A class action suit filed against the Zynga Game Network and Facebook alleges that “most, if not all” of the advertisements presented in Zynga’s social games are scams.
Rebecca Swift of Santa Cruz, California filed the lawsuit on November 17th in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. Swift claims that in April 2009, she provided her cell phone number to a Zynga advertiser/lead generator (offered in the form of an IQ test) in order to be texted a code that she could redeem for virtual currency in Zynga’s YoVille! game. Swift was then billed $9.99 on three different occasions as a result of her transgression.
On another occasion Swift signed up for a program centered around the “risk free trial” of a green tea herb supplement that promised to bestow Yoville currency on participants. Swift claimed the ad said she could cancel within 15 days of her order, so she went ahead and signed up using her debit card and was charged $5.95 for shipping and handling of the product. After receiving the product on June 24, 2009, Swift attempted to cancel the agreement, but on July 6 was charged $79.95, plus a $2.38 foreign transaction fee. On July 20, defendant was charged another $85.90, plus a foreign transaction fee.
All in all, for $165.85, Swift received 60 green tea pills and six tea bags from China. She believes that “Facebook and Zynga both profited and shared the funds” that she contributed, and that “both were aware, or should have been aware, of the false and misleading nature of the advertisement.”
The candor displayed by Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus earlier this year, in discussing how he would do anything to make money for the company in its early days, may come back to haunt him, as the defendant cites direct quotes from Pincus on the subject in her complaint.
Defendant stated that the “aggregate amount in controversy for the Class exceeds $5.0 million.”
Zynga-developed applications include Farmville, Mafia Wars and Roller Coaster Kingdom in addition to the previously mentioned Yoville! The company claims 60.0 million daily users.
Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice, strike three.
|Via USA Today|