New Online Cancellation Law Benefits Many Disgruntled Subscribers

DooKey

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A new California law that took effect this month is going to help people cancel their subscriptions online. The new law makes it mandatory for a business that makes an automatic renewal or continuous service offer to a customer in the state to allow that customer to cancel online if they received the subscription online. This stops the practice of requiring a customer to call some nebulous customer service number. Additionally, the law requires companies to be more transparent so the customer knows what they are going to be charged after accepting a free trial or gift and tell them how they can cancel before they sign them up. The other part I like is the company has to get your consent again if you are on a promo or discounted price before they raise the price and charge your card again. Sounds real good to me and I hope other states follow suit. Thanks TeenK9.

The legislation, California Senate Bill No. 313, covers “any business that makes an automatic renewal or continuous service offer to a consumer in this state,” so that includes a very wide range of services, including newspapers and magazines, subscription boxes, streaming services and more. Not only that, but if you made the subscription online, the law stipulates that you are also allowed to cancel it online.
 

DPI

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California is kicking ass lately. First it was slapping down data harvesting and requiring companies like Microsoft and Google to have to specify what data they steal and who they sell it to, as well as provide an opt out; and now the predatory auto-renew hell getting a leash.

Awesome.
 

nutzo

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California is kicking ass lately. First it was slapping down data harvesting and requiring companies like Microsoft and Google to provide an opt out, and now the predatory auto-renew crap getting a leash.

Awesome.

I live in California and I'd have to disagree.
While I think this is a good idea, the law will be worthless without proper enforcement.

Only thing the state of California is kicking is the middle class.
But at least we are #1 in homelessness, #1 in unaffordable housing, #1 in highest taxes, and #1 in unauthorized immigration.
 
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DPI

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I live in California and I'd have to disagree.
While I think this is a good idea, the law will be worthless without proper enforcement.
Obviously it also needs to be enforced. But you do understand that a law has to be passed first before there's anything to enforce, yes? Progress has been made even if the ink isn't dry yet. Any companies that choose to ignore these new laws are exposing themselves legally.
 
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Spidey329

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Transparency from companies and their dubious offers? Sounds great to me.

This seems like a common sense law, to be honest.

If I sign up online, I should be able to cancel online. Some companies make it extemely difficult (and sometimes costly, if you should need certified mail service) to cancel.

It's like "sign up here, just say yes!" .. "oh, you want to cancel? Well you can only do so in person at your assigned home off .. I see you're on the West Coast, your home office will be New York."
 

Jovian

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I see this and instantly think of sirus xm... Promotional 30$ for 6 months then auto renew for like 200$ a year... or spending 2 hours on the phone to cancel or negotiate another promotion.

Imo scumbag company..

SiriusXM was also my first thought. I swore them off due to their phone only cancellation policy. Its always 30-45 minutes of saying no to cancel the damned thing. Last time I had to do it I told myself I would never resubscribe.
 

lcpiper

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I live in California and I'd have to disagree.
While I think this is a good idea, the law will be worthless without proper enforcement.

Only thing the state of California is kicking is the middle class.
But at least we are #1 in homelessness, #1 in unaffordable housing, #1 in highest taxes, and #1 in unauthorized immigration.


Yes sir. If you put claims on it then you have to enforce it, and that means someone has to monitor it, and that mean more government employees that have to be funded from taxes so I hope you do really want it because it will likely be you paying for it.
 

SomeoneElse

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Whatever happened to the days that once your subscription ended so did your service? I think it should have always been illegal that a company can "renew" your service without your permission......utter BS that they need permission from the original owner/subscriber to cancel something but can renew it on their whim.....
 

katanaD

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the law stipulates that you are also allowed to cancel it online.


sorta...

From the actual bill..

