MasterCard To Make It Easier For You To Cancel Automatic Subscriptions

January 25, 2019

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How many times have you sign up for a free trail only to forget to cancel before being billed?  Well if you use a Mastercard-branded credit card, you will soon be notified by email for your permission before you start getting charged. The new policy begins April 12, 2019 that will require businesses to send you an email or text when you sign up for a free trail, with the cost of the subscription, payment date, merchant name, and explicit instructions on how to cancel the trial. If you opt not to cancel, merchants will also have to send a receipt every time you are charged, with clear instructions on how to end the subscription. Plus all charges that appear on the cardholder’s statement must now include the merchant website address or the phone number of the store where the cardholder signed up for the trial. Mastercard says the change is due in part to many complaints from customers that some businesses make it nearly impossible to figure out how to quit once the subscription service begins. With a recent survey finding 35% of adults had signed up for automatic payments without knowing and 42% saying it's difficult to turn off recurring charges, the change is seen as a way to make it clear on how to stop automatic payments when using a Mastercard. The policy change only applies only to physical products such as skin creams or shaving products, not online subscription services like streaming video. Mastercard says that’s because historically most issues with cardholders have been with physical product subscriptions, particularly healthcare and skincare products. 

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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