Say you want to give a customer an account credit for some reason. They're an especially good customer, or your service was down for a few minutes and you want to give service credits, or some other reason. You can do this using Stripe's
Here's an example situation. You run a DNS service and had a five minute outage last month. Your SLA (service level agreement) says that you give a one day credit for a five minute outage, and for your customer Bob that's equal to $1.
Here's how you credit Bob's account:
bob = Stripe::Customer.retrieve('cus_bobskey') bob.account_balance = bob.account_balance - 100 bob.save
Bob's card will be charged $9 for his next invoice: $10 from his monthly plan and -$1 from his account balance. After this invoice, his account balance will be set back to 0. Note that you have to set the account balance to a negative number. If you set it to a positive number, that amount will be added to Bob's next invoice instead of subtracted. It's also a good practice to subtract the amount from their existing balance. Most of the time this will be 0, but if they happen to already have a balance you don't want to stomp on it.
Here's another example. You want to give Cindy two free months for upgrading to your biggest plan, from the $20 Hobby plan to the $100 Super Startup plan. The same idea applies as for Bob:
cindy = Stripe::Customer.retrieve('cus_cindyskey') cindy.plan = 'super_startup_100' cindy.account_balance = cindy.account_balance - 20000 cindy.save
Cindy is halfway through the billing month when she decides to upgrade. On her next invoice, she'll see the following line items:
Her card won't actually be charged because the entire amount came out of her account balance, which is now $-50. On month 2, she'll receive that $50 from her account balance and be charged the remaining $50 for her plan, and then on month 3 she'll be charged the full $100.
You can use the account balance with positive numbers, of course. This would add an additional line item to the customer's invoice for the
account_balance amount. It's usually better to create line items directly, though, because that way you have control over the description.
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