What is “pending return” and what does it do?
In the circuly operations backend, you’ll find the words “pending return” in multiple places. Multiple operations and workflows are either trigged through “pending return” or are dependent on it.
What is pending return?
In the circuly operations backend, you can see that in the Order List, Subscription List, Payment List, Recurring Payment List, Return List, Asset List, Product List, Repair List and Email History List there is a column heading called “Status”.
Pending return is a status you can assign or is automatically assigned to an existing subscription and it is displayed in the Status column for the Subscription and Return list.
What does the status “pending return” mean?
When a subscription has the status as “pending return” this means that the product is pending return or in other words, is still with the customer and hasn't been returned to you yet.
The reasons why a product hasn't been returned yet can be:
- The subscription period is still ongoing.
- The subscription is under the return until period.
- The customer is late in returning the product.
- The customer doesn't want to return the product.
- The customer changed their mind about returning the product and wants to extend the subscription duration.
- The customer is fraudulent and has no intentions of returning the product.
As you can see some cases are better than others, but in all cases, you expect the product to be returned to you. In case it is not returned, there needs to be a workflow in place that can safeguard your interest, such as reactivating the subscription and continuing to charge the saved payment method of the customer.
What does pending return mean in the circuly operations backend?
In theory, as long as the product is with the customer, you should be able to charge the customer for the use of the product. This is particularly important when a customer says they want to return the product but do not do so within the return period. In this case, the subscription can be reactivated and can continue charging the customer for the unreturned product.
Why should you mark the subscription status as pending return
Active subscriptions remain active (that is the customer’s payment details continue to get charged) if they are not either manually marked as “pending return” or if the pending return status is not trigged through automation.
It is important to mark the subscription status as pending return in order to trigger the return process.
When is the status of a subscription "automatically" set to pending return?
The status of a subscription is automatically set to pending return in the following cases:
- When you manually Cancel an order.
- When the customer makes a cancellation request from the customer login, then the subscription status is set to pending return automatically (if the associated setting is enabled). Read more about how to process a return request made from the customer login.
- When a customer makes a swap request from the customer login or if you process a swap request from the operations backend, the subscription status is set to "pending replacement". Pending replacement follows the same logic flow as that of "pending return" because you should ideally expect the product to come back if it is a swap request.
- When the subscription end date has arrived, the subscription status is set to pending return to trigger the return workflow.
Important: The only reason why you wouldn't expect a product to come back when a customer makes a swap request is when the product is stolen/missing. In that case when processing the swap request, mark the prodct as "stolen/missing". Setting the product as "stolen/missing" is important because by doing so the subscrition status is not set to "pending return" because when a swap product is stolen/missing then you do not expect the product to come back.
When is the status of a subscription "manually" set to pending return?
- When a customer writes an email to you or contacts your customer support to cancel their subscription.
Read more about how to process a return request made by the customer via email.
- When you manually mark the subscription status as "pending return".
What workflow/operation does the “pending return” status trigger?
When the status of a subscription is set as pending return the following happens:
- The status of a subscription is displayed as “pending return” in the Subscription list.
- The subscription moves to the Returns tab and the status of the connect order/product is displayed as pending return in the Return List.
- If you have enabled the setting for Reactivate Subscription, Reactivate subscription period (days) and Return until period then the customer has “x” number of days to return the product (x is defined in the return until period setting). If the customer does not return the product within the Return until period then the subscription will be reactivated (if the Reactivate Subscription button is enabled) after “x” number of days (x is defined in the Reactivate subscription period (dayd) setting). Read the full article on return workflow and the associated settings
Which settings are related to pending return?
Reactivate Subscription, Reactivate subscription period (days) and return until period are settings that are related to pending return. These settings are used by the return workflow. To understand the return workflow and the associated settings, read this article.