Apple is changing its policy around auto-renewing subscriptions; allowing them to be increased in price without explicit user consent.
Under the previous policy, a user would be alerted to the price change and have to manually accept any increase. Failing to accept the new pricing would result in the subscription being automatically cancelled at the next renewal.
The new approach still alerts users to price changes but no longer requires the user to opt-in before it comes into effect.
In an update posted to Apple’s developer website, the company explained:
“Currently, when an auto-renewable subscription price is increased, subscribers must opt in before the price increase is applied. The subscription doesn’t renew at the next billing period for subscribers who didn’t opt in to the new price.
This has led to some services being unintentionally interrupted for users and they must take steps to resubscribe within the app, from Settings on iPhone and iPad, or in the App Store on Mac.
With this update, under certain specific conditions and with advance user notice, developers may also offer an auto-renewable subscription price increase, without the user needing to take action and without interrupting the service.”
There are some conditions to the new policy to ensure that it’s not abused.
A subscription price increase can only happen once per year and cannot exceed $5 and 50 percent of the subscription price (or $50 and 50 percent for an annual subscription price).
Where local laws require explicit consent from users, subscribers will still have to opt-in to any price increases. Any user who fails to accept in time and is automatically cancelled can resubscribe within the app, in ‘Settings’ on iPhone and iPad, or in the App Store on Mac.
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