Is Passive Churn Crushing Your Profitability?


Authentication and Provisioning

The system is redundant, scalable and automates control of subscribers’ access, speeds and usage.

Automated Suspension and Reactivation

Train your subscribers to pay on time and make payments easy to get back online.

Activation Servers Fuel Growth

Speed up on-boarding for point-to-point or point to multi-point connections and Wi-Fi at RV parks, campgrounds or marinas.

Can you retain customers despite this subscription business menace?   

There are only three ways a WISP or any business can grow — activate new subscribers, retain customers and get them to spend more each month. Sure, adding new subscribers builds your customer base, but the real financial magic happens when your customers stick around.

It’s about the recurring revenue, but there’s the opportunity to increase the amount they spend as you add higher-value packages and new services. A tiny increase in retention, just 5%, can pay off with 25% to 95% more profit[1]. 

Now, that’s incredible upside potential. It makes sense to establish a retention strategy. 

Track the Churn Rate

Start with your churn rate. Calculate your annual churn with these two numbers:

  • The number of active customers at the start of the year
  • The number of the original customers that remain at the close of the year

Let’s say you have 500 subscribers at the beginning of 2019. By the end of 2019, 460 of the original customers remain. Divide 460 by 500 and you have 92% — that’s your retention rate; your churn rate is 8%. 

The actual churn rate come as a surprise if you haven’t been tracking that metric.

If you noticed a sharp drop in subscribers, it’s good to pinpoint a cause. A key employee may have left your organization and caused service gaps, or maybe equipment failure caused a long service interruption in a sector.  

Failed and declined payments can also make it difficult to retain customers. A percentage of people who are suspended don’t come back.This type of churn is dangerous if there is no plan to stop it. But, you can’t allow subscribers to have free service, either. There is an easy way to manage passive churn. 

What is Passive Churn?

Passive, or involuntary churn[2] is when subscribers leave a subscription service without actively choosing to leave. 

Payment failures are a key reason subscribers passively leave. An expired card or a card that was reported lost or stolen will cause a service interruption. After the interruption, some subscribers won’t return. 

And, some choose to leave later, even after they’ve given a replacement card or made updates to their card data. The responsibility is on the customer to contact vendors about a card change. However, the interruption in service still impacts how the subscriber views your WISP.

Stop Passive Churn 

In today’s digital, “I want it now” age, subscribers expect perfect service. When they don’t receive it, even when they’re at fault, some customers blame you.  

It’s an awkward conversation to ask a subscriber for a new card number or expiration date. The tension results in residual damage that can surface later and cause the customer to bolt the next time a competitor offers a cheap rate. 

Plus, the return on investment from collection calls is small — it’s a high investment of your time with a low impact on your long-term profitability.

Instead of going through the anxiety of dealing with irritated subscribers, why not use a tool that corrects the expiration date or replacement cards?  


IPpay’s Account Updater can halt passive churn.

Keep Subscribers & Revenue Uninterrupted with Account Updater

IPpay’s Account Updater updates customers’ credit cards in your database to keep recurring payments flowing. The system intercepts cards that will fail due to updates in expiration dates and card numbers and corrects them before the automation systems suspend subscribers.  

Account Updater gets the latest card information from the issuing bank and corrects the data so there is no revenue interruption or additional processing costs.

IPpay, a payment processor since 1995, has a laser-focus on the success of the WISP industry and understands specific challenges providers face. That’s why IPpay is a trusted partner of

Why not make your life easier, reduce passive churn to retain customers with Account Updater? Learn more by calling IPpay at 561.469.0689. 

  1. Reichheldt, F., Shefter, P.; The Economics of e-Loyalty, Feb. 2000, Harvard Business Review, online:
  2. Forrester Research; The Art and Science of Reducing Involuntary Churn; 2017; online:

Thank you, John Schnobrich and Austin Distal for providing the images in this post. View more of their work at

Featured Articles

“It does what I need and more, the support is top notch.“

~Tristan Livingston (NTX Fiberwave)

“Congratulations on having such fine staffing quality on your front lines.“

~Ned Schuman (Founder, Olympus)

“Amazing how quick you guys get things done!“

~Renaldo Coakley (Coakster Wireless)

“Always works, always getting improved. Thanks VISP Team!“

~Louis Uttaro (Oso Internet)

Related Articles

5 Top Reasons to Attend WISPAmerica – Your Industry Event 

5 Top Reasons to Attend WISPAmerica – Your Industry Event 

The ISP’s industry event of the season is the perfect place to be this March. Discover the top 5 reasons you should attend WISPAmerica 2022 and join your colleagues, industry experts and icons to celebrate our industry and plot a future that’s beneficial to all of us.

ISP Marketing Strategy: The 5 Tactics to Measure Success

ISP Marketing Strategy: The 5 Tactics to Measure Success

To succeed, marketing campaigns must deliver. Knowing how to measure ISP marketing strategy success is essential to know if the investment is worth it. Read on to discover how to include tracking measures and metrics to ensure your current and future campaigns pay off.

A Sales Incentive Plan to Retain and Motivate ISP Salespeople

A Sales Incentive Plan to Retain and Motivate ISP Salespeople

ISP salespeople are essential to keep a steady stream of new subscribers coming into your organization. But, hiring and keeping good professionals requires more than just a base salary and vacation. Discover how well-structured sales incentive plans can help you to attract the best and brightest.