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The FTC Wants To Ban Tough-To-Cancel Gym and Cable Subscriptions

The Biden Administration is making it easier to cancel your subscriptions.

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Lina Khan: If you’ve ever tried to cancel a subscription, you probably know how challenging it can be.

[Ross from Friends]: So why don’t you quit?

[Chandler from Friends]: They make you go all the way down there! And then they use all these phrases and peppiness to try and confused you.

Lina Khan: Sometimes you end up on a customer service line for ages, then end up in a long debate with an employee before they finally agree to stop billing you. Or if you’re trying to cancel online, some businesses will try to trick you into staying using hidden popups, misleading links, or hard-to-see buttons.

Whether it’s movie streaming, diet supplements, gym memberships, or e-commerce, we’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to cancel. And it’s not just frustrating when you can’t cancel a subscription, it costs us money.

That’s why the Federal Trade Commission is proposing a new rule we call “click to cancel.”

The idea is simple: for any product or service, it should be as easy to cancel as it is to sign up. And you should be able to cancel in the same way that you signed up. So if you got your gym membership online, then you should be able to cancel your gym membership online.

That’s just one part of a broader set of consumer protections in the proposed rule.

This rule isn’t final yet, and we’re asking members of the public to weigh in. You can submit a comment at regulations.gov and make your voice heard.

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