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Swipe Right & Refund Your Love: Coffee Meets Bagel Lawsuit

Coffee Meets Bagel Lawsuit

Recent reports of a Coffee Meets Bagel lawsuit show that online dating isn’t all fun and games. In November 2018, plaintiffs in Illinois banded together to file a class action lawsuit against San Francisco-based dating and social media app Coffee Meets Bagel.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that Coffee Meets Bagel failed to adhere to an Illinois law that requires a three-day window in which users can receive a full refund should they cancel a subscription. Nor does language required by the state of Illinois, the complaint goes on to say, appear on the app’s terms of services.

How Coffee Meets Bagel Works

Coffee Meets Bagel advertises itself as a highly curated dating and social media experience. Signing up for the basic level accounts is free. Basic level users are given a list of twenty algorithmically chosen matches every day. To gain access to more curated matches—or to communicate more freely with those matches—users can upgrade to a paid subscription service.

Users can also purchase an increased ability to communicate in an “ala carte” fashion by purchasing Beans (Coffee Meets Bagel’s in-app currency). In this way, Coffee Meets Bagel is not terribly different from most other dating apps. According to the tech company, it’s really the algorithm (and the curated list of matches that algorithm creates) that distinguishes the services offered by Coffee Meets Bagel.

Getting the Cold Shoulder

According to the complaint, when Illinois-based users wanted to cancel their subscriptions within the legally-required three-day window, they were instead directed to the app’s terms of service page, which offered no such cancellation provision. Users who spent money on subscriptions or “beans” were not allowed to recoup their costs upon cancellation.

The primary contention of the complaint is that under Illinois law Coffee Meets Bagel is required to give those users a three-day, money-back, opt-out window. Additionally, this cancellation window should be legible and easy to find on the app’s terms of service.

What This Means for Other States

The implications of the Coffee Meets Bagel lawsuit beyond Illinois are unclear. Laws regarding the cancellation of services can vary from state to state, and if Coffee Meets Bagel made omissions similar to those alleged in the complaint, it’s possible other victims in other states could file similar lawsuits.

However, those lawsuits would likely be individually adjudicated on a state-by-state basis, limiting the “class” of the plaintiffs to the residents of each state. How far such class action suits proceed will likely depend on the laws of each state, but successful litigation in the case of Illinois plaintiffs could encourage similar attempts.

How Will Coffee Meets Bagel Respond?

How Coffee Meets Bagel responds to the complaint remains to be seen. Unsurprisingly, they have yet to admit to any wrongdoing, and the Coffee Meets Bagel lawsuit now will likely focus on whether the San Francisco tech company is bound by these particular Illinois laws.

Coffee Meets Bagel isn’t the only California-based dating and social media startup to run aground on questions of state laws. Many dating websites and apps, for example, have struggled with how to manage user data, balancing privacy concerns with profitability. The track record for these apps hasn’t always been great, dating back to security breaches at notorious website Ashley Madison and recent trouble with the management structure at Tinder.

That sets a stage where Coffee Meets Bagel might take steps to distance itself from the narrative of the shady dating website or app. How, exactly, that plays out in regards to the Coffee Meets Bagel lawsuit remains to be seen. The complaint will work its way through the Illinois state court system in the near future.

Editor’s note on the Coffee Meets Bagel Class Action Lawsuit:

This piece is written about the most recent Coffee Meets Bagel Lawsuit. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.

If you believe that what is alleged in the Coffee Meets Bagel class action has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join the consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter, FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from all of you.

This case can be found under the name: Rrapo et al v. Coffee Meets Bagel, Inc., Case No. 2018CH13834, Illinois State Court – Cook County.

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