Failed Student Subscription Payments

If Stripe fails to charge your student's card on file for their subscription, Stripe will automatically retry the charge multiple times depending on your Stripe settings. If all retries fail, Stripe defaults to canceling the subscription (which we recommend). When a subscription is canceled inside Stripe because of inability to collect a payment, or when you manually cancel a student's subscription inside Stripe the following will happen: 

  1. Heights Platform will email you to notify you of the student whose subscription has been deleted. 
  2. We will then revoke access to the subscription content. (In the case of a bundle, we revoke all bundle content. In the case of a paid membership enrollment, we unenroll the student completely). 
  3. We will trigger your payment failed email notification to go out to your student. The following will be contained in the "{{payment_errors}}" liquid tag of this email notification: "We were unable to charge your card for the balance due on your subscription. Access to your subscription content has been revoked until this subscription is repurchased. Please update your payment details or contact us if you need help." (See Edit Email Notification Templates for more info on editing this email.)

Recommended Stripe Settings for Managing Failed Subscription and Installment Payments

Below is a screenshot of the settings we recommend you use inside your Stripe account to best handle failed subscription or installment payments. You can find these settings in your Stripe account by going to "Settings" in the left sidebar, and then under the "Billing" section, clicking on "Subscriptions and Emails": 

With the settings above, Stripe will email your students when a payment has failed and will provide them with a link to be able to update their payment information easily. This way you as a creator only need to follow up with a student after the subscription is eventually automatically canceled by Stripe once 3 separate retry attempts have been made. If the student's subscription was already canceled by Stripe, the student would have their access revoked to the content inside Heights, and would then have to log in to your program in order to repurchase and restart their subscription. 

If the student's installment subscription is still active in Stripe, but has a failed payment and you aren't sure if Stripe has sent them an email to update their billing info: 
You can click on the invoice that failed in Stripe, and then you will be able to scroll down on the invoice page and find a link at the bottom that says "Payment Page". You can email this link to the customer directly and they will be able to pay and update their card details with Stripe directly. This link is the unique link for the specific customer's failed invoice payment.

Failed Installment Payments

Installment plan payments are similar to a monthly subscription that cancels on its own. If a student's payment fails before completing the final installment payment, the same process described above will occur. If a student updates their installment payment by repurchasing it, the installment cycle will be restarted. As a creator there are two ways you can approach collecting payments after an installment payment fails: 

1. Manually collect the payment from a student via a separate Stripe invoice, and make sure they are still granted the relevant content inside Heights Platform. 

2. If the student repurchases the installment payment inside Heights, you can edit the "installments_paid" metadata on the subscription to include the past payments. This will help tell Heights Platform how many installments have actually been paid, and will allow us to automatically stop collecting future installments for you after the correct number of installments have been received. 

The area inside Stripe displays the "installments_paid" metadata for an installment plan subscription. In the above example, the plan will complete after collecting 5 payments. Currently, 1 payment has been collected. If you collected another from a previously canceled plan, you can edit the "installments_paid" metadata to 2 so that you can ensure the student will not be charged an extra time. 

Deletion of a Student Account Before Completion of Installment Plan

If a student deletes their account before completing their installment plan payments, this will result in their installment subscription being canceled and their payment card being removed from Stripe. The following situation would make it difficult for you to continue collecting any remaining installment payments from your student. If you plan to make frequent use of installment plan options that last more than a couple of months you might consider disabling a student's ability to delete their own account in your Account Settings (students would then have to contact you to request to have their account deleted).

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to disable a student from accessing your program as a whole, but you still need to finish collecting installment payments from them, you could always deactivate the student's account instead of deleting it.  

For more information see the following articles: 

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