Subscriptions improvements

OK just following these up.

  1. OK, so the issue here is that when the OC is first cloned the schedule is set to None, which is not clickable to open the updater. I think there are then two small issues which should both be resolved
    • #2439 - cloning should copy the schedule
    • #2463 - when Schedule is set to ‘None’ - it should still be clickable on the OC overview screen to open the Schedule updater

So then #2430 becomes just about making the name editable from the OC index. And I have created a new issue for #2464 - updating the pick-up / delivery details . . as that’s the only other thing that would likely require them to open each one

NB. I have created issues for each of those and put them as ‘good first issues’

  1. The UX around this is confusing and likely beyond me. It seems like we really need to avoid circular journeys where the hub manager needs to do something, then ask the customer to do something, and then do something else - each of those are points where either the customer or the hub won’t do the thing and will be lost

I don’t know enough about email confirmation conversations etc to understand why things are the way they are or not. Do you know:

  • if superadmin can still add a user to the system? is that user sent a confirmation email? if not, can they log in? [update: have confirmed yes and yes]
  • is there a reason why hub adding a customer wouldn’t trigger user / email confirmation process?
  1. OK this is better. Now it warns me that the customer has no credit card / permission but lets me save. But again will require me to get this far and then ask my customer to login and put in credit card details.

As I am setting up the subscriptions for all my customers, and might have them on the phone etc - it would make a lot of sense for me to be able to take their credit card number and put that in for them?

NB. Issues not yet created for 2 and 3

re. 2 above - now that the user guide is back i am retracing my steps and have found the instruction about not allowing guest orders. I had guest orders set to on . . I am not sure how this problem would present if i had it off before attempting to create Subscription from guest user.

also, as it stands I don’t seem to be able to reconnect a Subscription with user once one is created. i.e. the subscription created for guest doesn’t match with user on same email - that user (once confirmed) can’t see info from subscription.

  1. As a Customer, I have received info that I can change my order

I click on link from email
If not already logged in in brower i get ‘unauthorised’ - should just give me login, and then take me to order if possible

Once I am logged in and on order page, I can see how to change units or delete an item but not add one. Am i missing something? should i be able to add an item?

. . ok just found this in user guide

Change orders: Enterprises can choose whether or not customers are allowed to edit their subscription order while the order cycle is open. If you allow customer to change their order, they can remove items from the order or cancel the order. If customers want to add something to their order they will need to place a new order.

how do I place a new order as a customer? i don’t think I can? i need to call the hub manager or something?

@sstead made an issue for this -

Hey! I will comment soon on that but I think we should be careful and not mix what is within the subscription feature, and what is outside. Like for instance, making OC duplication easier is something that might be needed to improve subscription set up UX, but it is another focus point IMO. The fact that the impact of subscription on OC duplication (like should copy schedule) has been forgotten is a mistake, but the rest is out of scope of the subscription feature. Same for UX when adding a new customer. I think we should clarify, even if posterior work, what was in release 1, what is the scope, and make sure this works good. For instance, scope for v1 for me is “hub manager can create a subscription for an existing OFN user”, so all what regards customers who are not yet OFN users should be planned for a later release, but is not about ensuring release one is usable. I think it might help to use some tool like to clarify all that. Sincerly I’m completely lost today in the mess of this feature to be honest, to be able to contribute I need more clarity. So I’m trying to find my way trough by starting to go back the the needs and map things in this (free for public projects) story mapping tool (and test it at the same time).

5. Improve alerts triggered when a customer who’s set to be billed by Stripe won’t be able to be billed. (This is a nice to have)


  • A customer who is to be billed by stripe must have a) a saved credit card marked as ‘default’ in their account and b) have granted the shop with permission to bill their card.
  • A subscription using Stripe can’t be created unless these 2 requirements are met. However after the sub is in place, the customer may remove a or b. In such a case they won’t be able to be billed by stripe.

