Apple’s Subscription Apps May Charge You More Without Asking

New App Store policy forces users to opt out of price hikes.

New App Store policy forces users to opt out of price hikes.
Picture: Kirill Kudryavtsev (Getty Images)

Apple has updateGuidelines for developers stating that subscription-based apps may charge more without notifying the user. Apple says in their update that these auto-renewable subscriptions are “a great way to let people access premium content, services, or features” within an app.

Currently, if an app wants to increase the price of its subscription, Apple requires users to be notified via email, push notifications, or in-app messages. Users must also accept this increased price, and if they do not, they will not be charged the higher price in the next billing cycle.

“This has led to some services being unintentionally terminated for users and they need to take action to re-subscribe in the app, from Settings on iPhone and iPad, or in the App Store on Mac.” said Apple. To combat this, Apple is allowing apps to raise their subscription prices while making opt-out the new norm.

It is important to note that Apple lists some specific terms for this new policy. Namely that the price of the subscription cannot be increased more than once a year. Additionally, the monthly price of the new subscription cannot exceed an additional $5 plus 50% of the original price, while an annual subscription cannot exceed $50 plus 50%. Apple says that in these situations, users will still be notified, but they will instead have to unsubscribe from the subscription instead of registering first. Apple will also tell users how to cancel their subscription. If a subscription price increase does not meet these terms, users will also be notified and the previous opt-in terms will remain in effect.

While Apple says this new policy is aimed at giving users a better app experience, it’s also a great way for them to earn some extra cash. hoping you forget that your subscription for Tinder (for example) just went up. Apple did not return our immediate request for comment on this story, but we’ll update if they do.

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