Mastercard fights automatic charges at conclusion of free trials

Mastercard fights automatic charges at conclusion of free trials
Mastercard has changed rules for merchants that offer free trials to consumers in order to prevent consumers from being charged for services they don't want.

A lot of merchants offer free trials for subscription services so that potential customers can test them out before paying for them. However, at the end of such trials, merchants can often begin charging subscription fees automatically, which can be a surprise to some consumers.



To fight this common occurrence, Mastercard has changed rules for merchants that offer time-limited free trials to consumers. Merchants will be required to gain cardholder approval at the conclusion of the trial before they start billing.

Either by e-mail or SMS, merchants must send the cardholder the transaction amount, payment date, merchant name along with explicit instructions on how to cancel a trial. Each subsequent payment must also result in a receipt being issued by email or text message with clear instructions on how to cancel the service if the consumer so desires.

In addition, all charges that appear on the cardholder's statement must now include the merchant website URL or the phone number of the store where the cardholder made the purchase.

Written by: James Delahunty @ 17 Jan 2019 8:15
Tags
MasterCard
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  • 5 comments
  • sikosrus

    Good for you MasterCard!There are a lot of businesses that try to dupe unsuspecting customers into something they may not want to continue.

    18.1.2019 00:11 #1

  • geordietx

    Hallelujah! I can't tell you how many times they got me with this one. I am surprised that they did this, but it is a very good thing.

    24.1.2019 15:34 #2

  • LM2008

    Or you can use their Virtual Account Number tool to create a limited card so you use it with a limited amount of fund or a date expiration that is close to the trial expiration.

    4.2.2019 09:38 #3

  • nownthen

    On one hand it's nice that Mastercard is standing up for their customers and on the other hand, What did you think they were asking for your credit card information for during a free trial. They are usually clear about billing starting at the end of the trial. Pay attention to what you are signing up for and add the cancellation date to your calendar so that you remember to end the subscription before they start charging you.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it


    16.2.2019 17:05 #4

  • bhetrick

    Originally posted by nownthen: On one hand it's nice that Mastercard is standing up for their customers and on the other hand, What did you think they were asking for your credit card information for during a free trial. They are usually clear about billing starting at the end of the trial. Pay attention to what you are signing up for and add the cancellation date to your calendar so that you remember to end the subscription before they start charging you. Requiring a valid credit card will stop people from creating new accounts just to loop the free trial offer over and over.

    18.2.2019 12:38 #5

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