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- Posted on
December 19, 2005, 3:26 pm
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I do apologize if this is the wrong group for this type of question, in
which case I'd appreciate a pointer to suitable groups or net
Having had the dubious pleasure of being a victim of fraudulent charges
to my credit card, I decided I no longer want to allow any e-business
to store my credit card details on their computers in any form. I want
any trace of my credit card details to be erased as soon as they get
the CC company's OK for the transaction.
I wondered if anyone knew what was my legal position on that as the
credit card owner. For example, are businesses obliged *by law* to
obliterate any such data once a customer requests them to do so.
Also, I have recently come accross two annual-subscription based
services, whose 'terms and conditions' fineprint revealed that...
(guess what?...) - the subscription will be automatically renewed at
the end of the 1 year subscription term. Unless I *then* demand
otherwise I suppose, but even that is not clearly stated in that text.
Beside being more-than-slightly disgusted by businesses who try to make
money in these ways, I am wondering if I can insist in advance that no
renewal would take place without my prior explicit consent, and more so
any charges to my credit card, based on some legistlation, rather than
just my bargaining position as a potential customer.
What's the legal state of affairs on that?
Thanks a lot in advance,
Re: Customer rights regarding credit card data retention
That would depend upon the jurisdiction, which you don't state.
And considering you are discussing e-business, you run into the
possibility of international business, in which case you are into the
nebulous area of treaties and international consumer rights.
Cynically speaking, your assumption as a consumer should be that
you have no enforcable international consumer rights. Now if you
were doing all this as a business, then you would have the protection
of WTO, bilaterial agreements, extended NAFTA and so on...
Most people who fail to state jurisdictions when asking about law
are in the USA; your google posting host IP suggests you might be
in Israel. Sorry, I have no information about consumer protection in
Some of the clearest consumer-data protection laws around are those
of the EU; the UK laws are relatively easy to find, and Australia and
Canada have enacted similar laws. The USA has much weaker consumer-data
To play on the famouse phrase in Real Estate:
"The three most important elements in law are Jurisdiction, jurisdiction,
To take local examples:
- In Ontario, Canada, apartment rental leases automatically
renew as "month-to-month" unless you specifically terminate them or sign
a renewal at the proper time
- In Mantioba, Canada (next province over), apartment rental leases
automatically terminate unless you specifically renew them at the
appropriate time -- but you can get out of any residential lease with
2 months notice
Both of these are based upon specific local laws. Do they generalize
to other kinds of contracts in the respective areas? Not necessarily --
in both provinces, your residential phone lines continue month-to-month
until you terminate them, but cellular phone service is usually multi-year
with month-to-month cellular service difficult to find.
On the whole, around -here-, automatic-renewals are legal (and mandated
for household insurance!) provided that the conditions for termination
notification are "reasonable". A court would, for example, be unlikely
to find it "reasonable" that in order to terminate a contract that was
good for a decade at a time, that you had to give notice between 14:07
and 14:11 on one particular day 6 1/2 years in advance.
Programming is what happens while you're busy making other plans.
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