Canceling a service, whether it’s a cable TV subscription, a streaming service, or a gym membership, is usually far more complicated than when you first signed up.

The Federal Trade Commission wants to change that, and it is holding a hearing today to solicit public opinion on a “click to cancel” provision that it plans to implement to make canceling much easier.

If passed, these new laws would require cable TV and other businesses to make canceling as simple as signing up.

If passed, the idea might make it much easier for clients to cancel a service they are dissatisfied with or no longer use. While some businesses have made steps toward making it easier to cancel an account, there are significant disparities. Some organizations, for example, demand you to contact a customer service line and wait a long time, but others require you to show there with identification. The “click to cancel” feature seeks to make cancelling a service as simple as signing up for it.

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The provision would oblige corporations to provide an online means to cancel a service if they signed the client up online in the first place, with the same amount of steps. It also compels businesses to ask a consumer who wishes to cancel if they want to receive more offers. Finally, service providers must notify clients when an annual program’s automatic renewal date approaches.

“Some businesses too often trick consumers into paying for subscriptions they no longer want or didn’t sign up for in the first place,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan in a March statement. “The proposed rule would compel corporations to make canceling a subscription as straightforward as signing up for one. The idea would save customers time and money, while businesses who continued to utilize subscription tactics and traps would face harsh penalties.

Businesses, on the other hand, are likely to fight back and argue that longer processes are necessary. The International Franchise Association, TechFreedom, the Performance Driven Marketing Institute, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, FrontDoor, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau are among the organizations that have explicitly requested to participate in the hearing.

Carol Fox Foelak, Administrative Law Judge of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is now conducting the hearing.


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