New York Times Subscription Auto-Renewal California Class Action

This class action brings suit against the New York Times Company under California’s Automatic Renewal Law (ARL). The complaint alleges that when customers sign up for a subscription to the New York Times, they are enrolled in a month-to-month or year-to-year automatic renewal program, without the disclosures and authorizations required by ARL.

The class for this action is all persons in California, who, within the applicable statutes of limitations period up to the date of final judgment in this case, incurred renewal fees in connection with the company’s offer of a subscription to the New York Times.

Under ARL, when online businesses offer automatic renewal subscriptions, they must take certain steps:

  • They must get the purchaser’s affirmative consent before the purchase is concluded.
  • They must provide all terms of the automatic renewal terms in a clear and conspicuous fashion and in visual proximity to the request for affirmative consent.
  • They must give the purchaser an acknowledgement providing the automatic renewal terms, the cancellation policy, and an easy and efficient way for the purchaser to cancel the subscription. The acknowledgement must be in a form that is easily retainable.

According to the complaint, the process for obtaining a subscription to the New York Times does not meet any of these requirements. In fact, the complaint claims, the company makes it “exceedingly difficult and unnecessarily confusing” for subscribers to cancel their subscriptions.

Plaintiff Maribel Moses bought a subscription to the New York Times while she was in California in August 2019. In the process, she gave the Times her PayPal account information.

She claims that the company did not disclose to her all the automatic renewal terms and did not obtain her affirmative consent to the automatic renewal arrangement. While the company did send her an acknowledgement, she says it did not provide all the automatic renewal terms or its full cancellation policy, and it did not give her information on how to cancel, in a form that she could easily retain.

After she had signed up for the subscription, the complaint says, the Times automatically renewed her subscription ten times, each time taking the money from her PayPal account.

On or around May 18, 2020, she sent the Times an e-mail asking to cancel her subscription. However, a week later her PayPal account was again charged for a renewal.

The complaint alleges, “Ultimately, Ms. Moses’s May 18 attempt was unsuccessful, and she was unable to terminate her subscription due to [the Times’s] confusing cancellation policy, the most crucial aspects of which were missing from the Checkout Page and acknowledgement email.” Moses was still subscribed to the New York Times at the time of the filing of the complaint.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

New York Times Subscription Auto-Renewal California Complaint

June 17, 2020

This class action brings suit against the New York Times Company under California’s Automatic Renewal Law (ARL). The complaint alleges that when customers sign up for a subscription to the New York Times, they are enrolled in a month-to-month or year-to-year automatic renewal program, without the disclosures and authorizations required by ARL.

New York Times Subscription Auto-Renewal California Complaint

Case Event History

New York Times Subscription Auto-Renewal California Complaint

June 17, 2020

This class action brings suit against the New York Times Company under California’s Automatic Renewal Law (ARL). The complaint alleges that when customers sign up for a subscription to the New York Times, they are enrolled in a month-to-month or year-to-year automatic renewal program, without the disclosures and authorizations required by ARL.

New York Times Subscription Auto-Renewal California Complaint
Tags: Unfair Business Practices, Unlawful Subscription Renewal