On 31 May 2021 Rule 357/2021 (the rule) of the National Directorate of Consumer Protection and Consumer Arbitration was published in the Official Gazette. The rule extends the list of services that must add unsubscribe buttons to their websites.
Unsubscribe buttons were first regulated by Regulation 316/18 of the former Secretariat of Commerce within the former Ministry of Production. This regulation states that service providers must add an unsubscribe button to their websites to enable consumers to request the cancellation of services at any time, pursuant to section 10-ter of the Consumer Protection Law (CPL) (24,240). This provision sets out the following:
when the contracting of a service, including public services, has been carried out by telephone, electronic means or the like, the contract can be terminated at the choice of the consumer or user by the same means.
Pursuant to Regulation 316/2018, the link to cancel the contracted services must be:
- easily and directly accessible from the home page of the company's website; and
- prominent in terms of its location, visibility and size.
This prevents any confusion concerning the consumer's unsubscribe request. Further, when the consumer uses the unsubscribe button, the supplier must not require the consumer's prior registration or impose any other conditions.
Several subsequent rules regulate the provisions of Regulation 316/2018 and expand the list of services covered by the obligation to incorporate an unsubscribe button.
The newly added rule introduces the following services to the list of commercial activities that must add an unsubscribe button:
- subscriptions to previous savings contracts;
- insurance services;
- timeshare interests (tourism services); and
- streaming subscriptions or digital media distribution services.
The following services were already covered by the unsubscribe button obligation:
- fixed and mobile telephone services;
- internet access providers;
- broadcasting subscription agreements;
- health insurance services;
- subscriptions to newspapers and magazines (both in paper and digital format);
- subscriptions to databases;
- travel assistance services;
- subscriptions to medical emergency services or transfers of individuals for health-related reasons;
- memberships to sports clubs and gyms;
- credit cards issued by non-financial institutions;
- periodic donations to civil associations, foundations and non-governmental and charitable organisations; and
- security and alarm services.
Pursuant to the rule, the services that have been newly added to the list must implement the relevant technical adjustments to their websites within 60 calendar days from the publication of the rule. Failure to comply with this obligation may lead to penalties under the CPL.
For further information on this topic please contact Mariano Peruzzotti or Antonella Balbo at Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum by telephone +54 11 4549-4900 or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Ojam Bullrich Flanzbaum website can be accessed at www.ojambf.com.