Current behaviour, and suggested improvements
In the case that a customer has removed a or b, and a subscription is triggered:

  • The first email to the customer doesn’t mention that they won’t be able to be billed. Could this email include an alert ‘you don’t have a or b in place, so your card won’t be able to be charged’
  • The first email to the shop owner doesn’t mention that the stripe billing won’t work. Could this email include an alert saying ‘Customer X doesn’t have a or b in place, thus their Stripe credit card charge won’t be successful’
  • The only place where the shop manage will be alerted to the fact that the order won’t be able to be billed is if the shop manager tries to edit the subscription. Then they’ll see an error alert. Could we make the alert visible on the subcription interface without the manager needing to first edit the sub.

6) A bug which can allow on hand values go into the negatives.

7) A bug which prevents customers from lowering stock levels if the product has on hand of zero.

8) I’m not a fan of this error message shown to managers who try to edit a single subscription order. The message is basically a warning that editing a single order might cause issues.

At the moment, as customers can’t add items to sub orders themselves, so I’m telling shop managers that they can do this if the customers requests by editing the order. But this warning message is not comforting. We need to either say ‘you can’t edit this order’ or ‘you can safely edit this order’. This ambiguity is unpleasant. From what I’ve seen there’s no issues that come from editing an order, but we may need a full sweep of testing to confirm this, and then get rid of this warning message.

Following up on Issue 2 above. Various solutions suggested and most complexity parked for proper prioritisation / inception in Subs V2 including possible:

  • prevent creation of subscription for guest user e.g. Customer that is not confirmed user
  • enable Hub to trigger User creation and send email confirmation from somewhere in Subscription creation process e.g. Customer interface or Subscription interface (possibly create Customer and User in one step from Subs interface would be ideal)
    Issues #2508 and #2511 closed. Can be revisited for suggestions when considering the above again

The ‘get it out’ fix for subs v1 is made up of #2506 and #2534

Dani and I are going to look at subs pain points on Tuesday. UK people, I understand you’ve been using Subs, so if you have any early feedback about things that might need fixing before we can launch V1 please list here. Thanks! @lin_d_hop @Oliver @Matt-Yorkley @NickWeir

@danielle this is not anymore an icebox right? It seems the discussion here is more about fixing things for v1 to work. Is there a space where we can put feedbacks from users? I start to have some and have some suggestion to make for iteration 2.

First feedbacks:
1- users don’t understand the schedule logic, we need at least to add some guiding text on the schedule set up screen, and ideally have some UX review on it. They don’t understand either why they have to assign a schedule to an OC when creating a schedule. They says it’s not logical, and I agree. if there is a logic then we need to understand it and make it clearer in UX.
2- also the first question I had was “can the user make a regular order as well or do I have to manually do it each time?” so there is a need to think about the customer view and recurring orders set up and management in iteration 2.
3- Discussing with @Rachel and the French CSA network I think we should distinguish recurring orders and subscriptions. I thought we were doing subscriptions but I realized there is no contract here, and it’s not a subscription module, it’s definitely a recurring orders module. When you sell a subscription, you don’t sell products, you sell the subscription, like when you subscribe to some newspaper. It entails a “contract” where the seller commit to deliver things during a given period of time on a given schedule. So I suggest we avoid confusing users and rename before real launch back to “recurring orders” and we will need at some point to thing about what would be a real subscription module that CSA need. We are starting to work on it with @Rachel who may answer a CFP from the French CSA network on their CSA subscription management software. Also trying to convince them to invest in OFN and build it in it… but not sure we’ll manage, so at least we’ll try to going knowledge by working for them on it.

Point @sstead @Kirsten

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I like your clarification of ‘recurring orders’ and ‘subscription’, and agree with re-naming. What we have here is the potential for a buyer to simplify their product purchasing by placing an order for individual products that OFN remembers, and suggests to them for verification/changes… A subscription is buying a ‘package’ - as described by the seller…

Quick UX feedback after creating my first Subscription :tada:, as Hub manager. As I’m new here I’m not sure where to put the following, so kindly point me to the right place (github?) if needed.

