BREAKING: House overturns LePages’s veto of LD 1390

BREAKING: House overturns LePages’s veto of LD 1390

Today the House voted to overturn the Governor’s veto of my bill LD 1390 “An Act Regarding the Cancellation of Subscription Services.” The bill received a unanimous report out of the LCRED committee.

LD 1390 is at heart a consumer protection bill. The intent of LD 1390 was to protect people from subscriptions designed to trap people with burdensome cancellations. The amended bill states that online services that automatically renew, such as a subscription that charges me each month until cancelled, must provide a way to cancel the subscription online so that it would not charge me again and would not renew at the end of the month. This would only affect online services and only ones that have recurring, paid subscriptions. If the company will allow the customer to subscribe online, then they should also offer the same way to cancel the subscription online as well.

I decided to introduce this bill due to hearing numerous reports from family, friends, and constituents about the difficulties that folks have had trying to cancel online subscription services. Especially for those who are trying to cancel online dating or video game subscriptions. In fact this problem came to my attention when My 66-year-old father went to stop the automatic renewal of his subscription to XBOX Live (he is particularly fond of Halo), he found that he could not cancel online.

We wouldn’t be the only state to have such a law. Illinois passed the same law in 2008 in order to protect its citizens from predatory business practices. An Illinois teenager signed up for an online gaming service with a monthly subscription. When he grew tired of the game, his parents tried to cancel the $13 monthly subscription online, but there was no way on the provider’s website to cancel the subscription and no phone number listed either. They finally found a phone number on their credit card statement and waited almost two hours on hold to be able to talk to someone about canceling the account. The parents were irate and lobbied their local state representative to introduce legislation to cease this predatory practice. The Illinois Legislature passed the bill unanimously in 2008.

Also Marina Mozak of Bath, a rising Junior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, helped me research and draft the bill while she was my intern in January. She spoke to her fellow students and found out that they had similar problems with their online subscriptions. Marina even traveled from Limestone to Augusta in May to testify in favor of the bill.

Marina Mozak testifying in favor of LD 1390 in front of the Labor Committee

Marina Mozak testifying in favor of LD 1390 in front of the Labor Committee

Now the veto goes to the Senate. Please contact your Senators today and urge them to vote to overturn the veto on LD 1390!

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This post was written by
Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, a Brunswick native, is the State Representative for the Maine House District 66

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