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Politics & Government

Lawmakers seek to create auto renewal protections for consumers

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Joe Irizarry
/
Delaware Public Media

Legislation that would protect Delawareans in contracts with businesses that include an automatic renewal is heard in a Senate committee.

 

The bill presented by State Sen. Nicole Poore (D-New Castle) in the Senate Banking, Business and Insurance Committee would provide consumers with protections from automatic renewal provisions.

The legislation seeks to help those who unknowingly enter a contract with an automatic renewal, and it requires those using such contracts to provide consumers a way to cancel that is as easy as the means available to sign up for the contract.

And Poore says the measure has a clause requiring businesses be clear with customers upfront about the automatic renewals.

"Now any seller that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease any merchandise to a consumer pursuant to a contract that contains an automatic renewal provision must disclose the terms of the provision just clearly," said Poore."You just have to do it clearly in writing at the time of the contract that is being entered."

Poore explains what clear disclosure looks like.

"Being clearly written means that the word is in a larger type than the surrounding text. It's in a contrasting type, it's a font, it's a color to the surrounding text of the same size," said Poore. "It can also be set off from the surrounding text of the same size through symbols or other marks. It's in a manner that clearly calls attention to the language."

Poore also added an amendment that there should be an audio option for the visually impaired if there is an audio recording of the disclosure.

If passed, Delaware would join 29 states and the District of Columbia to adopt such auto renewal protections.