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Mastercard Is Cracking Down on Free Trials

Depressed mature man holding paper and looking at it while sitting on the couch at homeEver sign up for a free trial but forget to cancel and end up with a bill you didn’t want? Mastercard is putting new rules in place to crack down on this practice.

Now before a company can bill your card at the end of a free trial, they must once again ask your permission before billing you.

“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,” MasterCard said in a statement on their website.

Mastercard went on to make it clear they didn’t plan to try and ban free trials as part of services like Hulu, Netflix, and Sling. “Free trial offers can be a legitimate and useful way to increase sales and improve consumer satisfaction. The new rules will help increase transparency and ensure an outstanding experience for cardholders.”

Are you excited about this new rule? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Update since this story was written Master Card updated their post to say streaming services would be exempt from this new rule.

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