Allison posted a couple days ago on the FTC’s proposed rule on “click to cancel” subscriptions and memberships. Relatedly, Michele Singletary at the Washington Post has this useful piece on the topic. Here’s a little excerpt that describes the practices targeted by the FTC proposal and why those practices can be bad:
With a negative-option membership or subscription, consumers agree to automatic billing after trying something out for free or following a special discount offer. Billing stops only after the consumer takes some action to cancel. That’s where the “negative” part comes in. Illegal practices involving companies tricking people into subscriptions or failing to let them out are a big problem. And it’s a particular concern now, given the economic pressures a lot of consumers face.