Behind the automatic renewal of small yellow cars: enterprises dig holes and users fill mines


Welcome to the wechat subscription number of chuangshiji
Wen / Muzi
Source: understand notes (ID: Dongdong_ note)
Recently, the small yellow car “charging problem” again. Some users found that although their small yellow car app has been deleted, and no trace of small yellow car has been seen on the street, their payment account has been automatically deducted, and the quarterly card has been renewed.
Moreover, when users call the platform to apply for a refund, it is found that the official customer service hotline has already been blocked. There is no way to refund, causing users’ extreme dissatisfaction.
Some netizens said that in addition to the small yellow car, the main business is no longer operating, the application is no longer updated, but the annual membership fees, quarterly cards are still automatically renewed, and there are storm video. As for the application of automatic renewal and continuous monthly payment, it is quite common in mobile phones.
Is this a problem that mobile phone applications are embedded in our bank payment system?
Accidentally into the set of renewal
“Automatic (Continued) deduction is actually a lazy function.”
Zhang Ya is the product manager of a research and development company in Shenzhen. He told them that they would like to reserve an “automatic renewal port” if they were cooperating with the company to develop apps and small programs. Some enterprises began to apply for this function to the payment system soon after the app and applet were launched.
In the application, the service of automatic renewal and continuous monthly payment is called “withholding business” in the payment system. After the user selects the continuous monthly business, the application can send the withholding fee request to the payment system to complete the payment on time and according to the quantity.
“There are two functions of continuous monthly package, one is signing before deduction, and the other is signing during payment.” Zhang Ya said that signing a contract before fee deduction is generally used for the withholding of internal purchase business, and signing during payment is more common. For example, continuous monthly subscription members of video and music applications are signed in the process of payment – that is, for the first time, the continuous monthly subscription function is selected to pay the membership fee, and the automatic monthly deduction is agreed to continue the member business.
At first glance, the service of continuous monthly payment and automatic renewal reduces the tedious monthly payment operation of users. But in fact, the reason why enterprises prefer continuous monthly payment and automatic renewal is that some want users to forget to sign a contract. “If they have not signed up for automatic renewal, sometimes users forget to renew business, which is not a good thing for enterprises.”
Most of the time, enterprises will inform users of the expiration of the monthly business and remind them to renew their fees through the application of push and SMS. But sometimes users have stopped using the service, or are hesitant to renew the contract. Once they see this kind of prompt, they may not renew the service. “So it’s better to guide users to choose continuous monthly payment when signing a contract, and the application can initiate monthly withholding.”
Zhang Ya disclosed, “as long as the user does not cancel the continuous monthly package in time, the system can automatically initiate deduction.” As for the guidance means, basically, the first month fee discount is provided when choosing continuous monthly subscription. For example, if the monthly membership fee is 19 yuan, the first month of continuous monthly subscription only needs 9.9 yuan, or if you choose to pay automatically, you can get the whole year discount.
However, when automatic renewal, what is deducted is the real gold and silver in the user’s payment account. Will consumers really forget or be deducted by the application unconsciously?
“Started to choose the continuous monthly package, and then forgot to cancel it, and then found out after deducting fees for a year.”
Xiao Li, a netizen in Wuxi, said that when he was using a music app a year ago, he joined a paid member to download copyrighted songs and chose a monthly service. He plans to turn off the continuous monthly subscription after downloading the songs. But after downloading, I think it’s a waste to close the membership in the first month after purchasing it, and I want to cancel the member at the end of the month. And then I completely forgot about the members.
In this way, every time the membership service is due, the app will automatically withdraw the membership fee from the account. “It was closed only in July when it was discovered. I called the official customer service. The customer service said that I chose the continuous monthly service, and the fee already deducted could not be refunded, so I had to accept it.”
So, why did Xiao Li choose the continuous monthly service? He told him that he understood the notes, only because there was a discount for the first month of the continuous monthly service. He thought about taking advantage of some small advantages and then canceling it. He didn’t expect that the final gain was not worth the loss. “A friend asked the video (APP) to automatically deduct two years of membership, only to find that he forgot to cancel it at the beginning.”
In order to take advantage of small advantages, users signed up for continuous monthly service, thinking about closing the business when it was due, but eventually overestimated their memory.
Enterprises make use of preferential means to let users sign a contract for consecutive months, apply for payment by agreement, and deduct fees in a dignified and continuous manner. It does not involve any violations, and users naturally have no way to complain.
So, is the application threshold high for such an automatic renewal service beneficial to enterprise revenue?
Low threshold for App Store regulation
“In the past, it was easy to apply for (withholding business), but now the supervision is very strict.”
By searching for the word “automatic renewal” on idle fish and Douban, you can understand the notes and find several merchants who claim to be able to help with the automatic renewal of payment system. Li, manager of an organization, said that at present, it is difficult to apply for automatic renewal of payment system.
First of all, the enterprises that develop and operate app and small programs must have certain qualification and scale strength; secondly, the category of business account applied by the enterprise should be consistent with the charging business; finally, the current business account should have certain flow.
“If you meet the above conditions, you can apply on your behalf. If you fail, you can get a refund.” Li said that according to the different types of business accounts, agency fees range from 3000 to 5000 yuan, and the current success rate of applications is generally low.
In recent years, games and applications that apply for payment system withholding and automatic renewal have induced users and players to renew their contracts. Some mobile games borrow automatic renewal, unlimited deduction account amount, used for in-game purchase consumption.
“Therefore, in addition to enterprises with certain qualifications and strength, it is difficult for others to apply successfully.” Therefore, manager Li is more willing to recommend opening automatic renewal service through UnionPay and third-party payment institutions. The disadvantage is that users need to bind their bank cards at the same time when signing service contracts, which is cumbersome.

Wu Nan, the entrepreneur, is also troubled by the low success rate of automatic renewal and withholding business of the payment system. He told me that the company developed and operated an app for second-hand car valuation, but the charging system was difficult to pass.
“This year, we plan to implement membership system for second-hand car dealers and open continuous monthly business.” He said frankly that the company’s business account has a running stream, but the withholding business can not apply for opening on its own, so it needs to contact the BD exclusive to the payment system.
But after contacting BD of the two payment platforms, the answer is that they can not be opened. One is that the company’s qualification fails to meet the requirements of the audit and opening up; the other is that it is worried about certain risks. “Frankly speaking, it is afraid that app developed by small-scale companies will have arbitrary deduction behavior.”
Just when Wu Nan was troubled by this, a friend engaged in game development told him that he could try to develop app for IOS system. Many games also use app store to deduct fees, and the threshold for applying for withholding and automatic renewal is not high.
“It is said that as long as the developer account is applied for and the subscription flow is separated from the app store account, the user subscription business can initiate deduction and automatic renewal.” This friend even promised Wu Nan that a large number of krypton gold games were put on the shelves in this way, inducing players to pay for ordering business.
As the auto renewal service can be realized, Wu Nan and his team are also working on the scheme, trying to use the app mall to realize the member’s second-hand car valuation business of continuous monthly and automatic renewal. “As for Android system, you can only manually renew the fee first, and then think of a way slowly.”
In this way, what problems will users encounter?
On the complaints of black cat, I searched the complaints of “automatic renewal of Appstore” and found nearly 200 complaints. Many users have agreed to use the app membership service, and after the trial period, they will deduct and renew their fees. Moreover, most of the complaints are still in the “processing” state. Among them, Wu Nan’s friend called “krypton gold” game.
It can be seen that although the audit mechanism of the payment system for withholding and automatic renewal business is tightened, enterprises can still realize the so-called continuous monthly payment and fee withholding business through the third-party payment platform and application mall.
Even if the user remembers to open the automatic renewal, it seems that it is not easy to close or cancel the related services if the application automatically deducts fees.
If the user does not cancel, the deduction will not stop
On the complaint of black cat, netizens who complained about the application’s automatic fee deduction said: after the downloaded app was unloaded from the mobile phone, it still continued to deduct fees. In order to close or cancel the function of automatic renewal, netizens have to download the application again, but they still can’t find the entrance to close the business.
“In fact, when users pay by click and try out, the application will retrieve the payment system page to complete the payment, and the jump only takes a moment, which often makes the user think that the payment is completed within the application.” Zhang Ya told understand notes, once found that the deduction wants to cancel the subscription business automatic renewal, users will look for the closed entrance in the application.
However, when you operate, you will find that after searching through the entire application, you cannot find any entry to cancel the business. In fact, if you want to close the automatic renewal business, you need to cancel it in the signed payment system. As long as you cancel the signed business in the payment management, the automatic renewal and withholding will be terminated.
“Developers and operators themselves don’t want users to cancel the withholding. How can there be an entrance? What’s more, they won’t tell the application how to cancel the withholding and continuous monthly business.” He said with a little helplessness that even if users call the official customer service of the app, the answer will be to find a payment platform to cancel.
Therefore, many users have no choice but to contact the payment platform or go to black cat to complain, and the appeal is often to cancel the withholding business and refund the fee deducted. “That is impossible, after all, the user agrees to the relevant terms, and the application may initiate the deduction.”
As for whether the user has carefully checked the relevant fee deduction terms, the application does not care. As long as you click on the trial and enjoy the first month member discount, it is equivalent to agreeing to the deduction terms and authorizing the application to initiate continuous automatic deduction to the payment platform.
So, is it reasonable for the user to unload the application, or the operator’s main business no longer continues to operate, and the application still continues to deduct user fees?
To this end, I consulted the legal profession. Some lawyers told them to understand notes. In theory, as long as users default to apply deduction and automatic renewal terms, the application can initiate withholding. As long as the business entity exists and its corporate account is still in normal use, it can initiate automatic deduction.
This is also true of the automatic deduction of small yellow cars. Business entities in the enterprise inspection showed that: dishonesty, the person to be executed, abnormal operation, but the state is still open.
In other words, unless the user cancels or revokes, or the user cancels the automatic renewal service, the payment platform will still perform the fee withholding according to the contract signed before, and will not terminate due to the user’s unloading of the application.
Therefore, if users find the automatic deduction behavior, they can only apply for cancellation by themselves. The amount deducted before is also the legitimate income of the application operator. Unless the proof can provide evidence, prove that the platform induces and deceives users to use relevant withholding services without knowing it.
Perhaps, the fees deducted by users will not come back. In retrospect, how many users, confused by the “small discount” of the platform, chose the continuous monthly service and withholding business, and carefully checked the relevant terms?
Obviously, most users want to enjoy the discount first and then close it later. As a result, they forget to cancel the business and generate and deduct new fees.
Search for “automatic fee deduction” on the complaints of black cat, you can find nearly 30000 complaints, and there are more than 1000 complaints related to “continuous monthly payment”.
Among them, there are “traps” set by developers, and there is a risk that users are greedy for small and cheap. Let me remind you that regardless of the membership fee or the monthly business, consumers should be cautious before paying the fees. They must understand their own needs before deciding on the business form of ordering. Let’s not fill in this ray.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)