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Trial Management 

You can let prospects or buyers try out your product or service for a limited period before switching them over to a paid subscription. Trials are independent of the normal billing cycle and plan price.

Using Free Trial you can set the number of days an account can be on trial mode. Once the trial days are over, Chargebee automatically converts it to an active subscription and attempts to process the first payment.

Example

You set the trial to 14 days for a plan

Sign Up Date: 1 Jan 2012

Trial days: 14

Billing Date: 15 Jan 2012

Can I extend a trial subscription? 

Yes. Trial days can be specified in the plan. If you need to change or extend a customer's trial days, you can do that by editing the subscription. Trials can also be extended through the API using "trial_end" in the update a subscription section. 
The time component of the trial is only applicable if your site billing mode is millisecond-based.

Collecting card info during trial sign up 

If you are using Chargebee's In-app checkout, you can choose to overgo card details collection on sign-up. If you are using APIs you can choose to collect card details at sign-up or at a later time during the trial period.

Can a card be charged during trial? 

Yes. If a subscription is in trial and the card details are available, you can charge the card and change the subscription from trial to active immediately through the Chargebee user interface or using APIs.

Trial expired, no card info, what next? 

At the end of the trial period, customer's card information is required to charge the customer for the subscription. when the trial expires, there are two scenarios to consider if there are no card details saved in the customer's records:

  • Auto Collection - OFF: The subscription will move to Active state and the invoice generated will be in Payment Due state.
  • Auto Collection - ON: The subscription will move to Cancel state and invoice will not be generated.

What if the card info provided is invalid? 

After the trial period is over, Chargebee automatically tries to charge the customers. If the details of the card on file are invalid or incorrect, and the transaction fails, Chargebee will go through the dunning (retry) process.

You can configure the dunning period and the intervals in the Dunning Settings. If it is a recurring subscription the final action set in the dunning setting (When dunning period ends, what happens to subscriptions?) will take place. If not, the payment method will be marked as invalid and the Invoice will be marked as Not Paid. Read more about Dunning. You can ask the customer to add an alternate payment method or make an offline payment and record it in the invoice.

Extending trial on a canceled subscription 

If you need to reactivate a canceled subscription, you can do so. When you are reactivating the subscription, you can also set a new trial date/time for it. Once the activation is complete, the subscription will be in trial.

How to define the end-of-trial actions for subscriptions 

By default, when the trial period ends for a subscription, the associated card gets charged and the subscription moves from trial to active state when the payment goes through successfully. However, when the payment fails or when there are no card details added, the subscription moves from trial to cancelled state.

This default workflow can be modified at a site/plan level, based on your business requirements. You can configure end of trial actions via the Chargebee site and APIs.

Note
  • The settings are not applicable for subscriptions created through Chargebee's Quotes, Checkout, Self-serve portal. They will continue to have the default workflow.
  • The settings are not applicable for subscriptions created from third-party CRM applications.

To configure the end of trial actions in your Chargebee site, follow these steps:

  1. Click Settings > Configure Chargebee > Subscription Trial Management.

  2. Under End of Trial Actions, click the drop-down to select how you would like to update your subscription status when the trial period ends. You can select from the following options:

    • Activate subscription: When the trial period ends, the subscriptions move from trial to active state upon successful payment. When the payment fails or when there are no card details added, the subscriptions move from trial to cancelled state(or active state based on your dunning settings if you have enabled dunning for trial subscriptions).
    • Cancel subscription: When the trial period ends, all subscriptions get cancelled irrespective of whether a payment method is available or not. You can optionally allow overriding via the Chargebee User Interface (UI). When overriding is enabled, users can modify the above-selected site setting while defining a plan price point or while creating a subscription.

After you have configured the desired end of trial action in your Chargebee site, all subscriptions get activated or cancelled based on your site setting.

When overriding is enabled, while defining the price point for a plan, you can modify the site settings to select a different workflow for specific plan price points.

You can select from the following options:

  • Use site default: This option is selected by default, and the subscriptions will follow the workflow that is configured under Subscription Trial Management.
  • Activate subscription: When the trial period ends, the subscriptions created for this plan price point move from trial to active state upon successful payment. When the payment fails or when there are no card details added, the subscription moves from trial to cancelled state(or active state based on your dunning settings if you have enabled dunning for trial subscriptions).
  • Cancel subscription: When the trial period ends, the subscriptions created for this plan price point get cancelled.

When overriding is enabled, while creating a new subscription, you can modify the site setting to select a different workflow for the subscription.

You can select from the following options:

  • Use site default: This option is selected by default, and the subscription will follow the workflow that is configured under Subscription Trial Management.
  • Use plan default: When the trial period ends, the subscription will follow the workflow that is configured for its plan price point.
  • Activate subscription: When the trial period ends, the subscription moves from trial to active state upon successful payment. When the payment fails or when there are no card details added, the subscription moves from trial to cancelled state(or active state based on your dunning settings if you have enabled dunning for trial subscriptions).
  • Cancel subscription: When the trial period ends, the subscription gets cancelled.

Can I create a paid trial subscription? 

You certainly can. Sign up a customer with a trial plan and add a charge that will be invoiced immediately.

Example

You can sign up a customer with a 14-day trial plan. Once you have created the subscription use "Add Charge" and charge them for say $2. The customer will be billed $2 immediately and after 14 days, the normal subscription price will be applied.

Note: When you want to sign up a customer for a paid trial, you need to have the card info.

Emailing customers who are in trial 

Yes, you can send emails informing them about the remaining days in their trial with options to upgrade to an active subscription. At the moment, emails are sent to trial users 6 days before the trial ends. Email automation and configuration on a user defined frequency will be included soon.

Changing to a plan with different trial days 

Switching plans during trial is certainly possible with Chargebee. The new plan configurations will override the existing one. If the new plan does not have trial days, credit card details need to be present on the subscription and the customer will be charged immediately.

If you are changing to a plan that has more number of trial days than your current plan, the subscription will automatically update it to the new plan and deduct the number of days already used.

Example

Initial Plan Trial: 10 Days

Trial days used: 5 Days

New Plan: 30 Days

Trial Ends: 25 Days after the new plan is started.

If the new plan has a lesser number of trial days than the current plan, the customer will be invoiced immediately.

Example

Initial Plan Trial: 14 Days

Trial days used: 10

New Plan: 5 Days

Trial Ends: Immediately

The new plan will update the subscription to be active and attempt to charge the customer because they have already used 10 days of trial and the new plan has only 5 days in it.

Why can't I set the time while changing the trial end date? 

Check the billing mode setting in Chargebee. If it is set to day-based billing, then the time component of the trial end date is implied as 23:59:59.999 hrs.


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