auto account renewal without notification may be legal, but it's not nice

received notice from paypal of account renewal with no notice from newsblur. You really should notify users before you renew an account, especially when they are no longer using your software/site.


I’m not affilated with NewsBlur but it would help Sam out if you could advise either your username or email so he can check out the right account.

I’m a happy newsblur user, and would actually find this useful as well. A quick “reminder your paid subscription will renew” spot on the app would make NewsBlur friendlier.



This happened to me this morning too. Subscription renewed on my Amex card without warning. I didn’t even realise I had a NewsBlur subscription as I’ve not used it for quite some time. So it would have been nice to have received an email say a week before payment to give me time to cancel the auto-renewal.

Any chance of a refund? My NewsBlur username is ‘rleeden’.




I had an even shittier experience. I cancelled my account after the whole shitty performance after Google reader shutdown almost a year ago, yet still got a renewal message. I asked to have it reversed and for them to stop doing so, but havn’t heard anything yet (which I didn’t expect as I replied less than an hour ago). I don’t have an account or a username(!) but the e-mail used was

An email reminder for premium users that haven’t logged in recently sounds like a good idea. You could take the opportunity to remind them that they have a subscription they’re not using, point out some things that have improved over the past year, and invite them to try out the service again before deciding to renew or cancel.

People who created a premium account and cancelled those first three days were not automatically removed from their subscription. It was a bug, but those first three days were quite hectic. I’m sorting everything out over email.


I just subscribed to Newsblur and am happy with the service. However, I don’t want it to automatically renew next year without notice. How can I prevent that from happening without canceling my current subscription?

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Agree. No automatic renewal without prompt.

Cancelling is the only option. You’ll still get the remainder of your subscription, it just won’t renew automatically.

People have asked for one time payments before but it won’t happen (that was the gist of the response last time) just like paying the subscription fee monthly instead of yearly won’t happen.

That’s reasonable. Thanks.

Just so I’m clear on the details: I subscribed today. If I cancel my subscription today, my account will work the same as a premium account for the next 364 (give or take a day or two) days, right?

After that time, what happens? Does my account disappear, or does it just revert back to a free account? If it reverts back, can I just resubscribe and cancel again to sign up for another year?

Well, you’ve already paid for the coming year right? Since cancelling the subscription only cancels the renewal you’ve still paid, it just doesn’t renew automatically.

Doing this is what Sam has suggested to people who wanted an option to just pay once for a year and then have to renew manually.

Reasonably your account would revert back to a free account after the premium period but I’m not completely sure. I tried but could find any of the threads I know this has been discussed in.

This just happened to me also. Now I would have probably just renewed. But I like the choice or at least the notification. Got to admit it bothered me. If I would have been rating the site on a 1 to 5 stars it would have knocked a star off.

Anyway my 2 cents.

Yeah, I’m not real happy about the auto-renew with no notice either. I’d quit using newsblur because the android app was not satisfying my needs.

Now, I’m willing to give newsblur another chance because I did really like it except for the android problem (oh, and the programmer arrogance with customers) but the auto renew with no warning is problematic.

I’m also willing to accept some blame, because I should have cancelled the paypal auto fund earlier. That’s been done now, so if newsblur doesn’t wow me, at least it won’t happen again.

But really, you need to notify before renewal. Then again, stealth renewals probably get you more money.

Sam has exactly the opposite attitude to what you describe in your last paragraph. He only wants happy customers and he’s happy to provide refunds if you email him a username, registered email address or a payment receipt:

I agree a pre-renewal email, perhaps a week or two beforehand, would be a good thing to enable cancellations, upgrades or whatever. It’s been suggested a number of times over the past week and hopefully he’s taken it onboard.

You should also definitely give the Android app another try, it’s come a long way in the last year.

@Martin - you’re right. That last sentence was uncalled for. I’m sorry.

I went ahead and tried newsblur (in chrome) and the android app again and had some of the same problems still.

Newsblur (sadly, because I really wanted to like it) isn’t the reader for me.

I do agree that a notice would be nice, BUT; I forgot my auto-renewal too (until I got the PayPal notice). Sam replied to my email in under an hour, and I got my money back in under two days. I had actually stopped using NewsBlur about 6 months ago, and came back now that the features are better and the service is smoother. Since Sam was so nice, I re-subscribed, and did the extra generous option.

Like I said, I do agree that a notification would be nice, but contact with NewsBlur is super quick and easy!

I have now sent 2 emails to Sam, but no replies :frowning:
Not very impressed by lack of communication, auto-renewal, using expired credit card, and broken settings to cancel auto renewal…


I use your service every day for at least 2-3 hours a day. It’s a lovely service. However, I was surprised with a charge to my card for the annual re-up with no warning. It would be awesome to receive notification 1-2 weeks before the payment is processed.

That’s all. I love Newsblur.

Thanks Scott. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere (and possible above), since NewsBlur is a recurring subscription, I’m optimizing for the case of the user who continues to use the service and only needs a single email to remind themselves that they’ve paid. Refunds are granted almost immediately just by replying to the receipt.