Trouble with membership subscriptions and upgrade buttons

Good evening,

I am having major trouble with the Membership plugin, after going so smoothly with it, and I am so very close to launch and this is a major obstacle standing in the way.

ISSUE #1

I created 4 access levels: 1 free and 3 paid. I currently have each access level assigned to its own subscription; thus I have 4 subscriptions. Users of the free level can upgrade their subscription to any of the 3 paid ones. And the other 3 of the 4 paid levels are set up in a bronze, silver, gold format, meaning:

- You pay one price for the bronze level, which gets you access to some exclusive content.

- Or you can pay a little more for the silver level, which gets you access to more exclusive content.

- Or you can pay the most and get the platinum level, which gets you access to all the exclusive content.

In summary:
- The free level can upgrade to the bronze, silver, or gold level.
- The bronze level can upgrade to either the silver or gold level.
- The silver level can upgrade to the gold level.
- The gold level cannot upgrade because there is no higher levle than gold.

I am using the PayPal Express Gateway. When I test my set up of the 4 separate subscription levels in my PayPal sandbox and “purchase” a bronze level membership, when I go to the subscription page on my website I see “Subscribe” buttons for the higher levels. I do NOT to see “Upgrade” buttons.

I can confirm I have Membership >> Options >> Configuration >> Membership Upgrades option set to 0. But I still don't see an upgrade button.

What am I doing wrong?

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ISSUE #2

With everything set up as explained in ISSUE #1, when I go to my subscriptions page (which contains the [renewform] short code), and log in as a Bronze level member, I see an option to “subscribe” to all 3 other levels (the free level, the silver level, and the gold level.) This is not intuitive to me.

Can I hide some of the subscription offerings on the subscriptions page? Do I HAVE to have the [renewform] short code on the subscriptions page for it to work properly? Are there individual short codes for each level I could use so I could show, let’s say, 2 subscription upgrade buttons rather than all of the memberships?

I was under the impression I could hide some subscriptions using the following shortcodes:

[subscriptiontitle subscription="3"]
[subscriptiondetails subscription="3"]
[subscriptionprice subscription="3"]
[subscriptionbutton subscription="3"]
* Where 3 can be replaced with the subscription ID.

I can confirm on the page I assigned to the Subscriptions Page in Membership >> Options >> Membership Pages, I edited the page and REMOVED the [renewform] shortcode, and placed the 4 subscription shortcodes above, with the appropriate ID, inside of the open and closing shortcode for each access level.

When I visit the Subscriptions page on my website, I do see the correct information for each access level based on the subscription shortcodes I put on the page (in this case I put subscription shortcodes for 2 memberships.)

However, there are two problems:

a) The buttons for the shortcodes I entered for the 2 upgradeable memberships are the blue "Subscribe" buttons that are used with the Membership plugin. No "Upgrade" button.

b) Also, I do see an "Unsubscribe" PayPal button for the current membership. So that's good. But I still see all the subscription choices underneath the shortcodes I put in between the access level open and close tags, even though I removed the [renewform] shortcode. AND they all have the "Subscribe" PayPal button...no "Upgrade" button.

Any ideas what's wrong?

-------------------------------------------------------------

ISSUE #3

I am using the PayPal Express payment gateway, and am in Sandbox mode. In PayPal, when I go to Subscription Details, for Total Cycles it says “Indefinite” and for Cycle Frequency it says “Indefinite”, even though I have it set as “serial” in the Membership plugin. Is this okay?

-------------------------------------------------------------

ISSUE #4

I am using the PayPal Express payment gateway, and am in Sandbox mode. When I click the “Unsubscribe” button from the subscriptions page on my website, I get taken to PayPal, asked to log into my sandbox PayPal account, and on the screen I see this error message: “The unsubscribe button you clicked is invalid. You can find the status of all subscriptions in 'My preapproved payments'."

I read the information on this support topic, https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/membership-plugin-paypal-subscriptions-not-being-cancelled-when-user-cancels-on-site, but those instructions were for a live site. What do I need to do while in Sandbox mode to get rid of that error message?

Thank you for your assistance.

  • Nick

    Hi @Ari!

    When you say my post got you confused, do you mean I did not explain my issue clearly? Or that the issue is something you have not encountered yet? I can try to explain more clearly if you would like me to.

    I will try making the paypal express gateway live later this evening to see if the issues go away.

    If it does work, does that mean something is wrong with the PayPal Express sandbox gateway or the plugin? That would make pre-production testing difficult in the future.

