Action 9

Canceling subscriptions may soon become easier

ORLANDO, Fla. — It seemed simple enough: Ward Council hit the cancel button on his Netflix account.


“Well, I went on the website, canceled the account, got a nice email saying we’re sorry to see you go. Your account will end on September 11th. And that was that,” Council told Action 9.

But days later, he got a welcome email from Netflix. Netflix had reactivated his account.

So, he canceled again.

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A couple of days later he received another email informing him that his account had been reactivated.

“At that point, I was like, okay, no point in continuing with Netflix. They’re just not going to take cancel for an answer. I’m going to the credit card company,” Council said.

It’s not just Netflix.

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If you try to cancel your Amazon Prime account you will find a maze of steps.

Critics call it a “dark pattern.”

This year, federal regulators at the Federal Trade Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to try to better protect consumers.

The so-called “click to cancel “rule would require companies to make it as easy to cancel a subscription as it was to sign up for it.

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More than 1,600 people submitted public comment over the summer, including one woman who wrote, “When my daughter signed up for a ‘free trial’ of Netflix I had to make several phone calls to cancel. She signed up online, she should be able to cancel online!”

Consumer advisor Clark Howard recommends always try to cancel a subscription in writing.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.