This article applies to Classic Commerce. (Looking for Contextual Commerce documentation?)
We are often asked whether we can prevent customers from signing up for a free trial, cancelling the trial, and then signing up again for a new free trial. We typically suggest waiting until it happens and then contacting us so that we can implement various obstacles to prevent it from occuring again. That being said, we have found that we do not hear about these situations, due from our perspective to their extreme rarity.
How we could Handle this Situation
If you have noticed that a customer signs up for a free trial multiple times, there are a number of things we can do to try to prevent this customer from doing it again.
The first thing we can do is block an email address or a phone number from be able to place an order, including a trial sign up.
Using Limited Coupon instead of a Free Trial
Since we can limit coupon usage to once per email address, instead of having a product set up as a free trial, we can set up the product to be charging for the first period but create a discount offer with a coupon code, such as "FREETRIAL," which will give the customer the first month free. That coupon code would be passed by adding
?coupon=FREETRIAL to the end of the URL linking to your FastSpring store so the customer would never need to enter it. We would use the limited use functionality to ensure that the coupon code could only be applied once per email address, so when a customer tried to sign up for a second time, it would not accept the coupon code and would charge from the beginning of their attempted second free trial.
Handling Subscription Products
The easiest way to prevent this situation with subscription products is to check on the client's end to see if you get a Subscription Activated Notification for a second trial. If that occurs, simply cancel the subscription immediately via the Subscription API, remove the customer's access, and potentially inform the customer of the reason.
We're Here to Help
If you need assistance preventing a customer from signing up for multiple free trials, please open a support ticket.