The hidden subscription deceptive pattern typically works by employing some form of sneaking or misdirection. Users think they are buying one thing, when in fact there's a hidden legal stipulation that they are in fact signing up to a recurring subscription. Once they have signed up, the service is usually covert and the user is sent no emails or notifications reminding them that they are paying on a recurring basis, so that payments continue for as long as possible. It is also typically paired up with the hard to cancel deceptive pattern.
Adobe-owned UI design tool Figma sells itself on its collaborative capabilities, enabling teams of people to work together on designs. When a user creates a design in Figma, they can share it with anyone using the "Share" button (pictured top right in first image). Clicking the “Share” button causes a dialog box to appear (see second image), where they can choose a recipient and decide whether they “can edit” or “can view”. If the user picks the option “can edit”, this quietly creates a new monthly subscription for the recipient, which is automatically paid on the inviting user's credit card. This extra cost is not mentioned anywhere in the user interface. Since Figma already has the inviting user's credit card details on file, they can be charged without the user being notified in advance. Users frequently complain about this issue on social media (see third image).
Requires companies to obtain consumer's consent before charging their credit or debit cards for goods or services offered through a "negative option feature."
The internet must provide clear and accurate information to consumers, and the use of "data pass" to share billing information with third parties for unwanted memberships undermines consumer confidence.
Prohibits unfair and deceptive Internet sales practices, including misleading representations, failure to disclose material terms, and charging consumers without their express informed consent.
Specifies the enforcement provisions for violations of the Act by the Federal Trade Commission, including penalties and privileges.
Allows State attorneys general to bring a civil action in federal court to obtain injunctive relief for alleged violations of ROSCA, with certain requirements and limitations.
Prohibits deceptive acts or practices that misrepresent or omit material facts.
Prohibits the dissemination of any false or misleading statements in advertising.
Provides consumers with a private cause of action for relief from deceptive or unlawful practices in transactions for goods or services.
Prohibits unfair and unlawful business practices that deceive or mislead consumers in California.
Prohibits deceptive acts and practices in business or service, allows AG action against violators, and private right of action for injured individuals with increased damages for willful violations.
Defines the terms related to advertising, including misleading and comparative advertising, and identifies the advertiser.
Describes the conditions that must be met for comparative advertising to be permitted, including requirements for honesty, fair comparison, non-discrediting of competitors, and clarity regarding special offers.
Requires advertising to provide information about potential health and safety risks associated with products.
Prohibits advertising that encourages behavior that is potentially harmful to children.
Considers all aspects of advertising to determine if it is misleading, including information on products, prices, and the advertiser's attributes and rights.
Prohibit traders across all sectors from using unfair commercial practices that hinder consumers from making informed purchasing decisions.
Covers various aspects of consumer transactions, including the sale of goods and services, digital content, unfair contract terms, and remedies for faulty goods.
Grant consumers the right to cancel contracts for goods or services made through remote communication channels such as the internet, email, or telephone.
Aim to protect consumers against unfair standard terms in standard term contracts.