Jerry Hill v. Flosports - 1:22-cv-00854-LJV

tikk10

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Nov 6, 2015
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Yet another class action filed against FloSports (dropbox link), this one in the Western District of New York, meaning that, hey, I'm a potential class member!

This complaint is particularly well drafted, and concerns similar terrain as we've already seen and many wrestling fans have experienced. Here, the plaintiff Jerry Hill purchased a what he thought was a monthly subscription to Flo Racing, got dinged for $160, complained shortly thereafter, didn't immediately hear back from Flo, then Flo tells him that he's too late in complaining because it was outside the 30-day refund window.

The complaint explains in some detail, with screenshots of each relevant page, the enrollment sequence and why that process is deliberately misleading.

They also mention how generally hated Flo is by its customers, mostly for the same thing:

There over 900 complaints filed against on the Defendant on the Better Business Bureau website, many of which involve these same issues. As of October 9, 2022, Defendant has 1.1/5 stars out of possible 5-stars with 1-star being the lowest rating and 5-star the highest in regarding to customer satisfaction.

The complaint alleges that FloSports is in violation of New York's Automatic Renewal Law (ARL), as well as NY General Business Law §349, which generally prohibits "deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce." NY's ARL specifically concerns paid online subscriptions that renew automatically or only cancel upon the consumer's initiative. To combat the precise type of tactics that are inherent to Flo's business model, NY requires clear and conspicuous notice of the terms, affirmative consent to automatic renewal schemes, and an "easy-to-use" mechanism to cancel. Flo does none of that, of course.

The complaint also alleges that FloSports is in violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which simply requires customer authorization in any online financial transaction. The complaint claims that Flo isn't obtaining the necessary written authorization for its "preauthorized electronic transfers."

The lawsuit seeks to certify two classes, one comprised of NY-based flo members who have ever been automatically enrolled and charged for at least one month of Flo membership; and one comprised of all FloSports customers in the United States who have ever been automatically enrolled and charged for at least one month of Flo membership. I believe the NY class was included is in case the US class membership certification is denied, or in case the federal claim under the EFTA failed.
 

PSU Mike

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I’ve never paid for Flo, in large part because of this (eh hem, alleged) crap and the stories of video unreliability. Alas, I have no claim.
 
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GogglesPaizano

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Feb 6, 2018
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I pulled the plug on Flo when they went after Willie. Sure I miss some things, but I like to vote with my wallet, and they are bullies. Their subscription model and glitches during big events are also total BS.
 
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zzs006

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Mar 27, 2017
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I don’t like these things about Flo but overall I kind of love that they exist. I get to watch more wrestling now then ever before and I can go watch pretty much any match in the last few years as well. It’s worth the $ in my eyes. I live in OR so being able to watch top level wrestling isn’t really an option so having Flo has been great…and no I don’t work for them
 

Hotshoe

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Feb 15, 2012
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B1G10+ was nearly impossible to cancel during Covid. Took me almost a year and several emails.
 

Sportfan2017

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Canceling Big10+ is easy. My subscription shows up in the subscription section of my iPhone. Very easy to cancel and renew. Just renewed yesterday for the match on Friday.
I also have had no issues cancelling. Wrestling, Basketball, Volleyball and Hockey and football end about the same time so I am in for about 6-7 months and then cancelled every year with no issues. 70,00 to 80.00 is fine for me :)
 

Sportfan2017

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I’ve never paid for Flo, in large part because of this (eh hem, alleged) crap and the stories of video unreliability. Alas, I have no claim.
I have no claim. I know what the yearly rate is and the information and content they cover from March to October is worth it to me to not cancel. The interruptions and bad streaming are a minor problems and usually due either to issues on my end or those contracted to provide streaming to FLO....often from overseas. I'll keep my yearly coverage and enjoy it.
 

PSUbluTX

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Feb 7, 2018
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I have no claim. I know what the yearly rate is and the information and content they cover from March to October is worth it to me to not cancel. The interruptions and bad streaming are a minor problems and usually due either to issues on my end or those contracted to provide streaming to FLO....often from overseas. I'll keep my yearly coverage and enjoy it.
Bless your heart, Mrs. Pyles.

