The New York Attorney General recently issued a Consumer Alert, warning consumers about deceptive negative option programs and urging them to file complaints if they fall victim to such programs.
Following the enactment of New York’s auto-renew statute (GBL § 527-a) last year, and the FTC’s recent Enforcement Policy Statement, Attorney General James’s Alert reminds consumers about the key requirements for recurring payment programs: clear and conspicuous disclosures; informed consent to the recurring payments; and easy cancellation functionality (including online cancellation if there’s online enrollment).
The Alert also reminds consumers that most industries in New York are subject to these requirements. Indeed, the Attorney's General office has already entered into settlements with dietary supplement manufacturers, an online language learning program, an online apparel seller, and a credit monitoring program involving their recurring payment practices.
Another clear and conspicuous reminder that auto-renew programs are on the radar of the enforcement agencies, at all levels.
"Consumers should never be tricked into paying recurring charges for goods and services that they are not aware of and did not authorize"