[Koha] Hold fees expected functionality

HEALEY, Sally Sally.Healey at cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
Tue Nov 3 02:04:43 NZDT 2015

Hi all,

We would be strong advocates for:

-  Charge always when a hold is filled

Our ideal workflow would be:

-  Hold arrives at requesting patron’s branch and is confirmed by a staff member 
-  Charge is added to the patron’s account
-  Notification is generated and sent to the patron

As an authority, we've never charged patrons for holds before they’re ready to collect.  This ensures that patrons don't pay for requests that we’re unable to fulfil.

Koha’s current workflow has caused our patrons to lose confidence because they can’t fathom (without staff intervention) why they’re charged on some occasions but not others.

Where possible, we expect our patrons to keep their accounts clear of charges.  To achieve this, we prevent our patrons from using self checkout machines, or public access computers (which authenticate via our LMS) unless their account is clear.  As we’ve never required prior payment for holds (and, as stated above, some of our patrons are now starting to believe the charges are arbitrary) the charges appearing on accounts before items are ready for collection is significantly undesirable.

We understand the logic of the current workflow if there is only one branch, or all of the branches are on one campus – but in a multi-authority, multi-branch system, it isn’t practical.  If an item that can fulfil a hold is in a branch that’s 50 miles away, the patron should be charged for that item to be sent over to their local branch – just as they would be charged if all of the copies were on loan.

We would be significantly less happy with:

- Charge always when placing a hold

…but at least if every item (for specific patron categories) was charged for, patrons would understand the process.  It would be a step up from the current workflow, which we find extremely unhelpful for our circumstances.

Kind regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: Koha [mailto:koha-bounces at lists.katipo.co.nz] On Behalf Of Katrin Fischer
Sent: 01 November 2015 13:18
To: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
Subject: Re: [Koha] Hold fees expected functionality

Hi all,

since Joonas' email the code around the current hold fee functionality has been cleaned up a bit for better readability:

Bug 14702 - Refactor GetReserveFee

"The code of GetReserveFee was not very clear.
What it did was: check if there are some items not issued. If so and there are no holds, calculate no fee."

To me these conditions seemed a bit unusual, I had expected it to

- Charge always when placing a hold or
- Charge always when a hold is filled

It would be interesting to hear what others think of this - does the current behaviour make sense to you? Should it work differently and if yes, how?


Am 27.08.2015 um 13:40 schrieb Joonas Kylmälä:
> Hello there,
> Since there has been discussion earlier in this mailing list and in 
> Bugzilla 
> <http://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=13592>
> about what should be the behaviour when charging a fee from a hold, I 
> thought to ask you people here.
> At the moment if you have set a holding fee for X category of accounts 
> the fee is only charged when there is no items available for loan or 
> some other patron has placed a hold already in biblio or item level 
> (correct me if I'm wrong, because I think I am..).
> This makes it impossible to charge a fee when someone makes a hold of 
> a specific item (which might be because the specific item is not 
> available in the patrons home branch but is in some other). So in that 
> scenario no fee will be charged from the patron. I suggest that there 
> would be some system preference where one could define if one wants to 
> have the hold charge from an biblio record level or from an item 
> level. Also I think some other scenarios should be taken in account.
> So, please, tell your opinions about this and how do you want it to be 
> done.
> Note: you can find the setting to enable item level holds here:
> <>
> Best regard,
> Joonas Kylmälä
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