Two AOL members have recently filed a lawsuit against the company for inserting advertisements into their emails -- a premium service for which that they pay a monthly fee. According to a MediaPost report, Rande Bronster and Robert Nachshin of Los Angeles argue that these ads violate privacy laws that exist under the federal Electronic Communications Act and are asking AOL to refund them for their monthly email service, which they have been paying for since March 2006.
In its defense, AOL contends that paid users have had the option of eliminating advertisements from emails since 2008 and that Bronster and Nachshin simply chose not to. The L.A. residents allege that the media company did not notify users of this opt-out nor did AOL inform consumers that advertisements would be placed in their emails to begin with.
Representing Bronster and Nachshin is Kabateck Brown Kellner, a law firm that has in the past sued both Google and Yahoo for click fraud and was awarded hefty settlements in both cases. KBK is seeking to involve all premium AOL email subscribers that have been with the company as early as February 2006, when advertisement removal was not a choice. KBK also hopes to gain significant monetary damages from the lawsuit.
In October 2008, paying AOL customer Frank Cecchini filed a federal complaint about the email advertisements as well. His case, along with Bronster and Nachshin's is still being processed.
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