March 23, 2023

Van Hollen, Clarke Welcome FTC’s Proposed “Click to Cancel” Rule to Ease Cancellation of Recurring Subscriptions

Rule goes hand-in-hand with lawmakers’ Consumer OPT-IN Act

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) welcomed the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed “click to cancel” rule to make it easier for consumers to get out of unwanted subscriptions, memberships, and other recurring-payment programs. The lawmakers have previously led an effort to improve consumer protections on subscriptions, including introducing the Consumer OPT-IN Act, legislation to require companies to communicate clearly about their subscription-based services and obtain explicit consent before charging for automatic renewals. Endorsers of this legislation in the previous Congress included Public Citizen, National Consumer Law Center, US PIRG, the Consumer Federation of America, Fairplay, Truth in Advertising, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Center for Economic Justice, Consumer Action and the National Consumers League.

“Americans are all too familiar with the frustration of being forced to jump through hoops to cancel a subscription or membership they were tricked into. We’re glad to see the Biden Administration take action to protect consumers by making sure they can get out of subscriptions as easily as they got in – and hold companies accountable for deceptive and greedy tactics. This rule goes hand-in-hand with our Consumer OPT-IN Act, which we plan to reintroduce in the coming weeks,” the lawmakers said. 

The proposed “click to cancel” rule aims to ensure companies give consumers information in clear ways so they understand what they agree to when they buy a good or service, and allow them to cancel services simply and easily. More information on the rule can be viewed here.