Skype ‘Unlimited’ Calling Suit Revived

A California state appeals court reinstated a consumer class action against Skype Inc., over claims the Internet-based phone service does not provide the “unlimited” calling it promises.

The panel reinstated unfair competition and false advertising claims against Skype last week based on claims that unlimited calls calling is limited to six hours a day, 10,000 minutes per month and 50 numbers called per day.

Melissa Chapman sued after she said she signed up for the unlimited plan in 2011 but was charged additional fees when she exceeded the limits.

The lawsuit was dismissed by the trial judge in Los Angeles but the appeals court action reinstates the lawsuit.

Skype argued that Chapman was bound by the terms of the fair usage policy and knew the limits. Skype is an online service that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet.

The question of whether consumers were likely to be deceived by the advertising of unlimited calling is a question of fact that should be decided by a trial.

A jury could reasonably conclude that based on the allegations of “unlimited” calling a consumer might be deceived to believe that the offer was for unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada for a fixed monthly fee.

The case goes back to the trial court in Los Angeles.

Case:  Chapman v. Skype, No. B241398

 

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