Classmates.com Settles With District Over Email Investigation

By Joshua Axelrod
|  Tuesday, Jul 9, 2013  |  Updated 1:21 PM EDT
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Classmates.com to Pay District $300,000

Classmates.com will settle with D.C. over an investigation into its email solicitations and unclear membership renewal practices, according to D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan.

As part of the settlement, Classmates will clarify vague and sometimes misleading elements on its website and in its emails that have affected thousands of D.C. users. This agreement will only apply to District consumers.

The social networking website will also reimburse the district $300,000 for its investigation costs and attorneys’ fees.

D.C. alleged that the website’s use of email solicitations that appeared to be from people the consumer knew falsely lured consumers into buying Classmates memberships. It also claimed Classmates did not clearly notify its users that their subscriptions would be automatically renewed unless they directly ended them.

The District also alleged that consumers were not conspicuously notified that offers from other companies on the Classmates website were not actually from the Classmates organization.

Classmates has agreed to clarify that its emails may not necessarily be from people the consumer knows, its subscriptions will be automatically renewed unless otherwise terminated, and certain offers on its website will direct you to another company’s website.

“We will be vigilant in responding to email solicitations that have the potential to mislead consumers into making unwanted purchases,” said Nathan. “In addition, we urge consumers to pay careful attention to the details of what they are offered over the Internet.”

Classmates has not yet responded to NBCWashington’s request for comment.

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