credit cardEver had a charge show up on your credit card from a web site you forgot to join? Don’t worry, it isn’t just you this happens to.

Many subscription based web sites use a tactic called “opt-out” to their auto-renweing subscriptions to confuse consumers.  What this means is that the site automatically sets your account to automatically renew each time your subscription expires.  To stop it, you must go and change the setting yourself, which is known as “opt-out”.

Sadly I just went through something like this with, and I have no one to blame but myself at the end of the day, but that doesn’t mean it stings any less.  You should always go to your account settings immediately after joining a site, look at your billing information and make sure there isn’t a checkmark next to something that says something like “this account will automatically renew at the end of your subscription.”  Wording can vary quite a bit, so be careful, and read everything multiple times.

It would be nice to see every site adopt an “opt-in” policy, but that seems unlikely.  Under that system you have to tell the site that you wish it to auto-renew as opposed to telling it you don’t want it to.  It would be the friendlier thing for consumers, hence why it seems unlikely to ever happen.

Categories: Security, Shopping, Web Browsing   

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