You know that feeling when it seems like money simply disappears from your wallet and accounts? It’s about to get (a little) worse.
Until now, when an app on Apple’s App Store increased its subscription price, subscribers were notified and required to opt in. If they failed to do so, the subscription would not be renewed at the next billing period.
But this has changed. In an update on its site for developers, Apple said that app developers will now be able to increase subscription price without the user being notified.
Granted, there are certain criteria that need to be met for this to happen. From the document: “The specific conditions for this feature are that the price increase doesn’t occur more than once per year, doesn’t exceed US$5 and 50% of the subscription price, or US$50 and 50% for an annual subscription price, and is permissible by local law.”
For price increases that are above these limits, users will again have to opt in.
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Apple says it made the change because the opt in requirement led to some services being “unintentionally interrupted for users,” who then had to resubscribe. And when the prices do change, the company will notify users via email, push notification, and a message within the app.
As an example of what this could look like in real life, an app that initially charged you $100 per year could increase that to $250 per year over three years, which isn’t exactly negligible. Fortunately, price increases can only happen once a year, but users will certainly have to be more vigilant in checking whether the price of their app subscriptions has increased.