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The Freeware Hall Of Fame

How to Take Control of Negative Option Renewal (NOR)

I don't have to explain what NOR is to you. If you don't know you would not be reading this.

About 10 years ago Consumer Reports had an article warning about online sites with annual memberships. Their warning was never do business with a site that renewed your membership automatically, and billed you for it. Negative Option Renewal. Bad. Bad.

Within two years Consumer Reports itself was not only using NOR, it had (may still have) one of the most convoluted opt outs of any site in the world.

Here's the answer for sites where the only credit card charge year-to-year is for annual membership.

NOR sites live by charging your credit card. To do that they must provide a convenient way to update your card when it expires and the new one comes.

Don't wait. A few weeks after charging the membership fee to the credit card, log in and change that credit card to another one. I use a card that expired, but any invalid number will do. There is no authentication involved.

Next year when they try to hit your credit card for a renewal behind your back, you're protected. They'll have to email or phone you and give you the choice of renewing. That's not asking too much.

And for sure your estate will not continue paying annual dues after you're dead.

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All rights reserved. Page updated May 11, 2017