BitDefender is auto-renewing customers’ anti-virus subscriptions without their consent.
In practice, BitDefender is apparently ignoring customers’ requests to turn off auto-renewal of their subscriptions and charging customers as if they had signed up for auto-renewal. In addition, BitDefender has apparently made it difficult to cancel subscriptions, hiding the cancellation prompt behind multiple misleading headers.
Customers also do not receive an acknowledgement containing the terms of the auto-renewal, or the mechanism for cancellation, when they purchase a membership, as is required under Cal. BPC Section 17602(a)(3). Cal. BPC Section 17602(a)(3) provides that the company’s acknowledgment must, “include the automatic renewal offer terms …,cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel in a manner that is capable of being retained by the consumer”.
A similar class action lawsuit was filed against Trustpilot in 2021, alleging that Trustpilot subjected its subscribers to deceptive business practices by sending auto-enroll emails that went to subscribers’ spam boxes, such that they would not be read until subscribers were charged.
The New York Times was also subject to a class action for violating California’s automatic renewal law by, among other things, making subscriptions exceedingly difficult to cancel. The case settled for $5.5M, with an attorney fee award of $1.25M.
BitDefender’s terms do not contain an arbitration provision or a class action waiver.