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When an action stops/errors, subsequent actions are now running. Shouldn't the Zap stop running following actions?

  • 14 February 2023
  • 4 replies
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Userlevel 1

I’ve been using Zapier for 2+ years and recently noticed that when an action in a Zap stops or errors, the following actions are still running and consuming tasks.

For example, I have an action that creates a user in app #1, and then an action afterwards adds a spreadsheet row to app #2 (e.g. “user created”). If the action fails to create a user in app #1, the app shouldn’t add anything to the spreadsheet in app #2. However, what is happening, is that the user is not created in app #1, yet the spreadsheet row in app #2 is added regardless.

Did Zapier change this mechanism or am I imagining it? I realise that subsequent actions may not run if the previous action was related (from the same app, or if there is an option to not proceed if the step failed). Until now, I expected and observed that following actions will not run if a previous action does not complete successfully.

In my example above, I would need to add a filter action inbetween the actions to proceed only if the prior action was successful. In a complex Zap, I might need to add multiple filter actions, this will quickly add up on tasks being consumed. If this is also true, I will need to update many existing Zaps I have built for clients. This is very discouraging and would encourage me to use Zapier alternatives.

The logical path would be to stop any subsequent actions from running if a previous action stops or errors. Perhaps I’m mistaken or haven’t considered other angles, but this new logic only benefits Zapier to reap more tasks and revenue. Keen to hear if others have noticed this or if there was an announcement made somewhere, or ideally, if a setting exists so that across my entire Zapier account I can stop Zaps running subsequent actions when an action stops/errors.

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Best answer by Troy Tessalone 15 February 2023, 02:58

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @ajc 

Good question.

Can you provide specific examples of your Zap Runs as proof of this?

Screenshots are best.

Zap steps that don’t rely on the output of the Zap step that failed will try to run.

You can add a Filter step to prevent this.

 

You may want to open a ticket with Zapier Support as well for further troubleshooting: https://zapier.com/app/get-help

 

Userlevel 1

Thanks @Troy Tessalone. I attached 2 screenshots for reference where an action stopped and the following actions still ran.

I could add a filter, but my point is that this seems to be a new behaviour in Zapier. If I need to add a task after every action to be sure that it ran successfully, this is going to consume tons of tasks, make Zaps unnecessarily long or complex, and ultimately make Zapier cost prohibitive. I created a support ticket yesterday but haven’t heard back, thought I’d check with the community in the interim.

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

@ajc

We’d also need to see screenshots with how the Zap steps are configured with the variables mapped between these steps to have full context.

 

For example…

If Step 2 resulted in an error

And Step 3 has at least 1 variable mapped from Step 2, then Step 3 should not run

But if Step 4 does not have a variable mapped from Step 2 or Step 3, then Step 4 will run

Userlevel 1

Thanks again @Troy Tessalone. This response actually answers it - the subsequent actions were still running because they did not include a variable mapped from previous steps. I suppose it has always worked this way and only just now I’ve run into the scenario where a subequent action did not use a variable from a previous step. Good to know! Marking as answered, appreciate your quick responses.

The solution I will use, to avoid adding a filter and consuming extra tasks, is to use a variable from the previous step in the subsequent action. It populates unnecessary data I don’t need in the next action, but ensures that the previous action ran successfully.

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