Turning Your Negative Option Offer into a Positive: How to Navigate New Laws and Requirements for Autorenewal Programs in 2024

Running a compliant subscription program has grown increasingly difficult with the emergence of new state laws imposing technical requirements. Even just one unintentional mistake can cost a company a lot of time, aggravation, and expense to deal with an unforgiving plaintiff or regulator. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state regulators also continue to aggressively enforce the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) and state autorenewal laws and have begun to read new requirements into these statutes that stretch the laws’ plain language. The FTC has also pressed forward in attempting to update the Negative Option Rule to require cumbersome disclosures, affirmatively unambiguous consent to the autorenewal terms, and a click-to-cancel mechanism preventing save attempts. Even the National Advertising Division (NAD) has entered the fray, bringing cases challenging subscription programs under the auspices of regulating “dark patterns.” And class action plaintiffs remain active in filing lawsuits, attacking companies’ programs generally and nitpicking allegedly technical violations of the statutes.

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