first questions, problems, suggestions

Discuss our WHMCS modules and everything associated with them.

first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby franky » 14th April 2013, 2:08 am

Dear Developer:

Since you are encouraging postings to your forum--good idea!--let me discuss what I noted during and after I installed your WHMCS module (as a 7day trial, for now).

To start with, I installed it on a new CentOS 6.4 server running cPanel as hosting platform, into a new working WHMCS 5.2.3 install.

1. Some very minor details:
(a) The "README.txt" file should better not be in a subdirectory of the downloaded RESELLERS module, but I'd expect that in the MAIN folder, not in a sub-sub-folder of it. That's confusing, and I almost uploaded that onto the server. Also, what I'd suggest is to either just refer to your Website installation guide (http://www.docs.modulesgarden.com/Resellers_For_WHMCS) in a simple link, which also has nice images, or to also make this web guide into a PDF and then add that to the downloaded .zip file.
(b) The link to THIS sub-forum in the email I received was wrong, ended in "... resellers/" but should end in "resellers-f35/".
(c) The installation was pretty simple, and your explanations of how to do that are fine ... however, you are repeating some sections with different words at different places--these partial repetitions are a little confusing. I'd suggest to ONLY have ONE file with install instructions, and have everything in there (that above Website would really do), not pieces here, others there, no partial instructions (as the person installing is then not sure what he looks at).
(d) In the README.txt file the last point reads: "Contact's Email Notifications should not be checked, NEVER." -- I am still NOT sure what/where this refers to. Please explain. Thanks. And below that, you list the "Contact's needed permissions"--but when I, after installation and activation of the module, click the "Reseller Default" button there is more that gets checked. Please clarify. Thanks.

2. Reseller's customer login failure:
After setting up and activating the module I created two customers of an existing customer (= reseller). I can assign a password, but after I logged out of WHMCS, when I then try to login to one of these customer accounts, this fails. The customers (of the reseller) simply cannot log in.

3. More to the ESSENCE of things, to the actual function of your module:
(a) My question (for clarification) is, what are the products that the reseller can offer his customers? When I login AS THE RESELLER, I only see that one product listed that, in my test, that test reseller had subscribed to for his own account. What I would expect though, is that I as main WHMCS admin would be able to assign a whole set of products (for example domain registrations, where the reseller's customer will have to search what is available) to the reseller, so that reseller can sell them to his client. Is it, that the reseller first orders a product, and THEN assigns that to his customer??? In that case, that means he pre-pays, and then his customer pays? That somehow seems not to make any PRACTICAL sense in real world business, as it is far too complicated. But maybe I just did not understand how it works (or should work) yet? Please explain.
(b) Further more, and related to (a) above, *if* I understand it right, then the reseller's customer CANNOT directly order anything, or can he? Would there be an order link that the reseller could create -- say for a specific hosting plan? I think not. That would then make the whole "reseller" module not a reseller module anymore, but something that I am not sure who would have a use for it. Again, I may just misunderstand the functionality, as I just now installed it. Maybe you can explain. That would be much appreciated.


Best wishes,
Frank
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby franky » 14th April 2013, 3:45 am

Could not edit my posting above anymore -- so here one more point in a new post:

4. In the module's feature description you also list this:
QUOTE: "Override Registrar Contact Details (When Registering Domain)"
Can you please expain what exactly you mean by this? With "registrar" I suppose you do not mean the domain registry but the registrant (domain owner)? But that would then make no sense, as you can in any case register domains for whoever you want to, as the domain owner (for WHOIS and legal purposes). If not, if you do refer to the actual registry, and to how something like "Registration services are provided by XXX company" appears in a WHOIS search, this will not be possible to set from within WHMCS. ... Confused here.

Frank
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby franky » 14th April 2013, 7:42 am

Another UPDATE:

What I listed under point 2 above ("2. Reseller's customer login failure") can be ignored.
Turned out that a capital letter within the email address created a problem ... the email address had one capital letter--after I changed that to lower case login worked. That seems, maybe, to be a problem with WHMCS rather than your module?

Further:
Now that I (as a reseller's customer) am able to log in, I can perform a domain search. But when I try to register a domain, all I get is this note:
------------->
You do not have the required permissions to access this page
Your allowed permissions are:
View Products & Services
View & Modify Product Passwords
View Domains
View & Pay Invoices
View & Open Support Tickets
Contact the master account owner if you feel this to be an error.
---------------

That is really really not helpful, as it uses a term like "master account"--and that already tells the reseller's customer that the business he deals with is just a reseller (and that's in many cases NOT what we want).

