The office of Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced last week that the Internet’s leading site for people searches, MyLife.com, has settled an investigation related to deceptive advertisements and a lack of disclosures by the site.
According to the state’s press release, MyLife’s advertisements would entice consumers with claims that they could “just type in your name and see if someone is searching for you – for free.” However, consumers who did perform the searches found they had to initiate a subscription, typically costing $12 - $20 per month, in order to see who had recently “searched for them.” In addition, the site failed to disclose to consumers that they would immediately be billed the total amount of the annual subscription, instead of paying in monthly installments and that the subscription would automatically renew without the consumer’s express consent.
Under the agreement reached with the AG’s office, MyLife.com will now:
- Clearly and conspicuously disclose the amount that consumers will be charged or billed before collecting a method of payment;
- Disclose that subscription services will automatically renew;
- Obtain consumers’ consent for a payment that renews automatically before accepting the first payment;
- Cease advertising claims that the service is free and instead disclose that a purchase is required to access the promised information;
- Include a disclosure on its website detailing how the service works.
In addition, the company will pay $28,000 in attorneys’ costs and fees.
Click here to read the Attorney General’s press release