AG Ferguson: 59% of Washingtonians may have been duped into subscription plans

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson released the results of a consumer survey revealing that 59% of Washingtonians may have been unintentionally enrolled in a subscription plan or service when they thought they made a one-time purchase, highlighting a problem that may be impacting millions of Washingtonians. 

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that just over 6 million adults live in Washington state. Consequently, 59% represents 3.5 million Washingtonians. Respondents reported that pre-check boxes constitute a significant source of the problem.

The survey also reveals that approximately 100,000 Washingtonians may have been unable to cancel the unwanted subscription because it was too difficult.

The Attorney General’s Office recently commissioned the online survey of 1,207 adult Washington consumers. The survey is part of the Attorney General’s Honest Fees Initiative.

Attorney General Ferguson urges consumers to file a complaint with his office if they inadvertently signed up for a subscription while attempting to make a one-time purchase. The Attorney General’s Office responds to every consumer complaint. 

It fields approximately 24,000 complaints annually, and returns approximately $18 million per year to consumers through its informal complaint resolution process, which involves working with businesses to resolve consumer complaints pre-investigation or litigation.


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