Cancelling Membership

After reading through the docs, am I right to assume that the only way a user can cancel their free or paid membership is by contacting the site admin directly and requesting the cancellation? Or is there a way for them to do it on their own, without the need for the site admin to manually remove them?

Hey :slight_smile:

You are right to assume that indeed, this is a known limitation of the beta, and it’s something we’re thinking about improving!


hello beautiful humans… :wave:t5:

i love ghost. and the new membership feature is very exciting: congrat to all the ghost peeps who’ve made it possible… :clap:t5: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

i’ve read this thread a few times and the documentation too, and if i understand this thread correctly this membership cancellation limitation surprises me and worries me.

so a few follow-up q’s for youse…

  • how does the member contact the site admin to cancel membership (email?). there’s no pre-req for a website to have a listed email address or contact form so in this case would the member have to search for emails they received when signing up for membership to obtain an email address?
  • what happens if the site admin doesn’t get a cancellation email (spam, human error, whatevs)?
  • what happens if the site admin does get the request but doesn’t cancel the membership?
  • if a membership isn’t cancelled despite a request what’s the next step for for a member; to dispute via stripe?
  • could/would the member continued to be charged until the dispute is settled (which can take weeks)?
  • this seems like a limitation that’s ripe for abuse: if a member’s subcription is due to renew tomorrow and they want to cancel it before it renews tomorrow all they can do is email & hope the site admin actions it immediately and/or doesn’t intentionally delay it a day or two to ensure an extra month’s membership fees
  • personally i find it equally worrying to read that ghost are only “thinking about improving” this “limitation”…

maybs i’ve got this all wrongs? hopes someone can shed some more light…


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You can manage almost all the cases that you mentioned from Stripe’s dashboard. Stripe handles everything from receipts, refunds, disputes. To get a good sense of how Stripe handles customers and life cycle event, checkout the documentation. Subscription events are reflected in ghost via web hooks.

Is what you are saying @laurosilvacom, that there is an easy solution via Stripes API to make it possible for the member to cancel his/her subscription and/or change credit card details without emailing the site owner? I totally agree with @STOQE that the member must have the possibility to control this — whether it is built into Ghost (which I would prefer) or whether it is an integration with something like Memberful or a similar membership management service. It is really a prerequisite for me to use Ghost to sell subscriptions.

to clarify @laurosilvacom, my questions and concerns are member-related (not admin-related). @Izak_Jackson asked…

[is] the only way a user can cancel their free or paid membership is by contacting the site admin directly and requesting the cancellation?

to which @egg confirmed…

yes […] it’s a known limitation

and if that’s correct — if a member can’t cancel their paid subscription — that seems to me to be a massive matter. hence my follow-up questions above…

unless when members subscribe they get access to a stripe dashboard to cancel their subscription, or a “cancel this subscription” link/token via stripe emails (?) it seems subscribed members have to rely 100% on the site admin cancelling their paid subscriptions? it’s hard to comprehend this could possibly be the state of the ghost membership platform; as per my early thoughts it’s seems like an open door to fraud and abuse

would you sign up to a paid subscription service you can’t cancel or opt out of yourself? one that relies on you emailing somebody — in this case some anonymous person on the internet who started a blog with ghost — and then hoping they read your email and then choose to action it? people don’t hand over their financian control to strangers on the internet. but that seems how it works with ghost membership, and one of the biggest problem is that’s not what paying members expect. i expected members to be able to control/cancel their own subscription and i’m guessing most members expect exactly the same. it’s only when they try and cancel their subscription will they learn they can’t: not unless the site admin lets them.

apple et al. have conditioned users to be able to easily, instantly opt out of subscriptions and i’m not familair with how the #BigMedia subscription services (NYT et al.) handle cancellations but i’m guessing you don’t have to try and find an email on their website and then write to them. and then wait and hope.

nb: i still love ghost with all my heart and am totes drooling all over the membership feature. this subscription cancellation issues shocks me though

It’s a beta feature, it is normal to be incomplete. Being a beta is more for testing purposes, showing what will come further down the road rather than a finished product to be used in production. It helps to manage your expectations realistically. However, I am fully with you in this that the finished members feature should allow for member cancellation and otherwise control over their subsciption.


Beta feature, yes, but announced with great fanfare as something ready to be used.

In many places, at least in Europe, one might get into serious trouble if using this feature. Not having an option for users to immediately and easily cancel a subscription is simply not allowed. You’d have consumer watchdogs after you, in some countries it could mean legal consequences.

Thinking of it, if you’re self-hosting it’s your responsibility, but I don’t know what might happen if you’re on Ghost Pro. In worst case would have lawyers chasing them?

  • if such a significant limitation is known it should be disclosed: transparency is [supposed to be] a @ghost value
  • critical payments and billing matters aren’t after-thoughts
  • it shouldn’t be left for members/subscribers to learn the hard way (discovering they don’t have control or the ability to unsubscribe from a subscription service that was “oh so easy to join”. no doubt if readers knew this upfront many would not become paid members; and understandably. what a terrible user experience)
  • nor it shouldn’t be left for ghost admins to learn the hard way (discovering ghost’s membership feature is completely void of a most critical element)
  • ghost should own missing features as much as included ones. otherwise the experience feels exactly like is starting to. which is not very ghost-like…

Spot on :dart:

Members/subscriptions is a very clearly labelled beta feature - which is not even enabled by default. If you aren’t happy with the functionality provided in the beta, you don’t have to use it.

As has already been acknowledged several times, subscription update and cancellation functionality is actively being worked on.

We’re very happy to receive feedback via the forum, but “I can’t believe this” posturing is not welcome. Please read our community guidelines carefully before posting here :slight_smile: