Oregon and California residents who signed up for Happily (formerly known as Datebox) and had their subscriptions automatically renew.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether Happily violated Oregon and California automatic renewal laws. If so, they may be able to file a class action lawsuit.
How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit has the potential to provide refunds for the subscription boxes and force the company to change the way it signs up customers.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak to Oregon and California residents who signed up for Happily, formerly known as Datebox, and had their subscriptions automatically renew.
They’re investigating whether the company broke these states’ auto-renewal laws and, if so, whether a class action lawsuit could help consumers get some money back. Specifically, they’re looking into whether Happily clearly disclosed the terms of its automatically renewing subscriptions and obtained proper consent from customers prior to payment.
California, Oregon Auto-Renewal Laws: What Are My Rights?
California and Oregon are among the nearly two dozen states that have enacted laws specifically regulating subscriptions that renew automatically.
The laws in California and Oregon state that a company providing an automatically renewing good or service must present its terms in “a clear and conspicuous manner” and in “visual proximity” to where the consumer is asked to agree to the offer. Companies must also get consumers’ affirmative consent to the terms of the auto-renewal before their credit card, debit card or other account can be charged.
While the laws also outline requirements regarding subscription cancellations and how to notify consumers of a significant change to their plans, attorneys are specifically looking into whether Happily met the requirements described above in connection with the sale of their date boxes.
Specifically, they’re investigating whether Oregon and California consumers who signed up for Happily were aware that they were signing up for a subscription that would automatically renew and result in continuous charges to their cards if not canceled.
They’re also trying to determine whether consumers knew:
How much they would be charged each month or year for the subscription
A number of complaints have been posted to the Better Business Bureau about the trouble consumers have had with Happily, including difficulty canceling subscriptions, inability to contact the company and recurring charges they weren’t aware of. A sample of these complaints can be read below [sic throughout, emphasis ours]:
I purchased a 6 month subscription without being notified it would renew. The product is poor, but that is not the reason for my complaint. The company renewed another 6 months and then another 6 months. As soon as I noticed the draft from the second renewal, I emailed customer support to cancel the subscription and get a refund. I received no response. There is no phone number to contact. I emailed again a few days later and canceled my subscription on their website. I got no reply to my email but received an email regarding my cancellation inviting a reply as to why I was disappointed. I replied to that email once again asking for the partial refund that their website says you can get and still absolutely no response. This has been going on for about 2 weeks with three emails sent and no response. They charged me $197.94 on January 1 and I have been seeking a resolution since that date.” — January 15, 2022 Complaint
“My wife bought a one time product from this company. She was issue a receipt about the transaction. The product was stupid, but got what we ordered. Many months later, no addition products arrived, yet we found out that her credit card was charged - no receipts send as was the case in the legitimate order. The company is refusing to offer a refund on the products that we neither received nor ordered nor were given an invoiced or receipt. They claim it was a subscription in the fine print yet no receipts. Very shady and yet not additional crappy products were actually sent. She’s gotten the run around from them when trying to reach out on a civilized manner.” — July 2, 2021 Complaint
“I wanted to try their monthly subscription box. We ended up not liking it. They continued to come and I continued to be charged. I thought I had only asked for 1 month. There is no number listed anywhere to cancel, when I get to log in to cancel it says my password isnt valid, I ask for a link to reset my email be sent and I never get it. I contact their support bot multiple times to ask that it be cancelled or I get a link to reset password and never get a response. This is going on a year and I have been charged 7.99 every month for a product i dont want. The only way I can stop it at this point since they refuse to respond is to cancel my card. I want a refund during back to when I attempted to stop it in May of 2020. If nothing else I want the charges to STOP immediately…” — April 29, 2021 Complaint
“My wife and I purchased a three month date box subscription from Happily as a Christmas present to her parents. We bought it because it was discounted to $55 down from $110. The boxes weren't that great, but that is not the point. The point of the complaint is that the Happily website was "malfunctioning" did not allow us to cancel the subscription before the 1st of April. This means we were signed up for another three months of boxes without our consent and charged $110 in the process. The company's help/support page is currently down and the page for "returns" is also down. The FAQ page states that we are not allowed to get a refund, even though the boxes have not been sent/received. We do not want nor can we afford this new subscription.” — April 12, 2021 Complaint
How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
If filed and successful, a class action lawsuit could refund customers who had their subscriptions automatically renew without proper notice. It could also force Happily to change the way its auto-renewal terms are disclosed to and accepted by consumers.