At work, we use both Atlassian’s OnDemand JIRA tool for tracking bugs and tasks, and we use GitHub for version control. Both our accounts have everything private, we’re not running an open source project.

I’ve personally not been that fond of the JIRA tool. I’m sure it’s good for some instances, but either the way it’s intended to work or the limitations put on our OnDemand instance cause it to be less than stellar in my eyes. It could just be that the point where I am in bug and feature tracking doesn’t need the complexity that JIRA brings to the table. I’ve switched over to using GitHub issues for my day-to-day and my workflow is smoother.

Also, the way that Atlassian and GitHub deal with payments is rather different. Both keep our (well, our CTO’s) credit card on file and bill it monthly. But if you want to upgrade your level of service (adding users to Atlassian / adding repos to GitHub), the method of doing that is drastically different for the internet age.

GitHub has a listing of their different offering levels, the number of private repos you can have, and you push the “Upgrade” or “Downgrade” button to move your account up or down in cost and available private repos. After pushing the button, you’re asked to confirm, and then WHAM your account changes to reflect your desires. No fluff. I like it.

Atlassian on the other hand, requires you to enter credit card details when changing your account level. You can’t select to just use the card already on file. Yesterday, I wanted to move our OnDemand instance from 10 users to 15 (we now have 11 developers who need access). The CTO was not around, so I couldn’t use his credit card, which meant I had to use my own. I thought, “No big deal, right?” Well, sort of. I now have to submit an expense report, and since Atlassian says that my credit card is now going to be the one billed monthly, rather than the one previously on file, I have to get the CTO’s card from him when he’s back in town and change our billing preferences, again! To top it all off, after I go through all of this, Atlassian tells me, “our sales team member will review and process your order within the next 1 - 3 business days.” ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!

Shipping physical things might take a day or two to grab, pack, and slap a label onto. Charging a credit card and changing a variable from 10 to 15 shouldn’t! A few hours, that’s reasonable. A few minutes, that’s the expectation. Days just don’t exist on the internet.

I’ve gotten word back from Atlassian sales. Turns out our account got upgraded overnight, which is good. But their response to my complaint about entering credit card details again is that they do this on purpose to ensure that the credit card owner isn’t surprised by changes to the billing amount. I can only assume they’ve had problems before. I’m confused by this, since only those who can manage the account can upgrade it. I’d think the solution here is to tell customers not to let incompetent people manage an account where billing decisions can be made.


09 February 2012