Downgrading from Pro has a serious UX problem

Hello,

Earlier I downgraded one of my domains from Pro to Free. It looks like when you downgrade from Pro, it automatically adds a new subscription for 20 Page Rules for $20/month without any affirmative consent from the user. I saw another topic very recently where someone else had this happen.

I’m lucky I noticed that there was a new $20/mo charge being added in addition to the cancellation, and didn’t just click through what should have been a straightforward cancellation process.

It’s very unexpected and confusing for it to work this way. Especially considering that I only had 1 page rule on that domain, so clearly I do not need the plan for 20 extra page rules to be pre-selected.

I can understand how someone might click through this and not realize they’re going to keep getting charged $20/month. I almost did it. My reaction wasn’t “Oh right, the page rules… Very helpful to add a new subscription automatically just in case I want to keep paying $20/mo for page rules I don’t have”. Instead I was confused and frustrated. Then when I clicked Back to fix it, it deleted my feedback in the “Other” field for my reason for cancelling. But that’s a separate issue–forms are hard.

This experience creates a trust problem. Although I’m certain it is not intentional, this is a bait-and-switch, plain and simple. It’s a bad user experience. And I saw a lack of empathy and willingness to make things right with the other person who encountered this and was not lucky enough to notice before it was too late that they were going to keep getting charged $20/month for something they never asked for and almost certainly didn’t need or want.

Thank you for reading through this. I’m not just trying to vent frustrations and tell you that things are wrong. I’m making a plea to fix something that will continue to frustrate your customers and cause them to lose money. When I tell people how awesome Cloudflare is, I don’t want to have to say “but, be careful with billing, sometimes they’ll sneak in charges on you”.

1 Like

Hi @avaranze sorry to know that you’re having this experience.
That doesn’t sound right, under normal circumstances we would not automatically add a new subscription for 20 Page Rules upon a downgrade. If you were incorrectly charged due to a fault in the system, please open a billing ticket and our billing specialist can review if you’re eligible for a refund.

I had the same problem with the 20 page rules (I use no page rules).
And when I remove 20 page rules I get an email that says I cancelled my free account.

Hi,

Sorry that you found this confusing. When downgrading your plan from Pro to Free, if you do not edit the 20-page rules that are part of the Pro plan then yes, they are adding to your account when you go through the checkout process in place confirming that you want to retain the 20 added page rules for $20 per month.

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Thank you Laurie. I appreciate the apology.

Based on your summary of the problem, it seems like you have a clear understanding of it.

I am asking that Cloudflare fix this confusing user experience.

I’m confident that we have seen this error once or twice in the community, IMHO the rules should be disabled or removed when a downgrade occurs.

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Hi @jnperamo,

I do understand your opinion and this used to be the process, where they were automatically disabled on downgrade. The problem that was solved by allowing the option to retain the page rules as there were many people that downgraded to Free with 3-page rules, when they were using more than those 3 that are part of the Free plan, is that the system would remove existing page rules that may have been set up. The solution to that was allowing you, the customer, to retain those page rules if you are using them, and going through the check-out process to ensure that you are aware there is a charge.

I hope that this helps with understanding the current process and the reasoning behind it.

@Laurie

Thank you for your engagement. I like that this discussion is finally happening.

I understand that maybe the old solution wasn’t ideal. But the new solution is far from ideal also. Replacing one set of problems with another set of problems leaves room for improvement.

I think there are other options that could be much better. Like telling the user they need to subscribe to additional page rules to keep them, instead of sneaking it into the cart without making that clear.

When I cancel a subscription with any other reputable company, they do not implicitly add other subscriptions to my “cancellation” shopping cart and checkout.

Hi @avaranze,

I have raised this with @cloonan, and he is going to put together a “best practices” if you will for downgrading to maybe help with the understanding of the process here.

4 Likes

I agree completely that having rules removed is tedious, however, in my opinion, the current scenario is considerably worse.

  • Somebody wants to stop paying $20
  • They are billed $20 again with the “twist” that the rest of the services are downgraded (no WAF, analytics, etc).

An ideal scenario would be to disable their rules, you can gray them out and prevent them from being enabled but let them choose which ones to use.
Another very valid option would be to give a strong heads up of either:

  1. You are going to get billed X because the plan you downgrade to doesn’t have the capacity of (list UA rules, firewall rules, etc).
  2. By downgrading, some of the rules you have deployed will be removed.

I think that any of those approaches is considerably better and would also simplify the hassle of people being upset and reaching out to the billing department over “unfair” charges.

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