;):p😜
 

seeyajohn

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Mar 19, 2012
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I have no claim. I know what the yearly rate is and the information and content they cover from March to October is worth it to me to not cancel. The interruptions and bad streaming are a minor problems and usually due either to issues on my end or those contracted to provide streaming to FLO....often from overseas. I'll keep my yearly coverage and enjoy it.
I, too, have no complaint about Flo. The site has made it possible for me to view thousands of matches to which I would not have had access!
 
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nerfstate

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Oct 10, 2017
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That Flo exists at all has probably been a substantial net positive for me as a fan. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an ultra shady company—that too is well documented. I choose to appreciate what they are while not flinching one bit when holding them to task for their slime.
 

Aardvark86

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Jan 23, 2018
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That Flo exists at all has probably been a substantial net positive for me as a fan. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an ultra shady company—that too is well documented. I choose to appreciate what they are while not flinching one bit when holding them to task for their slime.
Their behavior is precisely what you'd expect from a mini-market monopolist. What Flo did is exactly what Martin Shkreli did:
1. Buy an asset (here, broadcast rights) with a limited market but which has consumers with heightened need or desire for the product, but only where the market is small enough that it won't really attract competitors who can keep you honest (rugby, wrestling, etc).
2. Implement abusive pricing practices with respect to the consumers of that mini-market monopoly, knowing that they'll hang around since there's not really any place else to go.
 

PSU Mike

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Their behavior is precisely what you'd expect from a mini-market monopolist. What Flo did is exactly what Martin Shkreli did:
1. Buy an asset (here, broadcast rights) with a limited market but which has consumers with heightened need or desire for the product, but only where the market is small enough that it won't really attract competitors who can keep you honest (rugby, wrestling, etc).
2. Implement abusive pricing practices with respect to the consumers of that mini-market monopoly, knowing that they'll hang around since there's not really any place else to go.
Abusive prices? From the responses I see in Flo threads I never sensed that folks felt they were being held up in paying what Flo is asking. I think the deception alleged in this suit has been the main complaint on the subject of paying for the service.
 

Aardvark86

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Jan 23, 2018
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Abusive prices? From the responses I see in Flo threads I never sensed that folks felt they were being held up in paying what Flo is asking. I think the deception alleged in this suit has been the main complaint on the subject of paying for the service.
Abuse does not necessarily mean high. It can also cover administration
 

GogglesPaizano

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Feb 6, 2018
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I think if Flo experimented with some test marketing they will find they can expand their market, revenue and profit significantly. if Flo were to adopt a blended subscription model to 3-4 tiers. Premium= say $200 annually that includes all PPV events for free, Annual = $150 as is today, PPV are extra, Monthly = $20, PPV are extra.

Sure some of the current annual members would move to monthly, but a shitload of folks on the sidelines today would pony up for the months they care for the most, whether it be folk or free.

It ain't rocket science, but then again Flo has not demonstrated pure genius over the past few years. They would rather squander millions on attorney's fees for what are ultimately meaningless squabbles that damage the brand.

I don't think they can see the forest for the trees.

Flo - my fee for this advice is 2 years of premium service :-/
 

tikk10

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Nov 6, 2015
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That Flo exists at all has probably been a substantial net positive for me as a fan. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an ultra shady company—that too is well documented. I choose to appreciate what they are while not flinching one bit when holding them to task for their slime.
Whenever I post lawsuits that reveal Flo in an unflattering light, inevitably commenters show up to reductively offer, "Well I have no problem with Flo, I think it's great," which is inadvertently self-revealing--they're fine with Flo's sleazy conduct so long as they're not being ripped off.
 

Chickenman Testa

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Jan 4, 2003
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Whenever I post lawsuits that reveal Flo in an unflattering light, inevitably commenters show up to reductively offer, "Well I have no problem with Flo, I think it's great," which is inadvertently self-revealing--they're fine with Flo's sleazy conduct so long as they're not being ripped off.
FLO’s GC is somewhat of a self-reverential turd (I’ve heard him speak - he thinks very highly of himself), so happy to see him have to battle litigation on several fronts. They’ve also been accused of unfairly sharing customer meta-data with Facebook.