Online wine retailer Nakedwines.com has settled a consumer protection lawsuit filed by five California District Attorney’s offices — including San Diego’s — which alleged the company violated the state’s automatic renewal laws regarding subscription services, it was announced Thursday.
Prosecutors alleged the company did not adequately inform consumers that its “Wine Angel” program included enrollment in a $40-per-month subscription. The lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court also alleged similar violations of California’s Automatic Renewal Laws in the company’s “Wine Genie” program. Neither program contained the required disclosures mandated by law and their cancellation processes lacked easy mechanisms for ending recurring charges, prosecutors alleged.
The settlement, which did not include an admission of liability, includes an agreement to pay $650,000 in civil penalties and costs and an injunction prohibiting violations of renewal laws.
The lawsuit was filed by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, plus the DA’s offices of Alameda, Napa, Shasta, and Sonoma counties.
“California’s strict automatic renewal laws are designed to ensure that consumers are not misled when signing up for subscription-based services or product deliveries,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan in a statement.
–City News Service