In a nice, customer friendly move by MasterCard, customers that use a MasterCard for free trials will now be notified by the merchant before that first subscription fee kicks in. To make it even better, this notification will have to contain information on unsubscribing.
MasterCard Will Keep You From Being Surprised with Subscription Fees after Free Trials
This will not only be for subscriptions coming after free trials but will also work for all subscription fees after the initial payment. In those cases, the merchant will be required to send a receipt about the payment as well as information about how to unsubscribe.
There are some services that make it very difficult to go through the unsubscribe process after using a free trial so MasterCard just made the decision to use one of their cards a much easier one with this move. I saw some comments on how MasterCard is only making this move after a long time of collecting transaction fees on such subscriptions before but I wonder if they were actually starting to get more disputes about charges like this.
I have had some subscription services that made it next to impossible to cancel (calling in would place you on hold for a long time before eventually disconnecting, you could not cancel online or via e-mail, etc). This move should make it much easier.
Here is part of their announcement from the link above:
At Mastercard, we want every commerce engagement to be simple, safe and secure and we are introducing rules for merchants that offer free-trials to make this a hassle-free experience for their consumers. The rule change will require merchants to gain cardholder approval at the conclusion of the trial before they start billing. To help cardholders with that decision, merchants will be required to send the cardholder – either by email or text – the transaction amount, payment date, merchant name along with explicit instructions on how to cancel a trial.
Nice move, MasterCard! Visa, your turn!
HT: The Verge