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Common IBM Cloud ID and Billing Questions: Part 2

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Updated: February 5, 2018

Note: As announced on October 31, 2017, Bluemix has been renamed the IBM Cloud. Read our announcement. References to IBM Cloud infrastructure refer to what was formerly known as SoftLayer. References to IBM Cloud platform refer to what was formerly known as Bluemix.

CloudYou expect and deserve answers to questions as quickly as possible so that you can move forward with your business. In IBM Cloud Support, we receive a number of similar questions involving account changes, billing, and login issues. As we see patterns, we update our externally published FAQs to help you address questions without needing to open a ticket. However, if you need to open a ticket, we will address it as quickly as possible based on the documented severity levels in our Getting customer support information. In conjunction with my April 2016 Common Bluemix ID and billing questions article, here are some questions and answers:

Account changes

Log in issues

Confirmation email message

Account recovery

Billing

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Account changes

Q. What are some reasons why you might not be able to create, delete, or modify a space?

  • You do not have the appropriate permissions. You must have manager rights on the organization level; not developer or auditor rights.
  • If you cannot see a space, you need to contact the owner to remove and re-add you to the space.
  • If you cannot delete a space, you are likely encountering a permission issue.

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Q. How can you manage your account, organization, spaces, users, and API keys?
There are a variety of account changes that you can make through the command line including:

  • Creating, replicating, renaming, and deleting organizations
  • Creating, renaming, and deleting spaces
  • Adding users, removing users, and assigning roles to users in an organization
  • Adding users, removing users, and assigning roles to users in a space
  • Inviting and re-inviting users to an account
  • Creating, deleting, and updating API keys

The commands are listed in the Commands for managing accounts, orgs, and roles section of the IBM Cloud documentation. Alternatively, you can manage users and organizations through the IBM Cloud Administrative Console. These functions are available in the Administrative Console under Manage > Account > Users or Manage > Account > Cloud Foundry Orgs. You might need to click View Details or three dots under an Actions heading to access this information.

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Q. Can you apply a feature (formerly known as promo) code to an account after a trial period has ended?
No, promotional codes can only be applied to active trial accounts. We cannot downgrade an account to a trial that has been upgraded to a paid account.

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Q. If you have a IBM Cloud subscription account, can it be linked to an existing IBM Cloud infrastructure (SoftLayer) account?
Both the IBM Cloud subscription account and the IBM Cloud infrastructure account must have the same IBM ID as the master user or account owner. Some subscription accounts qualify to be automatically linked. See your IBM Cloud Sales representative for more information.

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Q. How do you change the ownership or name on your account?
Name changes must be done through the submission of a Support ticket. See Getting customer support for information on how to submit a Support ticket.

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Q. How do you enter a promotional code through the IBM Cloud Administrative Console?
Complete the following steps to apply the promotional code:

  1. Log in to IBM Cloud Administrative Console
  2. Click Manage and select Billing and Usage > Billing.
  3. Scroll half-way down the page to the Feature (Promo) Codes section and click Apply Code.
  4. Enter the feature code and click Apply code.

See the following screen shot:
Promo Codes

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Q. Can you migrate an account to a new account without losing the apps and services in the original account?
With most services on the IBM Cloud platform, you can back up your data from one account and restore it in another account.

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Q. As a subscription customer, can you add your credit card to the Marketplace (through the IBM Cloud Administrative Console) to avoid having the account suspended when it expires?
Unfortunately, due to the classification of the payment model of an account as a subscription, all payment changes for a subscription account must result in a new order. e-Commerce options, which are available through the Pay-Per-Use model, are not available while an account is classified as subscription. Subscription accounts have contractual restrictions that can be voided by changing to a payment model that cannot fulfill the financial obligations of that contract. Global Entrepreneur Program accounts use the subscription model due to the 6- and 12-month term obligations of the IBM Cloud program.

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Q. How are you notified that your subscription or feature (formerly known as promo) account is expiring and how can you continue to use IBM Cloud?
A notification is sent to the email address that is associated with the owner of the account 60, 30, 14, and 1 day before your subscription expires. If you want to avoid an account suspension at the end of the subscription period, it is recommended that you engage with your Global Entrepreneur Program or IBM Cloud/Bluemix Sales representative 30 days prior to the expiration date. After payment arrangements are made, your account can be converted to a Pay-Per-Use model and linked to an IBM Cloud infrastructure account. You will then have the ability to make credit card changes through the IBM Cloud Administrative Console and cancel at any time.

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Q. How can you link an IBM Cloud platform account with an IBM Cloud infrastructure account?
You can link your IBM Cloud platform and IBM Cloud infrastructure accounts to make use of the combined resources. When an IBM Cloud platform and an IBM Cloud infrastructure account are linked, you will receive a single IBM Cloud invoice. If you have an existing IBM Cloud account, billing through IBM Cloud for IBM Cloud infrastructure resources takes effect for the new billing cycle that starts after the accounts are linked.

Important: All linked accounts in IBM Cloud must be Pay-Per-Use accounts. Only IBM Cloud trial and Pay-Per-Use accounts can be linked to a IBM Cloud infrastructure account and use Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services in IBM Cloud. To accomplish this scenario, you can:

  • Create a new Pay-Per-Use IBM Cloud account and link it to an IBM Cloud infrastructure account.
  • Link an existing Pay-Per-Use IBM Cloud account to an IBM Cloud infrastructure account.
  • Link an existing IBM Cloud trial account. However, the IBM Cloud trial account will be upgraded to a Pay-Per-Use account and remaining “free” trial time will be forfeited. Then, the Pay-Per-Use Bluemix account can be linked to an IBM Cloud infrastructure account.

