Apple Announces Billing Grace Period for App Store Subscriptions

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today announced a new billing grace period for subscriptions, which will let subscribers who experience unsuccessful auto-renewals continue to use an app's paid content while Apple attempts to collect payment.

This will be a useful feature for developers as customers who do not immediately update their billing when a subscription fee becomes due can currently lose access to premium features right away.


Apple's new option is designed to provide a short period in which customers can still access those premium features while giving them time to fix the billing problem. Grace periods will vary based on subscription length.

Subscriptions that last a week will have a six day grace period, while all longer subscriptions will have a 16 day grace period.

Apple says that there will be no interruption to a subscriber's days of paid service or to a developer's revenue if payment is successful within the new grace period.
You can now enable Billing Grace Period for your apps with auto-renewable subscriptions in App Store Connect. Billing Grace Period allows you to let subscribers whose auto-renewal has failed due to a payment issue continue accessing your app's paid content for a period of time while Apple attempts to collect payment. There won't be any interruption to the subscriber's days of paid service or to your revenue if Apple is able to recover the subscription within the grace period.
Developers who have subscription apps are now able to implement support for the new billing grace period.

Article Link: Apple Announces Billing Grace Period for App Store Subscriptions
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
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Next they should announce a feature where they make it easy for the user to find their subscriptions. I used make apps, but haven't for several years, and I had to search on YouTube to get help finding my subscriptions as I couldn't figure it out where they were in the Setting app (I had just subscribed to my first subscription). I submit, it's bordering dishonest how they've managed to hide them away so well, like they want to ensure people forget to unsubscribe.
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,272
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Vancouver, BC
Next they should announce a feature where they make it easy for the user to find their subscriptions. I used make apps, but haven't for several years, and I had to search on YouTube to get help finding my subscriptions as I couldn't figure it out where they were in the Setting app (I had just subscribed to my first subscription). I submit it's bordering dishonest how they've managed to hide them away so well, like they want to ensure people forget to unsubscribe.
I don't think it's dishonesty or has any nefarious reasons, but that it's more a matter of finding the right away to navigate to the info. Not everything be "top-level".

This new grace period should have been part of the setup all along, I think. It's a very consumer-friendly feature, as not everyone is perfect at keeping on top of billing and payment setups. Despite how companies may portray it, they are not going to hurt due to a few days of non-payment, so consumers should not suffer as a consequence.
 

TylerL

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2002
166
57
What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
 

acorntoy

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2010
1,354
1,119
What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
You can contact Apple support to get a refund if you accidentally continued one.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,566
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Central U.S.
Next they should announce a feature where they make it easy for the user to find their subscriptions. I used make apps, but haven't for several years, and I had to search on YouTube to get help finding my subscriptions as I couldn't figure it out where they were in the Setting app (I had just subscribed to my first subscription). I submit it's bordering dishonest how they've managed to hide them away so well, like they want to ensure people forget to unsubscribe.
Borderline dishonest? Really? In the App Store, you just tap your account and tap manage subscriptions. It takes like two seconds and is blatantly obvious. Where else could they put it—on your home screen with big red flashing lights? Haha.
 

TracesOfArsenic

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2018
251
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What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
Your comment is by far the less user-hostile feature but Apple appears no different to every other service oriented company out there. They'll cast their net trawling every coin they can and if it lands in their net they're keeping it, consequence be damned.
 
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btrach144

macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2015
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What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
I’ve been burned twice now by this. Got the email that I had been charged. Sure, I could contact Apple but life is busy for me right now.

Give us a 24-48 hour grace period to cancel
 

zakarhino

macrumors demi-god
Sep 13, 2014
887
1,296
Berkeley
Borderline dishonest? Really? In the App Store, you just tap your account and tap manage subscriptions. It takes like two seconds and is blatantly obvious. Where else could they put it—on your home screen with big red flashing lights? Haha.
To be fair, that 'tap your account and tap manage subscriptions' flow is new to iOS 13 and nobody has iOS 13 yet except beta testers. I believe for iOS 12 and below you have to go into settings, scroll down to iTunes, find the subscriptions button and then cancel anything you want. I agree with the OP, iOS12's subscriptions menu was out of the way and borderline dishonest. I've witnessed plenty of people forget about old subscriptions too.
 
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BF1M

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2018
101
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I want to be able to switch the due dates(prorate) for all my subscriptions and use different payment methods while we are at it.
 

konqerror

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2013
773
1,450
What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
Apple already sends you an e-mail warning you of the auto-renew a few weeks in advance. If you don't want to renew, you cancel it then.
 
