Luxury fitness product users allege that they overpaid
DiCello Levitt represents consumers who purchased Peloton exercise equipment and subscription memberships, alleging the company falsely marketed its on-demand library of classes as “ever-growing” and “growing.”
In April 2018, Peloton received a cease-and-desist letter for its alleged copyright infringement of many songs in its on-demand class library, but Peloton continued to promise an “ever-growing” library to consumers. Almost a year later, Peloton faced a lawsuit by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) that claimed $150 million (that later grew to $300 million) in damages over Peloton’s use of thousands of allegedly unlicensed songs. Peloton then deleted more than half the classes in its on-demand library that contained the copyrighted music.
Music has been central to the Peloton experience from its inception, with themed, curated playlists to match the tempo and intensity of each class. Not only did Peloton’s purge of classes significantly decrease the quantity of classes available, but users also complain that it materially diminished their experience with Peloton’s products, as the deleted classes included popular songs and artists, and users often enjoyed re-taking classes that had been available on-demand before the NMPA lawsuit.
Peloton customers, who paid thousands of dollars for a stationary bike and monthly subscription fees, subsequently sued the company, alleging they overpaid for their Peloton subscriptions because they did not know Peloton would purge its on-demand library, let alone by such a significant portion.
The plaintiffs survived Peloton’s motion to dismiss in late 2020, when the company argued that under its Terms of Service, customers agreed that Peloton can remove classes at its discretion. The judge disagreed, noting that the Terms of Service “do not relieve Peloton from a deceptive marketing claim based on the allegation that Peloton advertised its library as ever-growing while knowing that it would be diminishing or shrinking in size.” He similarly rejected Peloton’s “puffery” defense, because the promise that the class library would be “ever-growing” was a “measurable claim, promising that the class library in the aggregate would continue to grow.” Peloton even contended that “ever-growing” could be construed to mean its classes are always changing, but the court relied on the term’s plain meaning as “always increasing or expanding in size” to strike down Peloton’s argument.
The lawsuit is currently pending in the Southern District of New York.