eHarmony has settled a lawsuit for a total of $2.2 million for allegedly duping its customers into long-term commitments — with its online dating service.
The popular matchmaking service was sued by Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Shasta county district attorneys and the Santa Monica city attorney for allegedly renewing customers’ subscriptions to the service without adequate prior notification.
eHarmony will pay up to $1 million in restitution to customers whose accounts were auto-renewed without their consent and another $1.2 million in civil penalties, according to a statement by the Napa County District Attorney’s Office. The penalties will be divvied up equally among the five plaintiffs that filed the lawsuit.
Automatically renewing a contract for goods and services without a customer’s “explicit consent” is illegal in California, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office said.
The dating site also allegedly violated “California’s Dating Service Contract law” by not adequately informing customers of their right to cancel subscriptions within three days, the District Attorney’s Office said.
eHarmony did not admit fault and has taken steps to correct the violations, according to a company statement.
You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @nrahaim.