Click to cancel: FTC proposes rule to help consumers ditch subscriptions

“These companies are betting that customers will be too impatient, busy, or confused to jump through every hoop,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said.

FILE - The Federal Trade Commission building in Washington pictured on Jan. 28, 2015. Federal regulators on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, sued a data broker they accuse of selling sensitive geolocation data from millions of mobile devices, information that can be used to identify people and track their movements to and from sensitive locations, including reproductive health clinics, homeless shelters and places of worship. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (Alex Brandon, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A new rule proposed by the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday would make it easier for consumers to cancel recurring subscriptions.

The so-called click to cancel provision would require companies to simplify the cancellation process by allowing consumers to terminate services the same way they signed up for them — so if a consumer signed up for a subscription on a website, for example, they would need to be able to cancel it online rather than having to do it by phone or in person.

The proposal would also require sellers to ask consumers who are canceling their subscriptions if they want to hear about other offers before pitching them, and provide consumers with annual reminders of their subscriptions before automatically renewing them.

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