JustAnswer Website Automatic Subscription Class Action
The Lyon Firm is investigating potentially illegal automatic subscription schemes and deceptive billing practices on behalf of plaintiffs nationwide. If you have questions about an automatic subscription on JustAnswer, contact The Lyon Firm to review.
A class of plaintiffs has filed a class action complaint alleging that www.justanswer.com, a website on which users can ask “experts” for advice on a wide variety of topics, deceptively enrolled them in expensive subscriptions.
When the users first accessed the JustAnswer website, they were informed that they could consult doctors, lawyers, vets and other alleged experts. Some plaintiffs and class members believed they were speaking with companies’ customer support departments.
Many plaintiffs have used the JustAnswer website to submit a single question to an “expert” for the advertised one-time fee of $5, but instead JustAnswer automatically enrolled them in monthly memberships.
After discovering the surprise charges on their credit cards, the plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against JustAnswer, alleging unlawful automatic renewal membership programs that fail to provide “clear and conspicuous” disclosures. They argue that the company does not properly obtain their “affirmative consent” as mandated by the Automatic Renewal Law.
JustAnswer claims plaintiffs agreed to the “Terms of Service,” which included a class action waiver and a binding arbitration clause when they enter payment information on the website and clicked a button that says, “Start my trial.”
The “terms of service” is a hyperlink to a separate web page that displays the 26-page-long terms of service. On the computer version, user are not required to actually view the terms of service in order to click “Start my trial” and begin using the JustAnswer services.
Attorneys allege that the company may have violated provisions of California consumer-protection law, including the Automatic Renewal Law, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and the Unfair Competition Law.
Deceptive billing schemes have become a frequent complaint for consumers across the country. Many modern business models rely on auto renewal contracts and companies feed on this continual cash flow. These companies are quick to charge you for a service, but they may be overlooking consumer protection laws that make them liable for deceptive billing violations. If you have encountered subscription issues, contact us for a free consultation.
Online automatic renewal programs are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), which requires clear disclosures of contract terms, informed consent before a purchase, and an easy method to cancel the charges. Violations of this law are regarded as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Joe Lyon is a class action consumer fraud lawyer investigating JustAnswer subscription auto-renewal claims, and other deceptive billing practice complaints for plaintiffs nationwide.
Multiple states have updated consumer protection laws that prohibit companies from automatically renewing subscriptions without obtaining proper consent or clearly explaining the terms and conditions of the contract. Federal laws also protect consumers. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), businesses must take proper steps to ensure that charges to customers’ credit cards and accounts are authorized.
Any violations of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act by JustAnswer or another subscription-based entity may constitute an unlawful practice and affected individuals can contact an attorney to consider seeking compensation and justice.