Negative option billing is an especially insidious way to make people keep buying things from you, and it’s an especially big problem online. Most products promising a “free trial” use it, and the method sells products like credit monitoring, college financial aid help, skin care products, weight loss supplements and shoes. Canceling these subscriptions can be a huge hassle, and wouldn’t it be easier if opt-out subscriptions just weren’t a thing? [More]
It’s already illegal for New York residents to list their unoccupied apartments on Airbnb for less than 30 days, but now it’s illegal and it could cost them: Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed into law a measure that penalizes hosts up to $7,500 for such listings. [More]
When you buy a bootleg T-shirt on eBay or some phony concert tickets on StubHub, those businesses aren’t responsible: the seller is. What if that principle also applied to sharing economy businesses like Airbnb? That’s what the company is experimenting with, starting in its home city of San Francisco. [More]
When exercising your right to vote for the next President of the United States it might be tempting to document the once-every-four-years event with a selfie. But before you hit the camera button, you should know your state laws, because in some areas of the U.S. the now-popular voting booth selfie is illegal. [More]
For nearly two decades, provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have made it illegal in many cases for people to circumvent copyright protections on things like CDs, DVDs, e-books, and MP3s, even when the intended use of this data may be protected by law. A new lawsuit filed today by the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that these aspects of the DMCA don’t stand up to legal scrutiny. [More]
What’s the first thing you do to prepare for a trip to another state? After finalizing your packing list, looking up the law of the land should be on your list — especially if you’re planning on drinking any beer, wine, or liquor while you’re there.
Under federal law, student loan borrowers may be eligible to have their debts discharged if they prove the school they attended deceived them with false promises related to their future careers. However, the measure has been used only sparingly in the past and few clear rules outline the forgiveness process. Now, after nearly two decades on the books, federal officials are finally getting around to crafting rules that could remove one roadblock for students seeking relief. [More]
We are rapidly running out of 2015 left to spend, and so the two houses of Congress have been racing to pass an omnibus spending bill that will keep the government funded and the lights on. Because that bill is a must-pass piece of legislation, all kinds of crap has been added, taken away, and snuck back in as we come down to the wire. Among the other bills that have been tacked on is a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation that has privacy and consumer advocates worried all around.
Each year, thousands of consumers lose their vehicles – often their largest asset – after taking out small-dollar, high-interest auto title loans to cover expenses. Despite hundreds of attempts by lawmakers to rein in the often predatory auto title market, generous campaign donations from the industry’s leaders have created a cycle in which consumers are plunged deeper into debt, while title lenders continue lining their pocketbooks. [More]
Imagine receiving a phone call that 25% of your wages are going to be garnished because of a credit card account opened 14 years earlier that was never paid off. Making things worse, you know you didn’t have a credit card from the bank in question at that time, so it can’t possibly be your debt. This should be an easily remedied error, but not if a court has already granted a default judgment against you, making you responsible for paying back money that you didn’t owe and didn’t find out about until it was too late. [More]
A month after the implementation of long-awaited regulations aimed at reining in for-profit colleges went into effect, opponents of the new rules aren’t simply backing away nicely. Instead, they continue push repeal of the new law, saying it unfairly targets the proprietary schools.
While most of us think of payday lenders as small-time storefront operations, there is also a complicated web of interconnected payday businesses operating outside the U.S. borders, but illegally issuing costly short-term loans to American borrowers. A newly filed lawsuit hopes to put an end to one such network. [More]