Zynga Sued Over Deceptive Advertising

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Zynga Sued Over Deceptive Advertising


Facebook [http://www.zynga.com/], has been targeted by a class action lawsuit over allegations of misleading advertising.

Both Zynga and Facebook itself are named in the suit, which is seeking roughly $5 million in damages for their use of "false and misleading special offers" which have helped generate "enormous" profits over the past four years. The ads in question promise free in-game currency or items to players but in fact end up costing them hefty charges through cellphone subscription services or mail order products.

The plaintiff in this case, Rebecca Swift, first provided her cellphone number to a Zynga advertiser in April so she could be sent a code for "Yocash," the currency used in the Zynga game Yoville. She claims that while she wasn't told that there would be any charges applied to her account, she was billed $9.99 four separate times, beginning in April, "without her knowledge or consent." Then in June she answered an advertisement for a "risk-free Green Tea Purity trial" while playing the same game, providing the advertiser her debit card number and agreeing to a $5.95 shipping charge. However, although she was informed that she could cancel the trial anytime within 15 days, her attempts to cancel apparently failed; she was ultimately charged over $165 for two shipments of green tea pills and tea bags which she has thus far been unable to recover.

"Most, if not all, of the online advertisements presented through Zynga are scams. The advertisements are highly misleading and often result in users subscribing to goods or services they do not want or need," the suit says. "Consumers who attempt to cancel services or obtain refunds are then met with roadblocks designed to thwart cancellation and/or refunds or otherwise 'save' the customer."

Allegations of impropriety in so-called "lead gen" offers were first raised by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, who alleged that the ads were ""An Offer You Can't Refuse" [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/95894-Blogger-Says-Farmville-Ads-are-Scams] in last week's issue of The Escapist, that he did "every horrible thing in the book" to generate quick revenues for his company.

Source: GamesIndustry [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/zynga-faces-class-action-suit-over-misleading-advertising]

(Photo [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3851958526/])


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razer17

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Feb 3, 2009
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One thinks that the phrase "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" is very applicable in this situation. To be honest, she doesn't a penny for doing it twice. In fact, she doesn't deserve anything, because I'm sure the $9.99 charge was in the small print, maybe she should have read it
 

Pipotchi

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Jan 17, 2008
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Quadtrix said:
Damn. In that case, they deserve to get sued.
This, just because these people are bit dim doesnt mean they should be taken advantage of
 

JWAN

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Dec 27, 2008
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DAYM STRAIGHT HOMIE

Sue their asses off. They got me with that cellphone bullshit.
 

JWAN

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Dec 27, 2008
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Pipotchi said:
Quadtrix said:
Damn. In that case, they deserve to get sued.
This, just because these people are bit dim doesnt mean they should be taken advantage of
At first the stuff was free then they started charging. (it was actually free for the first few months of the program being out)
 

Crimsane

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Apr 11, 2009
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Pincus had to know that basically admitting to scamming the shit out of people would bite him in the ass sooner or later.
 

JWAN

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AgentChunk said:
As long a Zynga burns I don't care. Farmville is about as fun as spreadsheet software.
I like Mafia Wars though

but if they bomb out and go broke i wont shed a tear
 

Heart of Darkness

The final days of His Trolliness
Jul 1, 2009
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"A fool and his money are soon parted through the Internet." Someone needs to talk to these people about online scams and research...
 

accountdeletethis

Stand-up philosopher
Sep 10, 2008
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If you're dumb enough to give out your cellphone number and card numbers for Yocash in Yoville (are you kidding me) you deserve to be taken advantage of, because money was dangerous in your hands to begin with. As Maddox once put it "how do you dumbasses manage to breathe?"
 

Enzeru92

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Oct 18, 2008
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bbch said:
If you're dumb enough to give out your cellphone number and card numbers for Yocash in Yoville (are you kidding me) you deserve to be taken advantage of, because money was dangerous in your hands to begin with. As Maddox once put it "how do you dumbasses manage to breathe?"
Totally Agree
OT: i hoping that Zynga wins because frankly she should have known better
 

Low Key

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May 7, 2009
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I knew the shit was a scam the first time I looked at it. I hope the lawsuit is successful, but people are so flippin' gullible.
 

VicunaBlue

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Feb 8, 2009
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ahhh... the eye for an eye attitude shows its true form on this site. The fact of the matter is, these scams are VERY difficult to tell from surveys and quizzes, and if you think some one is a moron for missing some horribly worded charge contract hidden between 5 paragraphs, you really are arrogant.
 

Vanguard_Ex

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Mar 19, 2008
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razer17 said:
One thinks that the phrase "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" is very applicable in this situation. To be honest, she doesn't a penny for doing it twice. In fact, she doesn't deserve anything, because I'm sure the $9.99 charge was in the small print, maybe she should have read it
Mmm I'm thinking the same. This whole thing reeks of scapegoating from ignorance.
 

Acenamedvlad

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May 24, 2009
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Seriously she already lost this case. She gave away her cell phone number. Giving that away to an advertisement company is like signing a contract to accept Premium text messages that cost surprisingly high for their worth. And then she is dumb enough to give her credit card number away too? Thats just saying, "I know nothing about the advertisement industry." Giving your credit card number is the equivalent to signing your life off.