FTC Proposes “Click-to-Cancel” Regulation For Recurring Subscriptions
On March 23rd, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unveiled a new proposed consumer protection regulation that is designed to make it easier for people to cancel recurring subscription services. Here, our Miami deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyer highlights the key things to know about the FTC’s proposed click-to-cancel regulations and explains your rights if you were deceived into a recurring subscription that you cannot cancel in Florida.
The Challenge: Too Many Businesses Make it Hard to Cancel Services than to Sign Up
In an increasingly digital commercial landscape, many businesses are adopting aggressive retention tactics, making it harder for consumers to cancel services than to sign up. Companies often hide cancellation options in obscure areas of their websites, forcing customers to spend valuable time searching or even contact customer support. These businesses exploit the fact that customers may give up due to frustration, resulting in unwanted subscriptions and charges. It is a consumer protection issue that the FTC is attempting to address with its proposed regulations.
An Overview of the Proposed Regulations from the FTC
The FTC has proposed new regulations to address the growing consumer protection issue of businesses making it difficult to cancel services. These regulations aim to establish a consistent legal framework for both consumers and the industry. Key proposed changes are as follows:
- Implementing a simple cancellation mechanism, requiring companies to make it as easy to cancel a subscription as it was to start it;
- Introducing new requirements for additional offers, ensuring sellers only pitch additional deals after obtaining consumer consent;
- Mandating annual reminders and confirmations for consumers enrolled in negative option programs involving non-physical goods to prevent automatic renewals without their knowledge.
To be clear, these proposed federal regulations are not law. Consistent with regulatory rulemaking requirements, the public and stakeholders now have an opportunity to comment on the FTC’s proposals for new click-to-cancel rules.
You May Already Have a Claim for Deceptive Under Florida’s FDUTPA
Even though the new regulations from the FTC are merely a proposal, consumers who have been frustrated by difficult or nearly impossible to cancel recurring subscription services may already be able to take legal action under Florida state law. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a state-level consumer and business protection law that includes a private-right-of-action. In effect, a consumer or business in Florida that sustained financial damages due to commercial deception or unfair commercial practices can file a lawsuit directly against the responsible business or organization. A seemingly un-cancellable subscription service may be the basis for an FDUTPA claim.
Get Hep From Our FDUTPA Lawyer Now
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are committed to helping clients navigate the full range of consumer law matters, including FDUTPA claims. If you sustained losses due to material misrepresentations or material omissions by a business, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a fully private, no obligation consultation. Our firm handles FDUTPA claims in Miami, West Palm Beach, and throughout Southeastern Florida.