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Switching from free to paid plan with trial

Hi everyone.


In my current setup I have to plans: a free one with no trial and a premium, which is paid with a 30-day trial. 


When I create a subscription for a customer for the free plan, the subscription gets correctly created in 'active' state. 


However, when I try to switch the customer to the paid plan by updating the subscription via an API call, the subscription remains active and there is no way to have the customer go into the premium trial.


What's the right thing to do with such a scenario? Cancel the subscription for the free plan and create a new one for the premium/paid plan (which will start in trial mode)?


Thank you so much!


Best Answer

For anyone interested, here's the reply from Chargebee support, which is the approach that I'll follow:


When changing subscription in Chargebee, a subscription in "Active" status cannot be moved to "Trial" status unless it's being reactivated after cancellation. Since you've setup your Free plan as a $0 plan without any trial period, a customer's subscription is created in "Active" state for this plan - this is the reason why the subscription does not go to "trial" state even though you're changing it to a plan with trial period associated.


To workaround this scenario, you could setup your free plan with "unlimited*" number of trial period days and setup the price as $0. This way when the customer initially subscribes, the subscription will be in trial state for unlimited* period of time and when you change the customer's subscription to a different plan with trial period associated, you could pass the new "trial_end" date. 


A couple of important points to note:-


Unlimited trial days in Chargebee - This can be set to a maximum of 240 months in Chargebee. When you are changing the subscription of a customer from the "unlimited" trial period plan to a paid plan with a limited trial duration, passing the "trial_end" parameter with the new trial end date is very important. This is because if the customer has already used up the trial days equal to the trial days provided in the paid plan, the subscription will go to "Active" status. So you need to re-assign a trial period when changing the subscription to the paid plan using trial_end parameter. 


Is this still the only way to handle this use case? Does that mean that all our free plan members will effectively be on trial until they upgrade? Is there no way we can go from free plan `active` to paid plan `in trial`?

Hello Tim


Yes, a subscription once activated cannot be moved to Trial unless they cancel. 


Since the subscription state is common for both freemium and paid plans, it is assumed that a trial wouldn't be offered once the customer moves to Active state and starts paying. A temporary free service could be provided using coupons or credits.


However, I understand that this could be a great enhancement to have especially for freemium plans. I've forwarded this as a feedback to our product team so they could consider it during our product revamp.



Regards,

Vaishnavi

Hey Mariano,


Yes that's right. You would need to cancel the free subscription and create a new subscription for the premium plan to make the trial period get applied for the customer.

Answer

For anyone interested, here's the reply from Chargebee support, which is the approach that I'll follow:


When changing subscription in Chargebee, a subscription in "Active" status cannot be moved to "Trial" status unless it's being reactivated after cancellation. Since you've setup your Free plan as a $0 plan without any trial period, a customer's subscription is created in "Active" state for this plan - this is the reason why the subscription does not go to "trial" state even though you're changing it to a plan with trial period associated.


To workaround this scenario, you could setup your free plan with "unlimited*" number of trial period days and setup the price as $0. This way when the customer initially subscribes, the subscription will be in trial state for unlimited* period of time and when you change the customer's subscription to a different plan with trial period associated, you could pass the new "trial_end" date. 


A couple of important points to note:-


Unlimited trial days in Chargebee - This can be set to a maximum of 240 months in Chargebee. When you are changing the subscription of a customer from the "unlimited" trial period plan to a paid plan with a limited trial duration, passing the "trial_end" parameter with the new trial end date is very important. This is because if the customer has already used up the trial days equal to the trial days provided in the paid plan, the subscription will go to "Active" status. So you need to re-assign a trial period when changing the subscription to the paid plan using trial_end parameter. 

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