Working with Subscriptions
A subscription connects your customers to your products/services that they pay and subscribe to. It determines the products and services that a customer has signed up for, and how frequently they're charged for it on a recurring basis.
A subscription is created when a customer signs-up for a plan using Checkout. Any associated addons or coupons are also added to the subscription. Any number of subscriptions can be linked to a Customer record in Chargebee, each with its own trial period, pricing, payment options, and so on.
You can create subscriptions in your Chargebee site, or use the create subscription api.
The subscription details page in Chargebee displays the details of the subscription along with its status. The following are various statuses of a subscription:
Future: Subscriptions that are yet to go into trial or active state on the specified date in the future.
In Trial: Active subscriptions that are in trial mode.
Active: Active subscriptions that are charged based on plan, addons, and billing period.
Non Renewing: Subscriptions that are scheduled to cancel and will no longer renew.
Paused: Active subscriptions that are stopped temporarily.
Cancelled: Inactive subscriptions that will no longer renew. You can configure how charges and credits are handled on cancellation.
To view all subscriptions in your Chargebee site, click Subscriptions. This page lists all your subscriptions along with a summary of each subscription.
This page diplays options such as filtering views, sending emails to customers, exporting the list of subscriptions to CSV file, and downloading shipping labels.
Select one or more subscriptions to perform bulk actions such as delete, change term end, and cancel subscriptions.
Only Admins can perform Bulk Actions such as bulk delete, changing end of term for multiple subscription together, and bulk cancel.
Following are the bulk actions that can be performed from the subscription details page:
Delete: Deletes the subscriptions.
Change Term End: Changes the end date of the subscription. On selecting this option, the Change Term End dialog will open. Enter the necessary details and click Apply Changes.
Cancel Subscription: Cancels the selected subscriptions. Enter the necessary details in the Cancel Subscriptions dialog and click Apply Changes. To cancel subscriptions, select More > Cancel Subscription option. Read more on Canceling subscriptions.
Creating a Subscription
To create a new subscription in your Chargebee site, follow these steps:
- Click Subscriptions > Create New Subscription.
- In the Pick a Customer dialog, select the customer record for which you are creating this subscription. You can also create a new customer before creating this subscription.
- The Create a Subscription page allows you to create a new subscription. The subscription ID field is autogenerated and is used to uniquely identify the subscription. Fill out the details described in the upcoming steps to create a new subscription.
The Subscription Info section collects information related to the plan you would like to subscribe the customer to.
- Click the Product Family drop down and select the product family of the plan for which you are creating this subscription.
- Click + Add Plan and select the plan. The Add Plan dialog displays all the exisitng plans/addons for selection. Metered components can be easily differentiated using the metered icon.
- Select the Currency and the Billing frequency of the plan, and click Add. You can modify this selection by clicking the more icon next to the plan to change the Plan or Frequency.
- If Price overriding is enabled in your site, you can edit the price of the plan as required.
- Click +Add Recurring Addon to attach addons to the subscription.
- Click +Add Charge to attach a charge to the subscription. Select an event when the charge should be applied.
- Click +Add coupon or +Add coupon code to apply coupon.
As you add the subscription information, a sneak-peek of the immediate charges for the subscription gets displayed for your reference on the right side. You can click See breakdown to view the complete breakdown of immediate charges.
The Billing Info section captures information related to the billing of the subscription.
- Start Date is when the subscription starts for the customer. It is a date or time depending on the billing mode of your site. Start date/time given has an impact on the statuses the subscription can have:
- Active: The customer is using the subscription and is paying for it. An invoice will be generated on the date/time the subscription status changes to Active. You can also set the start date/time as a date/time in the past, i.e., the date/time can be any time before the time you're creating the subscription, provided that the date/time falls within the current billing cycle. This will come in handy when you've started providing the service already but are creating the subscription in Chargebee at a later time.
- Future: The start date/time is in the future with respect to the date/time the subscription was created. The status will change to Active or Trial on the start date/time mentioned. An invoice will be generated on the date/time the subscription status changes to Active.
- In Trial: On the start date/time, if the subscription has a trial period specified, then the status of the subscription will be "In Trial".
- Billing Cycles field is used to set the number of times a customer will be charged. Here, you can specify a different value for the no. of billing cycles than what you have already configured in the plan. The value entered in the new subscription will override the value that was already configured in the plan.
- Auto-collection option decides whether the payments for the invoices generated for the subscription are charged automatically. You can select one of the following options:
- Use Customer's settings: Chargebee applies the auto-collection settings defined for the associated customer record.
