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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Fighting those unwanted subscriptions

I have done it myself, ordered something on Amazon and then inadvertently clicked on same day delivery only to find that I am not subscribed to their internet TV channel. Fortunately, I realised what I had done and managed to unsubscribe straight away. Others are not so lucky.

So I welcome the possibility that next week's Budget might lead to a change in the law to stop consumers accidentally signing up to recurring monthly subscriptions.

The Independent says that research by Citizens Advice estimates that around two million consumers every year have problems cancelling subscriptions, whilst 40 per cent of British people are paying for a subscription that they do not use.

They add that the Government is to consult on a plan that would require companies to properly notify customers when they are about to take payment for subscriptions:

Amazon’s Prime service automatically enrols people who take free trials for a whole year’s £79 payment if they do not cancel within the trial period.

In March 2015 the Advertising Standards Authority banned Amazon from using direct mail to offer “free trials” after it found the shopping giant was misleading consumers about the cost of the service.

Apple Music, Spotify, and Netflix are also examples of services that renew automatically after a free trial.

Some companies already provide notifications for consumers when they are about to take payments.

If the government are going to deal with this then that is very welcome.
How about just boycotting Amazon and any other such organisations which indulge in these unscrupulous practices?
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