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Mass Subscription Cancellation broken


Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

I need to cancel all 174 Subscriptions on my account (using website payments standard).  The process seems to start as expected, but doesn't make any progress, and finally disappears from My Account / History after a few hours.


As per the documentation, I've done the following:-

- Find an active Subscription under My Account, History. 

- View the details of that subscription and click "Cancel several subscribers". 

- Upload a file of email addresses, one per line, for the subscriptions to be cancelled. 

- PayPal confirms the number of email addresses in the file.


- My Account, History then shows:

15 Jun 2010           Mass Subscription Cancellation To     Mass Cancel     Processing     Details


- Clicking on Details then shows:

    Mass Subscription Cancellation Type:     Mass Subscription Cancellation
    Status:     Processing
    Date Created:     15 Jun 2010
    Time Created:     07:29:08 BST

    (Return to log)    (View Details)


- Clicking on View Details then downloads a text file (BatchLog.txt) containing zero bytes


According to the documentation, this might take an hour or so, and My Account / History can be used to view progress.  What actually happens is that the process sits there for several hours making no apparent progress.  Then the Mass Subscription Cancellation disappears from the My Account / History display, but none of the subscriptions are cancelled.


I've tried this three times (first with all 174 email addresses, then 50 email addresses, then just 10 email addresses).  It has failed every time: the first two attempts disappeared after several hours, while the last one has made no progress after one hour, which can't be right for just 10 email addresses.


Can anyone confirm success or failure with the Mass Subscription Cancellations feature?


Does anyone have some PayPal API code for cancelling subscriptions?


Thanks for any info!


- Martin



Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

OK, found alternative method, but that's broken too...


My Account


Recurring Payments Dashboard


This lists all your active & cancelled subscriptions.  You can select one or more of them, and press Cancel.


"Unable to cancel all the selected profiles" -- and nothing is changed.


Fails every time, even if you only select one subscription.


UPDATE: I've opened a support case with PayPal via the telephone helpdesk.



Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

OK, a dirty workaround (This will only work for modest numbers of subscribers - not thousands)


My Account


Recurring Payments Dashboard

Filter status by: 'Active' and press GO


In Firefox, use the 'right-click, open in new tab' function on each email address in turn


Click though each FIrefox tab and press Cancel Subscription

Click though each FIrefox tab and press Cancel (to confirm)

Close each Firefox tab once yellow bar appears (This subscription has been cancelled)

Press GO again to fetch the next 25 subscriptions to cancel.


Tedious, but didn't take as long as phoning up to report the bug!  Wouldn't be funny if you had thousands of subscribers though.

New Community Member

Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken


I SO have exactly the same problem.


I need to bulk cancel about 250 subs, and have struggled with all the same issues.


This **bleep** big time, and its one of those problems where you do not know its broken until you try to use it - I checked and saw that multiple cancellations (appeared to be) possible BEFORE signing up all these subs over the years, but of course there is no way to test this feature until you really need to use it.


I too have done all the same as you, chosen the recurring payments dashboard, checked the checkbox for 25 accounts (max on one page) and clicked 'delete' - fail.


Chosen just one of the accounts on the dashboard and clicked 'delete' - fail!


uploaded a text file with one address per line as advised  in the mass subscription deletion section and waited 6 hours. Fail.


So, like you I am now clicking these off one at a time be having to choose, click, cancel, confirm, return to log - after 60 I needed a break so did a quick search on the web for any help and found your post.


After 40 minutes I think I needed a break, and it looks like two more hours clicking.


The more I use paypal I seem to further confirm my interpretation of their name.


They don't pay, and they are not your Pal - even if you are paying £6 an hour to call the help line.




here we go - 40 minutes more clicking, then maybe a coffee........


Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

Hi Edouard,


I feel your pain.  I still recall all the staring and clicking from doing those cancellations one by one!


I wonder if there's an easier way...


In PayPal, you can associate several different email addresses with your account.   One of those email addresses must be tied to the subscriptions you're trying to cancel.


If you add a new email address to your account, then promote that address to Primary.  Then log out and back in again with the new Primary email address.... Now, delete the subscriptions email address from your account... Maybe that will cause all the subscriptions to be cancelled automatically (because they are no longer associated with a live PayPal email address) ?


Of course, it would be better if PayPal actually responded to bug reports for clear/simple/reproducible bugs, so that users didn't have to seek workarounds.   Also it's odd that their staff don't appear to have management access to delete all those subscriptions for you, given that their mass cancellation function is so obviously broken.


Good luck cancelling all those subscriptions!


- Martin


Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

The problem is bigger than just the ability to cancel subscriptions in bulk. Their ENTIRE subscription system is currently broken. Even tech support at PayPal cannot cancel subscriptions from their end of things. Moreover, new subscriptions currently cannot be created. Oh, the payment goes through, but there's no subscription tied to the payment, nor is a "you've received a payment" email triggered when someone tries to subscribe, so you might have new customers trying to create new subscriptions but you'd have no way of knowing unless you were watching your account like a hawk.


We reported the problem on the 26th and were told it was a "top priority" but nothing has changed since then. Our business, which just spent a ton on advertising for the big September rush and the co-current relaunch of our site, is basically **bleep**ed until this is fixed.


-Amie Gillingham

co-founder, EBSQ


Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

We moved our membership system over to  The Regonline (ActiveNetwork) system seems to have started life being aimed at sports event organisers, but it can now cope with simple annual membership payments. It can cope with with optional donations, conference bookings, merchandise etc.  Their Merchandise commission is a bit pricey for small items though.   They are relatively small, but they do have real people (not call centre operatives reading scripts) who you can talk to in the UK, the USA and probably elsewhere.


Overall I'd recommend if it fits with what you need to do.   The PayPal subscription system was always a bit klunky, for example it never gathered enough info when people took out their subscription.  Regonline has a nice form flow at signup, with data fields you can customize, and it lets members sign in and do some self-service on their subscriptions - something that was difficult and fairly crude in PayPal.


Re: Mass Subscription Cancellation broken

Considering the bulk of our customers pay a small fee monthly for our membership site, Regonline really isn't an ideal solution for us. We've been offering subscriptions via PayPal for close to 9 years, so we're pretty much wed to this system for our exisiting customers, even if we do offer a second option via another service like Amazon, for example.