how to change already-purchased subscriptions to "fintite" vs "serial"

So I've asked a question already regarding what the difference is between "finite" and "serial" subscriptions, and I wanted to get help on a specific issue relating to that...

I have several users that bought a subscription that was set to "serial" at the time of purchase. Paypal does not show anything reoccurring set-up, though, i checked... and i have since changed the subscription to "finite" instead of "serial"... so my questions are:

1) will any future purchases be bought as "finite" since I changed it?
2) How do I ensure the customers that bought it as "serial" aren't autorenewed?
3) If I need to cancel the subscription, will that affect the paypal purchase, or am I just creating a new subscription, or canceling, then reapplying the current one (that now is set to "finite")? Meaning, remove the subscription, then re-add it immediately (since the sub now has "finite" checked)?

Please advise, i want to ensure no one is autorenewed that has previously purchases, but I obviously don't want to cancel any paypal purchases, etc.

Thanks.

  • aristath

    Hello there @HelloWorld, I hope you're well today!

    Paypal does not show anything reoccurring set-up, though, i checked...

    How exactly did you check it? If there is a recurring payment present it will be visible to clients. I'm not quite sure it's displayed on your account...

    1) will any future purchases be bought as "finite" since I changed it?

    Yes.

    2) How do I ensure the customers that bought it as "serial" aren't autorenewed?

    The simplest and most efficient way is to send them a newsletter, informing them of the changes that took place, and instructing them to cancel the recurring payment on their paypal account. It is not something that you can control, they have to cancel it themselves.

    If I need to cancel the subscription, will that affect the paypal purchase, or am I just creating a new subscription, or canceling, then reapplying the current one (that now is set to "finite")? Meaning, remove the subscription, then re-add it immediately (since the sub now has "finite" checked)?

    You shouldn't cancel your subscriptions. Even if you create a new one, name it the same etc it will still have a different ID so it won't work as a "continuation" or "replacement" of the previous one.
    You'd be better of editing the already-existing entry.
    If you choose to delete the existing one and create a new one you may have to dive into the database using phpmyadmin or something similar and patch things up. So... it's not really advised.

    I hope that answers your question.
    If you need any further assistance don't hesitate to post an update!

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • HelloWorld

    Thank you for the help. Much appreciated.

    However, I'm a bit concerned I can't control this, like in this example when a mistake was made in terms of checking "serial" or "finite"... I just don't see how I can't have any say on changing that.

    Regarding your question:

    How exactly did you check it? If there is a recurring payment present it will be visible to clients. I'm not quite sure it's displayed on your account...

    I called PayPal and they said the purchases made (that were "serial") prior to me changing my subscription to "finite" show no signs of being set up to reoccur.. the PayPal rep said he looked at the purchases and does not see a single sign that the transactions were anything but one time purchases.

    So, my question would be, if PayPal sees it this way, and the only driving thing behind these purchase being renewed automatically or not is the plugin, how can I not control this?

    I'll call PayPal again, but they transferred me to a few people and the gentleman that helped me was very confident that reoccurring products were not appearing, only solo one-time purchases.

    Thanks.

  • aristath

    I'm a bit concerned I can't control this, like in this example when a mistake was made in terms of checking "serial" or "finite"... I just don't see how I can't have any say on changing that.

    After some research on the PayPal developer API it turns out that merchants do have control. Sorry about my previous post, I was under the impression that it was only controlled by the users, as this used to be the case.

    the PayPal rep said he looked at the purchases and does not see a single sign that the transactions were anything but one time purchases.

    I'm glad to hear that!
    So there's no need to worry about any recurring billing to your customers! :slight_smile:

    if PayPal sees it this way, and the only driving thing behind these purchase being renewed automatically or not is the plugin, how can I not control this?

    Well, normally it's not controlled by the plugin but by PayPal.
    Obviously something was not properly setup in the plugin configuration that caused this fortunate (as it turns out) error to occur in your case. I think that recurring payments require you to take some additional steps in th configuration though I'm not 100% certain. I'll have to check that. I have also notified the plugin dev. to take a look at this issue and try to recreate it.

    If you confirm with paypal that the purchases already made were on-time only transactions and not recurring then there's nothing to worry about!

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • HelloWorld

    So just to clarify one important point. Since I changed "serial" to "finite" all new purchases will be ok in terms of being tagged as "finite" purchases, right?

    And...

    I think that recurring payments require you to take some additional steps in th configuration though I'm not 100% certain. I'll have to check that. I have also notified the plugin dev. to take a look at this issue and try to recreate it.

    Please let me know once you have checked on this, much appreciated!

    And...

    After some research on the PayPal developer API it turns out that merchants do have control. Sorry about my previous post, I was under the impression that it was only controlled by the users, as this used to be the case.

    I know this is not something you'd be able to walk me through, it's not on you guys, but any idea how to delve into this at all? Meaning, in what you researched, is there a dashboard or something that would allow me to view these options, to turn on and off, or change autorenews? Or do you recommend I contact paypal once again?

