MANHATTAN (CN) – Bloomberg news service cheated “tens of thousands of subscribers” by automatically renewing subscriptions for two-year terms, without adequate warning, and billing them for the full term whether they want the service or not, a class action claims in New York County Court.
“The Bloomberg Agreements typically provide for an initial term of two years and, thereafter, for ‘automatic renewal’ for additional terms of two years – unless the subscriber provides written notice to Bloomberg of an intent to terminate at least 60 days prior to the automatic renewal date,” the complaint states.
“The New York Legislature has specifically recognized that an automatic renewal provision in a contract, such as that used by Bloomberg, can be inappropriately abusive to subscribers. Many never realize that there contract has such a provision, and thus never think to send a required notice of termination in time to prevent automatic renewal. As a consequence, a subscriber who wants to terminate his subscription after the initial term is confronted with the lessor’s argument that – unbeknownst to the subscriber – his contract has ‘automatically renewed,’ and thus, the subscriber cannot terminate without being liable for an entire additional term of up to two years.”
The class claims New York law declares such automatic renewals “‘inoperative’ and ‘unenforceable’ unless the party seeking to enforce the automatic renewal, e.g., Bloomberg, provides written notice of the automatic renewal provision to the subscriber between 15 and 30 days prior to the trigger date to avoid automatic renewal.”
It adds, “For more than 10 years Bloomberg has and continues to unlawfully harass its subscribers by systematically ignoring the applicable New York law and not providing its subscribers with the statutorily mandated ‘written notice.'”
Plaintiffs demand an injunction and damages.
Plaintiffs are represented by Samuel Rudman with Coughlin Stoia Geller.