How do users cancel a subscription in the Membership plugin?

Hello. I searched the forums but could not an answer to this. I am using Membership 3.5 and the PayPal Standard Gateway with reoccurring payments.

What is the correct process for a subscribed user to cancel his or her membership?

Does the user cancel the membership from the website by going to the Subscriptions page and clicking the "Unsubscribe" button? If so, that button link takes the user away from my website and go directly to PayPal. From PayPal, the user would then navigate to "My Preapproved Payments" and then cancel the reoccurring payment? Is that how a user cancels his membership?

What about if the user didn't go to the website and went directly to PayPal to cancel their membership. Would that work the same or differently than my above scenario? Does the user HAVE TO log into my website and go to the Subscriptions page and click the PayPal "Unsubscribe" button to formally begin the cancellation process? Or can they go directly to PayPal to do this without ever having to click, on that "Unsubscribe" button?

And once the subscription is cancelled, does PayPal talk to the Membership plugin and tell it that the user cancelled his reoccurring payment and to revoke his access to the premium section of the website?

I am just looking for a clear set of step by step instructions on the official way a user can cancel his subscription and stop the PayPal reoccurring payment.

  • Nick

    Hi @Jack Kitterhing,

    Okay I am following you. So then what is the purpose of the Subscription page in the Membership plugin?

    I see two pieces of information on the Subscription page:

    #1) An Unsubscribe button that leads to PayPal to cancel a subscription. But if it's better to go directly to PayPal to cancel a subscription, why would a user need to click the "Unsubscribe button" on the Subscriptions page. This button is broken anyways, so I don't see the point in telling a user to go to the Subscriptions page to cancel.

    #2) A list of all other memberships with the ability to upgrade. But the ability to show specific upgrade options to a specific membership level, as well as the actual upgrade ability both do not work anyways. I have submitted many tickets reporting these problems and no one has been able to provide a solution. If you click "Upgrade" next to any of the memberships, PayPal tries to charge you the full price of the membership, not the price difference between the current membership level and the upgraded membership level.

    So what is the point of the Subscriptions page if the ability to show certain upgrade-able memberships does not work, the actual ability to upgrade does not work, and the Unsubscribe button does not work?

    I'm just trying to figure out the purpose of the Subscriptions page and what it should be or could be used for? Also, am I the only person who has reported these 3 pieces of functionality not working as intended? No one else is experiencing these issues but me?

    Thank you as always.

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there Nick,

    Hope you're well today.

    #1) An Unsubscribe button that leads to PayPal to cancel a subscription. But if it's better to go directly to PayPal to cancel a subscription, why would a user need to click the "Unsubscribe button" on the Subscriptions page. This button is broken anyways, so I don't see the point in telling a user to go to the Subscriptions page to cancel.

    Is that button still broken on the latest 3.5.0.6? I haven't been able to replicate that, but we are looking into improving the cancellation process currently :slight_smile:

    #2) A list of all other memberships with the ability to upgrade. But the ability to show specific upgrade options to a specific membership level, as well as the actual upgrade ability both do not work anyways. I have submitted many tickets reporting these problems and no one has been able to provide a solution. If you click "Upgrade" next to any of the memberships, PayPal tries to charge you the full price of the membership, not the price difference between the current membership level and the upgraded membership level.

    I'm afraid this is currently the correct functionality, there is no Pro rate price when upgrading it charges the full price, we're looking into improved upgrade and downgrade systems for the next major release :slight_smile:

    So what is the point of the Subscriptions page if the ability to show certain upgrade-able memberships does not work, the actual ability to upgrade does not work, and the Unsubscribe button does not work?

    The main point of the page was to allow the upgrades etc, but due to the plugin currently not offering pro rate prices, this isn't as useful as it should be unfortunately.

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Nick

    Thank you for the explanation. I have been wondering for quite some time if there was a problem with my website and my configurations that was causing the issue with the upgrading. But now I realize upgrading a membership to a pro rated price is not available at this time.

    Thank you for telling me. I was driving myself crazy trying to get it to work! Can you guys add this to the manual or create some kind of FAQ? I feel other users of this plugin could benefit from information like this.

    Okay, now I would like to make sure I provide the best experience as possible for my users who want to upgrade. I see two ways to accommodate this. Can you take a look at my two approaches and let me know if they are okay for the Membership plugin? Would both work? Do you think one is better than the other?

    Also, based on your experience with the Membership role, can you suggest a better method for upgrading? Also, what does the plugin author recommend?

    APPROACH #1:

    1) Tell the user to cancel his current membership by going into PayPal and canceling the recurring payment.

    2) Then I will go into my business PayPal account and issue the user a refund.

    3) Then I will go into Membership > All Members, find the user, and manually move the user from his current membership into the Visitor membership AND the stranger role. I will not delete the user from WordPress, I will only just move him to the Visitor membership and change his role to the stranger role for the time being.

    4) Then I will tell the user to log into my website with his account (because I didn't delete his account) and then purchase the better membership he wants.

    APPROACH #2:

    1) I go into my business's PayPal account and search for the user's subscription. I then edit the subscription in PayPal and change the recurring price to the higher price for the upgraded membership. And obviously tell the user I am doing this.

    2) Then I go into Membership > All Members, find the user, and manually move the user from his current membership into the upgraded membership, and also change his role to the higher access role associated with the upgraded membership.

    What do you think? Will these work? Can you recommend a better way?

    Thank you.

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there Nick,

    Hope you're well today and sorry about the delay.

    I'll see if @Patrick Cohen can add that to the manual for us :slight_smile:

    With regards to upgrading, I would personally recommend Approach 1: As Approach 2 wouldn't work, as you can only raise by a ex percentage without the user creating a new recurring payment profile.

    I believe it would also make more sense from a users point of view, though it may result in a lot of refunds, so I have a Approach 3 :slight_smile:

    Approach 3, would be to have a form and the member messages you they want to upgrade, you let them know the difference in the cost, and then you can have another form for the payment difference as a new recurring subscription, so then technically the user has two PayPal subscriptions, the old would need to be cancelled, you manually move them in membership to their new level, does that make sense? :slight_smile:

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Nick

    Thanks @Jack Kitterhing!

    I like approach 3. However I as thinking more about this, and if the user is not on that new recurring subscription for the price difference, wouldn't that mean when they auto renew in a year they would only get charge that price difference?

    So if membership A cost $75 and membership B cost $100. I would set up a new recurring subscription (let's call it membership Z) for $25 (the difference in cost between the basic and the gold.) If the user cancels the $75/year membership A, and goes on the $25/year membership Z, after a year, wouldn't the user auto renew at membership Z's rate of $25, NOT membership B's rate of $100?

    Thank you.

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