FTC Proposes “Click to Cancel”

If you’ve ever tried to cancel a newspaper or magazine subscription, you likely know how maddening it can be. While a lot of effort goes into making signups as frictionless as possible, let’s just say the industry swings the other way when it comes to unsubscribing.

The most infamous variation on this theme is making readers call to cancel subscriptions, even if they signed up for that subscription digitally. Then they’re forced through a gauntlet of upsells and yes but are you sure you’re sure questions in an attempt to turn them back. In the industry it’s known as, “click to subscribe, call to cancel,” and the FTC is pushing back.

This paragraph from NiemanLab’s writeup has the gist of it:

Specifically, “if you can sign up online, you must be able to cancel on the same website, in the same number of steps,” according to the FTC. Sellers must also “take ‘no’ for an answer” instead of continuing to pitch new offers when customers call to cancel a subscription.

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