Providing certain services requires additional CPE. For example, providing digital TV services may require using a set-top box with a smart card or a CAM module, just like a special modem is required for LTE and WiMAX networks.
A high initial investment may seem to be a deterrent to a potential customer, so service providers usually offer an opportunity for installments. Subsidized CPE is included in the subscription fee so that a customer is obliged to pay it off in the course of a certain period. The aim of the billing system is to track each customer to ensure fulfillment of their contract commitments.
In contract settings, you enter the price of the subsidized equipment.
Hydra automatically calculates the unpaid remainder over the course of the customer’s payments for services. The payment schedule is updated in case of late payment or temporary suspension while customer is away.
Having the cost of the equipment included in the monthly fee makes it impossible for customers to change the price plan. Hydra allows changing the price plan (for prepaid ones as well) only after the contract has expired.
To secure the provisions of the contract, Hydra automatically charges late payment fees in case of an overdue debt. A fee consists of two parts – fixed and percentage.
A customer is charged the one-off fixed part of the fee as soon as the overdue debt occurs. The percentage part of the fee is charged periodically as a certain interest on the overdue debt. The interest rate and fee charging period are both adjustable.
If an overdue debt remains unpaid for a long period, the contract is terminated automatically. In this case, Hydra will charge an early termination fee to a customer. Usually, the fee is calculated as an unpaid subsidy remainder, but other schemes are also available. For example, in the case of a two-year contract with the minimum duration set as six months, if the contract is terminated after only two months, Hydra charges the full subscription fee for the remaining four months.
A contract can also be terminated manually by the service provider (usually upon subscriber’s request) at any time. In such cases, Hydra charges an early termination fee as well.
Hydra, being a truly convergent billing, allows one customer account to provide both contract and prepaid services. In complex cases, such as an insufficient balance to cover all ordered services, billing system uses service matching priorities. Set higher matching priorities for contract price plans so that Hydra prevents a customer from spending all the money on prepaid services.
Over the course of a contract, a customer may ask for a possible replacement of subsidized equipment. Hydra supports this too, making adjustments and extending the period of the contract.
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