(c) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (b), a consumer who accepts an automatic renewal or continuous service offer online shall be allowed to terminate the automatic renewal or continuous service exclusively online, which may include a termination email formatted and provided by the business that a consumer can send to the business without additional information.

there is sooo much wiggle room as to really make it hard to enforce. Especially the "consumer can send an email to cancel" LOL.. sorry.. didnt get the email, must have been the spam filter kinda thing. (y)



and just because there has to be an option to cancel online doesnt make it easy to find. a complaint I have heard leveled at facebook and the like. So sure.. you CAN cancel online.. but just you try to find where that page is!:D
 

brentsg

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This is great. My wife got scammed on a free trial thing, then when she didn't cancel on time they started hitting our card hard. By the time of the first sign of trouble, we were in like $500. The "nebulous" customer service number they described in the article was just some woman that would berate you and not cancel anything.

The fine print on the original sign up was the same color as the background, and even intentionally off the page when using a tablet.

So.. yeah maybe services like this aren't going to follow the law anyways.
 

ItWasMe

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Came in here to see if others mentioned SiriusXM and Comcast. Two of the ones that I had a hell of a time canceling.

I'm glad Cali is giuneapigging it. I'll watch it and if it works out for the people, then I'll push the officials in my state to follow.
 

motqalden

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I work for a company that requires you to phone in and cancel and its a huge run around for the customer and a pain for us. I hope we make changes for all our customers to reflect this and not just California.
 

Cyraxx

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I like - but I will state that anyone who found it "hard" to make a call to cancel is just a pussy that is afraid of social interaction. God forbid you call someone and say you want to cancel. I've done it countless times for a multitude of different products and services, so I know what it's like. It sucks, ultimately, but I did it because I didn't want to waste money.

I'm glad they are doing this overall though - this especially helps me when I need to cancel something but it's in my spouse's name and they won't allow me over the phone without her present.
 

Cyraxx

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This.

NEVER sign up for a free trial using your real credit card. Just the fact that they want a credit card for a "free" trial should be warning enough.

One time on demand credit card numbers are a beautiful thing...

You guys do realize that they can bill your supposed "on demand" card - and even if it doesn't charge you are still contractually obligated to fulfill it... based on the terms you agreed to... you know? You know that right? My point being, they can still collect it from you - and if your notion of "I used a one time payment card" was your defense in court you would lose... like... it would take 20 seconds to decide.

I'm mostly telling you guys this to prevent future fucks up from someone that knows consumer legal.
 

nutzo

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You guys do realize that they can bill your supposed "on demand" card - and even if it doesn't charge you are still contractually obligated to fulfill it... based on the terms you agreed to... you know? You know that right? My point being, they can still collect it from you - and if your notion of "I used a one time payment card" was your defense in court you would lose... like... it would take 20 seconds to decide.

I'm mostly telling you guys this to prevent future fucks up from someone that knows consumer legal.


Doesn't matter and I almost never sign up for free trials that require a card.

As for the legal obligation, there is no obligation if you tell them to cancel the service, but they just keep charging you.

Using a one time card # keeps them from billing you AFTER you have already tried to cancel.
Most these corrupt companies are not going to keep billing your card when it doesn't go through, and are not going to take you to court when you can show the judge the screen shot/email where you canceled the service.
 
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_l_

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When Trump is done building the WALL will it extend all the way up to Canada? We need to have California, Oregon and Washington sealed off from the rest of the Country. Then we can start similar work on the East Coast
 

Ebernanut

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I like - but I will state that anyone who found it "hard" to make a call to cancel is just a pussy that is afraid of social interaction. God forbid you call someone and say you want to cancel. I've done it countless times for a multitude of different products and services, so I know what it's like. It sucks, ultimately, but I did it because I didn't want to waste money.

I'm glad they are doing this overall though - this especially helps me when I need to cancel something but it's in my spouse's name and they won't allow me over the phone without her present.

I'm guessing that you've never had to deal with something like this:
 

motomonkey

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I like - but I will state that anyone who found it "hard" to make a call to cancel is just a pussy that is afraid of social interaction. God forbid you call someone and say you want to cancel. I've done it countless times for a multitude of different products and services, so I know what it's like. It sucks, ultimately, but I did it because I didn't want to waste money.

