Chrome 71 will warn users when pages secretly charge money for subscription

Chrome 71 will warn users when pages secretly charge money for subscription
Credit: Pxhere

Have you ever received an invoice for a mobile service you never subscribe to? A lot of sites trick users into entering their mobile numbers to access content and then bill them through carriers. Google is trying to solve that by warning users of such pages in Chrome’s next release – Chrome 71.

Google launched a guideline page that outlines some of the best practices for displaying subscription rates your website. The guideline takes into account for three major factors:

  • Clearly display billing information: The site should inform users that they will be paying a subscription fee.
  • Billing information should be visible and obvious to users: The charges shouldn’t be hidden or displayed in an inexplicably small font. Information should be visible on all types of devices.
  • Make sure that the fee structure is clearly understandable: The page should include breakdown and the frequency of charges (daily, monthly, weekly).
Credit: Google
An example of a page which has hidden subscription charges

Starting from Chrome 71, the browser will display a warning to users, any time a page doesn’t follow these guidelines. The warning will show up on Chrome desktop, Chrome mobile, and Android WebView. Here’s what the warning will look like:

Credit: Google
An example of a warning on a page that charges for subscriptions

The company said on its blog that it will notify site admins if Google identifies such pages:

When we identify such pages, we notify the webmaster through Search Console where there will be an option to let us know about the changes they’ve made to clarify the billing process. For websites that aren’t verified on Search Console, we will do our best to get in touch with the webmasters affected and will be available to answer questions in our public support forum available in 15 languages.

Chrome 71 will also block all ads on pages which shows too many pop-ups. The new release is expected to drop in December 2018.

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