Dunning

Dunning is the process of how you handle past due accounts. It involves communicating with your customers in response to failed credit card transactions, and what action you take when the subscription can’t be renewed. Chargify gives you the ability to customize these communications.

Configuring your Dunning

Dunning is configured from the “Retries and Dunning” section of the “Settings” tab as shown below.

Configuration is managed in separate sections: Retries and Final Action and Dunning Emails.

Retries and Final Action

When a subscription’s period ends, the normal renewal process attempts to charge the card on file. If that attempt results in a failure (i.e. a processor “decline”), the subscription becomes “past due”. That renewal attempt is renewal attempt #1. Chargify will automatically retry the failed charge, currently approximately every 24 hours, up to the number of attempts you configure in this section. At the end of this “retry period”, you can take a “final action” on the subscription and optionally send an email.

To send periodic “reminder” emails during the retry period, see the next section on Dunning Emails.

In the “Retries and Final Action” section, the grey boxes indicate items you can change about how often to retry and what action to take.

Clicking any of the grey boxes will open a window where you can edit your retry settings:

Select how many retries you would like Chargify to perform before you take a “Final Action”. Entering “1” in this box will cause the Final Action to be taken upon the very first failed attempt to renew, i.e. no retries will take place.

Next select the Final Action to take. You can either cancel the subscription or mark the subscription unpaid

  • When you cancel the subscription, the subscription will transition to the ‘canceled’ state and it will cease to accrue any new charges. No more attempts will be made to collect the balance due. A canceled subscription can be later Reactivated.
  • When you mark the subscription unpaid, the subscription will transition to the ‘unpaid’ state, but it will continue to accrue new charges. No more attempts will be made to collect the balance due. An unpaid subscription can be moved back to active by either applying a payment, retrying the renewal (and receiving a successful payment), or zeroing out the balance and retrying the renewal.

Finally, you may optionally specify an email to be sent upon the execution of the Final Action. Enter your Subject and Body, and choose whether or not to be BCC’d on this email. This email has access to custom parameters as defined in the section below on Customizing Dunning Emails.

Dunning Emails

During the retry period (that you define in the Retry and Final Action section), you can choose to send periodic “reminder” emails to the customer of the past due subscription.

In the section marked “Dunning”, you can configure your “From Address” for the Dunning Emails, add a new Dunning Email, or edit an existing Dunning Email:

The “From Address” configured in this section will also be used as the “From Address” on your Final Action email. It defaults to your merchant email address.

When adding or editing a new Dunning Email, you will be able to edit the Subject and Body, and choose whether or not to be BCC’d on this email. This email has access to custom parameters as defined in the section below on Customizing Dunning Emails.

Customizing your Dunning Emails

When editing your Final Action Email and Dunning Emails, you can use keywords that Chargify will replace dynamically before sending the email. Custom parameters are surrounded in double curly braces like this: {{custom_parameter}}.

Custom Parameters

Parameter Description
failure_subject The reason the transaction failed. e.g. ‘Failed Credit Card Transaction’ or ‘No Credit Card On File’ depending on whether or not the client has a Credit Card on file.
from_address The “from address” defined for your dunning emails
name The name of your customer. e.g. Bill Williams
payment.amount The amount just paid, formatted in your currency
product_price The recurring price of the subscription’s current product
product_name The name of the product. e.g. Basic Plan
balance_in_cents The amount, if any, they still owe. e.g. 0 (for $0.00) or 23100 (for $231.00) Useful for conditionally adding a reminder.
balance The amount, if any, they still owe in dollars. e.g. $0.00 or $2.31
merchant_name Your merchant name. e.g. Acme Corp.
update_url The URL that the customer can use to update their Credit Card information.
masked_card_number The customer’s Credit Card, obscured to only show the last 4 digits. e.g. XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-1
reason_for_decline The reason that a transaction was declined at the gateway.
payment_profile_exists This returns ‘true’ or ‘false’ depending on whether or not the client has a Credit Card on file. It can be used to conditionally display text based on it’s value e.g.
{% if payment_profile_exists }
  Lorem Ipsum
{
endif %}

Dunning emails also have access to other parameters not listed here. See Email Templates for more details.

For more information on how Dunning works, see: http://support.chargify.com/faqs/features/what-is-dunning-and-how-does-it-help-me-retain-more-customers