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What Happens When an Automatic Subscription Charge Fails?

Overview

This article describes what happens when one of those automatic subscription charges fails (e.g. due to a decline response from the credit card's issuing bank or organization).

For subscriptions with automatic renewals--i.e., those that are not manual renewal subscriptions--FastSpring automatically attempts to bill the customers on a regular, scheduled basis. For example, a subscription with a charge interval of monthly has an automatic charge once per month without the customer having to log on or enter any payment details.

This article describes what happens when one of those automatic subscription charges fails (e.g., due to a decline response from the credit card's issuing bank or organization).

 Note

For most subscriptions, FastSpring automatically requests an update of the payment account token from the cards' issuers five days before each automatic charge attempt. The goal is to reduce the occurrence of declined charges due to expired or updated cards.

 Note

This article pertains specifically to automatic subscription charges. Managed Subscriptions may differ regarding the handling of failed charges.

 

Charge Failed Notifications

Immediately after receiving the decline response for an automatic subscription charge, FastSpring sends an email message to the customer to notify him or her that the subscription charge has failed. You can view and edit the email template for the subject line and body of this message via the Dashboard under Settings -> Customer Notifications -> Subscription -> Charge Failed. For more details, please see Customer Notifications.

 

Automatic Retries

Following the date on which an automatic subscription charge fails, FastSpring automatically retries the charge multiple times until one of the following occurs:

  • The charge succeeds
  • The past-due subscription is canceled based on the product's cancellation settings

These automatic retries occur one, three, and five days following the most recent charge attempt--including the scheduled charge and retries.

 Note

If optional payment overdue notifications are enabled for the subscription product, FastSpring also retries the charge immediately before sending each overdue notification.

For example, if a subscription is scheduled to renew on May 1st and that charge is declined, FastSpring will automatically retry the charge on the following dates:

DescriptionExample DateExplanation
First retryMay 2nd1 day after the initial charge decline
Second retryMay 5th3 days after the previous declined retry
Third retryMay 10th5 days after the previous declined retry

If a customer updates the subscription's payment method via Customer-Facing Account Management before the subscription's automatic cancellation--and assigns the updated payment method to the subscription--FastSpring automatically retries the subscription charge immediately. In case that immediate retry is declined, the schedule above will continue without regard to the declined immediate charge attempt.

 

Overdue Notifications

You can optionally configure subscription-based products to have overdue notifications sent to a customer following a declined automatic subscription charge. For more details on how to set this up, please see Subscription Pricing.

You can view and edit the email template for the subject line and body of the payment overdue notification messages via Settings -> Customer Notifications -> Subscription -> Payment Overdue. For more details, please see Customer Notifications.

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