To entice people to sign up for an annual subscription to their Entertainment coupon books, the company recently offered an enticement: pay just $10.50 for the 2012 book (and agree to buy the 2013 book, and those printed in subsequent years, for $5 off when they become available).
Like a book club, they say they will give you advance notice before the new book is shipped and give you an opportunity to cancel. That’s fair and reasonable.
To prevent some clever consumer from just cancelling the future editions in order to snag a bargain on this year’s book, they buried in the fine print, this bit of protection for themselves:
6. If you cancel prior to receiving your first book through the Annual Renewal program (2013 Edition) your credit card will be charged a $5 cancellation fee.
That also seems fair, and the consumer is still getting a bargain price on the 2012 book.
What seems to cross the line, however, is this:
5. If your Credit Card reaches its expiration date, your failure to cancel after receipt of our notification will constitute your authorization for us to continue billing your card.
What? They are going to send you the book, knowing that your credit card has expired, and deem this fine print provision to be your authorization to engage in this questionable practice?
Somehow, I don’t think that Visa and MasterCard would look kindly on a company that deliberately puts charges on a card it knows is no longer valid.