- Auto Collection is turned ON: Chargebee charges the customer's payment method (primary or the one assigned to the subscription) automatically when a payment for the subscription is due.
- Auto Collection is turned OFF: Chargebee does not automatically charge the customer's payment method when a payment for the subscription is due.
- PO Number uniquely identifies a purchase order and is generally defined by the buyer. You can specify the PO Number for the subscription. More on that here.
- Assigning a Payment Method: If a customer has multiple payment methods available, Chargebee supports assigning a payment method exclusively to a particular subscription. If assigned, the payment method will be tried for all charges against the subscription. Find out how to assign a payment method to a subscription here.
The Invoicing Options section captures information related to invoicing the subscription. You can choose to generate invoice immediately or add to unbilled charges.
The Shipping address section captures the shipping information related to the subscription, if you are dealing with shippable physical goods. You can either apply the billing address of the customer for shipping, or add the shipping address details.
- Plans and addons for more information on defining your products/services in Chargebee together with their pricing models.
- Bulk operations for more information on importing sizeable volumes of your subscriptions into Chargebee.
- Subscriptions created for plans without trial days would need credit card details to process the charge immediately.
- Configuring Auto Collection at the Subscription level overrides the Auto Collection setting you have configured at the Customer level.
- Non-recurring addons cannot be added to a plan that has trial days.
Creating Subscriptions for Plans Without Trial Period
If your plan does not have a trial period, you can create the subscription by setting Auto Collection to OFF. The subscription will be created as an offline subscription. Once the subscription is created, you can add the card details using the Add Credit Card option within the subscription.
Another way of creating subscriptions using plans without a trial period is by using the plan's hosted page URL. This allows you to enter the credit card details while creating the subscription.
Editing a Subscription
When you open up an existing subscription, there are several details you can view and actions you can perform. The subscription provides you with all the details like customer info, CC info, due amount, trial days remaining (if in trial). You can also see subscription info, non-recurring items, address, current term charges/credits, invoices and transactions.
- The address section will only appear if you add the buyer's address.
- Charges appear when any ad-hoc charge has been applied using Create Quick Charge.
You can perform the following operations from the subscription details page:
- Edit Subscription
- Create and send a Quote
- Add Charge
- Create Quick Charge
- Add Usage
- Add Coupon
- Request Payment Method
- Bill Future Renewals
- Edit Next Billing Date
- Add/Update Credit Card
- Add Billing/Shipping Address
- Pause/Resume Subscription
- Cancel/Re-Activate Subscription
- Delete Subscription
The Edit Subscription option can be accessed from one of the following places:
- Self serve Portal
- Chargebee site:
- Under customer profile
- In subscription details page, on the Actions pane
- In subscriptions index page, in the Actions drop-down
It allows you to change one or more of the following aspects of the subscription such as:
Applying Changes: In the Apply Changes section you can choose to bring the changes into effect in three timelines as follows:
- Immediately bringing the changes into effect also provides you the option to Apply prorated credits and charges to the any charge which was generated because of the changes made to the subscription.
- During next renewal(at the end of term) schedules the changes for the end of term.
- On a specific date schedules the changes to take effect only on the set date. This makes the prorate credits and invoicing option unclickable and takes into account the proration setting and unbilled charges setting configured in your Chargebee site. This feature can be enabled only on request, contact Chargebee Support to get it enabled for your site.
- Any scheduled change will be overridden if a new change is scheduled. Contact Chargebee Support if you'd like Chargebee to notify you about the removal of scheduled changes.
- APIs carrying parameters for proration and unbilled charges will not work in the case of scheduled changes.
This option lets you add a one-time addon to the subscription. Learn more.
Create Quick Charge
This option lets you add an additional charge to the subscription. It is a one-time charge and does not recur. Learn more.
If you have enabled Metered Billing in your Chargebee site and when the susbcription contains metered components, you can use this option to add usage data to the subscription. Click Add Usage, specify the date and time for when the usage is being added and specify the usage units in Quantity field.
You can also do a bulk import of multiple usage data for multiple subscription records using the Bulk Operations feature (for Subscriptions) in Chargebee.
This option can be used to apply and redeem additional coupons on an existing subscription. Only coupons that are applicable to the plan in this subscription will be displayed.
Request Payment Method
This option allows you to send an email with an auto-generated link that the subscriber can use to add/update their card details. If you use Chargebee's single-page checkout, then please make sure that you've configured the Update Payment Method Page redirect URL that users will be redirected to once they've successfully updated their payment method details.
Edit Start Date/Time
This option appears only when the subscription is in "Future" state. You can change when the subscription should start using this option. If you need to start the subscription immediately (or on the current day, if your Chargebee site is on day-based billing mode), you can choose the current time/date.
