Freeshipping.com “Data Pass” Marketing Settlement
On April 29, 2013, Judge Marilyn L. Huff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted final approval to the nationwide class settlement in Cox, et al. v. Clarus Marketing Group, LLC and Provide-Commerce, Inc. In Cox, plaintiffs accused the defendants of engaging in unfair and unlawful practices to enroll online shoppers into their Freeshipping.com program. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that defendants deceptively enrolled and charged online shoppers for a “Freeshipping” rewards program, including some shoppers who were secretly enrolled using the Internet marketing practice known as “data pass.” Data pass is an aggressive (and now illegal) online marketing practice where companies engage in the unauthorized sharing and charging of customer billing information.
The settlement, which was negotiated by Bursor & Fisher partner Joseph I. Marchese, will reimburse Provide-Commerce customers who were enrolled in Freeshipping.com through “data pass” for their unauthorized membership charges up to $36.00.
“We are very proud of this Settlement and the timely monetary relief that it provides to the nationwide class. This is a significant victory for consumers who were affected by these deceptive online marketing practices,” said Mr. Marchese.