    Let me know if you want me to explain further, otherwise I will test the live gateway tonight and post my results.

    Thank you and have a great day.

  • aristath

    If it does work, does that mean something is wrong with the PayPal Express sandbox gateway or the plugin? That would make pre-production testing difficult in the future.

    A lot of things are wrong... but not with the gateway or the plugin themselves.
    Sandbox mode in PayPal is pretty buggy and from personal experience I can verify that though it works for simple things, it's not as complete as the live version of PayPal.
    Sandbox should only be used to verify that your site can indeed communicate with PayPal, nothing more than that.

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Nick

    Hi @aristath

    I made the PayPal Express gateway live and my problems still exist. The good news is the payment stuff works great. But the membership subscription page is a mess still.

    I will grant you access to take a look again if you can please. The page is called "member-subscription".

    A few major things wrong include:

    #1) I still do not see buttons that say "Upgrade", the buttons say "Subscribe"

    #2) On the membership subscription page, after a user pays for a membership level, they can still see the "Subscribe" buttons (should say "Upgrade?") for all the other levels. But they should not because I am controlling what users in that membership can see using the Membership Access Level short codes. But for some reason all the memberships display under my short code!

    #3) When I do click on the "Unsubscribe" button on my subscription page, I go to PayPal and see this error:

    The unsubscribe button you clicked is invalid. You can find the status of all subscriptions in 'My preapproved payments'.

    That's terrible user experience.

    Hoping you can help me. My website cannot go live until these problems are resolved. I cannot figure out what I did wrong when it seems like I followed the instructions for Membership plugin provided. I am at a loss. It seems like nothing was wrong with the PayPal Sandbox because I am encountering the same issues on the real version of PayPal.

    Thank you for your assistance. I will grant access now...

  • aristath

    PayPal simply does not have an "Upgrade" button so the plugin uses the default button image: https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_subscribe_LG.gif.
    In your PayPal payment gateway setup, you can add a custom url to an image file for the upgrades.

    The unsubscribe button you clicked is invalid. You can find the status of all subscriptions in 'My preapproved payments'.

    Was that for a user that payed using PayPal, or was the subscription manually added?
    If it was manually added to that user, then PayPal has no record of that transaction and therefore can't cancel a subscription!

    Please advise,
    Ari.

  • Nick

    Hello. Okay good to know about the Upgrade button. Thanks for the tip.

    Regarding the error message from PayPal, that is for a user that payed through PayPal. I have not manually added any subscriptions in the production environment. All the memberships have been purchased. I set the membership to only $1 so I could test a lot.

    The Subscription page I set in the Membership Page Options has been an absolute headache. I have been asking for help on this since February 13th. First in the Sandbox, now in production, and it's the same problem over and over again. I outlined all the issues above. Can you respond to my Issue #2 above?

    There is so much wrong and to explain. It's getting very frustrating. I am trying to be patient. The page I assigned to Subscription page in the Membership Page Options is not working. Am I correct in assuming that by assigning a specific page to the Subscription page, that the plugin does something special to that page because I assigned it? Would it make sense if I completely ignored the Subscription page and created a new page, not assigned to the Subscription page, and manually went to PayPal and added PayPal buttons, embedding the button code form PayPal, thus bypassing the Membership plugin specifically for the Subscriptions page? I really don't want to do this, or even know if it will work, but until my Issue #2 is responded to and looked into I am out of options.

    And what about the ability to upgrade? If I have 2 memberships, one for $5 and one for $10, and if I purchase the membership for $5, and want to upgrade to the $10 membership, I should only have to pay the difference between the two memberships (which would be $5), but PayPal is charging me the full $10 for the upgrade membership. That is completely wrong because your plugin offers the ability to upgrade, but this is not upgrading, its just buying 2 different memberships!

    Please help. Thank you.

  • Nick

    Hi @Aristath or @PC,

    Any luck with finding a fix for any of these issues? If not, does my idea of bypassing the Membership plugin sound like a workaround? I would rather get this working without needing to bypass the plugin (I don't even know if it would.) I just really want this working so I can move forward with my website. Is this a bug with the plugin that will never allow me to move forward until a fix is developed? Or is there a simple setting off or something else I am missing?

    I extended my support access if you need it.

    Thank you for your support.

  • aristath

    Can you respond to my Issue #2 above?

    #2) On the membership subscription page, after a user pays for a membership level, they can still see the "Subscribe" buttons (should say "Upgrade?") for all the other levels. But they should not because I am controlling what users in that membership can see using the Membership Access Level short codes. But for some reason all the memberships display under my short code!

