Membership: Serial vs. Finite

Hello:

I have a question. I am using the following:

- Membership (not lite)
- Paypal (single payments gateway, that says solo)
- Serial

I have had several people as if their membership is set to "auto renew", and on the sign up page that pops up when the blue "sign-up" button is clicked, it says "$XX.xx every 365 days"... The 365 days is correct, but the "every" concerns me, as I don't want to automatically renew memberships, and no where on paypal does it suggest it's an auto renew payment.

Under the description of both Serial and Finite, in the Membership Plugin, it describes them as:

Finite: - user remains at this level for a set period of time before ending

Serial: - user remains at this level for a set period of time and is then renewed at the same level

Serial's description sounds vague, almost like it could mean auto renew.

I want to clarify, as I didn't think paypal solo was set up for auto renew.

Thanks.

  • PC

    Hiya,

    Greetings and thanks for posting on the forums.

    Serial: - user remains at this level for a set period of time and is then renewed at the same level

    It means that it will renew after the duration specified.

    Please look at the membership manual page 72

    Modes:
    Finite - Finite means that the user remains at this level for a set period of time before
    their subscription ends. You would use this mode if you offered a one off
    subscription where they would need to manually renew.
    Indefinite - With this mode, anyone who subscribes are added indefinitely aka
    forever.
    Serial - If you are wanting auto renewals then this mode will let them stay on the
    level for a set period of time before auto renewing. As you see there is a note there
    stating that with some gateways, altering

    I hope that helps.

    Please feel free to ask if you have more questions on the same.

    Cheers, PC

  • HelloWorld

    But that's kinda why I'm bringing it up, PayPal shows ZERO sign that its reoccurring, or will renew. There is nowhere to cancel, nothing I can find.

    I'd imagine changing the subscription plan would do the trick for even previous purchase that accidentally had "serial" selected. Just as you can manipulate the group urls (restricting pages) to a subscription plan and have it affect them all, even previous purchases, wouldn't altering the mode (serial, finite) also immediately impact the entire lot in that subscription plan just like a group URL change or addition would? Any way we could verify this for sure? I just don't want to guess

    Thanks.

  • HelloWorld

    I checked with paypal and paypal does not see anything set up reoccurring, however, I'm still worried about whether the Membership App will do the initiating of the renewal step... again, I changed the subscription in question, that already has previous purchases, and changed it from "serial" to "finite", and if Paypal says nothing reoccurring is setup, will me switching the "Subscription Plan" to "finite" retroactively change all subscriptions purchased before I changed it from "serial" to "finite"? Please also read the note I posted most recently (before this one) and let me know what you think.

    Thanks.

  • PC

    Hiya,

    Thanks for posting back.

    The subscriptions will only auto renew if they were setup as serial as finite can not be setup to renew automatically.

    I changed the subscription in question, that already has previous purchases, and changed it from "serial" to "finite", and if Paypal says nothing reoccurring is setup, will me switching the "Subscription Plan" to "finite" retroactively change all subscriptions purchased before I changed it from "serial" to "finite"?

    No, it will not change the subscriptions as whenever a serial subscription is created and purchased, a ping is sent to the Membership plugin via the IPN which tells the plugin to provide access to the user. Once a subscription is set up, and you change the subscription plan, that subscription is gonna remain the same unless that is cancelled.

    Cheers, PC

  • HelloWorld

    Ok, so last question. How do I resolve this. If what you are telling me is that even if I change the subscription from "serial" to "finite", I have to cancel the user's subscription before the renewal is up? So that they don't get renewed automatically (Even though I change the subscription)?

    I'm trying to resolve it and your advice on how would be greatly appreciated.

    Would creating a duplicate subscription plan, adding it manually, then delete the old one fix this? How do I resolve this for the customer? Thanks.

  • PC

    How do I resolve this. If what you are telling me is that even if I change the subscription from "serial" to "finite", I have to cancel the user's subscription before the renewal is up? So that they don't get renewed automatically (Even though I change the subscription)?

    The subscription in PayPal needs to be cancelled. You can check with any of the members and they can have a look at their PayPal account to see if there is any recurring subscription going on there.

    Would creating a duplicate subscription plan, adding it manually, then delete the old one fix this? How do I resolve this for the customer? Thanks.

    If you delete the old subscription from your site, as I said before that will not cancel any recurring subscriptions on the users PayPal account. So you will need to ask the users to cancel the recurring subscription.

    You can test things out by testing it out using a demo user account and making a test payment on any of your subscriptions and then check the paypal account to see if you find a recurring subscription there.

    Because even if you drop a subscription on a member who has bought a recurring subscription, it will say below

    A subscription controls the levels a site member has access to / passes through.

    Depending on the payment gateway, removing a subscription will not automatically cancel a payment subscription.

    So, it has to be cancelled via users paypal account too. I used sandbox to create a subscription on my site and the screenshot shows how I got an option to cancel the recurring subscription under my pre approved payments section in the paypal account.

    On the other hand, I then created the finite subscription which did not create a recurring payment profile for my client.

    Does that help ?

    Cheers, PC

  • PC

    You are most certainly welcome @HelloWorld :slight_smile:

    Thanks a bunch for the points.

    I think it's safe to say that if you have a personal paypal account, vs busienss, recurring won't be set up.

    No, coz I am using a personal paypal account and I can subscribe to memberships on various sites using it.

    The safest thing to say is send out an email to all the members and ask them to cancel the recurring profiles if found in paypal.

    That will not only make them happy as you informed them but also save time and if they don't cancel, its their fault

    Cheers, PC

  • HelloWorld

    No, coz I am using a personal paypal account and I can subscribe to memberships on various sites using it.

    No, but when you have a personal account as the seller, I believe the recurring option is not available to set up for your subscriptions, that's what i mean. At least that's what I'm reading. Did your test subscription, which allowed for recurring, did that test sale get generated by a personal account (meaning the recurring subscription option was created using a personal paypal account)?

  • PC

    Did your test subscription, which allowed for recurring, did that test sale get generated by a personal account (meaning the recurring subscription option was created using a personal paypal account)?

    No, it was a test seller account created on PayPal sandbox site.

    No, coz I am using a personal paypal account and I can subscribe to memberships on various sites using it.

    I meant to say that as a buyer, I can subscribe to various subscriptions on it.

    I do not see that kind of setup via paypal, so I think it's safe to say that if you have a personal paypal account, vs busienss, recurring won't be set up.

    So now I get your point, that you can not use a personal account to offer merchant services. You will need a business account.

    Cheers, PC

  • PC

    Greetings and thanks for being a great community member.

    We haven't heard from you on this one for long and I am doing a regular followup to see if there is still something we can assist you on this thread.

    Just to manage the support issues more efficiently, I am marking this thread as resolved for now however this is not being done to avoid your questions in any ways.

    Please feel free to mark this is "Not resolved" in case you have further questions and we would be back on it.

    Thanks a lot for being with WPMU DEV.

    Cheers
    PC

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