3 Worst Membership Cancellation Policies (and What to Do Instead)

Is it hard for users to cancel their subscription from your membership site? Do you want users who cancel their subscriptions to recommend your site to their friends and family? One way to do this is by improving your membership cancellation policy.

While you may have lost the subscription, leaving subscribers with a negative user experience is not ideal – even if it’s at the last stage. It reduces the chances of users recommending your site to others or re-joining the membership program later on. This is why you want to improve your membership cancellation policy. Plus, it can also positively impact the success of your membership business in the long run.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some examples of the worst membership cancellation policies and explain what you should do instead.

What is a cancellation policy?

In a nutshell, a cancellation policy is a formal agreement that lets subscribers cancel their subscription plan anytime they’d like. It’s mainly used to protect the rights of subscribers and makes it easier for your business to cancel subscriptions in a smooth way.

For instance, you can let users cancel their subscription on any day of the month just by clicking a simple “Cancel Subscription” button. In this way, you make it easy for subscribers to cancel their subscription whenever they’d like. To take things further, you can give them an option to re-join the membership program at any time.

Let’s go over some reasons why it’s important to pay attention to your membership site’s cancellation policy:

  • Improve brand image. You don’t want people to assume your brand is money hungry due to a bad membership cancellation policy. Similar to what we mentioned earlier, you don’t want to leave a bad “last” impression on subscribers as it also affects your brand image. By improving your cancellation policy, you’re also making a direct impact on your brand image.
  • To protect yourself from fraudsters and trolls. Another big reason for improving your membership cancellation policy is so you don’t have to deal with fraudsters and trolls. This is because, if there is a legal contract in place, it makes it harder for fraudsters to find some sort of loophole to scam you.
  • Enhance the user experience. You want to offer an enhanced user experience on your membership site regardless of whether the user is a subscriber or not. Ideally, you want to ensure all subscribers can easily cancel their subscription and rejoin your membership site again at any time.
  • Increase chances of users re-joining at a later date. If your membership cancellation policy is well thought out, it increases the chances of former subscribers joining your membership program once again. This is because a solid membership cancellation policy lets users know clearly how they can come back to your site after they’ve canceled their subscription.

Examples of poor membership cancellation policies

A poor membership cancellation policy can cause damage to your business in the long run. You not only steer away former subscribers from re-joining your membership program but also discourage them from recommending your membership site to their friends and family.

To better understand what you shouldn’t do, here are some examples of poor membership cancellation policies and practices to avoid:

#1: Require users to issue a 30-day notice

One of the worst things you can do is not let users cancel their subscriptions immediately. This makes the user feel restricted and delivers a poor user experience. No one wants to be charged for something they don’t want to use anymore.

#2: No option for canceled users to re-join

If you want to encourage users to re-join your membership site, you should offer an option to log back into their accounts and click a “Re-join” button. The easier it is for users who cancel their subscription to re-join your membership program, the more likely they will be to re-subscribe to their canceled membership plans when they’re ready again.

#3: Restricting access as soon as users decide to cancel

You don’t want users to feel like they’re “paying to stay” on your site. This is why you don’t want to restrict access as soon as users click the cancel button. Instead, you can give them a 3-day notice that they won’t be able to access the premium content after the cancellation time period until they re-subscribe to the membership plan.

How to improve your membership cancellation policies?

Here, we’ll take a look at how you can improve your membership cancellation policy using a membership plugin.

While there are many membership plugins available, we recommend using the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin as it’s the ultimate solution for improving membership cancellation policies on your site.

The Paid Member Subscriptions is a robust plugin that lets you create a complete membership site while also giving you full control over subscriptions. This means you can offer your audience custom subscriptions, set up automatic subscription renewal, and give them the option to unsubscribe easily from the “My Account” page in WordPress.

To set this up, you will need a WordPress site as well as the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin to create a solid cancellation policy.

Step #1: Get the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin

Start off by getting the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin and installing it on your WordPress site. Once the plugin is installed on your site, navigate to Paid Member Subscriptions → Register Version from the WordPress admin panel to activate the plugin.

Enter the license key given to you at the time of purchase and click on the Activate button to continue.

Step #2: Create a subscription plan

With the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin installed, you can start creating a subscription plan. To do this, navigate to Paid Member Subscriptions → Subscription Plans and click on the Add New button.

Subscription plan

Set basic subscription plan details and set the length of the subscription plan using the Duration dropdown menu. You can also charge a small sign-up fee and choose to offer a free trial period to subscribers.

Subscription plan details

This way, users will only get charged when their free trial ends. In addition to this, you can also let users opt-in for automatic renewal each month using the Renewal dropdown menu. Once you’re ready, click on the Save Subscription button to continue.

Step #3: Let users register for your subscription plan

Now with a subscription plan in place, you need to create a registration page so users can easily subscribe to your membership site. To do this, navigate to Pages → Add New and create a new membership registration page.

Join today button

Now, add a new Shortcode block and paste the following shortcode: [pms-register].

Registration shortcode

Click on the Publish button to continue. This will create a new registration page on your membership site.

Registration page preview

Users can enter their information and click on the Join Today button to register themselves and subscribe to your membership plan.

Step #4: Make it easier for users to cancel their subscription

Users who don’t select the Automatic renew subscription checkbox can simply stop paying for the membership plan in order to cancel their subscription. Those who are automatically billed each month can easily access the membership cancellation options on the My Account page.

To set up the Paid Membership Subscriptions “My Account” page, create a new page and paste the following shortcode: [pms-account].

Account page shortcode

This will let users access their account details and manage their subscription plan easily. Click on the Publish button to continue.

Membership cancellation options

Now, users can easily cancel their subscription by clicking on either the Cancel or the Abandon button. By clicking on the Abandon button, the subscription will be deleted, and the user won’t be able to access the membership plan effective immediately.

On the other hand, users who click the Cancel button will still have access to the membership content they’ve subscribed to until the expiration date. This means the user will continue to have access to what the subscription offers until the plan expires.


A poor membership cancellation policy will negatively affect the overall end user experience and can worsen your brand image over time. Ideally, you want to make it easier for users to cancel their subscriptions. This way, they’ll be more likely to recommend your membership site to others and even re-join the membership program at a later date.

However, you will need a robust membership plugin, such as Paid Member Subscriptions, to improve your membership site’s cancellation policy. This way, you can change how customers see their “My Account” page and give them various options for canceling their subscription plan.

As a result, it can help you improve the overall user experience and encourages former subscribers to join your membership site again whenever they’re ready.

Ready to improve your membership site’s cancellation policy? Get Paid Member Subscriptions today!

Do you know of any other poor membership cancellation policies? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Source: https://www.cozmoslabs.com/422789-membership-cancellation/

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