Consumer Laws around Subscriptions and Continuous Credit Card Authority

I've got a new scientist subscription. Its a bit different to the monthly spotify one, its 6-monthly for a specific number of issues.
Can anyone point me to legislation about a business' obligations around credit card authority. They've never alerted me to a subscription expiring, and AFAIK there was no option when signing up to only sign up for one subscription - ie you were forced to make it ongoing. They have no obvious means in their subscriptions management page to cancel a subscription - you have to contact them to ask.

Even if they've no legal obligation to alert a subscriber, isn't that good form? Anyhoo even if they're right and I'm wrong, I asked them what my options were, and they ignored that question, basically said "sucked in, you paid already, you have to tell us to stop" and then didn't ask if I wanted to stop

Comments

  •  

    What do the subscription terms and conditions say?

    •  

      Also from T&Cs

      15.5 Continuous Card Authority: If you choose to pay for your subscription by continuous card authority, your subscription will be deemed continuous your debit/credit card will be debited at the beginning of your subscription and at the agreed frequency thereafter.

      18.2 If you cancel within fourteen (14) days of the start of your subscription (or any subsequent renewal), we will refund any payments received from you using the same method of payment that you used to purchase your subscription.

      Looks like you can cancel if it has been less than 14 days from your renewal date.

  •  

    An example subscription page

    Price is inclusive of applicable taxes (GST)

    Weekly price based on a 12 week bundle subscription (print + app + web). After your first 12 weeks your subscription will continue at the full rate. You can cancel anytime before the first full payment and no further charges will be applied. Offer closes 8th May 2021

    Subscription will continue…

    That terminology would be all over the pages that you clicked to sign up

    Another one

    Auto renews at AU$100.00 per quarter

    Or

    Paid Annually AU$320.00

  • +3 votes

    They've never alerted me to a subscription expiring, and AFAIK there was no option when signing up to only sign up for one subscription - ie you were forced to make it ongoing

    That's how most subscription models work. You don't sign up for 1 subscription period, your subscription is ongoing, and you unsubscribe if you no longer want the service.

    Even if they've no legal obligation to alert a subscriber, isn't that good form?

    While you didn't get an alert saying you are about to subscribe for another period, did you get an invoice once the payment had been made? Netflix/Spotify/Stan don't alert me that I'm about to make a payment, I only get a receipt saying the next payment has been made . The exception to this is when I have unsubbed, they alert me when it's about to expire (To tempt me to sign up again :) ).

  •  

    Looks like you did not read the T&C's that you agreed to and did not cancel before the auto renew. Learn for next time.
    The laws are probably on the companies side as they did say it would auto renew unless you cancelled and you did not cancel. If you did not want it to auto renew you should not have agreed to it in the first place,

  •  

    Just be aware that simply cancelling or blocking your card may not be any use to avoid a credit card charge.

    Merchants can set-up payments as 'subscriptions' which will always be processed, in some cases even when you have cancelled your card. This 'facility' is 'for your benefit', of course, so that you don't miss the wonderful 'benefits' that you are getting from the subscription.

    There is little option except to get in touch with them & ask them to cancel the subscription, if you don't want to keep on getting charged indefinitely.