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Notification on Declined Subscription Payment

cfncfn Member
in Bugs & Feature Requests edited August 2008
Hi guys,

We've just discovered after our first batch of subscriptions (n=65), that the declined people don't get any notification that their payment didn't go through.

The store owner doesn't get notified either.

He was surprised when he saw his bank statement and the numbers didn't add up correctly... the issue was easily found (the data at the bottom of the subscriptions page makes it very easy to figure out what went wrong), but we were thrown for a loop when we didn't get any email notification for the 5 subscribers (almost 10%) who got declined.

Is this something that is correctable, or on the list for a future version? Ideally it would be a custom email that would let us write a little note and insert "makeup payment" links as well as the 'update cc" link. But the store owner and the customer would both hopefully get it.
Comments
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    edited August 2008
    We've been talking about this problem since day one. See, we use FoxyCart to sell FoxyCart so we're well acquainted with this problem and the frustration it causes. We want a flexible solution for everyone and haven't completely figured out the perfect way to do things. We've been thinking about developing a subscription error datafeed which would allow each store to parse and process on their own to do whatever they want. For example, some systems may decide to turn off access to a resource if the subscription fails. It may also involve sending emails and such. It will be a little more programming to handle, but it's also the most flexible.

    If we just did an email template on our end, we'd have to add a LOT of place holders that would be custom to each store and the products they sell. For example, the email should say something like, "Your subscription payment for product X from store Y failed on date Z". It would get messy. If we have an error datafeed, all of this (and more) could be handled by your server.

    Does a subscription datafeed sound flexible? We were thinking we could send it once a day with updates for the transactions processed that day. Getting 0.4.0 out the door is a priority for us, but so is this. In the mean time, you should let you client know it's important to check their error log on a regular basis.

    We also know that we need a full subscription API so that you can dynamically cancel or change the date, amount, etc for the subscription. We'll get there after 0.4.0 is released.

    Please note, at some point some of these features may be provided at an extra cost. That's also something we're working out.

    Anyone else have any other thoughts on this?
  • cfncfn Member
    Hmm... it could be cool if my programmer team members can easily work with it. I'm sure they can, but, thats not my specialty, so I can't really comment :)

    How much programming time do you think it would take to create something basic that would email out a list of declined transactions every day? One to two hours of programming time, my clients would be willing to pay for. More than that, I'm not going to be able to sell them on it.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    We'll probably provide some sample code to get them started. It would be much like the datafeed integrations we already have going. With sample code provided, shouldn't take more than an hour or two.

    It's either that or your clients manage themselves manually by monitoring the error log. We've been doing that for a long time and its getting old. As we grow, it's just not feasible to do manually.
  • Cool.

    I'm handling this on behalf of my client, so, a couple issues are coming up :)

    1) For instance today, 2 out of the 5 declines did pay. Luckily their manual payments are easy to identify. However, I have no way of "dismissing" them from the error log on the subscription page. Would it be possible to add a "dismiss/resolve" button next to each declined transaction so I can keep track on-screen without having to refer to spreadsheets/notes/etc. ?

    2) Also the date of the declined transaction does not show, and that can get confusing too especially as time goes on. Can the date be added to that screen?

    3) My client really wants to move this job to his outsourced answering service personnel... which I'm talking him out of due to security risks. I absolutely know you guys are aware and on top of this as a development priority, but, I'm just contributing this scenario to make the case stronger for the subscription datafeed (probably the best way) or fine-grained user permissions which would give the answering service access to only what they need (so the techie guy doesn't have to handle the manual work at his big huge expensive rate per hour LOLOL.)
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Great feedback, thanks so much.

    1) We can probably add the ability to "edit" the error message out of the subscription to take care of that.

    2) If you click on the transaction id, it will take to you to the last successful transaction that took place which is the last one that worked. Based on the frequency you should be able to figure out what days failed.

    3) Yea, I agree. The subscription datafeed makes the most sense. That way you can build a custom management screen for the answering service people.

    We're getting close to releasing the next version (0.4.0) for preview release, so we may not get to this right away, but we definitely will have better options in the future.
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