A plaintiff has asked a California judge to deny Yahoo Inc.’s motion to dismiss an auto-renewal lawsuit alleging it automatically charges consumers for Rivals.com subscription renewals without their consent.
Rivals.com provides college sports team coverage and bills itself as the country’s No. 1 authority on recruiting for college football and college basketball. Yahoo acquired Rivals.com in 2007 under its Yahoo Sports channel. Rivals offers free access in addition to monthly and annual premium subscription services.
Plaintiff Andrew Wahl of Missouri alleges his Rivals auto-renewal lawsuit that he purchased an annual Rivals.com subscription for $99.95 in February 2015, and was automatically charged $99.95 for a subscription renewal one year later.
In October 2016, Wahl says he decided to cancel his Rivals.com subscription. In February 2017, Wahl was again charged $99.95 for an annual subscription, the Rivals.com auto-renewal lawsuit alleges. However, Wahl says he was not provided a refund for the annual subscription fee even though he only used the subscription for two weeks.
According to the Rivals.com auto-renewal lawsuit, Yahoo’s auto-renewal policy violates California law.
By filing the Yahoo class action lawsuit, Wahl sought to represent himself and a Class of consumers whose subscriptions to Rivals.com were automatically renewed.
In March, Yahoo filed a motion seeking to dismiss the Rivals.com auto-renewal lawsuit on the basis that Wahl couldn’t file the class action lawsuit in California because he is a resident of Missouri. Yahoo also argued that Wahl had agreed to Yahoo’s terms of service, and that he failed to cancel his subscription before the automatic renewal date.
Wahl disagrees with Yahoo’s assertions and maintains that there was no cutoff date for cancelling subscriptions listed on the sign-up page or payment page when he signed up for the Rivals.com subscription. He asserts that this conduct violates California’s Automatic Renewal Law.
Although Yahoo reportedly included screenshots in its motion to dismiss the Rivals.com class action lawsuit which showed the subscription terms, Wahl claims that these terms were not displayed on or near the same page as the subscription agreement as required by California’s Automatic Renewal Law.
Wahl also disagrees with Yahoo that California is an inappropriate venue for his automatic renewal class action lawsuit because he Yahoo provides services, conducts businesses and has offices located in the state. Further, Wahl says he signed up for the Rivals.com subscription in California.
The Federal Trade Commission Act establishes requirements that companies must honestly and clearly disclose their automatic renewal policies to consumers. In addition to the FTC Act, many states have also established regulations regarding automatic renewal policies to protect consumers from being automatically charged for subscription renewals without their knowledge or consent. California has the strictest automatic renewal laws.
If you were charged for an automatic subscription renewal that you did not want, you may have a legal claim against the company responsible. Bradley/Grombacher understands the various issues involving federal and state auto-renewal laws and can help you determine whether the company violated the law. You could qualify to file an auto-renewal lawsuit to seek a refund. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation and find out if filing an auto-renewal lawsuit is right for you. Fill out the form on this page to get started.