Membership free trials - can someone keep signing up for free trials?

There is a bit of mixed messaging going on here, in this thread: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/free-trial-members-are-able-to-sign-up-for-trial-after-their-trial-period-expired Brian seems to imply that members cannot abuse free trials but in this thread: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/can-membership-users-abuse-free-trials Aristath says it's something that you can't stop.

So please can you be clear with me here:

I have a free trial period on my website, 14 days finite and then it automatically kicks into a monthly payment plan.

I also have an annual plan with a similar 14 day trial.

Is there any way to stop:

1) A user just cancelling their trial account after 13 days and then signing up to the same free trial again with the same PayPal account?

2) A user cancelling the monthly free trial after 13 days and then signing up to the annual free trial for another 14 days free?

3) A user deleting their account and creating a new one, using the same PayPal account as last time, and getting lots of free trails.

If there is nothing preventing this then it really removes the whole business model of having a free trial from being viable. Aristath recommended somehow limiting the free trial so that people need to become real members, but this is a problem because then every member would have a limited experience for the first 14 days of their subscription, which would not encourage them to sign up to the full account!

If there isn't already there should be a system in place that keeps track of PayPal email addresses and stops people getting free trials multiple times.

Please let me know if this is the case, and what you are going to do about it.

Shaun

  • aristath

    Hello there @shaun_robinson,

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/free-trial-members-are-able-to-sign-up-for-trial-after-their-trial-period-expired Brian seems to imply that members cannot abuse free trials

    If you read that post, Brian suggested the user does exactly what was also sugggested on the other thread you liked to.
    Nothing can stop a user from canceling their account and then re-registering with a new email. No matter what you do users will always be able to do that!
    For example I can use email ari+foo1@mail.com to get one account, then ari+foo2@mail.com etc. Even if these adressed are practically all the same (ari@mail.com), they are treated by WordPress as different addresses and therefore the user can abuse the free trials.

    Is there any way to stop:

    1) A user just cancelling their trial account after 13 days and then signing up to the same free trial again with the same PayPal account?

    2) A user cancelling the monthly free trial after 13 days and then signing up to the annual free trial for another 14 days free?

    3) A user deleting their account and creating a new one, using the same PayPal account as last time, and getting lots of free trails.

    No, no, and lastly no.

    If there is nothing preventing this then it really removes the whole business model of having a free trial from being viable.

    Not really... if your service is good, then clients will pay for it.
    yeah, you might get one abusive client out of 100 clients, but that shouldn't stop you from doing business!

    Aristath recommended somehow limiting the free trial so that people need to become real members, but this is a problem because then every member would have a limited experience for the first 14 days of their subscription, which would not encourage them to sign up to the full account!

    It depends on what you limit... You can limit subtle, non-annoying things. Users will then simply welcome the paying part of their membership as something better.

    If there isn't already there should be a system in place that keeps track of PayPal email addresses and stops people getting free trials multiple times.

    The system does keep track of email addresses, but it doesn't prevent re-using the same address. The reason for that is really simple!
    Hypothetical scenario: I have an account on your site and I like it.
    So, I decide to give my best friend a membership to your website as a gift. Both accounts will use the same email address.. I hope you get my point. Now try to imagine that on a business-to-employees scale. I'm sure you wouldn't require a business owner to have 100 different paypal addresses so that he can gift his employees a membership, right?

    Please let me know if this is the case, and what you are going to do about it.

    If the benefits of adding such a "block" don't outweigh the benefits of leaving it open, I don't think we'll be doing anything about it.

    I hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    Ari.

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