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SoulCycle class action alleges ‘soulless’ cheating of customers

In the federal lawsuit filed Aug. 25 in Los Angeles, California, attorneys for the plaintiffs claim SoulCycle routinely forces its customers to forfeit unused fitness classes by placing overly restrictive and short expiration dates on its “series” certificates.

“SoulCycle’s practice of forcing its customers to forfeit unused exercise sessions is the epitome of soulless unlawful greed,” said attorney Dorian Berger of Olavi Dunne LLP. “SoulCycle should not be able to profit from selling exercise classes that it knows will expire before a customer has a chance to redeem them.”

According to the lead plaintiff, a California woman named Rachel Cody, SoulCycle lures customers into buying multi-class passes for sessions that expire in as little as 30 days.

“Congress passed legislation stopping companies from placing expiration dates shorter than five years on certificates redeemable for products and even exercise classes,” said Berger. “It is time SoulCycle put its customers first, live up to its name, and comply with the law.”

Many customers have lost thousands of dollars due to SoulCycle’s draconian expiration policies, the lawsuit alleges. The class action demands SoulCycle refund the money it made from cancelling sessions based on its unreasonable expiration dates.

“We believe thousands of people across America have been unable to use the certificates SoulCycle forces customers to purchase based on unlawful expiration dates,” said co-counsel Daniel Hipskind.

This isn’t the first time SoulCycle has been sued. In 2013, a class action was filed against SoulCycle by a former employee who claimed the chain violated wage laws by failing to pay its instructors for the extra work they do marketing, communicating with clients and attending corporate training programs. That lawsuit was later settled out of court.

In April 2015, a New York judge allowed attorney Douglas Wigdor to proceed in his breach of contract lawsuit against SoulCycle for unlawfully banning him from classes because he had represented the former employee who had sued the fitness chain for cheating him out of his wages.

Ironically, SoulCycle is known for its loyal customer base, which includes celebrities such as Kelly Ripa, David Beckham and Jessica Alba. The classes aren’t cheap, either. One class usually costs $34, according to Business Insider. With the $3 shoe rental fee and a $2 water bottle, a single session can cost $39.

SoulCycle said its policy is to not comment on pending litigation. SoulCycle, which recently filed for an initial public offering, posted revenue of $112 million in 2014 — almost double the $75 million it generated in 2013.

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