Tennessee, home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Dollywood, and Graceland, may be the self-proclaimed “Volunteer State,” but what isn’t voluntary is compliance with the state’s new auto renewal law. H.B. 1652, signed by Governor Bill Lee on April 8 and chaptered on April 13, 2022, goes into effect January 1, 2023. Nothing much to see here, just a copycat of many other state laws, but notably no renewal notice requirement.
Applies to: a plan or arrangement in which a paid subscription or purchasing agreement is automatically renewed at the end of a definite term for a subsequent term.
Disclosure Requirements: A contract must clearly and conspicuously (same definition as CA) disclose:
o that the subscription will continue until the consumer cancels;
o the description of the cancellation policy that applies to the offer;
o the recurring charges that will be charged to the consumer’s credit or debit card or payment account with a third party as part of the automatic renewal plan or arrangement, and, if the amount of the charge will change, the amount to which the charge will change, if known;
o the length of the automatic renewal term or that the service is continuous, unless the length of the term is chosen by the consumer, and
o the minimum purchase obligation, if any.
Disclosures must be in visual proximity, or in the case of an offer conveyed by voice, in temporal proximity, to the request for consent to the offer.
Consent Requirement: Obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent to the agreement containing the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms, including the terms of an automatic renewal offer or continuous service offer that is made at a promotional or discounted price for a limited period of time, before charging the consumer’s credit or debit card.
Acknowledgment. Provide an order acknowledgment reiterating the renewal terms, free gift/trial terms, and how to cancel, in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer.
Cancellation. Provide a toll-free telephone number, electronic mail address, a postal address (if the consumer is billed), or another cost-effective, timely, and easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation, to be described in the acknowledgment.
o For online acceptance, allow cancel requests to be made exclusively online, including a formatted e-mail without additional information.
Material Change. Provide notice prior to implementation of a material change, in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer.