Is it legal to increase a recurring subscription by $100 unless you take action?

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Is it legal to increase a recurring subscription by $100 unless you take action?

As opposed to asking you to make a selection? My wife subscribed to an internet service at $150 a year which hosts a photographer’s pictures and makes them available for sale. She had only used the service once during the 12 month period and intended to let it expire, forgetting that it would automatically renew. Part way through the subscription year they sent an E-mail stating a price increase to $250 would be in effect at renewal unless we made a change on her account settings. Due to some difficult medical issues she did not recognize the implications of their message.

Asked on September 12, 2013 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, this is legal: a contract or agreement can have automatic  renewal unless declined properly in a  timely manner, and may also have price increases unless declined. From what you write, your wife had notice of the increase and there was no fraud, deception, coercion, etc.--the fact that a medical issue stopped her from recognizing the message's implications  is unfortunate, but since that was not the result of anything wrong which the company did, they are not responsible for it. From what you write, it appears this increase is legal and enforceable.


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