Sometimes we need to pause and take a moment to celebrate the small things. In that spirit, let us note the Federal Trade Commission’s recent crackdown on monthly subscription and membership services.

Consumers have complained for years about online offerings that are easy to enroll in but all but impossible to escape. Finally, help may be at hand. Under the leadership of Biden appointee Lina M. Khan, the Federal Trade Commission issued a policy statement last month making it clear the subscription service status quo would no longer hold.

The FTC wants to put an end to situations where consumers have to navigate multiple and confusing online menu options just to stop buying a product or service. Or ones where people who signed up online are forced to hunt down a phone number to eliminate a monthly charge. As Khan tweeted, “Businesses should provide cancellation mechanisms that are at least as easy to use as the method the customer used to buy the product or service in the first place.”

These sorts of unwanted subscription charges are almost certainly a growing blight. Online subscriptions are booming, and they were growing at double-digit rates even before the pandemic. Six in 10 Americans subscribe to at least one online service, with 46 percent signed up for at least one streaming platform. UBS Global estimates that subscriptions will be a $1.5 trillion market by 2025. Of course, companies like the monthly payments that sustain subscriptions, considering them a form of all-but-guaranteed revenue. And many people like the services they signed up for.... Read More: Washington Post