Were you misled by a product or service? You feel that SoulCycle is guilty of false advertising? Now you want to know how to report them. We explain the laws that govern false advertising, how to file a report, and how to get compensation.
False advertising or deceptive or misleading advertising is any situation where a company presents information that is false whether intentionally or not, and it doesn’t have to be an outright lie so to speak, it can simply be something that’s confusing or misleading.
The rules and laws that govern false advertising all fall under a collection of state and federal consumer protection laws. Most laws, however, are governed by The Federal Trade Commission Act, which established the FTC in 1914. Some examples of the rules outlined in that section are:
Sourced from the FTC with creative input from FairShake.
The FTC categorizes a range of infractions that fall under the general idea of false advertising. These include things like having false reviews which are testimonials from people who have never tried the product or people who don’t exist. It can also include a failure to disclose which is particularly problematic when it involves things that might cause health issues or safety issues for consumers down the line.
SoulCycle faced a class action lawsuit and agreed to pay $9.2 million in damages because of their gift cards. Plaintiffs explain that they were forced to purchase gift cards for classes that had short expiration windows, rather than simply pay for their classes with cash or credit. These were found to be in violation of the California Unfair Competition Law and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. This particular issue is one that sprang up time and again, with plaintiffs asking the court to compel SoulCycle to give them relevant documents pertaining to the gift cards, and a few rounds of legal battle before things were settled.
Businesses can sometimes get away with false advertising whether they mean to do it or not for years at a time if consumers like you don’t report them. The FTC makes it clear that no one has to have been affected by SoulCycle false advertising in order to report it and have SoulCycle investigated by the FTC. Start by submitting a consumer complaint to the FTC. The FTC wants to know about the situation so that they can investigate and take action against SoulCycle. You can also submit a complaint to TruthinAdvertising.org where it will go public.
That action they take could include something like a fine but, if they do fine the company, chances are you won’t see a dime of that. Usually the recourse available to you for compensation will depend on your state’s laws related to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.
So what do you do if you lost money because of false advertising and you were personally affected? You can try to reach out to SoulCycle customer service directly and see if the company is willing to make amends but if that doesn’t work, one of your other options is consumer arbitration.
Consumer arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than trying to go to court. However, this is still a complicated legal process with deadlines and paperwork. That said, FairShake helps you navigate the consumer arbitration process, from filing your claim to getting the resolution you deserve.
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