Advanced Subscription Scheduling

Last modified November 28, 2018

This article applies to Contextual Commerce. (Looking for Classic Commerce documentation?)

Beta Testing Note

This article describes a new feature that is currently in beta testing and must be enabled by FastSpring Support. Therefore, you may not currently have access to this feature in the Dashboard. If you would like to join to the beta test, please contact support.

Before requesting to participate in the beta program, please see the notes under Disabling Advanced Subscription Scheduling.

FastSpring supports a variety of subscription billing models, including usage-based subscriptions with managed billings, subscriptions with manual renewals, subscriptions with automatic recurring billings that last until canceled by the customer, and subscriptions with a pre-defined number of billings. For the latter option, you can configure the subscription to automatically renew into a different subscription product following the final scheduled billing period. Following that renewal, the price, Charge Interval and number of rebills for the new product will take effect in place of those for the original product. This allows you to achieve a variety of different rebill scenarios that will help you run your business more smoothly.

This article explains how to configure your subscription product to have a pre-defined number of billings and then automatically renew into a different subscription product.

Configuring a Subscription to Renew Into a Different Product

To illustrate how to configure a subscription to renew into a different product, we will use the example of a three-month trial subscription with a single initial charge that will automatically renew into a different subscription product featuring monthly billing.

  1. From the main page of the Dashboard, select the Products menu.

    The Products menu of the Dashboard

  2. Click the Subscriptions tab, and then click the tile for the subscription product you want to configure.

    The Subscriptions tab of the Products menu

  3. In the subscription product's details page, click the Pricing field.

    A subscription product's details with the Pricing field highlighted

  4. In the Pricing dialog, ensure that the Subscription Type is set to Standard and the Charge Interval matches your intended duration before the subscription will renew into a different product. Then, select the radio button next to Rebill for

    The Pricing dialog of a subscription

  5. Specify the number of charges–including the initial purchase–that you want this subscription to have before renewing into a different product.
    • For example, if you want a three month period with only the initial charge, set the Charge Interval to Every 3 Months and enter 1 in the Rebill for field.
    • As another example, if you want a monthly billing every month for three months (including the initial charge), set the Charge Interval to Monthly and enter 3 in the Rebill for field.
  6. Click the drop-down selector following periods and–its default value is stop–and select then renew into different product. The Renews Into field will appear below the drop-down selector.
  7. In the Renews Into field, begin typing the name of the subscription product into which this subscription will automatically renew following the final rebill. As you type, matching available products will be displayed below, and you can select the desired product using your keyboard or mouse.

    The Pricing dialog of a subscription with the Renews Into field in use

  8. In case you select the wrong product by mistake or change your mind, simply click the red Remove link next to the product you want to remove.

    The Pricing dialog of a subscription with a product selected for Renews Into

  9. Scroll to the bottom of the Pricing dialog and click SAVE to save your changes. The subscription's detail page will now show details of the upcoming subscription product in the Pricing field.

    A subscription product's details with the Pricing field highlighted


Customer Experience

The customer experience for subscriptions with advanced scheduling is similar to that for subscriptions that do not have advanced scheduling. However, there are a couple of slight differences.

Placing an Order Via a Web Storefront

When a customer visiting a Web Storefront selects a subscription product that is configured to renew into a different product at a later date, the summary of subscription charges will display the text "Multiple future rebills" with a Details link, as illustrated below.

Example of a Web Storefront product page for a subscription with advanced scheduling

Clicking either the Details link or the Subscription terms link will cause more detailed information to be displayed, as shown here.

Example of a Web Storefront product page for a subscription with advanced scheduling and the details displayed

Placing an Order via a Popup Storefront

When a customer visiting a website with a Popup Storefront selects a subscription product that is configured to renew into a different product at a later date, the summary of subscription charges will display the text "Multiple future rebills" with a Details link, as illustrated below.

Clicking the Details links will cause more detailed information to be displayed in a popover dialog, as shown here.



Viewing Subscription Details on the Account Management Page

Also, when viewing the Subscriptions tab of the Account Management page, customers with active subscriptions that have advanced scheduling will see complete scheduling details upon clicking the Subscription terms link.

The Subscriptions tab of the Account Management page

The Subscriptions tab of the Account Management page, with additional scheduling info shown


Viewing a Subscription Instance in Dashboard

When viewing the details of a subscription instance with advanced scheduling (e.g. by looking up a subscription via the Activity menu in Dashboard), both subscription products will be listed. The currently active product–that is, the one whose Pricing details govern current billings–will be shown in bold text, and the upcoming (or previous) product will be shown in gray text. The billing details for each product will be displayed, along with the actual date range during which each product's Pricing details are / were / will be in effect. Mousing over theinfo icon next to one of the products will show you additional details.

As with any subscription instance, you can click the currently active product to drill into and potentially change the subscription billing details.


Webhooks and API Responses

Webhooks and API responses regarding subscriptions that are configured to renew into other products behave the same way as with normal subscriptions, with one addition:

On the date that the first product renews into the second product, a subscription.updated event will be fired (if you are subscribed to that event) to indicate the new product associated with the subscription instance. However, the corresponding customer-facing email message regarding the update will not be sent in this case.



Disabling Advanced Subscription Scheduling

Because this feature is currently in a beta testing program, you are not able to disable the feature directly from Dashboard. Support can disable the feature for you upon request.

However, there are two important things to note about what happens when the feature is disabled:

  • If the feature is disabled, existing subscription instances that are configured to renew into another product will not be affected or updated. They will still renew into the other product as scheduled; this cannot be changed short of cancelling the subscriptions.
  • If the feature is disabled, subscription products that have been configured to renew into another product will still be configured that way unless you change them back via the product's Pricing field, but doing so will not affect customers' existing subscriptions.

    Note About Changing a Subscription Product Back

    After Support disables the feature for you, the option to renew into a different product will no longer appear in the Pricing dialog, but in order to change any given product back to no longer renew into a different product, you must click Save in the Pricing dialog even if you do not make any other changes. You will know the change was successful when the Pricing line on the subscription's main detail page no longer shows that it will renew into a different product.

In other words, disabling the feature only prevents new subscription products from being configured to renew into other products. It does not undo any configurations that have been made while the feature was enabled.