TrueBeginnings LLC, the owner and operator of the True.com online dating website, has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that was brought against it by a former subscriber who alleged that True had unlawfully charged fees to his credit card after he cancelled his subscription. Members of the settlement class have until October 21, 2009, to submit claims forms to participate in the settlement.
The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that True had a pattern and practice of imposing unauthorized charges on the credit cards or debit cards of subscribers who had previously cancelled their subscription. Discovery in the lawsuit revealed that True had in place a system -- which it called Auto-Subscription -- whereby certain former subscribers could automatically re-subscribe by clicking on certain hyper-links.
The lawsuit alleged that True did not adequately inform the former subscribers of the existence of the Auto-Subscription system, or of the fact that they would be subject to re-subscription based upon clicking on those hyper-links. Among other things, True asserted this practice is convenient for its customers; the Auto-Subscription process merely initiated a new free trial, with both internet and email reminders about how and when to cancel to prevent any subscription fees.
As part of the settlement, True has agreed to pay $1.5 million into a settlement fund over a period from February 2009 through March 2010. Certain former True subscribers are eligible to make claims for refunds of either $35 (if they were charged only a single month's fees) or $50 (if they were charged two or more month's fees). In addition, a larger group of former subscribers will be offered 45 days of free subscription service on the True.com website. True also has agreed to a Court order requiring an intervening affirmative action or step to its Auto-Subscription system, to indicate that the potential subscriber assents to re-subscription.
SEPT-24-09: Dating Website True.com Agrees to Settle Class Action [PR NEWSWIRE: DATING SITE SETTLES CLASS ACTION]