New bill makes it easier for Californians to cancel online subscriptions

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Californians can now cancel subscriptions online “without having to jump through hoops”, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a statement.

Newsom signed Assembly Bill 390 on Monday, requiring businesses to notify customers before free trials and promotions end, as well as before any renewal of annual subscriptions.

“Canceling a subscription online should be as easy as signing up online,” said Asm. Marc Berman, who represents California’s 24th assembly district. “Yet millions of Californians are subjected to lengthy, confusing, and inconvenient cancellation processes designed to make you give up and keep paying.”

California is the first state in the country to require this reminder and is the ninth in the country to mandate reminders for annual subscriptions, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Nearly 35% of Americans have at least three or more online subscriptions, a 2018 study of 5,000 Americans by McKinsey & Company found. Another study by West Monroe the same year found that the average respondent pays $237 a month on subscriptions, with 84% underestimating their monthly cost.

“This change in law enables Californians to cancel unwanted subscriptions online easily and creates the first-in-the-nation requirement for businesses to notify consumers before lengthy free trials and promotions expire,” Berman said.

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