A proposed class action claims Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc. has violated several federal and state laws by debiting consumers’ accounts on a recurring basis after they’ve requested cancellation of the company’s services.
According to the suit, Life Alert sells its emergency contact products and services by way of an unlawful “negative option,” i.e., requiring a consumer to inform the company and return its equipment in order to cancel service. Life Alert is also alleged in the suit to have charged customers via automatic monthly withdrawals without providing proper notice of the recurring payments or obtaining consent.
The plaintiff, a San Bernardino County, California resident, claims to have purchased Life Alert’s services in June 2020 after being informed by a representative that she was entering into a month-to-month agreement in exchange for a payment of $89 due on the third day of each month. According to the case, the payment was to be made through an automatic debit of the plaintiff’s bank account.
The lawsuit alleges that the agreement, in reality, was an unlawful “negative option” whereby the plaintiff was required to inform Life Alert and return the company’s equipment before the agreement could be terminated.
The plaintiff claims that although she attempted to cancel her agreement over the phone in February 2021 and “promptly sought to return” the company’s equipment, Life Alert continued to automatically withdraw $89 from her account.
According to the case, the plaintiff was “surprised” by the withdrawal and issued a chargeback through her bank. Life Alert, however, challenged the chargeback and the bank allowed the payment to stand, the suit relays.
The lawsuit alleges that at the time the plaintiff entered into an agreement with Life Alert, the defendant failed to provide the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer in a “clear and conspicuous manner” and in visual or temporal proximity to its request for consent to the offer as required by state law. Moreover, Life Alert went on to charge the plaintiff for an automatic renewal offer without obtaining her consent to the agreement, the case attests.
The plaintiff looks to represent anyone in the U.S. whose bank account was debited on a recurring basis by Life Alert after they requested to cancel their account within the last year. The lawsuit also proposes to cover anyone in California whose bank account was debited on a recurring basis by Life Alert without the company having provided clear and conspicuous notice of the charges, including information on how to cancel Life Alert’s services, within the last four years.
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