Fed's New Rate Hike Eye Infections Money-Saving Tips Huawei Watch Ultimate Adobe's Generative AI Tips to Get More Exercise 12 Healthy Spring Recipes Watch March Madness
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

FTC Wants to Make It Easier to Cancel Subscriptions

The so-called "click to cancel" requirement would make it as easy to cancel a subscription as it is to sign up.

Coins above a smart phone in a person's hand.
Under a proposed rule, it would be easier to avoid accidental auto renewals.
Wong Yu Liang/Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday proposed provisions that would remove barriers to canceling subscriptions and recurring payments. The new guidance would work to end the "seemingly never ending struggles to cancel unwanted subscription payment plans," the FTC said in a release.

"The proposed rule would require that companies make it as easy to cancel a subscription as it is to sign up for one," Lina Khan, chair of the FTC, said in a statement.

Under the rule, companies would be required to let customers cancel a subscription in no more steps than it took to sign up. They would also be required to get permission before showing additional offers when customers try to cancel a subscription and send annual reminders before automatic renewals occur.

The proposed changes would have wide-ranging application, from newspapers to gym memberships, but also "to all subscription features in all media," according to an FTC factsheet on the rule (PDF). Subscriptions purchased over the phone, on the internet, in print or in person would be regulated. Companies would have to allow for cancellation by the same method in the same number of steps or fewer.

The FTC will be accepting public comments soon, when a 60-day comment window opens.