September 23, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Beachbody to Pay $3.6 Million in Consumer Protection Case

Beachbody, one of the world’s largest sellers of exercise videos, supplements, and weight-loss programs, has agreed to change its website and sales practices to better protect consumers.

The move follows a consumer protection case that will now require the Santa Monica-based business add a separate checkbox to its website for recurring payments.

Beachbody, which claims more than 23 million customers, also will pay $3.6 million in penalties and restitution as part of a final court judgment, the City said. The judgment was negotiated with the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office after lengthy discussions, which followed the prosecutors’ investigation of consumer complaints.

The City Attorney’s Office learned that Beachbody was charging its customers’ credit cards on an automatic, recurring basis for renewals of products and services, without their express prior consent as required by law.

The judgment includes a permanent injunction requiring full transparency with consumers. Before automatically renewing charges, Beachbody now must:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose the renewal terms
  • Get consumers’ consent, through a separate check-box (or similar mechanism) that does not include other terms and conditions
  • Send a clear summary of the renewal terms after consumers pay
  • Allow consumers to cancel easily, both online and by phone
  • Send reminders of upcoming renewals for all subscriptions 6 months or longer

“The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting consumers from unfair and unlawful business practices,” said City Attorney Lane Dilg. “This is an important victory to ensure that consumers will not be subject to recurring charges imposed without their clear approval and consent.”

This is believed to be the first injunction in California (and one of the first in the United States) to require a separate check-box to ensure that consumers knowingly consent before they’re enrolled in auto-renewals, according to the City.

The final court judgment was approved by Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff of the Santa Monica Superior Court, and entered by the court on August 28, 2017.

Under the judgment, Beachbody will pay a total of $3,579,000. This includes $2,579,000 in penalties and $1,000,000 in restitution to non-profit groups that work for laws and policies to help communities with health and nutrition.

Prosecutors also alleged Beachbody made health-related and other claims about its products that were false, misleading, and not backed by scientific evidence. These included claims in the areas of: detoxifying, anti-aging, reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, preventing mental decline.

The injunction requires that before Beachbody makes any claims about its products, it must have “competent and reliable” scientific studies to support the claims. These studies must be based on similar amounts and formulations as the advertised products.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office conducted an undercover investigation, consulted with scientific experts about Beachbody’s health claims, and engaged in lengthy negotiations with the company’s attorneys over a period of more than two years.

“We appreciate the company’s cooperation and its willingness to change its practices,” said Radinsky. “Beachbody is one of the first major sellers to be up-front with its customers about consent for recurring charges, including the new, separate checkbox. They will now have one of the best online disclosure and consent pages anywhere.”

Beachbody headquarters in Santa Monica.
Photo: City of Santa Monica
Recurring subscription payments are part of Beachbody’s business model.
Photo: Fitness on Demand
Related Posts

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...

SMa.r.t. Column: Spending and Pension Policies Are Undermining Our City’s Future

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Our guest columnist this week is Marc L. Verville. He is a native of Santa Monica, now lives in Sunset...

4.6 Quake Felt in Santa Monica

September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020

4.6 magnitude quake recorded Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley Friday sending...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....

Santa Monica Partners With Local Elementary Schools to Provide More Outdoor Spaces

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Playground Partnership agreement goes live By Toi Creel The City of Santa Monica and local schools are working together to...