Apple Will Charge Users Without Their Permission As It Allows Auto-Renewal Of App Store Subscriptions

The worst thing that any app store could possibly do is charge a user without them knowing. And that seems to be the direction Apple is heading in after making adjustments to its App Store policy.

The newly updated rules allow for the self-renewal of subscriptions without taking the user into confidence. And that means they’ll only find out after they’ve been billed. Therefore, even in those cases where developers have increased the monthly costs, you just might end up paying for it without your permission being taken into consideration.

Previously, we saw users manually select the decision to allow for renewal but now, that is no longer the case. And as you can probably expect, Apple users are not happy and are viewing the change as not only unfair but as a technique to mask the price hike from the developer’s end.

But Apple has tried to justify how users would still be informed about price changes beforehand, adding how the new measures in place are being done to avoid those circumstances where a user may have lost track of subscriptions because of a mishap in their messages or notification alerts.

On Monday, the tech giant put out a post in the evening where they laid out a set of conditions that needed to be followed religiously by developers, in case they wish to be a part of the self-renewal terms and conditions for price hikes in-app subscriptions.

For starters, the new pact would not apply to those who wish to increase prices by around 50% and that is nearly equivalent to a $5 increase. Meanwhile, as far as annual subscriptions are concerned, developers will be given the feasibility to request 50% increases but again, Apple will not allow for raises that go above and beyond the $50 benchmark, without introducing an opt-in.

Those less than 50% would simply be allowed without the urge for an opt-in but again, Apple users don’t think that is fair.
We’d like to take this point to speak about how unclear Apple has been around the entire fiasco. For instance, if you have an app that is above the $10 price tag and it surges to nearly $60 in one year, what happens? Apple is yet to provide any clarification on the matter.

But what it does say is that it’s working hard to crack down on scams by only giving those apps the green light that chooses to raise prices once a year without any opt-in. Similarly, they have repeated how those price hikes that are acceptable by local laws will be allowed and all others nullified.

In case a certain condition is not in line with the App Store’s policy, users would need to opt-in to the price increase decisions, or else their subscriptions will be canceled.

Now, the company says it plans on informing users about the automatic renewal policy through email, in-app texts, and notifications.

But when you actually sit down and think of it, Apple’s own logic is not making sense. Those who failed to notice opt-in messages would similarly fail to notice warnings about price changes too. The only plus point we can see is that it’s going to be more in your face than before.

While the new change might be shocking for some, we did see a TechCrunch report about this last month via Apple entering the testing phase for a price hike for Disney Plus. Apple mentioned at the time that it would soon provide details and now, it seems that time has come.

It wouldn’t be wrong to mention how Apple appears to be making a shocking trade between convenience and taking advantage of customer friendliness. While some may be happy about not being bothered with manually updating subscriptions anymore, others are enraged and are calling for more transparency surrounding the matter. After all, it would be nice to see where each dollar increased is actually being used.

Is there any easy solution to this concern? Well, we believe it would be nice to allow users to be in charge, after all, it is their own app. If and when there is an increase in the prices of apps, let them be the ones to finally decide if they’d like to be a part of the subscription or not.

Read next: The Number Of Outdated Apps Exceed Those Updated By Users On The Google Play and Apple App Store
Previous Post Next Post