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Santa Monica Part of Task Force that Wins $2 Million Settlement with Dating Service
 

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By Lookout Staff

July 9, 2021 -- A task force composed of five County District Attorneys and the Santa Monica City Attorney's office reached a $2 million settlement Wednesday with Match.com.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Match Group Inc., a global online dating service company, charged customers for automatic renewal without their express consent.

“Consumers should be protected from practices that deceptively and unfairly force them to pay for something they don’t want,” said Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón.

“We want companies to thrive, but they should be mindful to not abuse technology tools to violate consumer protections,” Gascón said.

In addition to the fiie, Match Group was ordered to "clearly and conspicuously disclose its automatic renewal terms" under a judgment entered in the Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

The company must also "get consumers’ affirmative consent to the terms through a checkbox before charging for an automatic renewal or continuous service."

In addition, Match Group Inc. must email consumers a confirmation of the transaction after they pay, allow consumers to easily cancel the service and avoid using misleading online sales information and payment mechanisms.

"The company did not admit wrongdoing (and) has already taken steps to correct its violations," the DA's office said.

The Santa Monica City Attorneys office is part of the California Automatic Renewal Task Force (CART) that investigated the case.

The LA County District Attorney’s Office formed CART "to address rising consumer complaints against online automatic renewal subscriptions," according to the DA's office.

Other members of CART are the District Attorneys of San Diego, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties.

"Federal and state law requires businesses to provide consumers with clear disclosure of their automatic renewal terms and conditions before charging them for the service," according to the task force.


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