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Subscriptions -- what happens when the subscription amount changes mid-cycle?

vossavantvossavant Member
in Help edited November 2011
Hi guys,

We're plotting out a client site that would let a customer change his subscription multiple times in a billing period. It's not guaranteed that the customer will change the subscription, but it's possible.

The model is similar to most software as a service sites out there today, where you pick a plan and get up to X users/hours/listings per month.

My question is: how does FoxyCart determine what to bill the user if the user changes the subscription type midway through the billing cycle? More specifically, let's say I start with a plan that gives me up to 5 users @ $10 per month, and 10 days in I upgrade to the plan that gives me up to 10 users @ $20 per month. Do I get billed a prorated amount for both plan levels (10 days @ $10 and 20 days @ $20) or is it simpler?

We're actually looking at having a different subscription price for each listing; that is, 1 listing would cost less than 2 listings, which costs less than 3, and so on. It's also possible that a user would downgrade a subscription (that is, remove a listing) at any point during a billing cycle. I'm also interested how FC would handle this change.

I'd be using the latest version of FC on this site. Thanks in advance for your help.

  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hey Ryan, thanks for posting.

    We've tried to keep things as flexible as possible so that answer is actually, "we don't do anything." We try to provide you with the tools you need to manage your subscriptions however you want to based on your specific needs. Using the API, the subscription datafeed and such, you can adjust things as needed but it would involve building an interface on your website for the customer to make adjustments.

    Have you looked into the API? Will it meet your needs as far as making adjustments and such?

    We've talked a lot about adding more "built in" functionality for handling churn, cancels, upgrades, downgrades, pro rating, refunding, etc... but each business does things slightly different so instead we've taken the approach of building integration tools and doing our best to ensure they meet everyone's needs.

    We'd love any feedback you have on what we currently offer and any suggestions on how we could make it better.
  • sparkwebsparkweb Member, Integration Developer, FoxyShop, Order Desk
    I think something that would really help in situations like this (for pro-rating) would be the subscription trial pricing. There's a request here (which I've just voted up).

    Additionally, we had a conversation about this very thing here last week and there's some sample XML there for changing the subscription template.

    Hope that is helpful...
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Thanks sparkweb. I wonder... if we implemented product bundles, would that also solve this? That would ensure both the trial and the subscription are in the cart together and if one is removed, the other would be removed also. Just a thought. The trial period feature does make sense though, especially considering how PayPal has something similar.
  • sparkwebsparkweb Member, Integration Developer, FoxyShop, Order Desk
    I think that product bundles would do it. Then we could add Subscription starting in 2 months for $10 and First Month (one-time) for $5. Plus, product bundling would be enormously helpful on many other levels, for all types of products. I know there are some JavaScript workarounds for product bundling now, but would LOVE to see this get integrated in as a regular FoxyCart feature.
  • Hey Luke,

    Thanks for your helpful response. I think the API should work for us; I'll keep you posted if I have any issues, suggestions, comments, etc. on how you currently do things.
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