Zynga is facing a couple lawsuits these days. One of the suits was brought on in October by Nacy Graf on behalf of 218 million Facebook users. The suit holds Zynga responsible for leaking the user data of millions of people who play its games. That case is still pending, but there was another lawsuit filed before the massive leak happened. This particular lawsuit accuses Zynga of tricking users into giving advertisers their credit card information in exchange for virtual currency.
Here’s the story. A woman named Rebecca Swift was a huge fan of Zynga games including YoVille. One day, Swift saw an advertisement offering YoCash (the currency used in the game). Swift clicked on the link and provided the advertiser with her debit card and phone number and received a redeem code in return. Everything seemed fine until she noticed she was being charged an additional $9.99 on her cell phone bill for four months. Swift claims she never authorized the charges.
The claim also says that Swift participated in another advertised offer in June 2009. This advertisement, for a “risk-free Green Tea Purity Trial,” is said to be created by Zynga and Adknowledge. The advertisement said it would provide free YoCash if Swift agreed to the trial. Again, Swift gave her debit card information to the advertisers. She was under the impression that if she canceled her trial before 15 days passed, she would not be liable for any charges. Swift canceled after 10 days, but was still charged $79.95. She continued to receive green tea products from China afterwards.
Zynga wanted the judge to throw out the lawsuit because it should not be held responsible for the acts of third-party advertisers. The judge denied Zynga’s request because she felt believed Swift had enough evidence to support her claim.