If you have a student on a payment plan and they fail to make a payment on time, they will automatically be removed from the course after four attempts to charge them. This article outlines a way to re-add the student to the course and charge them only for the remaining payments they owed before they were removed.
What Happens When a Student’s Payments Fail?
First of all, it may be helpful to understand the process that occurs when a student’s payments fail. For this section, note that Teachable has 15 email templates (customizable on the Basic plan and up) for various events that occur in your school, including nonpayment and cancellation.
The first time a student’s payment fails, they will be sent the Failed Payment email, letting them know that their payment didn’t go through and that they can update their payment information before Teachable attempts to bill them again in a few days. Meanwhile, you will be sent the Billing Error email to notify you about the situation.
After the initial failed payment, three more billing attempts will automatically be made, on the 3rd, 8th, and 15th days after the first attempt. If the final attempt fails, the student will be automatically removed from the course. When this happens, they will receive the Nonpayment Cancellation email, and you will receive the Nonpayment Subscription Cancellation email.
There is no way for you to modify this process or delay cancellation. If your student contacts you about being late on a payment, for instance, you will not be able to prevent their automatic removal from the course. However, there is a way for you to re-add them to the course at a prorated price, without making them restart the payment plan.
Reactivating a Payment Plan
Here’s the trick to allowing a student to resume their payment plan:
- If you don’t want to give the student 15 days in which they could finish the course without completing payments, then remove the student from the course immediately. Do this by locating their user profile, going to the Courses tab, and clicking Unenroll on the specified course.
- Create a new, blank course titled “Payment Plan Reactivation” or something similar. Add a subtitle or description if you’d like to.
- Add a new pricing plan with the amount of payments that the student had left. For instance, if your original course was four payments of $20/month, and they had made two of the payments, your new pricing plan would be two payments of $20/month.
- Next, go to Bundle Contents and bundle this course with your original course. (This will only be possible if your original course is not already the parent course of a bundle.)
- Leave the course unpublished so it doesn’t appear to other users on your school. Email the student making them aware of the situation, and send them the direct URL to the reactivation course by previewing the sales page and copying everything before ?preview=logged_out.
Now, the student can enroll in this blank course and regain access to the original course bundled with it.
Other Reactivation Options
There are two other things you could do, though these options are less ideal:
- If your student agrees to make a one-time payment in full instead of resuming the payment plan, you can create a single-use coupon for them to use on your one-time-payment pricing plan.
For instance, if they had two payments of $20 left, and your course had a one-time-payment price of $80, you could give them a 50%-off coupon for that pricing plan, so they can pay the full $40 they owe to regain access.
This may be your best option if your course was already bundled and you couldn’t follow the process above. However, the coupon feature is only available on the Basic plan and up.
- If you are in communication with the student and they want to resume access immediately, you could create a temporary pricing plan on the original course itself for the payments they have left, then delete it as soon as they have re-enrolled. (Their enrollment will not be affected by deleting the plan.)
However, note that this option opens up the possibility for others to enroll at the same reduced price while the pricing plan is active. Therefore, you should only consider this method if the student can enroll right away and your sales page isn't experiencing high traffic/enrollments.