The parent company of dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle will repay customers whose subscriptions were automatically renewed or who were denied refunds, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Spark Networks USA agreed to pay $500,000 in penalties and up to $985,000 in restitution. It will also edit its website to become more transparent, according to the Times.
The L.A.-based company had been renewing payments without warning its customers. This goes against federal and state law — California specifically enacted a stricter Automatic Renewal Law in July, which requires that e-commerce sites “notify consumers about how to cancel the auto-renewal before they are charged,” according to the website of California law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo.
The ruling states that California customers who paid membership fees between May 26, 2012, and Oct. 10, 2017, and were unknowingly charged for at least one automatic renewal may be reimbursed, the Times reported. The same goes for those who fruitlessly tried to cancel a service plan. Currently, those eligible will get $25 in restitution.