LA Weekly

Pesky Automatic Subscription Renewals Might Soon Be Easier to Cancel

April 22, 2017


You subscribe to a magazine or join a gym for a special rate and months later realize you're paying a lot more for renewals. And those fees keep hitting your bank account while you try to figure out how to make it stop.

"This is the kind of classic, everyday scam that drives people nuts because we've all had this experience," says Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California.

His nonprofit is trying to make it easier to put an end to these scenarios. It's the main sponsor of a bill, SB 313, that was passed by the California Senate on April 19 with a bipartisan, 34-4 vote. Authored by Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys, the legislation would require specific authorization from the consumer for deals involving "automatic service renewal," according to the Democrat's office. This could eliminate situations where you give up your credit card number for a product or service, only to be surprised when the statement comes and you also somehow opted into an automatically renewing subscription, Holober says.

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