Subscription Resubscribe Guide

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A resubscribe is a special type of subscription renewal that applies only to a subscription that has ended.

After a customer’s subscription has expired or been cancelled, she can create a new subscription which extends the old subscription’s terms by resubscribing from the My Account page.

Resubscribing to a subscription that ended will create a new subscription for the same product or products; but it does not have the same behavior as purchasing a new subscription, or renewing a subscription.

Resubscribing has a number of special behaviors outlined below.

Free Trials on Resubscribe

If the subscription has a free trial, the customer will not receive the free trial again when resubscribing. The customer has already benefited from the free trial when they first purchased the subscription.

Product Price Changes

If the prices for any product line items on the subscription have changed, the customer’s new subscription will be grandfathered with the original, older prices.

For example, consider a product which had a price of $10/month, but has since had a price increase to $12/month.

If the customer were to purchase the product for the first time, he would be charged $12 month. If the customer resubscribes to his expired or cancelled subscription, he will be charged $10/month.

To have subscriptions use the new price, you need to update the price on the subscription before the customer resubscribes. Prices of existing subscription can be manually modified via the Edit Subscription administration screen. To automate the price change, the AutomateWoo extension can be used to update the price.

Resubscribing with Coupons

If the original subscription has coupons applied to discount the subscription’s recurring cost, those coupons will not be automatically applied when resubscribing. Either the existing coupons, or other coupons, can still be manually applied to the resubscribe, as it uses the normal Cart -> Checkout process.

This avoids issues with applying coupons that have expired or are otherwise since been limited, for example, because their usage restriction has been reached.

It’s also a better default behavior because it’s easy enough for a customer to apply a coupon during checkout, or for a store owner to add a discount to the subscription after sign-up, but it’s harder for a store owner to remove a discount or coupon a customer has applied which the store owner didn’t intend for them to receive afterwards as it requires increasing the cost of the subscription.

To provide a coupon for resubscribing:

  1. setup an automated email using AutomateWooFollow-ups or Jilt that is sent to the customer when their subscription expires or is cancelled.
  2. include a coupon in the email – this also encourages the customer to resubscribe.

Sign-up Fees on Resubscribe

If the subscription has a sign-up fee, the customer will not be charged the sign-up fee to resubscribe to the subscription. This is because the customer has already paid the sign-up fee for the original subscription.

The exception to this is when the subscription has a $0 recurring total. Subscriptions assumes you are shipping physical products on a different schedule to the payment schedule and using the sign-up fee to charge the full amount of the subscription up front.

Billing Schedule after Resubscribing

If a subscription is cancelled or expired, the billing schedule for the new subscription is based on the date the customer resubscribes.

For example, a customer has a $10/month subscription renewing on the 1st of the month and it expires after 6 months. If the customer waits until the 5th to resubscribe to the subscription, the next renewal will be processed on the 5th of the following month, and each renewal after that will be processed on the 5th.

Billing Schedule for Subscriptions Pending Cancellation

If the subscription’s status is pending cancellation, the billing schedule for the new subscription is based on the pre-paid term of the existing subscription.

For example, a customer has a $10/month subscription renewing on the 1st of the month. If they cancel on 15th of the month, the subscription will have the pending cancellation status until the 1st of the next month, which is the end of their pre-paid term.

If the customer waits until the 25th of the month to resubscribe to the subscription, the next renewal will be processed on the 1st day of the following month as that is the end of the prepaid term. Each renewal after that will also be processed on the 1st.

If a customer subscribes, cancels, and then decides to resubscribe before the next recurring payment, this doesn’t change the billing schedule.

For example, a customer has a subscription that renews on the 1st of every month. They decide to cancel on 15 July. This will set their subscription status to pending-cancellation. This means they are still a subscriber with full benefits until the next recurring period, and when that period comes they won’t be charged and their subscription moves fully to cancelled. But let’s imagine on the 20th they decide to resubscribe. Their next recurring payment would be on the 1st of August.

Further Reading

The subscription resubscribe process is part of a larger renewal process in WooCommerce Subscriptions. The renewal process is documented in detail in the Subscription Renewal Guide. Much of the information in that guide is relevant for understanding renewals.

To learn more about how the old and new subscription are related to the order created to record the resubscribe, refer to the section in the Subscription Orders document on Resubscribe Orders.

To understand what the resubscribe process looks like from your customers’ perspective, refer to the Subscribers View > Resubscribe document.

If you have a question not answered here, such as “How to remove the Resubscribe button from the My Account page?” take a look at the Subscriptions FAQ.

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