6 reasons to avoid usage-based billing with Recurly

Sarah Goomar

It’s no surprise that Recurly isn’t the best billing platform. However, there are many reasons why it’s not ideal for usage-based billing. 

Recurly usage-based billing might sound like a good idea, but is it? This blog post aims to explain why it’s not. 

Let’s start by explaining what Recurly is. 

What is Recurly?

Recurly is a subscription billing platform. It’s designed to make recurring payments easier for businesses. It's particularly useful for companies that offer subscription-based products or services. 

You can think of Recurly as a tool that handles the nitty-gritty of managing subscriptions. It takes care of tasks like:

  • Billing: Sending out invoices, processing payments, and managing payment methods
  • Pricing: Handling different pricing models like discounts and even usage-based billing (which we'll discuss more later)
  • Customer management: Tracking customer information, subscriptions, and payment history

Recurly also offers additional features like churn prevention tools and detailed analytics. These are said to help businesses understand and improve their subscription performance. 

This sounds fine and dandy, but it’s not all positive. 

Though Recurly aims to be versatile, it might not be the best fit for every business. This is particularly true for those who need to solve usage-billing scenarios. Our next segment is about that. 

Reasons to avoid usage-based billing with Recurly

Recurly usage-based billing is undoubtedly a thing. However, there are several reasons why it might not be the ideal solution for your business:

1. Limited reporting and analytics

Recurly's reporting capabilities for usage-based billing have been criticized for being insufficient. 

One user mentioned that they had to invest in a third-party tool to get the necessary metrics. This lack of in-depth reporting could make it difficult to track usage accurately, analyze trends, and make informed decisions about pricing and billing strategies.

"Reports are not great (we've provided a lot of feedback on this over the years). So, we have to invest in ChartMogul to provide decent metrics (at quite a high cost)."Recurly review

In contrast, Orb boasts accuracy by the numbers and provides granular reporting down to each revenue activity. This eliminates the need for additional software that could bloat your toolkit.

2. Unclear invoices for customers

Many Recurly users have reported that the invoices generated for usage-based billing are not clear enough. 

This can lead to confusion and frustration for your customers. It could also increase support inquiries and negatively impact their overall experience.

"Invoices are not clear enough for our customers."Recurly review

Orb aims to solve this problem by providing crystal-clear granular invoices. These also feature real-time visual data for enhanced transparency. Orb takes extra care to make billing understandable to all your clients.

3. Poor customer service

Multiple reviews highlight Recurly's customer service as a major pain point. Users describe it as unresponsive and unhelpful, with feedback and concerns often falling on deaf ears. This lack of support could leave you stranded when facing issues or needing assistance with your usage-based billing setup.

"Customer service is very lacking – no dedicated rep."Recurly review

In contrast, Orb provides white-glove assistance to their customers. Plus, they get direct access to agents through their exclusive Slack channel. 

4. Non-intuitive interface and potential for errors

Apart from Recurly's interface being less intuitive, a Recurly review mentioned:

"I have noticed though, that if you are not very technical, Recurly may not be for you, as coding is needed if you wish to add new things in the customer help section."

A user-friendly interface like Orb’s is key when dealing with the complexities of usage-based billing. Recurly's less-friendly design could make it more difficult to set up and manage your billing. This could mean errors and miscalculations that put your reputation on the line.

5. Limited flexibility for complex pricing models

Recurly isn’t the best fit for businesses with highly intricate billing models. If your pricing involves intricate calculations, multiple tiers, or various usage dimensions, you might find Recurly's usage-based billing capabilities restrictive. 

One Recurly user mentioned that they experienced a "lack of custom reporting." Recurly doesn’t cater to unique reporting needs that often accompany complex pricing models.

Orb explicitly addresses this since it’s tailor-made to fit any billing model, especially if it involves usage tracking. Plus, as mentioned above, Orb has better reporting than most competitors. 

6. Slow issue resolution

Another Recurly user expressed frustration with the slow pace of issue resolution. They noted that problems could take months to fix, requiring them to create temporary workarounds. 

"Months before resolution (that we had to make a workaround for ourselves). Loss in profit to us because of issues between them and first data." — Recurly review

This is very detrimental in the context of billing. Timely solutions like those provided by Orb are essential to maintain smooth operations and accurate revenue tracking.

Usage-based billing with Orb

Orb is a done-for-you billing solution that takes the hassle out of usage-based billing. It’s designed to give you peace of mind by solving billing. 

Orb simplifies usage-based billing with the following features:

  • Billing precision that just works: Orb tracks and captures every billable event, ensuring accurate and transparent billing and invoicing for your customers.
  • Adaptable pricing structures: With Orb's plan versioning, you can create and manage various pricing tiers, allowing you to scale your pricing model as your business grows.
  • Unmatched usage tracking: Orb transforms complex usage data into valuable insights. Its tracking capabilities are ideal for products based on granular usage metrics.
  • No-hassle integration: Orb integrates with popular data warehouses and accounting software, simplifying your workflow and smoothing operations.
  • Customizable billing metrics: You can define your own usage metrics and pricing models. This is thanks to Orb's intuitive interface and custom SQL editor, which tailor your billing to your needs.

Learn how Orb can help you set up a second-to-none usage-based billing strategy.

June 18, 2024

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