Have you ever signed up for a subscription online, where the process was surprisingly easy, only to discover that if you wanted to cancel your subscription, you’d have to call in to do so? It seems that these types of practices are being examined closer by the FTC, who have recently announced that they will be stepping up their enforcement.

This is according to a report from Nieman Lab who in their survey, found that out of the 526 news organizations in the US, only 41% of them made it easier for users to cancel their subscriptions online. Some of these publications required customers to call in to cancel, who then spoke to customer service reps who have been trained to try and dissuade customers from unsubscribing.

So much so that the FTC says they will be ramping up enforcement against these types of practices. According to Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, “Today’s enforcement policy statement makes clear that tricking consumers into signing up for subscription programs or trapping them when they try to cancel is against the law. Firms that deploy dark patterns and other dirty tricks should take notice.”

What this means is that if you are able to subscribe to a service online, you should then also be able to cancel that service in a similar manner.

Filed in General. Read more about , and . Source: niemanlab.org

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