Ask Dr. Tech is an remote desktop support service provider. In their Renewal and Cancellation procedure there is a provision for automatic renewal. Within this contract, the provisions are such that the user has to jump through so many detailed loops to obtain a non-renewal status, and still requires "authorization" to cancel.
Because of the hightly restrictive nature of contract cancellation, the consumer is totally at the mercy of this business. If Ask Dr. Tech chooses not to "authorize" your non-renewal request, presumedly, every year for the rest of your life, your credit card will debibited.
Automatic contract renewal should be used for situations where convenience and clerical efficiency make it in everybody's interest to just let the service continue, such as your gas company contract. Automatic contrarct renewal should not be used as a consumer trap, for those unwary their casual Internet business has become an open road for highway robbery.
Ask Dr. Tech did it to me. After one unsatisfactory support contact, I e-mailed Ask Dr. Tech that I did not want their services any more. That did not meet their narrow requirements for non-renewal. A year or so later, this $89 charge just appeared on my credit card, without notice. Since this charge was $40 greater than the amount specified by contract, Discover Card graciously found the $40 for me.
What apparently mattered to Ask Dr. Tech and Discover was that, according to the letter of the contract, Ask Dr. Tech had the right to do what they did, regardless of my intentions or wishes.
It is sad we live in times when managers at companies like Ask. Dr. Tech, and Earthlink, and AOL, and many others fine tune their contracts, prevent business transactions that can be proven, and systematically query their database of credit card numbers to mine and skim off small-value transactions just as though there were no human being behind that number. But to them, it is worth billions, so my complaint will languish, parked here in these magnetic sectors, lost in a big digital market place, powerless before the mighty.