Senate approves Euer bill to ban unfair sales practices in automatic renewals

 

STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed a bill sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Dawn Euer to protect consumers from duplicitous practices common in many auto-renewing subscriptions. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

“How many times has this happened to you?” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown). “You sign up for a subscription and then life gets busy. Next time you look, the rates went up and you’re paying more than you wanted. And then when you try to cancel, you have to jump through hoops that were nowhere to be found when you signed up.”

The bill (2024-S 2273) would set minimum standards for companies that seek to sell services paid for by an automatically renewing contract. Vendors would be required to send a reminder notice to consumers shortly before the date of the next charge outlining the amount due. The notice must also provide a clear, simple means of canceling the subscription. If the company allowed consumers to sign up electronically, they must provide a simple cancellation link.

In addition, if a company offers free or discounted initial trials, they must lay out clearly when and by how much costs will increase. Notice would also be required of any future changes to the subscription or pricing, with simple cancellation instructions.

“Working families have too much going on to pour through pages of fine print and to work their way through overly complicated cancellation processes,” said Senator Euer. “This bill will make sure everyone knows what they are signing up for and that canceling a subscription is as easy as signing up. As subscription services multiply, this consumer protection becomes more important every day.”

 

 

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