Two-Click Cancellation flow in circuly
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.
How the process looks?
Button on the website (taken care of by you): As part of the "two-click cancellation" process you must add a button on your website that indicated that it's a cancellation button.
Confirmation page (taken care of by circuly): The button should then lead to another page where the customer 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.
Here’s how the implementation looks with circuly
Step 1: Add a button on your website
Add a cancellation button to your website that is easily visible and accessible at all times and gives clear indication that it is a cancellation button. Your customers can click on this button to proceed to the cancellation steps.
Step 2: Button leads to the customer self-service portal
Clicking on the button will take your customer to the customer self-service portal where they can sign in with their email (the email used to place the order on your website) to access and manage their subscriptions and request cancellation.
Step 3: Cancellation button for every subscription
A visible cancellation button has been added to every product and can be seen under all the active subscriptions by the customer, as shown in the image below.
Step 4: Button leads to the confirmation page
The cancellation button leads your customer to a confirmation page within the customer self service portal itself (as shown in the image below). The confirmation page provides the customer with the necessary information about the subscription they are cancelling and additional options to conclude their cancellation request.
On the confirmation page your customer can do the following:
- Select the “Cancellation type” from the dropdown menu, that is, a Normal cancellation or an Extraordinary cancellation. Based on the selection under “Cancellation type” the “Cancellation reasons” are displayed (the “Cancellation reasons” can be edited in the Settings in the circuly Operations Backend).
Important note: Read more about how to set up cancellation reasons at the end of this article.
- Select the “Cancellation reason”.
- Select a “Pickup date”.
Important note: Displaying the “Pickup Date” on the confirmation page is optional. 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.
- Write a message in the “Your message” input field.
Step 5: Display the cancellation details for confirmation
If the customer has already sent the cancellation request for a particular product, then the following happens:
- The buttons that say “Cancel subscription” disappears (as shown in the image below)
- The status of the subscription is changed to “cancelled” and displayed under the product (as shown in the image below).
- The customer can also see the Canecllation date and the Subscription end-date (as shown in the image below).
Important note: The subscription end date is based on the subscription start date. If the customer has selected a 12 months subscription and started the subscription on 1st April then the displayed subscription end date will be 31st March. When the subscription end date has arrived and the subscription is still active, the subscription is extended by a month (if auto renew is enabled) and the end date changes accordingly as per this date, that is the new end date will then be 30th of April.
Step 6: Customer receives a confirmation email.
As part of the “two-click cancellation” law, your customers get a confirmation email about their cancellation. The email that you customers receive from the Email templates (in circuly) is called Subscription Cancellation Received. Edit the email template to your liking and branding and include cancellation specific variables of your choice.
Important note: If you are using the “Auto cancel subscription” setting option to process the cancellation requests, remember to add return instruction in the Subscription Cancellation Received email because this option (that is using the “auto cancel subscription setting to process cancellation requests) bypasses the Subscription almost over email (which typically contains the return instructions for the product when the subscription is about to end).
How the cancellation process works for you?
Option 1: When the “Auto cancel subscription” setting is enabled
The “Auto cancel subscription” setting is used when you want a subscription to be set to pending return automatically and bypass the minimum subscription duration period when a customer makes a cancellation request from the self-service portal.
Setting the subscription status as pending return triggers the return workflow which means that the minimum subscription period is not valid anymore and the subscription cancellation request will take effect as soon as the subscription status is set up pending return.
Example: Your customer made a canecllation request via the Customer Self-Service on 1st of July. If the “Auto cancel subscription” setting is enabled then the subscription is set to pending return immitelatey and the return workflow is triggered. Now the customer has “x” no. of days to return the product back to you (x is defined in the Return until period setting) after which the reminder emails will be sent and if the customer does not return the product the subscription will be reactivated and the recurring payments will continue to be charged again.
How to enable the Auto cancel subscription setting?
Go to Settings > Customer login > COMPANY INFORMATION > Enable the switch for Auto cancel subscription.
When this setting is enabled and when the customer makes a cancellation request from the self-service portal, the following happens:
- Your connected support inbox receives a copy of the Subscription Cancellation Received email.
- The Auto renew button is turned off (if it was originally turned on).
- In the Subscription List the status of the order changes to “pending return” plus “cancelled by customer” to indicate that the cancellation request was made by the customer via the self-service portal and that the subscription status is automatically set to pending return. Setting a subscription to pending return triggers the return workflow.
- When the product is returned to you, mark it as returned to end the subscription and stop recurring payments.
- The subscription almost over email is bypassed and not triggered. Kindly remember to add the return instructions in the Subscription Cancellation Received email.
Option 2: When “Auto cancel subscription” setting is disabled
When the “Auto cancel subscription” setting is disabled then the following happens:
- The Auto renew button is turned off (if it was originally turned on).
- The subscription is NOT set to pending return.
- The status of the subscriptions remains active and the “cancelled by customer” status is added to it to indicate that it's a cancellation request from the Customer Self-Service.
- Your connected support inbox receives a copy of the Subscription Cancellation Received email plus an additional email about the cancellation request.
- Check if the cancellation request is valid and if you want to process the cancellation request.
- Cancellation request is valid: If you want to process the request, you don't have to do anything. The circuly system will wait until the minimum subscription period is over and will send the “subscription almost over email” x days before the actual end date of the subscription. (You can define the value for “x”, that is when the subscription almost over email is sent to the customer is your settings. To define a value for this go to Settings > Email > EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS > Enable the switch for Subscription is almost over > Add a numeric value in the Days calculation before ending input field).
- Cancelattion request is not valid: the only reason why a cancellation request is not treated as valid is when the request has been made while the subscription is still under the minimum subscription period. In this case the cancellation request is still valid but only after the minimum subscription period is over. Since auto renewal is turned off automatically and the subscription is not extended by another month, the system will follow the same process, that is it will wait until the minimum subscription period is over and will send the “subscription almost over email” x days before the actual end date of the subscription.
- When the product is returned, you need to process it how you normally would, that is by marking the product as returned.
- Marking the product as returned ends the subscriptions and stops recurring payments.
Adding a support email
Support email is the email you’ve entered in the circuly operations backend under the Support email address setting.
If you havent added an email yet you can do so by loging in to your circuly operations backend > Go to Settings > Customer login > COMPANY INFORMATION > And enter an email Id for support and contact matters in the Support email address input field.
Adding Cancellation reasons
The cancellation reasons are displayed to your customer in the customer self-service portal and can be edited.
To add cancellation reasons, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Subscription > Scroll down to CANCELLATION REASONS.
- Click on the “+” plus icon under Normal Cancellations and/or Extraordinary Cancellations to to start adding cancellation reasons for the cancellation type.
- Add a reason in the name input field and then add the translation options in the respective input fields for the given languages.
- When you’ve added the name and their translation, click on the SUBMIT button.
- Once you’re finished with adding all the reasons click on the SUBMIT CHANGES button.