Subscription Question

danshieldsdanshields Member
in General edited September 2009
I just have a basic question on subscriptions. I know that subsciptions are based on products so if a user subscribes to a specific product lets say for $50 a year and then half way through the year we change the price to 60 a year, when it goes to auto renew I am assuming it will charge them the $60 and not be based off of what they originally purchased the product for.
Comments
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Hi Dan.
    That's actually not how they work. As with almost all "products" in FoxyCart, they're defined by what you submit to the cart. So you submit a subscription at $50 with a 1y frequency. That's what FoxyCart sees. If you then submit a $60 1y subscription, that's completely separate. Each will run independently of the other.

    Our next release will have a subscription API that could conceivably make it easier for you to change subscriptions automatically, as per your own system's requirements.

    Make sense?
  • so your saying that once a person adds their 50 dollar subscription to cart and we decide to increase the price of that subscription halfway through the year to $60. That person would only be charged $50 when their renewal came up. Oh yeah, sorry got confused because I am using the Foxee module for Expression Engine. I didn't think about you guys not knowing we changed the price in our system.

    How do you guys suggest people handling this type of situation currently. I could see some people buying a 3 year subscription to a product and the next year or more we would have to up the price and would want those users to have to pay the new price when their recurring payment is suppose to come up. Do we go in and manually cancel their subscription somehow and start a new subscription? You could end up having a lot of people paying different prices for the same subscription.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    It's a good question. At this point we'd probably recommend waiting for the next release with the subscription API, as that may well have a significant impact on this. In either case, you wouldn't have to cancel the subscription; they could be updated. But the updating process kind of depends on what would make sense. You could use the sub_tokens and ask the customer to update their own subscriptions (which you could streamline fairly effectively), or you could do it for them (manually) using "unified order entry".

    Or, perhaps FoxEE could use the subscription API to automatically make these changes happen. Or you could use the API to do it yourself.

    The problem with updating automatically is that it could be a very problematic situation for your customers. If I start a subscription at $50, that's what I'm expecting to pay. If the price increases on me automatically I probably won't be happy. FoxyCart will be raising the standard price in the future, but we won't be increasing the price of stores already paying $15/mo. Similarly, I personally have plans with blinksale.com and getharvest.com that are their very very old pricing. I'm not saying that that's the only way to go, but if you do end up increasing the price automatically I think you'd definitely want to clearly communicate with your customers.

    To that end, you could set up the sub_token links and email all your customers with a link for them to replace their existing subscription with the new subscription. This would require effort from your customers, but it'd also eliminate any potential issues with angry customers about a "hidden" price increase.

    Sorry if this is coming across as didactic. Just want to make sure I bring these issues up so we can get a better feel for what you're doing, and how we could better serve you and your customers.
  • Thanks a lot and no worries on how it came across. It is all totally expected from what I was thinking. I just wanted to make sure I had the right answer if the client were to ask about this functionality.
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