Stupid, sleazy PayPal Feature

I just learned about a PayPal Feature that I don’t like very much.

Merchants can set up subscriptions and those subscriptions will automatically renew.

I’d purchased a software subscription a year ago to get access to some software I wanted to try. I’m not using it any more, so I wasn’t really thinking about it until I got a receipt for a subscription renewal from PayPal.

I checked to see if they’d sent me notice before hand that got sorted as spam (since so much of my spam is PayPal phising attempts). I didn’t find any.

Paypal should automatically notifiy users of automatic renewals a week or so in advance (right now, there is just an option to be notified when, not before, you make a scheduled subscription payment). Futhermore, they should give customers the option of marking subscriptions as automatic or one-time at the time of the transaction, or any time afterwords.

As it is, the only option is to go into your history and cancel a subscription. The problem with this approach is that there is no telling how the merchant will deal with the cancellation. They might cancel your service and keep the money unless you complain, when all you wanted to do is keep the service for the rest of your term without being hit by an automatic renewal.

The current arrangement undermines my trust in both PayPal and the merchants who use them.

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