Pro sites not billing immediately after trial period over

I set up pro sites in pay to blog mode. I am giving users a 14 day free trial.

Some of my first users signed up on Aug 11 and their trial expired August 25th - as expected; however, their Paypal profiles are showing a next billing date of September 8th. In the meantime, it's locking them out of their accounts.

How to remedy?

  • Patrick

    Hi there @Erica

    Welcome to WPMU DEV, glad to have you aboard!

    I just tested on my own test network and seem to get similar results, but using Stripe as the gateway. I set a 7-day trial period and Stripe wants to charge the user only in one month, whereas PayPal appears to know it should charge in 7-days (screenshots below).

    So, while I don't think I reproduced your issue exactly, I do believe there is still an issue with how trial periods are handled. So I've notifed the plugin developer of the situation to get his feedback on the matter or, better yet, a fix for an update.

  • Erica

    Any updates?

    I now have customers trying to purchase near the end of their trial, but PayPal immediately cancelling & customers getting an email that *I* cancelled (I didn't do anything!). I believe I have enabled support access to my site - blog 21 in particular is having this issue today. I am seeing "User creating new subscription via PayPal Express: Problem creating the subscription after successful initial payment. User may need to renew when the first period is up: The token is invalid" in their site's profile but a few minutes later get "User creating new subscription via PayPal Express: Subscription created". Payment info is not showing up correctly in ProSite.

    Customers purchasing at the end of their trial are also getting *another* free trial tacked on. I don't want this to happen - I want the free trials to be one per account and to have subscriptions start right away.

    Everytime a new customer signs up for a trial, I get two emails from paypal. The first is "you have a new automatic payment profile for customer" and the second comes immediately after with "automatic payment changed". Why is it not getting it right the first time? This is confusing for customers. The trial periods and payment start dates are off, as first reported above. My most recent customer just signed up for a trial. I'm attaching screenshots of their paypal emails (minus the personal data at the top) - note the odd trial dates (trial should start now, not two weeks from now).

    I'm at a loss for what to do.

  • Erica

    Thanks Patrick - I appreciate you contacting the developer.

    This continues to be an issue. I have extended support access on my site.

    I have a 14 day trial, but it's almost as if what is getting communicated to PayPal is to start the 14 day trial 14 days from now.

    In an example from today below, September 17th is 14 days from now and October 1st is 14 days after that. If the trial was starting 14 days from now, that would all make sense... but since the trial is starting *today*, then what would happen is 14 days of trial, 14 days locked out of the website, then finally a payment would go through.

    Automatic payment details

    Amount paid each time: $9.99 CAD
    Billing cycle: Monthly
    Payments start: Oct 1, 2015
    Next payment due: Sep 17, 2015
    Trial Period

    Trial period amount: $0.00 CAD
    Billing cycle: 14 Days
    Start date: Sep 17, 2015
    End date: Oct 1, 2015

  • Sajid

    Hi @Erica

    Hope you are doing good today

    I am sorry for delay here! It seems developer could not get time to post a reply here. But I am sure he will post a reply here as soon as possible. I have flagged him again (@Umesh Kumar) and also sent him direct message.

    I am also flagging @Patrick here for their feedback and if they have any more details about this issue. He is off for the weekend but will post a reply here as soon as possible.

    Take care and have a nice day

    Cheers, Sajid

  • Erica

    Thank you. I just wanted to pass along another error message I am getting sometimes. It's not all the time, but once in a while I get (from the Pro Site logs):

    User creating new subscription via PayPal Express: Problem creating the subscription after successful initial payment. User may need to renew when the first period is up: Profile description is invalid

  • Sajid

    Hi @Erica

    Hope you are doing good today

    Thanks for providing more details about this issue. Do you get any error message for monthly subscriptions ?

    Also did you delete/removed plans from subscriptions data and added it back ?

    I have also setup a monthly trial subscription with one day trial to test it out. I am also using PayPal express sandbox account.

    Take care and have a nice day

    Cheers, Sajid

  • Erica

    Alright, I was mistaken - the issue is still happening both with annual and monthly subscriptions.

    PayPal schedules the free trial to begin 14 days from now, instead of starting the free trial immediately. Pro site begins the trial immediately and then notifies the user that their site has expired after 14 days. This frustrates customers who have actually correctly provided billing details.

    I go in and extend the trial manually to ensure my customer is happy and site access continues - but even just getting the manual extension confuses folks.

    28 days from now, when PayPal's "trial" is over, it does successfully bill the user. I do not have to delete or re add anything and correct billing information is now appearing in pro site and seems to be on schedule as it should be.

    The issue continues to be that free trials should be 14 days long, not 28 days. PayPal's trial time period should match pro site's and begin immediately.

  • Sajid

    Hi @Erica

    Hope you are doing good today

    Yes, I can replicate same behaviour for my setup. I have setup 1 day trial for new sites and there is difference between both durations.

    Accoding to Pro Sites it starts from 16 Sep and ends on 17 Sep.

    According to PayPal it starts from 17 Sep and Ends on 18 Sep.

    For you the trial is 14 days but its making it 28 days, for me trial is 1 day and but its making it 2 days. So it double the trial period.

    I am marking this as bug and reporting it to the developer of this plugin to fix this issue. We will try our best to release a new version with fix as soon as possible. Please keep an eye on this thread for updates or see WPMUDEV > Updates on your dashboard. Thanks for reporting and bringing in our attention

    Take care and have a nice day

    Cheers, Sajid

  • Erica

    Any update in sight?

    If not, is there a suggested workaround? The user experience when they're first starting a new tool is key and this is adding a layer of confusion and frustration.

    Also, users for whom I have manually activated their sites to give them a free trial (without them inputting a payment profile) and up with an ADDITIONAL double free trial once they do put in their payment details.

    E.g., User X registers for a site on September 1st. I manually activate. Their free trial ends on September 14th. After their free trial is done, they decide they want to pay and input their payment details. PayPal/ProSites gives them an additional 28 days free trial (should be 14 but due to error above, it's 28). I don't actually receive any payment until after 6 weeks of free use. Users are confused and asking where their receipts are because it doesn't make any logical sense. They've already had a free trial and they're ready to commit. This is a huge conversion issue.