Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go Office 365 is, first and foremost, a subscription. And like other subscriptions – think newspapers (remember them?) or an online storage service – missing a payment doesn’t immediately mean you’re cut off.

Because it’s less expensive to retain a current subscriber than find a new subscriber as a replacement, providers will go to great lengths to keep customers on the rolls.

When a business misses an Office 365 payment, or cancels the service, the applications and data don’t immediately disappear. Instead, Microsoft steps a customer through a three-stage process that gradually decreases both employee and administrator access, but for months leaves the door open to a renewal.

Here are the stages of an Office 365 breakup. And for good measure, here’s how to salvage a canceled subscription and get back in Microsoft’s good graces.

1-30 days after subscription ends: Expired

Microsoft dubs the first stage “expired,” but it could just as well be called “grace period” since everything works as if the customer’s payments remain up to date.

Users have normal access to all Office 365 applications and services under the company’s plan. Already-installed applications can be launched, no data will be scrubbed from Microsoft’s servers – such as email messages or files stored on OneDrive for Business – and additional applications can be added to a user’s devices.