit card gateway and your own merchant facility (and retain or lose Paypal as you choose).  The drawback to this is approximately $700 per annum in fixed charges, consisting of approx equal shares to the your bank for the credit card facility and to the payment gateway – eWay.  The upside is a lower percentage fee, depending on what you can negotiate with your bank, of closer to 1% – so this option may suit clubs with a larger turnover.  If you want to switch from Paypal or add this option to Paypal, we can do this for a one-off fee of $200, including providing assistance in getting you set up and running.  For new customers, our fee only applies if you want to use both payment options, or if you start with one and then swap to the other later.


Put the mouse on a room, see a photo and information

This feature was with the system, on the initial booking matrix screen, from day one, but for some clubs it has not been turned on.  The feature applies to lodges with book by room, or by identified beds, but not to lodges that only show a single row containing the total number of available beds.  If you don’t see this feature and would like it, please get in touch and we will turn it on for you.  Soon it will be there even if you don’t ask! To make best use of the feature, you can upload an image for each room or bed.


Members can see other members’ details

You can turn this option on or off.  When on, members have an additional menu item which takes them to a list of other members.  Listed there are names, phone numbers and addresses.  Members must login to see it.  Get in touch if you need a hand turning this feature on.


When you send out annual subscription invoices

We have added a step-by-step guide to this task, as it does require doing things in the right order.  The guide is in-situ on the page where you initiate the invoice creation.  We hope this will make it easier for the once-a-year task and save you from a snafu.

Truth in button titles

When you edit an existing booking, there are a lot of action buttons at the bottom of the screen.  The first two are “save” and “save and send email”.  You might have inferred that the first button doesn’t send an email, but this was not always the case.  If an invoice or credit was generated due to a price change, an email would be sent regardless.  We have  changed this so that no email is sent if the first button is used.  Beware of members not receiving an invoice if you use this button, but it’s useful for example, if you are entering bookings in bulk and don’t want to bombard members with individual emails.  This change will be deployed along with the changes above.  We are starting deployment with the newest clubs and working backwards.


What are those codes in email formats?

Editing your email formats may appear a little intimidating with those #codes# scattered throughout.  These are replaced by relevant data when the emails are sent, e.g.  the booking ID, or other details of the booking.  Many of these codes are sourced from the Site Config pages of your admin menu.  To help you use these codes, we have added to the help icon for each item, showing the code that you should use in the email format.