Your App Store subscriptions could now charge you more without explicit permission
Apple’s auto-renewable subscriptions, just like any other automated payment method, can save you a lot of time, especially if you pay for many services. But Cupertino has recently updated its policy, and if you are on a tight budget, you should be even more careful from now on.
In a blog post, the Cupertino company announced that — starting now —, if the price of a subscription rises and certain criteria are met, the developers could bill you automatically for the next period without requiring you to opt in again for the service. In terms of the specific conditions for this to happen, Apple stated that the price increase must occur only once a year, must not exceed $5 and 50% of the subscription fee, or $50 and 50% for an annual membership price, and must be permissible by local law.
Apple will, of course, notify you in advance of the price increase via email, push notification, and a message within the app. If you wish, it will also inform you how to view, manage, and cancel your subscriptions.
It’s important to know that for all subscription price increases above the thresholds, exceeding the annual limit, or occurring within territories where the law requires it, the subscription won’t automatically renew. In this case, you have to manually opt in for the service before the increase takes effect.
Previously, when there was a price increase, Apple notified you of the change in pricing, and you were automatically opted out of the service. Then you had to manually choose to re-subscribe if you wanted to continue paying for the app in question. But, according to Apple, this method has led to unintentionally interrupted services, as many users just missed or forgot about the opt-in prompt. This is why the Cupertino company decided to introduce the new policy and now, if you are willing to pay the higher price, you don’t have to do anything, because the service will continue to work.
Of course, it’s very probable that you could miss Apple’s opt-out notifications as well, or forget to cancel your subscription in time before the price change goes into effect. Presumably, this is why the Cupertino company decided to set a threshold. Furthermore, in most cases, you can cancel your subscription at any time, so if you forgot to opt out when it was time, in the worst-case scenario, you lose a few extra bucks.
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