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Stages of Beauty Automatic Subscription Renewal California Class Action

Stages of Beauty Product

Stages of Beauty’s website sells skin improvement products designed for specific decades of life and offers to deliver products on a subscription basis as well. However, Plaintiff Matthew Lopez claims that the company does not follow California law regarding the automatic renewal of subscriptions.

The class for this action is all persons in California who, within the applicable statute of limitations up to the final judgment of this action, bought from Stages of Beauty, its predecessors, or its affiliates, any product or service via and “automatic renewal” as defined by § 17601(a) of the California Business & Professions Code.

In passing this section of the Code, California legislators were trying to stop the practice of companies making ongoing charges to consumers’ credit cards, without their express consent, for products, shipments, or continuous services.

The laws in this section on automatic subscription renewals require the following:

  • Before the consumer clicks the button to agree to a company’s subscription agreement, the company must present the automatic renewal terms in a “clear and conspicuous manner … in visual proximity” to the request for agreement.
  • Before charging a customer’s credit or debit card for an automatic renewal, the company must get the consumer’s affirmative consent.
  • The company must also provide an acknowledgement that contains the terms, the cancellation policy, and information on how to cancel the subscription, in a way that can be retained by the consumer. Also, if the offer includes a free trial, the law requires that the company must disclose how to cancel in the acknowledgement and allow the consumer to cancel before paying for the items or services.

The complaint claims that Stages of Beauty did not meet these three requirements of the law and that this also constitutes a violation of the California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Interestingly, the law says that goods or services provided to consumers as part of an improper automatic renewal will be deemed an unconditional gift to the consumers. We can at least hope that plaintiff Lopez enjoys his products.

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