The FTC proposes a rule to make it easier to cancel subscription services

We rely on subscription services now more than ever, and while it’s easy to sign up, canceling can be a nightmare, with some companies requiring you to come in person to cancel a subscription or hitting you with lengthy sales pitches. Others offer confusing online directions and phone calls with longer-than-usual wait times. The Federal Trade Commission calls these dark pattern methods designed to deceive and trap consumers. The FTC has been taking legal action in these cases for a while, but is now proposing a new method, said Lena Khan. , chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission: “This rule would basically make it as easy for companies to opt out as it is for them to sign up.” The rule requires companies to allow customers to cancel subscriptions in the same way they signed up for them — whether online or over the phone — and with the same number of steps, Khan said, and companies are also required to disclose certain conditions before they collect your billing information. “So, they have to tell you how long your trial lasts. Obviously, they have to tell you when you have to cancel,” Khan said. Apps like Rocket Money or Mint can help you keep track of your subscriptions. Take advantage of a free trial period, set a calendar reminder when to cancel. Also check to see if you’re auto-renewing because these fees can be late and really add up.

We rely on subscription services now more than ever.

While it’s easy to sign up for, canceling can be a nightmare.

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Some companies require you to come in person to cancel or hit you with lengthy sales pitches. Others offer confusing online directions and phone calls with longer-than-usual wait times.

the Federal Trade Commission He calls dark pattern tactics designed to deceive and trap consumers.

The FTC has been taking legal action on these issues for a while, but is now proposing a new rule to help.

“This rule would basically make it as easy for companies to opt out as it is to sign up,” said Lina Khan, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission.

Khan said the rule requires companies to allow customers to cancel subscriptions the same way they signed up for them — whether online or over the phone — and with the same number of steps.

Companies will also have to disclose certain terms before they collect your billing information.

“So, they have to tell you how long your trial is. Obviously, they have to tell you when you can cancel,” Khan said.

Apps like Rocket Money or Mint can help you keep track of your subscriptions.

If you take advantage of a free trial, set a calendar reminder when to cancel. Also check to see if you’re auto-renewing because these fees can be late and really add up.

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