senate Bill S2076A

Amended

Relates to automatic renewals of magazine subscriptions

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 10 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 03 / Apr / 2013
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 03 / Apr / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 2076A
  • 29 / Apr / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.443
  • 30 / Apr / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 01 / May / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 06 / May / 2013
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 2076B
  • 22 / May / 2013
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 2076C
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Summary

Relates to automatic renewals of magazine subscriptions; requires certain notice and protections.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S2076
S2076A
S2076B
S2076C
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง335-a, Gen Bus L

Votes

11
0
11
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Consumer Protection committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2076A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation
to requirements for the renewal of magazine subscriptions

PURPOSE:

To prohibit magazine publishers or firms directly associated with them
from certain practices as they relate to automatic renewal of their
subscription.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 states that no publisher or associated corporation shall-
fail to represent automatic renewal terms in a clear and conspicuous
manner before the agreement is fulfilled. Further they shall not
charge the consumer without first obtaining the consumer's affirmative
consent to the agreement of renewal. This section also requires
acknowledgement and information on how to cancel, while requiring
information be presented on how to contact the company to cancel. This
section also expressly requires that material changes in the terms and
conditions shall be provided with a clear and conspicuous notice and
information on how to cancel.

Section 2 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Many time consumers will purchase a subscription to a magazine at a
discounted rate, or at a regular rate and use that time to decide
whether or not they enjoy that magazine and wish to continue receiving
it at the end of the term. At the end of that time frame it should be
the consumers choice to opt to continue receiving that magazine.

However some magazine companies and their affiliates change the terms
mid way through the subscription by notifying subscribers that they
must opt out of a subscription if they want it to end. For example an
individual may subscribe to a magazine under favorable terms for a
year subscription for ten dollars, nine months into that subscription
a notice is sent to that individual saying if you do not let us know
you wish to cancel, we will continue your subscription for another
year at the rate of thirty-five dollars.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act will take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2076--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 10, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Consumer  Protection  --
  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
  recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in  relation  to  requirements
  for the renewal of magazine subscriptions

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision 5 of section 335-a of the general business  law
is  renumbered subdivision 6 and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as
follows:
  5. (A) IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PUBLISHER OF A  MAGAZINE  SOLD  BY
SUBSCRIPTION  OR ANY PERSON, FIRM, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION ENGAGED IN
BUSINESS, THE PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO REGULARLY  SOLICIT  MAGA-
ZINE SUBSCRIPTION ORDERS FOR DELIVERY IN THIS STATE THROUGH THE MAIL FOR
PROFIT, TO DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
  (I)  FAIL  TO  PRESENT THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OFFER TERMS OR CONTINUOUS
SERVICE OFFER TERMS  IN  A  CLEAR  AND  CONSPICUOUS  MANNER  BEFORE  THE
SUBSCRIPTION OR PURCHASING AGREEMENT IF FULFILLED;
  (II)  CHARGE  THE  CONSUMER'S  CREDIT  OR DEBIT CARD OR THE CONSUMER'S
ACCOUNT WITH A THIRD  PARTY  FOR  AN  AUTOMATIC  RENEWAL  OR  CONTINUOUS
SERVICE  WITHOUT  FIRST  OBTAINING THE CONSUMER'S AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT TO
THE AGREEMENT CONTAINING THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OFFER TERMS OR CONTINUOUS
SERVICE OFFER TERMS; OR
  (III) FAIL TO PROVIDE AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT  INCLUDES  THE  AUTOMATIC
RENEWAL  OR  CONTINUOUS  SERVICE  OFFER  TERMS, CANCELLATION POLICY, AND
INFORMATION REGARDING HOW TO CANCEL IN A MANNER THAT IS CAPABLE OF BEING
RETAINED BY THE CONSUMER.
  (B) A PUBLISHER OR BUSINESS ENTITY MAKING AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OR CONTIN-
UOUS SERVICE OFFERS SHALL PROVIDE A TOLL-FREE  TELEPHONE  NUMBER,  ELEC-
TRONIC  MAIL  ADDRESS,  A  POSTAL  ADDRESS ONLY WHEN THE SELLER DIRECTLY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05346-05-3

S. 2076--A                          2

BILLS THE CONSUMER, OR ANOTHER COST-EFFECTIVE, TIMELY,  AND  EASY-TO-USE
MECHANISM FOR CANCELLATION.
  (C)  IN  THE  CASE  OF A MATERIAL CHANGE IN THE TERMS OF THE AUTOMATIC
RENEWAL OR CONTINUOUS SERVICE OFFER THAT HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY A CONSUMER
IN THIS STATE, THE  PUBLISHER  OR  BUSINESS  ENTITY  SHALL  PROVIDE  THE
CONSUMER  WITH A CLEAR AND CONSPICUOUS NOTICE OF THE MATERIAL CHANGE AND
PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING HOW TO CANCEL.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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