UPDATE: October 2020, the SiriusXM lifetime subscriptions class action settlement is now open. Click here to file a claim.
SiriusXM has reached a proposed $96 million class action settlement resolving claims that the satellite radio provider did not honor lifetime subscriptions.
Plaintiffs Philip Alvarez, Randall Bettison, Marc Kelleher and Darlene Vaugh claim they purchased SiriusXM’s lifetime subscriptions only to find out the subscriptions did not last the lifetime of the customer, but rather the lifetime of the device the customer first used to receive the service.
SiriusXM had offered lifetime subscriptions for $357.54 to $755, according to the settlement. After that device, the subscription was good on up to three more devices with a $75 transfer fee for each. SiriusXM asserts this plan was consistent with its marketing, according to the SiriusXM class action.
The proposed settlement will allow lifetime subscribers in the Class to actually maintain their subscriptions for life, as opposed to a maximum of four devices.
Class Members will also be able to transfer their lifetime subscriptions to an unlimited number of devices at the reduced charge of $35.
If a Class Member no longer holds an active lifetime subscription, they will have the option to reactivate it at no charge or claim $100 cash, according to the SiriusXM class action settlement.
Also as part of the settlement, SiriusXM will allow inactive lifetime subscribers who choose the reactivation option to stream its service online, with no additional fees.
SiriusXM further agreed to pay for the costs of the settlement notice and administration, court-approved attorneys’ fees and expenses up to $3.5 million, and service payments for each named plaintiff and Paul Wright up to $5,000 each.
Active subscribers will receive the benefits automatically, though inactive subscribers must submit a claim form to receive the benefits.
The claim forms may be submitted through the settlement website or by mail.
If an inactive subscriber does not submit a claim form, and does not opt out, then they will be subject to the releases described in the settlement.
The Class currently consists of about 964,000 people.
As of the execution date of the settlement, about 838,000 have active lifetime subscriptions and about 126,000 have inactive lifetime subscriptions.
Class Members will be able to check to see if their lifetime subscription is active or inactive as of the settlement date via a tool on the settlement website.
Christian Tregillis, an expert for the plaintiffs, says the benefits of the settlement are worth about $96.4 million.
“The terms of this Settlement are not only fair, reasonable, and adequate, as required for approval under the Federal Rules, but represent an achievement that most likely is better than any result Plaintiffs could hope to achieve through continued litigation of these actions, were they to certify a class and make it to trial before a court,” the settlement agreement says. “No mean feat, particularly given that this Court previously compelled the earliest filed of these actions to individual arbitration under the terms of Defendant’s alleged subscriber agreement.”
Wright filed the earliest action in this case on Sept. 12, 2016. In November 2016 SiriusXM filed a motion to dismiss the case and go into arbitration. The Court granted the motion June 1, 2017, dismissing Wright’s claims without prejudice. The Court also denied Wright’s request for leave to add additional Class representatives to his complaint.
Three other lifetime subscribers then filed their own class action lawsuits. On June 28, 2017, shortly before Alvarez, Bettison and Vaugh filed their cases, Wright appealed the order granting SiriusXM’s motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration of his claims. The parties then filed their opening, response and reply briefs in the appeal, according to the settlement.
The parties held a mediation Nov. 29, 2018, but a settlement was not reached. After lengthy negotiations, the parties were able to come to an agreement Dec. 5, 2018, just before oral arguments.
As a result, Wright moved to dismiss his appeal at oral argument, and the Ninth Circuit did not rule on it. The parties then went through months of negotiations to finalize the settlement. The plaintiffs asked for approval of the settlement and certification of the Class on June 13.
Are you a SiriusXM customer with a lifetime subscription? How do you feel about this settlement? Let us know in the comments.
Top Class Actions will post updates to this class action settlement as they become available. For the latest updates, keep checking TopClassActions.com or sign up for our free newsletter. You can also receive notifications when this article is updated by using your free Top Class Actions account and clicking the “Follow Article” button at the top of the post.
The plaintiffs are represented by Robert Ahdoot, Tina Wolfson, Theodore Maya of Ahdoot & Wolfson PC; Cornelius P. Dukelow of Abington Cole + Ellery; and Keith S. Dubanevich of Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Shlachter PC.
The SiriusXM Lifetime Subscription Class Action Settlement is Philip Alvarez, et al. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., Case No. 2:18-cv-08605-JVS-SS, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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