Hashtag Trending Nov. 18 – Apple softens right to repair stance; FTC wants to make online subs easier to cancel; Amazon boots Visa

With files from Tom Li

Apple to provide official iPhone parts to consumers, FTC wants to tighten rules around subscription cancellation, and Visa and Amazon are in a spat.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, November 18th, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

It turns out that Apple does listen when the complaints are loud enough. In a monumental move yesterday, the company announced Self Service Repair, through which iPhone 12 and 13 owners can have access to certified iPhone parts, including the display battery and camera. Apple will also be providing a manual that guides the user through the repair process. More parts will be made available in the near future, but even the initial rollout can help reduce e-waste and extend the service life of current devices.

It’s fairly common for companies to have consumers call in to cancel subscriptions they signed up for online. As dissent against this practice grows, the FTC has stepped in to curb this trend in a new guideline. The recently released guideline, which covers auto renewals and free trials, requires the company to make it clear when they will charge their customers. In addition, it mandates the company to provide all information needed to cancel, as well as prohibits tactics such as unreasonable wait times, hanging up during the call, and providing false information on how to cancel. The sub online but call to cancel practice is especially rife in the news and fitness industry.

Finally, we have another spat between two major financial powerhouses. Amazon has announced that it will stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K., citing skyrocketing transaction fees. The company accused Visa of raising the fees and increasing cost for consumers. Visa fired back, maintaining that its fees are marginal and remains competitive to Mastercard. It added that by removing Visa as a payment partner, Amazon is eroding consumer choice. The two companies have had a longstanding relationship and the new friction doesn’t help either side make money. In the meantime, Amazon is offering its U.K. Prime subscribers a 20 pound credit to add an alternative payment method.

Remote work can improve efficiency, but it’s not without its ails. One trend called “overemployment” sees remote workers signing up for multiple jobs, sometimes even outsourcing them to another party. Because remote employees don’t need to be seen during their work day, employers don’t really know who’s really behind the screen. One 23-year-old capitalized on this advantage by signing up for three jobs, eventually delegating one to his sister to boost her income. According to his statement to The Guardian, he only needed to show up to the meetings to report on his progress. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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