I'm glad they are doing this overall though - this especially helps me when I need to cancel something but it's in my spouse's name and they won't allow me over the phone without her present.


So it’s a character building exercise to jump through hoops designed to discourage you from canceling a service?
 

/dev/null

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I like - but I will state that anyone who found it "hard" to make a call to cancel is just a pussy that is afraid of social interaction. God forbid you call someone and say you want to cancel. I've done it countless times for a multitude of different products and services, so I know what it's like. It sucks, ultimately, but I did it because I didn't want to waste money.

I'm glad they are doing this overall though - this especially helps me when I need to cancel something but it's in my spouse's name and they won't allow me over the phone without her present.
Some of us are deaf....Perhaps you should have to talk to Japanese support in order to cancel? :)
 
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From experience, Comcast sees cancelation as an opportunity to deal a lower price. It's like they know half the people are just looking to get a lower price and not necessarily cancel. But, if you just say you're moving to another residence they aren't too bad dealing with.
But yeah, in general, the long calls are too long and that's their tactic.
 

viscountalpha

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Theres a reason a service exists to cancel from some of these companies. Free trials of anything should always be red flag.
 
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Wiffle

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Laws rarely get passed in California without some rich asshole or corporation gaining immensely from it. This did not happen for individual consumer benefit. The companies that actually do this kind of shady crap don't care if you never pay, in fact they are hoping you just ignore them so they can max out the card and then its the credit card companies problem.

Credit Card companies have an impossible task of collecting these debts, because when it goes to court everything comes out, the consumer generally ends up paying nothing because they were the initial victim unable to stop this "service". If a consumer has an easily available method for cancelling services like this then it allows them to be prosecuted in court because every method for resolving this issue was made available by the companies in question. If Capital One can get Cali on board with this, the other 50 states are likely to follow for "lol consumer rights".

BTW California's voting system is screwed and corrupt beyond all hope. California maintains a "Good Faith" self-registration voting policy... Meaning you can just show up at the poles and vote, citizen or not, nobody is checking. Which is the reason why the Trump admin is going after Cali on a daily basis for things like immigration and voting registration requirements. All the real voters get their ballots mailed to their houses nowadays... all the actual hard-working people in Cali are at work when the poles are open, and most employers aren't too happy about you leaving work to go vote.

Edit: If anything the Trump election was a clear indicator of this. The liberals had all the illegal immigrants so shit scared of Trump they literally believed he was going to deport them all the week after he took office. Hell they had all the Hispanic people scared of Trump. Don't know what they were scared about. If they took time to learn about the American Gov. they would see that the President has very little actual power and is mostly just a scapegoat for the rest of the controlling party. Trump was a windbag before being president... did anyone think he was going to somehow not be a windbag when in office?

Its all about the votes in the end, the "people" can suck it.
 
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motqalden

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When Trump is done building the WALL will it extend all the way up to Canada? We need to have California, Oregon and Washington sealed off from the rest of the Country. Then we can start similar work on the East Coast

We will take Oregon and Washington but you can keep california
 

nutzo

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From experience, Comcast sees cancelation as an opportunity to deal a lower price. It's like they know half the people are just looking to get a lower price and not necessarily cancel. But, if you just say you're moving to another residence they aren't too bad dealing with.
But yeah, in general, the long calls are too long and that's their tactic.

Cox is the same way.
A few year ago you could just call and hint that you where thinking about canceling, but now you have to call and actually tell them to cancel a service before they will talk about a discount.

2 years ago I dropped the phone service and asked for the price of internet only, so they gave me a discount on the TV service.
This year I had to call in and told them I wanted to drop the TV service because it was $40 more than Dish Network and I was planning on switching.
(If they didn't give me a discount I would have switched)

Have to wait and see what happens next year.
 
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