Chrome 71 Will Show Warnings on Pages With Unclear Billing Charges & Subscriptions

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Nov 8
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Despite all the advanced in electronic payment methods, paying for things online can sometimes be shrouded in mystery. Several websites (even some well-established ones) do a poor job at answering basic questions such as the actual cost of the service, the billing date and how far are you through the registration process. Google wants to do something about it, and Chrome will soon make the process more transparent.

Google shows the example below as an ambiguous-looking mobile subscription. All the website in question asks is for your mobile number without stating how much the service costs or even that it costs anything. Chrome will soon have clearer billing information and notify users when they may be charged. The second image below shows the new warning page that will appear in Chrome.

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  • Is the billing information visible and obvious to users? For example, adding no subscription information on the subscription page or hiding the information is a bad start because users should have access to the information when agreeing to subscribe.
  • Can customers easily see the costs they’re going to incur before accepting the terms? For example, displaying the billing information in grey characters over a grey background, therefore making it less readable, is not considered a good user practice.
  • Is the fee structure easily understandable? For example, the formula presented to explain how the cost of the service will be determined should be as simple and straightforward as possible.

The new warning pages will go into effect starting in December with Chrome 71. The warning will show up in all version of Chrome, including desktop, mobile, and Android WebView. According to Google’s blog post:

When we identify such pages, we will 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. Once an appeal has been sent via Search Console, we will review the changes and remove the warning accordingly.

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