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I noticed that in many different types of products and services that offer a few different subscription plans, upgrading is easy. Downgrading, on the other hand, is a bit discreet. In most of them, you would have to contact support to downgrade or cancel your plan.

While this is a business decision, are there other negative effects if we allow users to easily downgrade to a plan? Or make canceling a plan less hidden?

And this may be uncommon - but what if a user decides to upgrade/downgrade/then upgrade again within a span of, say, an hour. In general, will that cause billing issues?

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  • Hi @livbeng I think this is a great question. Could you provide some more details about the type of service you’re selling and it’s general price? Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 19:01
  • @AndrewWeibert The price ranges from $3 - $40 per month across all the plans. These are all billed annually; there is no month to month. It's a platform that allows you to build and online store.
    – M Bo
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 19:27
  • Your last question: It is common in cloud hosting solutions to charge per minute (I have experience with JiffyBox) and send a monthly bill. According to your needs you can up/downgrade at any time.
    – chrisbergr
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 11:58

3 Answers 3

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Unfortunately for the user, I'd say that unless "ease of cancellation" is part of your selling / business proposition, you should stick to the existing models. A possible alternative is to make it relatively easy to see a cancelation button. However, when the user clicks it, they are prompted with an automated offer to continue their service for a discount. If they proceed further, you can offer to "pause" their account for a period of time instead of deleting it. Hulu has historically had an effective model for this. I would avoid forcing the user to make a call, which would frustrate the user and increase your call center costs.

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I think if you already have a lot of calls from customers about needing to downgrade their plans, it may be a pricing or expectation issue and not necessarily a UX thing.

But if you still think it's a UX thing, Zoho Meeting allows you to downgrade your plan in some easy prompts.

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I think that many of the mobile phone and internet companies are making this quite easy these days in term switching or upgrading/downgrading plans (at least in Australia). This is an example of how this user task has become a more prominent part of websites like on Vodafone, which is a global company.

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This was initially due to the competition between various companies to provide more competitive products and services, and then because of the disruptions caused by the pandemic (and the subsequent increase in data usage from WFH) there were many options to upgrade and downgrade plans.

It also helps that with most companies offering no lock-in contracts that the plans can be upgraded or downgraded easily because the business process has been adjusted so that it is not a barrier to implementing this type of feature more easily on the user interface side of things.

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