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Lawsuit Targets Technical Requirements in California's Autorenewal Law

These programs remain in private class action plaintiffs' crosshairs

Autorenewal programs remain in the crosshairs for private class action plaintiffs, as evidenced by another lawsuit filed in California targeting numerous technical requirements in the state's automatic renewal law.

Plaintiff sued FloSports, an online sports streaming subscription service. According to the plaintiff, the autorenewal terms were not clearly and conspicuously disclosed when customers enrolled in the website's subscription sports broadcasting and streaming services, and the company did not provide an opportunity to convey affirmative consent to be enrolled in the renewing subscription program or send an order acknowledgment containing all of the necessary disclosures.

The plaintiff alleged specifically that the website failed to disclose the recurring renewal price, the length of the renewal term, the date when the first charge would occur, or the complete cancellation policy associated with his subscription. The checkout page also advertised the purchase price as $12.49 per month, which contradicted the $149.99 annual purchase price (by 11 cents!). The complaint challenged the website's failure to disclose that the amount billed each month or year might vary because of promotional offers, changes in the subscription features, and changes in applicable taxes. Thus, while the checkout page stated that consumers' subscriptions will automatically renew and that they will be charged $149.99 immediately for the first year, the website did not disclose how much money consumers will be charged for each subsequent year. Further, the cancellation policy on the checkout page did not disclose that a consumer's subscription automatically renews unless autorenew is turned off at least 24 hours before the end of the current period, and did not disclose the time zone that applies to the cutoff date.

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