Solved

Why are all my free trials resulting in BILLING_ERROR?

  • 2 September 2021
  • 10 replies
  • 291 views

Badge +4

Something strange has been happening over this last week. Each user who starts a free trial has it automatically cancelled due to a billing error. Event data reported by RC contains "cancel_reason": "BILLING_ERROR".

The app currently looks for billing issues (via billingIssueDetectedAt  in RCEntitlementInfo) and guides the user to update their App Store billing. Beyond this, to prevent revenue loss, I’ve switched to a discounted offering without a free trial while I figure out what’s going on.

For context, it’s an iOS app using Purchases v3.11.1 (although this is probably not an SDK issue).

Any ideas as to what’s happening here?

icon

Best answer by sharif 8 October 2021, 23:58

View original

10 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +9

Are you still seeing this issue? RevenueCat wouldn’t cause billing issues to occur since RevenueCat doesn’t charge the customer but if you’re not seeing any successful purchases it may be a configuration error in App Store Connect. Reach out using the contact form in your account settings if you still need help here.

Badge

I am having this issue too :( Very frustrating

 

I have had 8 users sign up for my free trial since 9/1, only one of them cancelled their trial. The other 7 entered into billing error. I tried subscribing from my own phone and it worked fine. Not sure what to do at this point.

Badge +4

@Michael Willard

I was using Facebook AAA campaigns optimizing for “Start Trials.” My best guess is that I received a bad cohort of users (people who use empty Visa gift cards and hence more likely to start trials).

In any case, I removed the trial offering and have been optimizing for direct subscriptions instead. I haven’t received BILLING_ERROR for my other apps in which I don’t run any AAA campaigns.

Hope that helps.

Userlevel 4
Badge +9

An issue in in-app purchases usually effects all users, so if you’re able to subscribe on your own phone then it’s likely not an issue in your configuration. Mobile apps tend to have high churn and billing issue rates. If you just shipped your app recently and these are your first customers, you may not really have a baseline for what churn looks like for your app.

As always, if you feel something looks off, you can reach out to support with some specific examples that we can look into.

Badge

@Michael Willard

I was using Facebook AAA campaigns optimizing for “Start Trials.” My best guess is that I received a bad cohort of users (people who use empty Visa gift cards and hence more likely to start trials).

In any case, I removed the trial offering and have been optimizing for direct subscriptions instead. I haven’t received BILLING_ERROR for my other apps in which I don’t run any AAA campaigns.

Hope that helps.

That makes a lot of sense, I’ll try dropping the trial for a while and see how that goes. Thanks!

Badge +1

@Michael Willard or @sharif any updates on this?

I’ve had 8 users in a row get cancelled due to billing error. That seems too high to be a coincidence.

I think I’ll try removing my trial for a bit to see if that helps.

Badge

I never really found a root cause, but over time I haven’t seen the issue happening anymore. I would recommend going through your App Store connect account and look out for any warnings on there. I had to add a zip code for my banking account, I’m not sure if that was related. They are constantly updating things and you may need to sign an agreement or something like that. 

Badge +1

I did have some unsigned agreements. Do you think that might cause this issue?

Badge

Yeah that could definitely be it, unfortunately there’s no way to know for sure until you get a successful transaction through. However my experience was pretty similar, once I fixed my issue with the App Store and waited a bit I started getting purchases coming through. Another thing I did was turn on the billing grace period, so people can be “saved” even if there are some initial problems with the billing. 

Badge

I have this issue too. I have 14 errors that say ‘BILLING ERROR TRIAL’. I’m wondering if those people all had their cards rejected, or that actually wanted to unsubscribe to the app. It’s unclear

Reply