Unleak
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Startup Journey
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly is a blog about products that we love and use. We analyze their billing and subscription management section and point the good shots, the things that could be improved and sometimes funny things that are plain ugly 🙈

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Heroku

Everyone loves Heroku. For more than a decade, Heroku has powered millions of applications. Founded in 2007 to power Ruby applications, it was acquired by SalesForce in 2010 for a hefty $ 212 million.

Our love of Heroku won’t cloud our judgment for this very first of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

Coming up with a decent billing and subscription management UI/UX is hard. Can a company such as Heroku, with so many customers and backed by Salesforce, get it right? We’ll see.

The Good

Account overview

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There are two nice things about this section.

First, you can see what your current usage for the platform is. With a service billed for each minute you use their service, this is mandatory information and is a very welcome number to see when you first come in this section. If you have any credits, you can see it here too.

Second, you got your payment information right here. You know exactly on which card you are being billed, and you can edit or remove that card.

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Whenever you try to delete your credit card, you get a clear warning as to what will happen. There is also a checkbox you need to tick for the Remove Credit Card button to be active. If you succeed in removing your credit card, you meant to.

Previous invoices

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This section is very nice. With a usage-based service, it is a beautiful thing to show the cost as a bar chart to get a good view of your spending per month. Then, you get a list of all previous invoices, with the amount and the status.

Invoice

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Some nice elements. I get to see the name of the company (Heroku!), the invoice number, my address, and company name (if any). I can see the total amount, along with two ways to understand the total: by services (dynos, add-ons, etc.) and per application.

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You can drill down the information per application to a point where you almost see every hour of the month.

The Bad

Account overview

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When will I be charged next?

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I clicked a button called “Change Credit Card”. Why is the “Additional Information” over there? My company address that needs to be stated on every invoice, along with my tax IDs, are associated with my credit card? I don’t get it.

Previous invoices

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Billing information

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Other?

Also, remember this screen?

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Clicking on the link redirects you to an information page. Two things here. First, I don’t like to be redirected when we are playing with my credit card info. This is a nice place where you could add inline help or simply open the information in another tab of my browser. I won’t mind. Second, why the hell would it take as much as 30 days for me to add a new credit card?

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Invoice

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As a business, you are required to state your address on an invoice. Also, I get that this invoice is for usage from Nov 01 to Nov 22, 2018. But what’s the invoice date? This invoice was paid, where is it stated?

The Ugly

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No. Plain and simple. I am leaving a couple of links for you here:

The Judgment

Overall, Heroku does a pretty decent job with their billing and subscription management section. It could be improved, but almost everything that you need is there.

However, the sales tax management is something they need to get right. I wonder how many of their customers really pay due taxes. Or even know they owe taxes to the government.

We ❤️ you, Heroku.

Dominic Goulet
I am a father, entrepreneur, software engineer, angel investor, and a good guy. Mostly in that order. I founded Unleak to help developers integrate world-class billing management UI in their product for a fraction of the time and cost.
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