On Tuesday, a California court ruled against SoulCycle’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit that accused the fitness chain of stealing from customers via class passes with “unreasonably short expiration periods.”
CNN reports that a judge ruled these class passes—which SoulCycle sells in bundles ranging from one class to 50—to be gift cards, which subjects them to the following laws:
The federal CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act) prohibits expiration periods of less than five years and the California Gift Certificate Law prohibits expiration periods on gift cards such as the ones SoulCycle offers.
A single class pass, which costs $34 (plus a $3 shoe rental fee), expires after 30 days; 20 classes expire in 9 months, 50 classes in a year. SoulCycle does not offer refunds for unused classes. This policy allows the chain to make significant profits at the expense of consumers, according to an attorney for the plaintiffs (via CNN): “SoulCycle’s illegal expiration dates contributed to SoulCycle earning over $25 million in profit this past year.”
The suit, which was filed in August 2015, can now move forward as a class action. According to an August Business Insider report, lead plaintiff Rachel Cody claimed her $30 single-class certificate expired before she was able to use it:
The lawsuit also brings up how SoulCycle’s popularity comes into play. With classes at peak times filling up rapidly, it can become difficult to get into classes, thereby posing more of a risk of wasting classes.
According to Business Insider, the lawsuit aims to refund customers who have had class certificates expire.
This isn’t the first class action lawsuit for SoulCycle, which was founded in 2006: a former instructor sued the chain in 2013 for violating wage laws. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court, but a lawyer on that case later filed his own lawsuit against SoulCycle, alleging he was improperly banned from working out there after working on the 2013 case.
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