In February 2021, the state of New York plans to implement new automatic renewal laws (ARLs) that can better protect consumers from deceptive business practices, like unfairly charging consumers for subscriptions they did not want to pay for.
New York’s original ARL applies to commercial and consumer contracts that involve the service, maintenance, or repair of property, where the renewal period is longer than 30 days. The original ARL requires that companies send a renewal reminder between 15 and 30 days before the contract expires. The renewal reminder must be written, served personally or by certified mail, and drafted to draw the recipient’s attention to the existence of the contract’s automatic renewal. The original ARL will still be in effect when the new ARL takes effect, meaning that companies will need to comply with both of New York’s ARLs.
THE NEW AUTOMATIC RENEWAL LAW IN NEW YORK
The new ARL applies to the automatic renewal of consumers’ subscriptions and purchasing agreements that involve buying or leasing goods or services for personal, family, or household purposes. Here are some of the important aspects of the new ARL:
- It prohibits companies from renewing a contract without a consumer’s affirmative consent to the automatic renewal
- It requires disclosures of automatic renewal terms (like cancellation policies, recurring charges, and length of the renewal term), and it requires that those disclosures be presented clearly and in visual proximity to the request for a consumer’s consent
- It requires that consumers receive an acknowledgment in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer; the acknowledgment must include the automatic renewal terms, information regarding how to cancel the agreement, and cancellation procedures through a web-based option
- It requires companies to notify the consumer of any changes to the renewal terms
- It gives the New York attorney general the ability to seek an injunction and permits courts to impose civil penalties of $100 per violation and up to $500 per intentional violation
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Dozens of states are changing their ARLs to better protect consumers, and, as a result, consumer class actions regarding the automatic renewal of subscriptions and purchase agreements are growing in number. If you want to know more about your state’s ARLs, or if you believe you have been financially wronged by companies that unfairly profit off their deceptive subscription renewal, then contact us now for a free consultation! Shub Law Firm specializes in protecting consumers against deceptive business practices and consumer fraud. You can reach us by email at email@example.com or give us a call at 856-772-7200. Shub Law Firm is a national leader in representing consumers, like you. We’re here to empower consumers and get them justice!