After seeing this I went back to the RESELLER level and enabled this option:
- Place New Orders/Upgrades/Cancellations
After that, I --as the reseller's customer--could now order a domain registration, got forwarded to the billing gateway.
HOWEVER, it does not fully work: (a) an ordered hosting plan, for example, does indeed get applied to that reseller's customer, BUT shows as "pending" and our system does not actually created it on the hosting server (but that auto-creating otherwise works fine). (b) If the reseller that this customer is under had a "credit" on his account (if he pre-funded his account with us), then the reseller's customer will see a note like this:
QUOTE: "Available Credit Balance: You have a credit balance of $6.00 USD and this will be automatically applied to any new invoices." And worse, the reseller's credit gets automatically applied to the reseller's customer's order!
.... Now, knowing this, the reseller only needs to be told never to pre-fund his account. Fine. BUT the problem is the ordered hosting account does not get created on the hosting server.

S U M M A R Y of above:
------------------------------
1. Something should be done about the MESSAGES that the reseller's customer will see, under whatever circumstances, he should not be made aware of too many details that are not of his business ... a simple "FAIL, NO ACCESS" type of message would do, in case the reseller made a "mistake" in how he set the permissions.
2. It should be ensured that ordered AND paid hosting plans (or domain orders) get actually fullfilled without any human interaction by the reseller or the actual physical host, if all was set up correctly, and that those do not have a "pending" status. ... If I may have made a settings mistake here, possible, maybe you can explain what that might be?
3. For this module to really make sense, what is needed, and I am not sure if that's possible or not, would be a way that would allow the reseller's customer to go directly to the website that runs WHMCS and order UNDER the reseller. That would require the possibility to somehow include this info (aout the reseller) in the ORDER URL for each product (which the reseller woud then have on his own website)--so that we would have a product order link that somehow looks like AFFILIATE links usually look like. No idea if the original WHMCS coding would allow that. But that is the most crucial issue.

Best,
Frank
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby Piotr » 15th April 2013, 10:39 am

Hi Franky!

Thank you for taking time to create such a extended feedback, we appreciate that. Allow me to comment:

1) True, we will verify this and it will be fixed.

2) You are right here again, I have fixed the link to finish with /resellers

3a) You can allow a reseller's customer to purchase any product, that reseller decides to sell. It can be a hosting account, a domain registration, a rackspace services or anything you decide. There are no limitations here. Reseller decides which product he wants to offer to his own customers (subclients) and which he doesn't.

3b) Subclients can order the products directly from their WHMCS client area account. They can place an order and they will be able to choose from the products previously chosen by reseller.

4) Feature allows you to use the subclient details (instead of resellers details) while registering a domain. Those details will be visible in WHOIS instead of reseller's details.

Furthmore we will verify the problems with permissions and your summary suggestions. Most possibily, we will fix the problems you noticed within the next 1.2 version.

Version 1.0 of the module is just a beginning and we are going to release new versions of the module with more features and fixes within a couple of weeks. Your feedback is much appreciated and with no doubt, it will help us with preparation of the next version.

Thank you!
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby Piotr » 15th April 2013, 10:47 am

I have nearly forgotten!

More information about the module you can find in our Wiki: http://www.docs.modulesgarden.com/Resellers_For_WHMCS

You can find here information and explanation for some of your doubts.
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby franky » 15th April 2013, 11:09 am

Dear Piotr:

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I will order the license now ... this is my contribution and suggestion to "push" you to get to the next version :) ...although I think AS IS we cannot use the module yet.

Above you replied:
>> 3a) You can allow a reseller's customer to purchase any product, that reseller decides to sell.

That is what I also read in the product description for the module. But can you kindly explain how to do this? Do I create a list of products that the sub-client (reseller) has access to? Create groups and *not* have them "hidden" (as most of our product groups right now, only accessible by direct link)?

You further replied:
>> 3b) Subclients can order the products directly from their WHMCS client area account.
>> They can place an order and they will be able to choose from the products previously chosen by reseller.