Subscription IBM Cloud accounts cannot be linked until the contract has expired. Subscription account owners will need to sign up for two separate accounts or have their subscription account converted to a Pay-Per-Use account. The Subscription account owner can sign up for an IBM Cloud infrastructure account at http://www.softlayer.com. After the account is converted, see the Linking your Bluemix and SoftLayer accounts article in the platform documentation.

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Q. How do you address an error message that says a space previously existed and was not deleted, but no longer exists?
Use either the bluemix account space-delete command or the cf delete-space command to delete the space. You can find more information in the IBM Cloud (bx) commands and Cloud Foundry (cf) commands documentation.

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Q. What is the reason for “The provided email address is not valid for the Bluemix account owner IBMid” message?
This error message can occur when you are in the process of linking an IBM Cloud platform account to an IBM Cloud infrastructure (SoftLayer) account. One of more of the issues results in this message:

  • You have not created an IBM Cloud account that corresponds to the master user of the IBM Cloud infrastructure account.
  • You have not changed the master user on your IBM Cloud infrastructure account to correspond to the same user in the IBM Cloud platform account.
  • The email addresses (IBMid) in the two accounts differ and must match.
  • In the IBM Cloud infrastructure account, you must associate your IBM Cloud infrastructure customer number with an IBMid.

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Q. Can a paid account be converted to a Trial or Lite account?
After a Trial or Lite account is converted to a paid account, such as Pay-Per-Use or a subscription, we cannot convert it back to a trial account.

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Q. How can you inactivate a user in your account?
You cannot mark a team member inactive. However, you can remove the user from your IBM Cloud account by deleting their membership. This action will not impact any other memberships that the user has or their own IBM Cloud account. You can remove the user from your IBM Cloud account by completing the following steps:

  1. Select Manage > Account > Users.
  2. Under Identity & Access, click Users.
  3. In the ACTIONS column, click the three dots next to the user that you want to remove.
  4. Select Remove user.

Note: If the user is a member of only one organization, you must be a manager of that organization to remove the user. If the user is a member of more than one organization, you must be manager of all the organizations to which they are a member, or the account owner, to remove the user.

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Billing

Q. What is the difference between what is shown on the Usage Dashboard and what is billed?

Look at Account dashboard to see the free allotments for the services that you are using. Free allotments are applied to the account level and not the organization level. In addition, the differences depend on your type of account as explained below:

  • Subscription: The billed contractual interval is based upon a negotiated payment for usage credits. The bill does not necessarily equal your usage.
  • Trial: The Account Dashboard lists the estimated cost of your environment if you had a pay-per-use account.
  • Pay-Per-Use: The Usage Dashboard lists what you owe including free allotments that are provided by some services. Note: Some third-party services, such as SendGrid, do not bill for their service through Bluemix if you signed up for their service outside of Bluemix.
  • If you have separate Platform as a Service (Paas) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS – formerly known as SoftLayer ) accounts, you will be billed separately. However, you can get one combined bill if you link your accounts. For more information, see Linking your Bluemix and SoftLayer accounts.
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    Q. What types of issues can cause a credit card to be declined?
    There are a variety of reasons why a credit card transaction does not go through the system. Many of them are for fraud prevention. Some of them are in place by IBM while others are in place by your credit card issuer. Here are some tips:

    • Enter the credit card user’s name exactly as it states on the credit card. For example, if there is a middle initial on the card, it must be listed the same way in the transaction.
    • Enter the correct billing address and phone number that is associated with credit card. For example, if the address to which the credit card bill is sent is different from your address, you must use the address that is on file with the credit card issuer.
    • Ensure that you enter the correct CVV2 number.

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    Q. Does IBM Cloud provide any type of educational pricing?
    Education pricing might be available if you qualify. Contact IBM Academic Initiatives or IBM Cloud/Bluemix Sales for any promotional pricing.

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    Q. Can you pay an outstanding invoice online?
    You can pay outstanding invoices through the Manage Payment Method application using a credit card. Click Pay an outstanding invoice.

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    Login issues

    Q. When you login or register for a free feature (promo) account why are you signed out after the registration is successful?
    There are a variety of reasons why this issue occurs. One of the following solutions might resolve the issue:

    • Attempt to re-register for an IBM Cloud account to verify that an account already exists with that email address.
      • If you are prompted to enter a phone #, you have an IBM ID, but an IBM Cloud account cannot be found.
      • If you are prompted to enter your address information, then both an IBM ID and an IBM Cloud account cannot be found.
    • Check your email to ensure that you confirmed your registration and replied back to the activation email.
    • Make changes to your browser.
      • Clear your browser cookies and cache.
      • Use a private incognito window.
      • Try a different browser.
      • Try another computer or mobile device.

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    Q. How do you resolve the “BXNUI0062E: Your session expired and you must log in again” message?
    To resolve the issue, use one of the following methods:

    • Clear your browser cookies and cache.
    • Use a private incognito window.
    • Try a different browser.
    • Try another computer or mobile device.

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    Q. How do you update your IBM ID email address and/or password?
    If you cannot log into your IBM Cloud account and the email address that is associated with the account is no longer accessible, contact the Worldwide IBM Registration Helpdesk for your local region.

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    Q. What do you do when you attempt to log into your account and you see the following message: “Notice: Your account upgrade requires additional review. Before your account upgrade is completed, a member of our team will review your account information”?
    Contact the IBM Cloud infrastructure accounting department through email or call (866) 325-0045 and select option 3 to determine whether it is a billing processing issue. If it is not a billing processing issue, open a Support ticket. See Getting customer support for information on how to submit a Support ticket.

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    Q. How do you resolve the “We’re having a problem getting your account activated” message?
    Attempt to log in again to the IBM Cloud Administrative Console. You should see an option to have the confirmation email resent to the email address that is associated with your account.

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