A possible change to the way alert usage is calculated

04 May 2020

Based on feedback from customers, I am considering a change to the way alert usage is calculated in Alertatron, and wanted to present the changes for some feedback before going ahead with it.

[Updated 5th May 2020 to include details below of what was changed]

What we've released...

We now show your alert limits as a simple daily limit that resets at midnight UTC every day.

Each of our existing plans now includes a daily limit. Previously the plans expressed your limits as 'number of alerts you can receive over a 30-day period'. It is now 'number of alerts you can receive a day'.

But occasionally I get a busy day - will I miss alerts?

Don't worry. We built in a 'burst capacity' feature. Hover your mouse over your daily limit at the top of the page to see a tooltip that will explain how many alerts you can 'burst' to today. The surge limit will be based on your usage over the previous few days. If you are using less that your daily limit, you'll be able to burst over the limit once in a while. If you are constantly hitting your daily limits though, the burst capacity will disappear and you'll be capped at your normal daily limit.

You'll always be able to receive at least your daily limit, every day.

Changes to your plan

If you had an active paid-for plan, you will now have more alerts available to you than you did under the old system, as we have rounded usage up to nice round numbers for the daily limit. Here's a table showing before and after for each of the plans.

Plan Old 30 day Alerts New Daily Alerts New 30 day alerts equivalent Change
Basic 200 10 300 +50%
Trader 500 20 600 +20%
Wolf 1000 40 1200 +20%
Alpha 5000 200 6000 +20%

Can I still get extra alerts

Yes, on the billing page you can increase your daily alert limit in steps of 100 alerts a day up to an extra 1000 alerts a day. Just drag the Extra Daily Alerts slider to the number you require and restart your plan with those settings.

What do I need to do to get this?

Nothing! We've automatically upgraded everyone's account.

We hope this will be easier to understand all round.

The original plan

Why make a change?

The existing system of calculating usage based on the total alerts received over the last 30 days causes a great deal of confusion.

How does it work now

Say your plan includes a limit of 1000 alerts in the last 30 days. Each day, we look at how many alerts you received in the previous 30 days. If it's less than 1000, you're good to go. Over 1000 and you've hit your limit and the alert will be dropped (well, we give a little grace, but you get the idea).

The problem is that people hit their limit, and go to the billing page, extend their plan to end a month from now and expect to get another 1000 alerts to use, when actually they have the same limit as they did before, as the plans have a 30-day limit of 1000, not a pack of 1000 to use whenever.

What's the new plan...

I'd like to change this to a simple daily limit. Each plan will allow you to receive up to a certain number of alerts each day. Higher plans will have a higher limit on how many alerts they can receive each day. It will also be possible to increase your daily limit with extra alerts. so...

  • Each day you can receive alerts up to your plans limit.
  • Each day, your usage is reset to zero, and you start fresh.

Using a similar example to above, say your plan includes 40 alerts a day (about 1200 alerts a month, so a little better than the current Wolf plan). Each day, you will always be able to get 40 alerts. If you run out, you can either wait until tomorrow, or you can upgrade your plan to one that includes a higher daily limit.

I think it will be simpler to say "you can have 40 alerts a day", rather than "you can have 1200 alerts over the previous 30 days".

Before I get too carried away with it though, I thought I'd present it here and get some feedback from existing customers. Let me know what you think...

By the way, if I make this change, all existing customers will get more alerts than they currently do, as I will round the daily figures up to nice round numbers. For example, Wolf plan today gets 1000 alerts over 30 days, which is 33.3 alerts a day. On the updated system, that customer will get 40 alerts a day (or about 1200 alerts on the old system), which is around 20% more than before.

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