    The membership form is added on the page you have selected in the membership options.
    You've selected the "Purchase a membership" page there, but if you read the instructions above that field it says this:
    You can include an introduction on the page, for more advanced content around the registration form then you should include the [subscriptionform] shortcode in some location on that page. Alternatively leave the page blank for the standard Membership subscription forms.
    On the page you've created you have NOT added the [subscriptionform] shortcode and therefore it is injected automatically at the end of the content you have on that page.
    You will have to include the [subscriptionform] shortcode INSIDE the level shortcodes you already have in that page.

    Once we get this one resolved we'll move on to your other issues...
    One at a time. :slight_smile:

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Nick

    Hi @aristath,

    I'm not sure why you wrote this. I am talking about the Subscriptions page. Not the Registration page. My "Purchase a membership" page is assigned to the Registration page. There is nothing wrong with that page.

    My problem lies with the Subscription page, which I assigned "/member-subscription/"

    I added the shortcode [renewform] to each of my level short codes and all it did was duplicate the form 5 times. So now I have the [renewform] short code displayed 5 times, and the three shortcodes [subscriptiontitle subscription="1"] [subscriptionprice subscription="1"] [subscriptionbutton subscription="1"] repeating 5 times as well.

    Now the Subscriptions page went from looking terrible to very terrible. Can you please look into the Subscription page (which I call membership-subscription)?

    Thank you.

  • Nick

    Hi @aristath,

    I just extended the support access. As I said in my previous post, I added the [renewform] shortcode to each access level I reference on the page.

    I do not want the complete listing of memberships to show on this page, so that's why I did not include the [renewform] shortcode previously. But as you said, if you don't include it, the page automatically displays it because I associated the membership-subscription page with the Subscriptions page on the Membership Options.

    I attempted to use the shortcode collection of [subscriptiontitle subscription="1"] [subscriptionprice subscription="1"] [subscriptionbutton subscription="1"] to control what each access level sees. But that didn't work because the complete listing of membership ended up displaying at the bottom.

    That's why I mentioned whether or not I should bypass the membership plugin and create a subscription page that I do not associate with the Subscriptions page on Membership Options.

    Ultimately, I just do not want the data displayed with the [renewform] shortcode ti display anywhere because I do not want some memberships to know about other memberships I am offering.

    I am using version 3.5 Beta 11.

    Thank you.

  • PC

    Hey there Nick,

    Sorry for the delay here. Ari was out for some personal work.

    We will need to have a closer look at your site with more details.

    Can you please send me your login details via our secure contact form

    1: Mark the email to my attention

    Attn: Ari

    2: Include a link of this thread in the email

    3: Include FTP and WordPress super admin details.

    4: While filling the form, select "I have a different question" from the list.

    Looking forward for a response on this.

    Cheers, PC

  • Nick

    Hello,

    Thank you for your reply. I don't think I need a resolution to this any more. I have been speaking with Jack and it looks like the Subscription page is not as useful as I thought it was, and I won't be using this at all on my website. The two main features of the Subscription page do not work properly:

    1) The "Unsubscribe" button leads to an error on PayPal.
    2) The "Upgrade" button does not pro-rate the membership upgrade price and charges the user full price to upgrade.

    So I won't be using this page at all on my website.

    For cancelling a membership, rather than using the Subscription page to cancel a membership (i.e. Unsubscribe), I will just provide the user instructions on my website's Help page and explain to go to directly to PayPal to cancel the automatic renewal/recurring payment.

    And for users who want to upgrade, I will have to handle this manually to ensue the user does not get over charged like he would if he tried to upgrade from the Subscription page. I came up with two different approaches for manual upgrading and asked Jack to comment on which method is best, or if he knows of better way.

    You can our discussion on this thread
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/how-do-users-cancel-a-subscription-in-the-membership-plugin#post-636036

    Thank you again for your help on this issue. Hopefully in a future release the Unsubscribe button won't lead to that weird PayPal error, and you will allow upgrading and downgrading at pro-rated prices.

    Thank you!

  • PC

    Hey there,

    Thanks for posting back and updating me on your discussion with Jack. Its good to see that you got a right direction.

    We are looking forward to get the subscription issue sorted out and remove that error.

    Upgrading and Downgrading is being discussed internally as there are some limitations from PayPal side in this but we are hoping to overcome that.

    I have sent this to @Jonathan so that he can keep tab on this.

    Cheers, PC

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