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TylerL

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2002
166
57
Apple already sends you an e-mail warning you of the auto-renew a few weeks in advance. If you don't want to renew, you cancel it then.
If you have Family sharing turned on, and a member of the family purchases a subscription, the head of the family doesn’t get a renewal warning, but they DO get the renewal confirmation…

And, no, Apple is NOT understanding about this when it comes to refunds...
 

gsurf123

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2017
153
213
If you look at all of the stuff that goes into maintaining a worldwide marketplace with zero friction for developers you'll realize it is more than reasonable. All the people who complain probably don't have apps in the store, have never sold anything in their lives, or have a product that grew because of the App Store and now wants to rewrite the rules.
 

mariusignorello

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2013
1,577
1,951
A lot of complaining on here about Apple not doing this and that to hold the user’s hand when it comes to billing.

How about YOU remember when your bills are due. They send out a reminder and if you don’t check your email that’s on you. It’s part of being a responsible adult.

iOS 13 makes subscriptions 3 taps away from the user. Sure, it wasn’t that intuitive on 12 but to argue that it was for pure deception...nice try. Easy to shift the blame when it’s something you forgot about.

Apple could even do a push notification reminder before a subscription renews but guess what the average person would do? Either swipe to delete it without reading it or simply ignore it.

Take responsibility people.
 

dominiongamma

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2014
1,691
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Tempe, Arizona
A lot of complaining on here about Apple not doing this and that to hold the user’s hand when it comes to billing.

How about YOU remember when your bills are due. They send out a reminder and if you don’t check your email that’s on you. It’s part of being a responsible adult.

iOS 13 makes subscriptions 3 taps away from the user. Sure, it wasn’t that intuitive on 12 but to argue that it was for pure deception...nice try. Easy to shift the blame when it’s something you forgot about.

Apple could even do a push notification reminder before a subscription renews but guess what the average person would do? Either swipe to delete it without reading it or simply ignore it.

Take responsibility people.
The voice of reason and common sense !
 

apparatchik

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2008
73
41
Im on iOS 12 and, within the app store app, on any tab but search, you tap on your avatar on the top right (account) and then on manage subscriptions, so, two taps, not super obvious but of course perfectly reasonable. Now, it is ones responsability to cancel if you're not intending on keeping a service, they're giving you a free trial after all, if you're canceling a paid service, you get to use it till the end of the period, you can cancel at any moment. After forgetting to cancel a few times now I always set a reminder to one day before renewal. That's one thing Siri gets right. Not much of an excuse not to do it really.
 

dantroline

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2016
270
368
Still i do not like subsc based apps and in app purchases. I dont find it cost effective. One time purchases make the best.
Market forces determine this. I wonder why Apple is doing this, though. Perhaps revenue growth is falling off?
 

jhfenton

macrumors 6502a
Dec 11, 2012
929
480
Cincinnati, Ohio
I automatically turn off renewal on all annual subscriptions as soon as I subscribe. If I want to renew I can turn it back on temporarily. You don't have to keep auto-renew on for the duration of the subscription.
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
8,591
12,493
Scarsdale, NY
Good timing, because my paypal account got locked due to fraudulent activity and iTunes couldn’t process a renewal subscription.

I guess I can change my payment method in the meantime.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,581
1,022
What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
But you do have a grace period, starting from when you pay for the next period until the next payment. Basically, you can pay and immediately cancel to avoid auto charge but still keep the features/content active. I feel like that’s more than enough, unlike companies like Adobe that’ll end your service the moment you cancel.
 

Hematoma

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2017
4
1
Borderline dishonest? Really? In the App Store, you just tap your account and tap manage subscriptions. It takes like two seconds and is blatantly obvious. Where else could they put it—on your home screen with big red flashing lights? Haha.
I couldn’t agree more. Personally, I think Apple made managing subscriptions extremely user-friendly.
 
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sw1tcher

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,579
1,818
What about the opposite problem?!
I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically.
Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.
Based on the headline, I was under the impression that’s what this new offering was :(
I’ve been burned twice now by this. Got the email that I had been charged. Sure, I could contact Apple but life is busy for me right now.

Give us a 24-48 hour grace period to cancel
When you sign up for a subscription, add a Calendar event for date a subscription was started/when it renews. Have the Repeat setting set to Every Month. Set the Alert to have your iPhone alert you in 1 week or 2 days before event. Set a Second Alert for 1 day before event... just in case.

Now you'll know every month when and what subscription you have is due to renew and you can decide then whether to let it auto renew or cancel/suspend it.