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Apple updates subscription notifications
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Money

Wait, what? Apple just made a big change that’s going to cost you money

There are plenty of free apps available, but sometimes nothing can beat a well-priced subscription to a service or mobile game. A monthly subscription can give you access to added features and in-game goodies.

When you decide to purchase a monthly subscription, you assume that you will pay that price until you cancel or the developer notifies you about a price increase. 

But Apple changed how auto-renewals kick in, and it’s not good news. Read on to see how it will impact you and what you can do about it.

Here’s the backstory

The auto-renew ability for monthly subscriptions is a great way to ensure that you always have access to the game or service. As it automatically renews, you don’t need to worry about manually paying for it as it comes out of your bank account.

But Apple’s recent change to how developers integrate auto-renewal into their apps can have you paying more for a subscription. Without you even knowing.

In an update to subscription notifications, Apple details how the current system “led to some services being unintentionally interrupted” if a user didn’t renew their subscription in time before it lapsed. In addition, Apple thinks it is too much effort for you to resubscribe.

So, it has made it easier for developers to auto-renew the subscription on your behalf. Even if they increase the price. Currently, when that happens, you must agree to the price increase. Under the new system, that step is no longer necessary.

What you can do about it

The first thing you should do is go through your apps to check which ones have an auto-renew subscription. Even though Apple explains that it can happen “under certain specific conditions and with advance user notice,” developers can increase the price without needing you to take action.

But it’s not all bad news, as there are specific rules that developers must follow. Here are some of the guidelines:

  • The price increase doesn’t happen more than once per year.
  • An app’s monthly subscription can’t increase by more than $5 or 50% of the current price.
  • A subscription can’t increase by more than $50 or 50% for annual subscriptions.
  • It must be allowed by local law.

If an app’s subscription increase exceeds any conditions, users must opt in and agree to the new price for renewal. Here’s how you can cancel a subscription on your iPhone:

  • Open the Settings app and tap on your name.
  • Tap Subscriptions and then tap on the subscription that you want to manage.
  • Tap Cancel Subscription.
  • Tap Confirm.

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