• Your call is very important — to you

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    LEGAL BRIEF By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq. You may have had the experience. You sign up for a service simply by clicking on a link, then wait on hold e
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    • #2550959

      If you’ve ever tried to cancel a subscription with SiriusXM you’ll appreciate this attempt by the FTC.   You can log onto the SiriusXM portal and add all the features you want to your account, but to remove or cancel any of them you need to call Customer Support; an experience which makes chewing on broken glass seem enjoyable.   They simply don’t take no for an answer until you’re almost in tears and then when you are finally able to cancel the account, you’ll be receiving junk mail begging you to come back.

      Ooma phone service isn’t much better.   Easy to add features online; miserable to remove them via a CSR who won’t take no for an answer.

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      • #2552198

        If you run into this, just tell them that you are not there to argue with them.  State you are recording the call, you want to cancel and if they won’t do it, then you will file a dispute with your CC company.

        I have heard that companies that get too many disputes opened against them have their CC service fees raised.

        Or you can use PayPal as I detail below.

    • #2551314

      The FTC commissioners are not unanimous in their support for the proposal. A dissenting statement argues that the proposal goes too far… The dissent quarrels, not with the seriousness of those problems, but with the scope of the FTC’s authority. In Commissioner Christine Wilson’s dissenting view, the transaction’s terms extend only to the terms by which the transaction is entered and by which it may be terminated — all else is “marketing.”

      Not very surprising, given that Christine Wilson is an anti-regulation Republican appointed to the FTC by Donald Trump. She believes that competition, not regulation, is the best protection for consumers.  Hah! Who is she kidding?  The current situation, where consumers are tricked into subscribing to a service, publication, or product, and are then unable to unsubscribe without paying penalties in time and/or money, is a direct result of competition without regulation. As Max Stul Oppenheimer notes, the FTC proposal is very limited and covers only negative options marketing, yet represents a “big step forward.”

      Some good news: Christine Wilson’s term was to run to 2025, but she submitted a letter of resignation on March 2, and quit the FTC on March 31, 2023 to protest against the actions of FTC chairperson Lina Khan and the Biden administration.

      So perhaps the proposal has a chance. I feel it doesn’t go far enough. If some feel that the FTC should not have powers to prosecute corporations, I suggest they can use a carrot instead of a stick. They should reward companies that practice transparency, by creating a “Certified by the FTC” sticker or category that companies can put on their products or services.

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    • #2551353

      You may have missed the solution to managing renewals described in the two posts buried in another topic here:

      The web based US credit card solution can also cover the case when you forget to cancel a subscription at renewal time. No more phone calls to cancel renewals that were originally ordered over the web.

      Windows 10 22H2 desktops & laptops on Dell, HP, ASUS; No servers, no domain.

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      • #2552197

        This service appears to let you create virtual cards:


        A simpler solution is to sign-up for recurring billing via PayPal.  Make sure you are using a CC and not your bank account, although, this technique might also work for a bank account with PayPal.  I just don’t know for sure.

        When you do this, PayPal keeps your CC# secret and manages the submission of future charges, generally on a monthly basis.

        However, PayPal has a management section for recurring charges that easily allows YOU, the buyer, to cancel the future charges, effectively canceling the service from PayPal with no hoops to jump through.

        I have used this and it works.  Just don’t cancel the recurring charge on trials that required you to give up a credit card until the final days of the trial or you will lose the remainder trial time as the service will cancel the trial as soon as they are informed by PayPal of the cancelled charge schedule.

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