Good Question: Is there a bill banning automatic renewals?

Brennan Somers
Created: December 14, 2020 07:36 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A viewer named Tom asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: Can you confirm whether or not there has been recent legislation proposed prohibiting the automatic credit card renewal of subscriptions, memberships, etc.?

The answer is yes. Not only has this issue gone up for debate in Albany, but the bill also passed earlier this year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law in November.

Here's what it does: Lawmakers who pushed for this say it cracks down on businesses like gyms and other subscription-based groups who may try to mislead you with offers or promotions then lock you into contracts that aren't always easy to get out of. You're on the hook for fees and renewal charges.

In the future, businesses offering automatic renewals must clearly tell you everything upfront, and you have to opt-in before getting charged.

Those companies also have to make it much easier to cancel your membership by setting up toll-free numbers, email contacts, mailing addresses, or another easy way to stop service.

If you originally signed up for an offer online, you must be able to cancel it online.

The law officially takes effect in February.

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Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you'd like answered, email GoodQuestion@whec.com.


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