If the subscription was created through the API and a trial period was specified, changing the start date will automatically remove that trial period. In this case, only the plan's trial period (if present) will be considered. Otherwise, the subscription will go into "Active" state.
The Change Next Billing Date option will appear on active subscriptions and is used to change the next renewal date/time. You can change the date/time to a later or an earlier point in time. The subscription will update on the specified date/time.
Edit Trial End
This option will only appear on trial subscriptions. This can be used to extend the trial period if needed.
The subscription details page also displays the following sections:
- Applicable Charges - This section displays the items that your customers have subscribed to, the quantity, and the amount payable. Usage details are displayed for metered components with which you can view, add, or delete usage data for the subscription.
- Billing Address - This section displays the billing address added for the customer.
- Shipping Address - This section displays the shipping address added for the subscription. You can add a new shipping address, or edit/delete the existing address.
- Configurations - This section displays the Auto Collection settings and JSON Metadata that are configured for the subscription. You can change the auto collection settings or add the metadata by clicking their respective more icon.
- Payment Methods - This section displays the customer's payment method that is added for the subscription. You can click the more icon to modify the same.
- Invoice Note - This section displays any subscription invoice note to be displayed on the Invoice of this subscription. You can click to add a note or edit any existing note anytime.
- Unbilled Charges - This section displays unbilled charges, if any, for the subscription.
- History - This section contains the details of the Quotes, invoices, Credit Notes, Email Logs, Transactions, and Events related to the selected subscription. All payments related to the subscriptions are recorded under Invoices and Transactions. Read more on invoices and transactions.
- Activity Log - This sections displays the subscription history. Events such as sign up, cancellation and reactivation are shown here.
- Comments - Use comments to add information specific to a particular subscription or as a tag that can you use to find subscriptions using filters. The comments section appears at the bottom of the subscription and this option is available for subscriptions, invoices, transactions, plans, addons, and coupons.
This option allows you to add a new credit card number if it is not available or update it if there is a change.
This option is used to enter the customer's shipping address. Once you have added this information, it will appear on the subscription as a new section. You can edit all the address fields except for the Label used. You can delete the address, and add a new one if needed.
Add/Update Billing Info
If you've enabled any of the billing address fields, you will see this option, and you can use this to add/edit your customers' billing address.
This option can be used to cancel or re-activate a subscription. You can cancel a subscription immediately or at the next renewal. Only subscriptions with credit card info can be reactivated once it is canceled. Learn more.
Price overriding for Subscriptions
You can override the price point of a plan while creating or editing the subscription when price overriding is enabled in your Chargebee site.
To change the price for an existing subscription, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the subscription details page and click Edit Subscription.
- On the page that appears, you can change the price and, if applicable, the quantity associated with the subscription.
If proration is enabled, a new invoice is generated for the subscription at the new price. Refundable credits are raised for the remaining period of the subscription at the old price and applied to the new invoice.
Regenerating Invoice for Subscriptions
When an invoice is generated with incorrect details, such as an error in the line items, incorrect shipping and billing address etc, you can void that particular invoice and regenerate it using the Regenerate Invoice option.
Refer Regenerate Invoice to learn more about this.
Deleting a Subscription
If you wish to delete a Subscription in Chargebee, open the specific Subscription's details page and click the Delete Subscription option available on the actions panel.
This operation is irreversible - all data related to the Subscription, such as Transactions and Invoices, get deleted.
The numbers in the following reports will get modified when a Subscription is deleted:
- New Revenue
- The option to delete a Subscription is available only for the Admin role.
- You can also delete a Subscription using the Delete a Subscription API .
Can I add coupons to the subscriptions on the customer's request?
Yes, you can add coupons to the subscription in your Chargebee on customer's request.
There are three scenarios where you can add the coupon:
- While creating a Subscription: If you are adding a coupon/coupon code on behalf of your Customer while creating a new Subscription for them, navigate to Subscription Info in the ‘Create Subscription' page, and you will find the option to add Coupon/Coupon Code.
- During Subscription change: If you're applying the coupon on your Customer's behalf during a Subscription change, you will find the option in the Edit Subscription page.
Is it possible to send a quote to a customer which they can review before signing up?
Yes, enable Quotes in Chargebee to send pricing quotes or proforma invoices to your customers.
Why can't I find a way to add the time when I specify details such as "subscription start date", "change next billing date"?
The billing mode of your Chargebee site governs whether billing is done to-the-calendar-day or to-the-millisecond. If you have day-based billing mode set for your site, you will not be able to make changes to the billing-related times to a granularity lesser than a calendar day.