An annoying practice of companies that depend on subscriptions – including, I fear, the Concord Monitor – may have to end.

That practice involves making it much easier to subscribe than to cancel subscription. At many newspapers like the Monitor, for example, you can subscribe online but you have to call and talk to somebody to end that subscription.

Neimean Lab, a news industry analysis group, says this is the practice at about 60% of newspapers. It discusses the issue in an article headlined “One of the news industry’s favorite retention tactics is illegal, FTC says.”

The Federal Trade Commission, meanwhile, recently made it clear that it sees the practice as 1) one of several “dark patterns that trick or trap consumers into subscriptions” and 2) straight-up illegal. The FTC vowed to ramp up enforcement on companies that fail to provide an “easy and simple” cancellation process, including an option that’s “at least as easy” as the one to subscribe

But have no fear, you can unsubscribe to the Granite Geek blog online! Not that you would ever want to.

Pin It on Pinterest