Web-Based Payment The LINKS Simulations website provides complete and convenient access for LINKS instructors and LINKS students to the current status of student payments.
Students can access their team’s payment status for all team members by clicking on the “Display E-Mail Addresses and Payments” button on the bottom of their team-specific webpage in the LINKS Simulation Database.
Instructors have similar team-specific access to students’ payment status on their “firm 0” webpage for each LINKS industry. In addition, LINKS instructors can access the complete Excel spreadsheet for all of their industries via a link (“Display Student Payments”) on their “firm 0” webpage.
LINKS instructors need to remind their students to check their own and their firm’s members’ payment status via the “Payment Records” button on their team-specific webpage in the LINKS Simulation Database.
These payment records are updated daily (typically in the evening, US Eastern Time), so a recent payment might not be fully reflected until the next day.
The most likely cause of a “missing” payment record on the LINKS Simulation Database is a student who uses a different e-mail address during the PayPal payment/registration process than that provided to us by the LINKS instructor in the original team assignments Excel spreadsheet.
Students with a PayPal receipt whose payment record is not reflected in the LINKS Simulation Database should access the “Paid With Different E-Mail Address?” link on the main LINKS Simulations webpage (http://www.LINKS-simulations.com).
LINKS published prices reflect discounts for early payment (i.e., for students who pay for LINKS before the scheduled completion of the first LINKS game run). Students paying for LINKS after the first scheduled game run do so at the full (non-discounted) price, which is 25% higher than the published discounted price. LINKS instructors need to “forcefully” remind their students to pay for LINKS early and, preferably, before (or at) the time their LINKS industries are initialized.
Here’s an example of one LINKS instructor’s “final” warning message to her/his students about LINKS payment:
You haven’t yet paid for LINKS. If you don’t pay by the next class session, you will no longer be a participating member your LINKS simulation firm and I will remove your name from your team’s roster in the LINKS Simulation Database. This means that you will not receive credit for LINKS simulation participation or simulation-related activities within the course. As noted in the syllabus: "Paid access to this simulation is required for all simulation participants in this course. Payment may be made online via the “Pay For LINKS” link on the main LINKS Simulations webpage (http://www.LINKS-simulations.com).” LINKS instructors may wish to provide (and advertise, perhaps in their course syllabus) a consulting fee bonus within the LINKS simulation environment for early payment. For example, a consulting fee bonus of $50,000 per student might be offered for payment before the first scheduled game run in your LINKS event. This provides a tangible within-simulation bonus and incentive to encourage early payment.
With such a bonus program, students would simply need to show the instructor a printed copy of their official PayPal receipt. A PayPal e-mail receipt is provided to students by PayPal when they successfully complete their LINKS payment.
LINKS instructors can input these special bonuses within the LINKS Simulation Database (on the “firm 0” webpage for each LINKS industry). Remember, that these bonuses are input as negative numbers (e.g., -50000 for a $50,000 consulting bonus) since consulting fees are an expense and a negative consulting fee is a bonus (i.e., a negative expense is a positive bonus). In inputting bonuses, note also that you’re inputting the “new” total consulting fee adjustment for a team. Thus, if there’s already a pre-existing -100000 consulting fee present, another -50000 bonus would be input as a -150000 total consulting fee adjustment for a team.
After the second game run in LINKS events, we normally embargo results for teams with non-payers. LINKS inputs are still possible but results won’t be accessible until all team members have paid for LINKS. Here’s a post-embargo e-mail response by Professor Jim Brown (West Virginia University) to students who hadn’t yet paid:
Dear LINKS Team B2:
At least one of you has not paid your fee for participating in LINKS. As a result, your team has been blockaded from accessing your results, although you can still submit decisions. Once everyone has paid for LINKS, the reports embargo will be lifted and you can see your results and research reports.
This is an EXTREME measure, but actions have consequences and this is the consequence for nonpayment.
Without access to reports, you will be making decisions blindly. This will likely affect your performance adversely and, hence, have a negative impact on your grade.
To those of you who have not yet paid for LINKS, you're jeopardizing your teammates’ course grades by your inaction. For those of you who have paid, LINKS is a team assignment and your responsibility is to ensure that everyone is participating fully in the assignment.