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SeaWorld Parks Guilty in EZPay Lawsuit

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Full story: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/...story.html

I'm not the least bit surprised to see this happen. I've long thought the lack of clarity, communication, and options when it comes to guest's EZPay subscriptions is a big issue.

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Post: #2
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I hope this doesn't mean they start canceling everyone's EZ-Pay passes. They just need to be clear what's happening when you sign-up for it. I love my auto renewing pass and locked-in rate.

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Post: #3
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(05/14/17 03:48pm)Shane Wrote:  I hope this doesn't mean they start canceling everyone's EZ-Pay passes.

They won't. It would be a financial nightmare for the company. Too many people rely on the EZ-pay program.
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05/16/17 at 01:14pm in SeaWorld Parks Guilty in EZPay Lawsuit (Latest Edit: 05/16/17 at 01:19pm by Alf33.)
Post: #4
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Here's the text on this from the company SEC quarterly report for the 1st quarter of this year that was released on the 9th.

"On December 3, 2014, a purported class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division against SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc., captioned Jason Herman, Joey Kratt, and Christina Lancaster, as individuals and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. Case no: 8:14-cv-03028-MSS-JSS. The complaint alleges a single breach of contract claim involving the Company’s EZPay Plan which affords customers the ability to pay for annual passes through monthly installments.  The plaintiff alleges the Company automatically renewed passes beyond the initial term in violation of the terms and conditions of the parties’ contract which provided in part: “Except for any passes paid in less than twelve months, THIS CONTRACT WILL RENEW AUTOMATICALLY ON A MONTH-TO-MONTH BASIS until I terminate it.”   On January 21, 2015, plaintiffs amended their complaint to include claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violation of federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. section 1693 et seq. on behalf of three individual plaintiffs as well as on behalf of a two classes: (i) individuals in the states of Florida, Texas, Virginia and California who paid for an annual pass  in “less than twelve months,” had their passes automatically renewed and did not use the renewed passes after the first year or were not issued a full refund of payments made after the twelfth payment; and (ii) all of these same individuals who used debit cards.  

The Company has always considered the plaintiffs’ argument to be without merit and believes it has defenses to the action.  The parties engaged in significant discovery and a motion was filed by the plaintiffs for certification of the class.  In addition, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment and defendant in turn filed for motion for partial summary judgment.  The Company anticipated the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida would schedule a hearing on class certification first, determine whether a class should be certified, send notice to the certified class, and then entertain the respective motions for summary judgment.  

However, on March 10, 2017, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued an order granting plaintiffs’ motion for certification of the class without a hearing and included in the order findings that the contract is unambiguous and that it means that the Company could not auto-renew the contract term if the customer paid in less than 365 days.  

On March 17, 2017, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued another order, this time granting plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to liability and denying the Company’s motion for partial summary judgment.  The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida decided that the Company breached the contract by failing to terminate the contract once the passes were paid in full.  No determination of damages was made nor has the court entered any final judgment. With regard to the order granting certification, the Company filed a Rule 23(f) petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and that is pending.  In the meantime, pending the appeal, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has granted an order staying the underlying case.  The Company intends to continue to defend the lawsuit vigorously; however, there can be no assurance regarding the ultimate outcome of this lawsuit."

At least to me, by the sound of the last paragraph, it seem like the pass won't auto renew every year anymore and you'll have to do it yourself or the park will have to send you a reminder that it's ready to expire. The EZPay system will probably remain in place but the auto renew will not unless the company wins it's appeal. I would hope that if you did renew before it expires you'd get to keep your locked in original purchase price.
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Post: #5
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I hope that is not the case.

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Post: #6
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That would be a shame, I've paid the same monthly rate for my pass for many years. I quite like not having to worry about renewing it.

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05/17/17 at 02:40pm in SeaWorld Parks Guilty in EZPay Lawsuit (Latest Edit: 05/17/17 at 02:43pm by VonDerrick.)
Post: #8
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I think it is more important to note that is is in regards to people who made their payments early before the end of the first year. This does not apply to everyone else who has made their regular monthly payments each of the 12 months, initially.

There is no concern in my mind regarding if the park will continue the auto-renew function. They likely would change how their auto-renew policy for those who make their payments ahead of the first 12 months is written or change the actual policy altogether.

(05/16/17 01:14pm)Alf33 Wrote:  The plaintiff alleges the Company automatically renewed passes beyond the initial term in violation of the terms and conditions of the parties’ contract which provided in part: “Except for any passes paid in less than twelve months, THIS CONTRACT WILL RENEW AUTOMATICALLY ON A MONTH-TO-MONTH BASIS until I terminate it.” On January 21, 2015, plaintiffs amended their complaint to include claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violation of federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. section 1693 et seq. on behalf of three individual plaintiffs as well as on behalf of a two classes: (i) individuals in the states of Florida, Texas, Virginia and California who paid for an annual pass in “less than twelve months,” had their passes automatically renewed and did not use the renewed passes after the first year or were not issued a full refund of payments made after the twelfth payment; and (ii) all of these same individuals who used debit cards.

This is what I am referring to.
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