Richie Bartlett

Do we seriously believe that forgetting to renew is more important that forgetting to cancel a subscription? This seems more like a money grab for people that are more likely to forget they have been paying for something they no longer use…Furthermore, this is illegal in Canada. It is called negative option billing, and is completely illegal.
Apple better watch what they are doing. Scam-like practices such as this won’t be allowed. The option to drop the subscription must be in the notification email, so people don’t have to jump through all the hoops some companies put in the way to try prevent people from dropping subscriptions). An option in the notification email should be easy to use and drop the subscription immediately.
I doubt Canada is the only country with laws like this.

Under the policy, you won’t have to opt in if the price increase doesn’t go over a certain threshold.

Adelaide, Australia - September 23, 2013: Clicking the App Store icon on the new ipad running iOS 7. iOS 7 is the foundation of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It comes with a collection of apps and useful features. The iOS 7 update features a redesigned interface and hundreds of new features. | ymgerman via Getty Images

Apple has announced an update to its subscription policy that’s supposed to make auto-renews seamless but could also lead to surprise charges. Under the old policy, the tech giant will ask users to opt in before they’re charged for a subscription that has recently raised its price. Going forward, however, it will allow developers to automatically charge higher prices, so long as they meet a set of conditions. Apple will notify users of the price increase in advance via email and push notification, but it’s up to them to unsubscribe before they’re charged.

In its announcement, the company said that developers can use the feature if they don’t increase their price more than once a year. Further, the increase must not exceed $5 and 50 percent of the current subscription pricing, or $50 and 50 percent of the current annual subscription price. Presumably, that means users will automatically get charged $15 for a subscription that was formerly $10. However, they’ll have to opt in for a $30 sub that used to cost just $20, because while that’s 50 percent higher than the old price, the increase is also way higher than $5.

Apple says users tend to miss prompts asking them to opt in for higher subscription prices, which interrupts their service. If so, they’re also likely to miss notifications about price increases. Since developers can only use the feature if they don’t change prices more than once a year, unscrupulous players at least can’t take advantage of the system by frequently raising their prices by a couple of bucks or so. Still, people with tight budgets may want to check their emails every now and then to ensure they’re not being charged higher prices than what hey can pay all of a sudden.