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Registered: ‎10-12-2014
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Change in ARB suspended account behavior?

I noticed that things have changed a bit with how ARB handles credit card declines, but I keep receiving slightly different answers from every support rep. Can someone clarify what has changed in the past year (or if it hasn't)?

 

This is how things have been so far:

 

1. Card declined on very first charge attempt is put in SUSPENDED status. If a subsequent update is made, it is put in ACTIVE status, and that night, another attempt is made automatically.

 

2. Card declined on second or later payment is still ACTIVE. If an update is made, nothing happens that night (the charge is skipped). It is up to me to make a separate charge to catch up the user.

 

3. Card declined on second or later payment is SUSPENDED if an attempt is made but the card had been updated since the last payment. If an update is made, it is put back in ACTIVE status, and that night, another attempt is made automatically (just like #1).

 

I noticed recently that scenario #1 no longer attempts a charge that night (it skips it like with #2). Does scenario #3 also do this? One rep told me that this has never been the way it has worked (she got really upset, it was pretty annoying). Another rep said that this changed April 2014. Do I need to do the same thing as with #2 and make a manual charge if the account is put in SUSPENDED status and updated?

 

Can someone let me know if and when this change happened? I don't see any changelog for non-API changes, and the forums don't mention any changes (I found an old thread that discusses this, but no mention of this change). I have a feeling I've missed a lot of annual payments if this is the case and I want to know how far to look back.


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Accepted by topic author gh
‎08-21-2015 01:58 AM
Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-12-2014

Re: Change in ARB suspended account behavior?

Okay, I went through all my old emails, and pieced together what's happened. Just to save other developers some time and confusion:

 

- If an ARB subscription gets put into SUSPENDED status, and the user subsequently updates their credit card info, it no longer retries the payment automatically at 2am that night. You now have to manually bill them to catch them up for that month (just like with other failed transactions).

 

The latest date I found an automatic "retry" for was 4/23/14, so I think this change was introduced late April or early May of 2014 (just as the customer service rep told me). This scenario comes up so infrequently for me that I can't be sure of this, as the next time it happened was a few times in September (at which point it no longer automatically retried the charge).

 

So these threads are no longer accurate:

https://community.developer.authorize.net/t5/Integration-and-Testing/ARB-Auto-Re-Attempt-after-Suspe...

https://community.developer.authorize.net/t5/Integration-and-Testing/ARB-Active-vs-Suspended-STATUS-...

 

I have a feeling this change was made to make things more consistent; if they'd changed it the other way around (so that it started retrying charges on updates after failed transactions), it would have caused customers to get double-billed, which is much, much worse than missing a payment.

 

It would be great if future changes like this were made by adding a new check box option to the ARB settings page so that users can opt-in.

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Solution
Accepted by topic author gh
‎08-21-2015 01:58 AM
Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-12-2014

Re: Change in ARB suspended account behavior?

Okay, I went through all my old emails, and pieced together what's happened. Just to save other developers some time and confusion:

 

- If an ARB subscription gets put into SUSPENDED status, and the user subsequently updates their credit card info, it no longer retries the payment automatically at 2am that night. You now have to manually bill them to catch them up for that month (just like with other failed transactions).

 

The latest date I found an automatic "retry" for was 4/23/14, so I think this change was introduced late April or early May of 2014 (just as the customer service rep told me). This scenario comes up so infrequently for me that I can't be sure of this, as the next time it happened was a few times in September (at which point it no longer automatically retried the charge).

 

So these threads are no longer accurate:

https://community.developer.authorize.net/t5/Integration-and-Testing/ARB-Auto-Re-Attempt-after-Suspe...

https://community.developer.authorize.net/t5/Integration-and-Testing/ARB-Active-vs-Suspended-STATUS-...

 

I have a feeling this change was made to make things more consistent; if they'd changed it the other way around (so that it started retrying charges on updates after failed transactions), it would have caused customers to get double-billed, which is much, much worse than missing a payment.

 

It would be great if future changes like this were made by adding a new check box option to the ARB settings page so that users can opt-in.

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Registered: ‎12-05-2011

Re: Change in ARB suspended account behavior?

Hello gh,

 

Here is a more concise version of how this works:

 

FAILS ON FIRST PAYMENT

- You need to update before the next scheduled billing date. When you reactivate a suspended subscription, a NEW Start date is required.

- Subscription will process on new start date as a new first payment

- Subscription will only be cancelled if the cancelation was initiated. If the suspended subscription is not reactivated before the next scheduled transaction occurs it will be TERMINATED.

 

FAILS ON ANY SUBSEQUENT PAYMENTS

- Not suspended The transaction will be declined but the subscription will remain active.

- Will continue billing on schedule

 

FAILS ON SUBSEQUENT PAYMENT RIGHT AFTER CREDIT CARD UPDATE

- See FAILS ON FIRST PAYMENT

Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-12-2014

Re: Change in ARB suspended account behavior?

Ugh, well I just double-billed someone. I didn't see the follow up response from RichardH until just now-- I am super confused.

 

So if you don't set a new start date when they update their card, does it always automatically bill the night of an update? I was under the impression that it would not do anything and just skip the first scheduled payment.

 

This is what happened:

 

1. Customer's card got declined on first subscription attempt. Subscription gets set to suspended.

2. They updated their card a few hours later (and I manually captured what would have been the first payment).

3. That night ARB attempted the first payment again.

 

Like I mentioned, I didn't set a new start date-- what is the default behavior in this situation?

Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-12-2014

Re: Change in ARB suspended account behavior?

I looked at my recent suspended subscriptions, and it appears the "following night auto-attempt" only occurs if the customer's subscription gets suspended on the very first payment.

 

If it's the second or later subscription payment, it doesn't attempt to rebill the night after an update and waits until the next payment date to charge again (this is what changed in April).

 

And you can avoid the auto-rebill problem if you set a new start date on updates to suspended subscriptions as RichardH suggests (but you only need to do that if it's the first subscription payment attempt).