    One More Big Question:

    If paypal ends up telling me that no recurring payments are showing up, at all, can you confidently tell me if the plugin would be responsible for initiating any kind of recurring future payments? If the plugin would, or could, then something has to be able to be done on the plugin side to stop it. If it's all on Paypal, then we should be good, right? I just wanna make sure there isn't something later on that triggers it by way of the plugin trying to reconnect and communicate with paypal, because if so, the plugin has to be able to be tweaked to stop this. Thanks again!!!

  • HelloWorld

    Ok, so for @Barry, I guess I could summarize what is somewhat unresolved:

    1. If I had some purchases when a subscription was marked "serial" instead of "finite", is there something in the plugin that will trigger the recurring purchase? If so, how can I change it so that recurring does not occur?

    2. If the subscription has been since changed from "serial" to "finite", will all future purchases will be set up as "finite"?? I want to make sure I don't think my same subscription is working fine (as "finite") moving forward.

    3. Why is Paypal telling me that they see no signs of recurring on all of my subscription purchases that I'm talking about (when "serial" was checked)? I don't understand where the "recurring" is set-up so that it can be canceled. I'm especially confused because if what @aristath is saying is true right here:

    No additional steps required. (something @aristath said when responding to what he earlier said here:

    "I think that recurring payments require you to take some additional steps in th configuration though I'm not 100% certain. I'll have to check that. I have also notified the plugin dev. to take a look at this issue and try to recreate it." - aristath)

    ... well, if that is true, then what else could have been setup wrong if Paypal is correct in saying that no recurring did in fact get setup on the purchases (That had 'serial' checked)? I'm just very confused and don't know which way to go, left or right, to attempt to resolve this.

    Thanks.

  • HelloWorld

    Just an update.. my paypal account is a personal account, not upgraded to a business account. This COULD account for why recurring payments are not showing up on the PayPal side. I'm not certain, as things change, but I believe i read personal PayPal accounts do not allow for "recurring" options... that added feature is only available to business accounts (a way to convince people to upgrade, i guess?)?

    This could be the reason, @Barry ? If this is the case, can you answer this question?

    Is 'what's done, done" in terms of the purchases? Meaning, if I upgrade to a business account, let's say 2 months from now, will all of the sudden recurring occur on the accounts in question (where 'serial' was accidentally checked at time of purchase)? What I'm driving at is:

    1. Will the plugin send paypal some sort of ping at expiration? If so, how can I change that?
    2. Or, is everything on paypal once the purchase is complete? Meaning, if paypal was unable to setup the recurring payment at time of purchase (because I had a personal account), the plugin will not reaffirm anything at renewal time, thus it's all on paypal?

    Thanks. I am not trying to be a pain, i hope this is all helpful for later Q & A...

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there @HelloWorld

    I hope you are well today and sorry about the delay with a reply here, I'm not Barry, But I'll do my best to answer your questions :slight_smile:

    1. If I had some purchases when a subscription was marked "serial" instead of "finite", is there something in the plugin that will trigger the recurring purchase? If so, how can I change it so that recurring does not occur?

    When it was marked as serial, the serial subscription would be setup within PayPal this would be a automatic recurring payment profile, this can't be changed within the code of membership, as this is part of the payment gateway itself, your user can cancel that from wtihin their account > my money > automatic payments, to be on the safe side I'd recommend sending a email to your subscribers.

    2. If the subscription has been since changed from "serial" to "finite", will all future purchases will be set up as "finite"?? I want to make sure I don't think my same subscription is working fine (as "finite") moving forward.

    Yes all future subscriptions will be setup as Finite, if Finite is set within membership > subscriptions and on the subscription you want, it should have a period of time, day, week, month or year and should be finite in the dropdown box, all newly registered users will then be on a finite subscription.

    3. Why is Paypal telling me that they see no signs of recurring on all of my subscription purchases that I'm talking about (when "serial" was checked)? I don't understand where the "recurring" is set-up so that it can be canceled. I'm especially confused because if what @aristath is saying is true right here:

    I'm not quite sure to be perfectly honest, did they 100% check your selling subscriptions and not the subscriptions you may be signed up to as a buyer?

    Is 'what's done, done" in terms of the purchases? Meaning, if I upgrade to a business account, let's say 2 months from now, will all of the sudden recurring occur on the accounts in question (where 'serial' was accidentally checked at time of purchase)? What I'm driving at is:

    A personal account should be able to process serial subscriptions, so if it is set, it should be showing now, could you double check please within your received payments click on the word completed, or your receipt from the user should say a recurring payment profile has been setup.

    2. Or, is everything on paypal once the purchase is complete? Meaning, if paypal was unable to setup the recurring payment at time of purchase (because I had a personal account), the plugin will not reaffirm anything at renewal time, thus it's all on paypal?

    Correct, sometimes the automatic profile can have a problem being setup, which may have happend here.

    i'm here to help.

    Thank you!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

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