Yes, and that is the most unfortunate limitation (!!!), it seems, that this module for WHMCS will not allow to auto-create a new account for a reseller's customer (through some direct order link). It means the reseller has to first set up an account for his customer--and that is nothing workable in the real world anymore, or is it? And here I also see a second problem (*If* I understand it correct), that relates to above "3a": if I do NOT hide the product groups, then the reseller's customer, WITHOUT being logged in at our WHMCS website, will see OUR pricing and all available products .... am I not getting this right?

Thanks.
Frank
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby Piotr » 15th April 2013, 1:02 pm

Thank you Franky!

Version 1.0 is just a basis for further development. We can see a huge interest in the module therefore we will develop next versions with new features and fixes you mentioned as quickly as possible. It will be one of our top priorities now.

Reseller can see all the products of provider. Reseller creates subclients and in name of subclient creates orders and chooses a products. Subclients can manage the ordered products through the clientarea. Provider can also create and manage subclients and the products. This is how it works at the moment.

I understand your point of view and your ideas will be our aim for the next version. Reseller will be able to see and offer only those products which provider allows him to see and offer. We will also think about solution in which subclient can order provider's products without involving a reseller.
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby franky » 16th April 2013, 12:16 am

Piotr, In think the final *aim* would be to have the features that any other 3-level sales system in the hosting/Internet industry has:

1. A single domain customer (= sub-client) should not really see the above structures, he'd otherwise want to go to the level one seller, not the reseller -- UNLESS the level one provider publishes higher pricing for his product than the reseller does ... so, it might be okay for the sub-client to see all products as long as the number one seller publishes high prices (which he can then automatically lower to his resellers) -- and that is already possible with the 'slab' system for domain pricing in WHMCS v5.x. And you also see this setup a lot in real life, e.g. if you try to order a domain from eNom as the final customer, not as a reseller, a .com domain registration then costs $13.95.
An exception from the above might be if the reseller is a web designer who also provides hosting and domain registration to his customers, in which case he can indeed do everything manually for his customers, the first setup at least.

2. One more note -- you may or may not have thought about this: our company, for example, has various websites, but just one (and since this week two) site/s where we send the customers for billing and admin purposes, the WHMCS install, basically. Because we have other domains with different OR the same products (but for different pricing, or with variations of services that come with the products), we have no interest to show the customer who logs in to WHMCS all the products. That would just confuse him/her. So, all we show is one single product ( a simple hosting plan) that *all* customers can see and order, and the domain registrations are also all accessible for all. But OTHER THAN THAT we work with order links set up on those other websites where we offer and describe our products. So, except for one single product group that only has one product in it, all the product 'groups' are flagged within WHMCS as "hidden". ... Now, *if* you could find a way where the prospective sub-client, a reseller's customer, could order a product from our reseller -- a reseller that does not have his own WHMCS install -- using such an order link, then that would be wonderful. There would then not be any need to "display" all available products in the WHMCS shopping product list--the reseller could simply be given a list of order links of what he could offer and advertise (again, similar as how affiliate links work). But the WHMCS API coding might not allow that? ... I partially repeated what I said erlier, just wanted to point out that the product list can be "hidden" and this would still work for the reseller if the top seller provides the reseller with a list of products and direct order links.

Best,
Frank
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby franky » 27th April 2013, 10:20 am

Hi !

Any news from the developer front on this?

By the way: I had tried to get you a paid work order, a small programmer job. But after a single reply (took three days), there was then no response anymore at all, no follow up emails for a week--in spite of me having accepted pricing immediately and expading the job. Job has now been solved/done already. I hope this is not a typical example of how you guys operate.

Regards,
Frank
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Re: first questions, problems, suggestions

Postby Konrad » 29th April 2013, 1:24 pm

franky wrote:Hi !

Any news from the developer front on this?

By the way: I had tried to get you a paid work order, a small programmer job. But after a single reply (took three days), there was then no response anymore at all, no follow up emails for a week--in spite of me having accepted pricing immediately and expading the job. Job has now been solved/done already. I hope this is not a typical example of how you guys operate.

Regards,
Frank

Hi Franky

We have all your notes as "Under Consideration" and its on our TO DO.
Unfortunately due national holiday this week, things will get delayed so its too early to provide any ETA.
I expect next release to be ready within 2-3 weeks.

Regarding your request, indeed it was missed. I have replied to you already.
In future I suggest to open new requests in our system, using email is vulnerable to human error:
https://www.modulesgarden.com/order/request

Apologies once again for the delays and lets continue via email.
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