In France, a new decree has entered into force requiring that businesses allow consumers to cancel subscriptions and contracts online in three clicks or fewer. Businesses will have until 1 September 2023 to comply with these new requirements.
The new rules effectively state that self-service termination functionality must be offered to all consumers via businesses’ websites and mobile applications, regardless of how a subscription or contract was initially entered into.
They also state that businesses must not require consumers to create accounts or volunteer personal information to access termination features, other than that necessary for termination.
The change is a noteworthy one given the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s attempts to introduce click-to-cancel requirements for subscription businesses operating in the U.S. It now appears likely that online cancelation mechanisms will become an unavoidable legal requirement for U.S. publishers and media companies as the FTC seeks to formally mandate that companies “make it as easy for consumers to cancel [subscriptions and trials] as it is to sign up.”
The FTC has been attempting to require click-to-cancel mechanisms for years but, by its own admission, “has only gotten part way to fixing the problem” of sellers making it “hard or impossible” to cancel subscriptions. To remedy that, it’s proposed new rules that would require publishers (and other companies selling subscriptions) to offer straightforward self-service cancellation mechanisms. “If you can sign up online, you must be able to cancel on the same website, in the same number of steps,” the commission said.