At Billshark, we know that cancelling subscription services is every consumer’s nightmare. It usually involves long hold times, incompetent customer service representatives, and a high risk of failure on the first try.
This is, of course, what subscription providers want: a process so difficult, you might be inclined to just skip the cancellation and keep the service.
New legislation in California is making waves by changing the process. California Senate Bill No. 313, which went into effect on July 1, puts more control in the hands of consumers.
The most important components of the bill are:
- Greater transparency that includes a clear explanation of prices and charges.
The law requires “a business that makes an automatic renewal offer or continuous service offer that includes a free gift or trial, to include in the offer a clear and conspicuous explanation of the price that will be charged after the trial ends or the manner in which the subscription or purchasing agreement pricing will change upon conclusion of the trial.”
- Instructions for how to cancel and the ability to cancel before the customer is charged.
According to the legislation, “if the automatic service offer or continuous service offer includes a free gift or trial, the business is required to disclose how to cancel, and allow the consumer to cancel, the automatic renewal or continuous service before the consumer pays for the goods or services.”
- The ability to cancel online without having to make exhausting calls to customer service.
The law states that “a consumer who accepts an automatic renewal offer or continuous service offer online to be allowed to terminate the automatic renewal or continuous service exclusively.”
The law includes a variety of services, including newspapers and magazines, streaming services, subscription boxes and others.
The good news for the rest of the country?
This law will have implications for subscription providers everywhere and will provide a major benefit to unhappy customers that extend far beyond California. Empowered consumers make the Sharks at Billshark very happy.