California has seen a new development in the class action case King v. Bumble Trading, Inc. this month, with judges ruling that local laws will apply to the relationship between the app and its Californian users.
Plaintiff Nick King accused the female-first platform of having inadequate automatic renewal processes, saying that he did not receive information about cancellation and refund policies when he subscribed.
Bumble Boost renewed on his account for $8.99 per week, despite him having no desire to continue using the service.
The company’s terms state that any such disputes “are governed and interpreted by the laws of the State of New York.”
Bumble argued that because King’s accusations were based on Californian law, they could be dismissed as irrelevant. New York did not have analogous legislation when it came to the specifics of the complaint.
It is common for social media brands to select a home territory in this way and apply local rules uniformly around the US, as this saves dealing with 50+ nuanced regulatory frameworks.
The court found that it was appropriate for Bumble to use New York rules as a basis for settling disputes as, despite Whitney Wolfe Herd and co. being based in Texas, a large number of its users were located in the city.
It later found that one of the two Californian laws used to challenge Bumble was a “fundamental policy” in the state, however, meaning it could override the New York framework to support California’s residents.
Legal expert Mark Sableman wrote in JD Supra: “Providers can usually pick their preferred ‘there’ – but not always, as this case shows.”
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