Is it legal for an online service to charge an account holder credit card for services that are contingent on the account holder being able to manage their account if the account holder's access has been restricted?

  • 1
    "...access has been restricted." Restricted by who? Jul 14, 2023 at 17:18
  • Restricted by the company providing the online service.
    – L S
    Jul 15, 2023 at 1:45
  • Just a note: If one were to assume that the company was acting in bad faith, one would also have to assume that their legal department was in on it. To challenge that, you would need a real lawyer from the applicable jurisdictions, not just bits and pieces from the web to put into a letter.
    – o.m.
    Jul 16, 2023 at 4:33

1 Answer 1


Depends on what terms of service the account holder signed up to.

For instance, one could run a website at a cloud provider, configure it so that it automatically scales up when the traffic grows, and then mishandle the credentials so that one cannot shut it down quickly. By the time access is restored, there might be quite some bill.

As it recently made the news, when a business deliberately makes it easier to sign up than to cancel, the FTC may step in. But that was an extreme case.

  • Is there a source where I can read about this ruling/action?
    – L S
    Jul 16, 2023 at 2:32
  • @LS, I linked their press release. It is rather recent, I expect the legal wrangling to take years.
    – o.m.
    Jul 16, 2023 at 4:19
  • Ok, this is the type of thing I am looking for.
    – L S
    Jul 17, 2023 at 10:47
  • @LS, and the link was in there yesterday. :-)
    – o.m.
    Jul 17, 2023 at 16:49

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