Proposed law would help you cancel shady subscriptions

The Unsubscribe Act would force companies to be honest about their subscription models.

tl; Dr
  • Senators have pushed the Unsubscribe Act to help you cancel dodgy subscriptions.
  • The bill will require transparency and will be easier to drop once the trial period is over.
  • The legislation to be enacted has bipartisan support.

Have you ever been tricked into paying for a subscription? You may have an easier time retreating into the future. A bipartisan group of US senators introduced The Unsubscribe Act, a bill that would make it easier to cancel a subscription or even avoid it in the first place.

The proposed law would require that Internet services and other subscription providers provide a clear understanding of the terms of the agreement to which you agree, and obtain your “informed consent” before subscribing. They also have to make unsubscribing as easy as it was to sign up. Companies must clearly warn you when your free or low-cost trial period is about to end, giving you time to leave before paying.

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Providers will be prohibited from automatically transferring you to a subscription lasting more than a month. They will need to remind you from time to time of their terms of contact, including how to cancel your subscription if you are unhappy.

Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Thune (R-SD), Raphael Warnock (R-GA), and John Kennedy (R-LA) are prominent supporters. An equivalent House bill is also coming in from a Democrat-led group of seven delegates.

as Nerdshala famous, the senators wrote the bill in response to an “exploding” membership market, where some companies force you to pay through fraud and opaque practices. You don’t have to be “jumping through hoops to just cancel” [a] Membership,” said Senator Schatz.

There is no guarantee that you will cancel any subscription as easily as your Netflix or Amazon account. The law would have to survive in both the Senate and the House before President Biden can sign it into law. Widespread support in the Senate, however, gives the Unsubscribe Act a stronger chance of success than some bills. If this becomes law, you can see that cloud or streaming services are clear about their business model — and remind you that there should always be an easier way.

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