Feeds

Real Networks will refund $2m to grumpy punters

Fesses up to 'disappointing' customers with pre-clicked boxes for 'free' trials

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Real Networks has agreed to hand over US$2.0m to satisfy disgruntled customers, who were railroaded into buying content thanks to pre-clicked boxes in web forms or “free” offers that nonetheless requested credit card details and did not make recurring costs plain.

Consumers who, upon realising their error, requested refunds, found it hard to squeeze any cash from the company. Complaints eventually mounted and Washington State’s Better Business Bureau and State Attorney General took it off to court, resulting in the $2.0m payment order announced yesterday.

“Deceptive pre-checked boxes and fine print obligated consumers to not-so-free trials for subscription services they didn’t want in the first place,” said Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. “People were charged for months — sometimes years — paying hundreds of dollars for subscriptions they knew nothing about.”

Real Networks insists, in this statement, that “ … we disagree with the complaint …” in part because it had already abandoned pre-ticked boxes by the time of the lawsuit.

The statement goes on to “ … acknowledge that some aspects of RealNetworks' e-commerce practices were not what our customers expected of us. More importantly, those practices were not up to the high standards we expect of ourselves.

The company will therefore flagellate itself to the tune of $2m in refunds to aggrieved punters and hand over $400,000 for legal fees. It has also established www.realnetworksrestitution.com to help aggrieved parties claim cash and published a customer Bill of Rights to spell out how it will deal with us all in future. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.