Many of us (including myself) have so many subscriptions and memberships that it can be hard to keep up. Have you ever tried to cancel a membership and felt like you had to spin around, clap three times and hop on one foot just to cancel? If so, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has proposed a solution just for you. The FTC has proposed a “click to cancel” provision that would require sellers to make it just as easy to cancel an enrollment as it was to sign up. The FTC states that its proposal would “save consumers time and money, and businesses that continued to use subscription tricks and traps would be subject to stiff penalties.” This proposed rulemaking was announced as part of the FTC’s ongoing review of its 1973 Negative option Rule, which the agency uses as a way to combat unfair or deceptive practices related to subscriptions, memberships and other recurring-payment programs.

The FTC’s proposed rulemaking is partly a result of the thousands of consumer complaints it has received regarding these deceptive practices. As part of the proposal, several changes would be implemented including: 1) A simple cancellation mechanism; 2) New requirements before making additional offers; and 3) New requirements regarding reminders and confirmations.

After a 3-1 vote, publication of the notice of this proposed rule making was approved. Once the notice of the proposed rulemaking has been published in the Federal Register, consumers can submit comments about the proposal electronically. For more information about the FTC’s proposed “Click to Cancel” rule, click here!