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Managing Active Subscriptions


This article explains how to work with customer's subscription instances, including modifying them and canceling them as needed.

Active subscription instances purchased by your customers can be modified, canceled, or even uncanceled via the FastSpring App or via the /subscriptions endpoint of the FastSpring API. This article describes how to manage subscription instances via the FastSpring App.


If you need to change the notification and cancellation settings for most of the active subscription instances for a given product, en masse, please see Changing Subscription Notification and Cancellation Settings.


Accessing Active Subscription Instances

To access an active subscription instance, first select the Sales menu in the FastSpring App. The Events tab is selected by default.


If the subscription you want to access appears in the list of recent events, you can click anywhere in the row to access the subscription record directly.

Use the Search Orders and Subscriptions field to enter search criteria for the order that created the subscription (or any billing transaction on the subscription). For example, you can search using the customer's last name or email address, or the order reference for an order associated with the subscription. In the search results, click  for the order that created the subscription.

Then, in the items section of the order's detail page, and click View Subscription under the specific subscription you want to manage.

The subscription's detail page loads and displays a variety of information and options for managing the subscription.

If the subscription has a manual renewal policy, the text "Manual renew" appears below the billing terms on the subscription's details, as illustrated in the following example:


Modifying an Active Subscription Instance

To modify the products, pricing, quantity, discounts, coupons, or billing dates for an existing subscription, simply click the name of the subscription product. The subscription's Edit page loads.


If you only want to modify the timing of the payment reminders, overdue reminders, or subscription cancellation, please jump to the Modifying reminder and cancellation settings section of this article.

Now, make the desired changes to the subscription. For example, if you want to modify the quantity of the subscription, you can change the Quantity field and then click .

A subscription edit review page loads, showing you a comparison of the subscription's settings before your edit and after your edit. Items that have changed are shaded in red in the Subscription Now section and shaded in green in the Subscription After Changes section. To continue the example, notice that changing the Quantity also changes the Next Billing Amount.

Click Confirm to confirm the change, or click Cancel to cancel the changes (not the subscription).

If the edit you have made results in a new total price, the new price will take effect upon the Next Billing Date. However, upon confirming the edit, you may be given the option to generate a prorated charge for the remainder of the current subscription period.

 Note about subscriptions older than six months

You cannot perform proration on certain subscriptions for which the original/initial charge occurred more than six months ago. This limitation is because we can no longer issue a refund for the unused portion of the original payment period if necessary. In such cases, the Prorate option does not appear in the FastSpring App, and attempting to prorate via the API results in a response of "prorate":"The order is no longer refundable."

If you click Prorate, FastSpring can automatically generate a single transaction for the net amount of the adjustment. This feature takes into consideration the unused portion of the original subscription payment and the prorated value of the remaining subscription duration based on the updated total price. However, if the subscription is currently in a free trial period, you cannot generate prorated refunds and charges since there has not been an actual charge yet.

Clicking Prorate displays a review page where you can see the breakdown of the net charge or refund to be processed. In the example below, the subscription quantity was changed on the same day the subscription order had been placed. Therefore, there was $0 to keep for the already-used portion of the subscription. The result was a complete refund and a new charge at full price.

For more details on prorated adjustments, please see Prorating when Upgrading or Downgrading Subscriptions Plans.


Modifying Reminder and Cancellation Settings

If you need to change the timing of payment reminders, overdue reminders, or subscription cancellation for an existing subscription, you can click any enabled event in the Notification and Cancellation section of the subscription's details to modify that event.


If the subscription is currently in a free trial period, this section may be named simply Notification.

For example, suppose you wanted to change the Overdue Notification setting for the subscription above so that a total of two notifications would be sent rather than one. You could click anywhere on the Overdue Notification line.


Then, change the total from 1 to 2.

Finally, click Save.


Canceling and Uncanceling Subscriptions

To cancel a subscription, click the CANCEL command.

The page prompts you to select whether the subscription will remain active for the remainder of the current, paid period, or will be deactivated immediately.

Select the desired option and then click CONFIRM.

If you need to uncancel a subscription that has been canceled but is not yet deactivated, simply click the UN-CANCEL command. The subscription is uncanceled (that is, it will resume standard scheduled charges).


Customers can also uncancel subscriptions that are canceled but not yet deactivated, via the Account Management site.


A subscription that has been deactivated (either by immediate deactivation or by reaching its next period date following cancellation) cannot be uncanceled. The customer would have to place a new subscription order instead.


Updating Pricing of All Subscription Instances for a Given Product

If you need to update the pricing of multiple subscription instances en masse, resulting in future charges having a different price, you must use the /subscriptions endpoint of the FastSpring API.


Do not use the FastSpring API to change the price of subscription instances without first enabling Payment Reminders for the subscription product. If customers' regular billing amounts change without notice, chargebacks are likely to result.

As an example, suppose you change the price of a subscription product. You want to charge the new price for all future billings of that subscription product, including for customers who had subscribed before the price change.

You would start by using the /subscriptions endpoint to retrieve all subscriptions for a given product by product path (e.g., GET /subscriptions?products=product1). From the API response, record the subscription.ID for each instance. Then, make a POST to the /subscriptions endpoint to update each of the subscription IDs with the new price


Changing an Automatic Renewal Subscription to Manual Renewal

If you need to change a subscription with automatic renewal into a manual renewal subscription, you can do this via the FastSpring App. Alternatively, you can do this by POSTing to the /subscriptions endpoint of the FastSpring API with a POST body that includes the subscription ID and "manualRenew":"true".


Changing a subscription instance from automatic to manual renewal results in FastSpring permanently deleting the payment method associated with the subscription. This deletion cannot be undone. In the future, the customer must log on to account management and make payments manually before the next billing date. Otherwise, the subscription may be canceled due to non-payment. If a customer has multiple subscriptions, payment methods associated with other subscriptions are not affected.

 Webhooks Note

If you subscribe to the subscription.updated webhook event or other events that include detailed subscription information, the autoRenew field will be shown as false after this change, to indicate a manual renewal subscription. However, if you have webhook expansion enabled, some event payloads include product details. Inside the pricing object within the product section of the payload, you will still see "renew":"auto". This behavior is normal and expected because it reflects the current details of the subscription product's pricing–not the subscription instance.


Via the FastSpring App

On the subscription's detail page, click the green Renews automatically badge, and select Switch to Renews manually.

A confirmation dialog reminds you that payment details for the subscription are about to be removed and that this cannot be undone. Click OK to proceed.

The Auto renew text is replaced by Manual renew to confirm that the change has been made.


Via the FastSpring API


Familiarity with the FastSpring API is required for this operation.

Simply POST to the /subscriptions endpoint with a payload such as in the following example:

Example of using the API to change a subscription to manual renewal
    "subscriptions": [
        "subscription": "subscription-id",
        "manualRenew": "true"