On creating a new Subscription,

  • in step 1. Basic Details, begins at date should be today by default, more intuitive.
  • in step 1. Basic Details, selecting a pick-up type shipping method should hide the shipment adress in step 2. Address, or at least populate it with the data of the pick-up location (as a lesser option)
  • in step 3. Add Products, price unit shows as $ even though my shop is configured to use €. In the confirmation email it uses the right unit (€).

Thanks for the good work already done !

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Just got off a very interesting phone call with a long standing and successful CSA in the UK. The call was intended to just explore their processes, as we both knew that OFN does not do what they currently need it to do to take over from their existing system.

I thought I’d share here how their system works (using our language) as it is actually a lot like the implementation of our Subscriptions and might make for a good v2 iteration.

Their system is built around weekly order cycles. They keep 6 future order cycles open at any one time. When one order cycle closes a future order cycle opens and is added to the schedule. Customers then have access to any of the next 6 order cycles and can amend the basket for any of them.

Customers can also view the overall set of items they have in subscriptions. At any time they can add an item to the overall set, with a frequency (1,2,3 or 4 weekly) and a start date. This product is then added to all upcoming order cycles in the schedule with the specified frequency.

Interesting - like the idea of having a number of ‘open’ order cycles for modification. I also love that they have a button to see what is in that week’s delivery. CSAs that offer ‘a la carte’ items, in addition to the farmer-chosen items need this here.
But it looks like in this model customers are billed weekly. We tend to call this a ‘food box scheme’ versus a ‘CSA’. Here the difference is that in (what we call) a CSA, the customer makes an upfront commitment to 22 - 26 weeks of pickups/delveries. Most CSAs require at least 50% of the payment up front, with the remaining payment midway in the season (or some payment schedule). I’ve just been setting up demos for 3 different CSA models here - just to see how ‘close’ OFN can get and what the gaps are. Word is still out from some of them - but at this point the key features we are missing are: ability to make and track partial payments, ability to tailor ‘delivery locations’ (split shares between locations, different product mix, different days) without setting up separate ‘distribution’ enterprises (which is what we have to do now in OFN to get the flexibility), ability to manage different customer lists per delivery location. Not sure if our ‘subscription 2’ is heading towards CSA-support, or ‘simply’ better subscription (standing order) support.

@tschumilas I think we need to think about the two use cases very differently. In the UK CSA term is used loosely, there is no formal definition. Most people that started as pure CSAs moved into ‘food box schemes’ as they bowed to customer pressure. In future I will try to only use the term CSA for pure CSAs to avoid confusion.

My feeling is that since a pure CSA is a much simpler problem that can be solved very effectively with a google form and a DD mandate OFN won’t really add much value to them.

The value comes when the CSA wants to do more complex things like allowing people to change their order from week to week - which moves it toward a subscription service rather than a pure CSA.

Wondering if there is a better thread to add sub improvements to? I know there is this one:

but all the changes in the above will require significant work.

In the meantime there are a number of smaller (?) tweaks(?) which might make subs easier for hubs to use:

  1. Allow customers to modify orders while OC is still open by being able to ADD to their product list as well as remove items. This will means that customers can top up their weekly shopping but the hub is not penalised by Stripe/Paypal by incurring the fixed transaction fee twice
  2. Allow hubs to be able to edit the schedule a subscription is attached to. Other details can be changed, but this can’t. It would mean if a customer decides they want their order bi monthly rather than monthly then the hub can just ca
  1. Allow customers to pause their subscription using a ‘from date’ to ‘to date’ of no more that one month i.e. not open ended as this will need admin monitoring.
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There is now an epic in the wishlist management repo to track each ideas (which were in this discussion and future ones).