How to Set up the Process for Cancellation Requests Made From the Customer Self-Service Portal?

In October 2021, a new law was introduced in Germany about the termination of subscription contracts.

Here a recap:

  • All consumer-facing businesses can no longer bind consumers for yearly renewals.
  • Businesses must provide a VISIBLE cancellation button on the website so consumers can easily cancel their subscription contracts.
  • The cancellation button must be permanently accessible on all pages and clearly labelled.
  • The cancellation button must lead the consumer to a confirmation page where they can provide information on the type of termination, the reason for termination, clear means of identification, the time at which the termination shall take effect and contact data to confirm the termination easily by electronic means.
  • Customers should also be able to save and be provided with the termination notice.  The notice should clearly indicate that the termination was submitted by pressing the confirmation button.

The two click cancellation law is effective as on 1st July 2022.

Additionally, in Germany all subscription service providers are mandated by law to provide an early cancellation period and cancel subscriptions if the request has been made during that period (Widerufsfrist in German).

Subscription service providers are also mandated by law to provide a visible cancellation button that the customer can use to cancel the subscription.

When you use circuly to manage your subscriptions and make use of the circuly Customer Self-Service Portal, your customers can make cancellation requests from the Customer Self-Service Portal for all possible reasons.

If you have not implemented the necessary changes yet to accommodate the “two-click cancellation” button, we recommend that you do so ASAP. Here’s a detailed guide on how the implementation of the “two-click cancellation” button looks with circuly.

Here are a few setting you need to go through to set up the process for cancellation requests:

Setting 1: Cancellation reasons

As per the “two-click cancellation” button law you are mandated by law to provide your customers with an option that lets them state the reason for the cancellation. With circuly you can do that by adding cancellation reasons that will be visible to the customer in the Customer Self-Service portal. (The image below shows how the customers see the cancellation reasons in their self-service portal)

Screenshot of the circuly customer self-service portal

To add cancellation reasons > Go to Settings > Subscription > CANCELLATION REASONS > And add the cancellation reasons of your choice by clicking the plus (+) icon.

Important: In Germany it is required to provide your customers with an option called “extraordinary cancellation”. In the circuly Operations Backend you have the option of adding both, “Normal cancellation” reasons and “Extraordinary cancellation” reasons.

Screen of the settings in the circuly operations backend

Setting 2: Early cancellation period

Compuslory for subscription businesses operating in Germany. Can also be implemented by subscription companies in other locations if it fits the business case.

If you are operating in Germany you need to set up an early cancellation period. Your customers will be able to cancel their subscriptions within this period. Make sure to communicate this clearly either on your website or via email.

Go to Settings > Subscriptions > And add a numeric value in the Early cancellation period input field.

Screenshot of early cancellation period setting in the circuly operations backend

Setting 3: Auto refund immediately cancelled subscriptions

Typically cancellations made within the early cancellation period are refundable. You can decide whether or not you want to immediately and automatically refund subscription orders cancelled within the easly cancellation period.

Alternatively you can decide to not automate the refund process for cancelled subscriptions and instead have more control over refunds. If you decide to go this way then you will be notified via email when a customer maskes a cancellation request which you can then check and refund. If you’ve already shipped the product then it makes sense to not do immediate refunds and instead wait for the product to be returned.

Go to Settings > Subscriptions > Turn on the switch for Auto Refund immediately cancelled subscriptions if you would like to process refunds immediately and automatically.

Setting 4: Free Cancellation Returns

You can decide whether or not you want to offer free returns to your customer when they make cancellation requests.

If you decide to offer free returns upon cancellation > Go to Settings > Customer Login > And enable the switch for Free Cancellation Returns.

To add a link > Go to Settings > Customer login > And a link in the Retailers portal link input field. The link will be sent to your customers with the return instructions email.

Additionally you can also provide your customers a link to your return portal. For this you need to add a variable to the Return instructions email template:

Variable: retailers portal.

 Add the variable anywhere in the HTML code of the Email Template. 



Setting 5: Auto cancel subscriptions

You can decide to Auto cancel subscriptions when a cancellation request has been made from the Customer Self-Service Portal. Auto cancelling subscriptions sets the subscription status to pending return which means that the Return Workflow get strigged.

If you decide to auto cancel subscriptions > Go to Settings > Customer Login > And enable the switch for Auto cancel subscriptions.

Alternatively you can decide to not cancel subscriptions automatically when a cancellation request has been made. In that case the subscription will remain active and you will be notified via email about the cancellation request. You can then set it to pending return to trigger the return workflow or instead just cancel the subscription.

Setting 6: Pickup Date

You can decide whether or not you want to display a Pickup date in the Customer Self-Service Portal on the confirmation page.

It is by default turned off and disabled. To enable it go to your circuly operations backend > Settings > Customer login > COMPANY INFORMATION >  Enable the switch for Pickup date as shown in the image below.

Learn more: How the cancellation process looks for your customer?
Learn more: How the cancellation process looks for you?

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