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California Legislature

California updates dating services contract law to include sites like Match.com and Eharmony

 (Barbara T Stolarski / Getty Images)
(Barbara T Stolarski / Getty Images)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a law updating the state’s Dating Service Contract Act to encompass online dating services like Match.com and Eharmony, an effort to ensure consumers can opt out of services.

The state contract law gives the customer the right to cancel a dating service – "by mail, telegram, or delivery" – within three days of signing up, and states that cancellation is effective when deposited in the mail. But the law was passed in 1989 in response to the aggressive pressure tactics used by sales employees at the time and had not been updated since.

Assembly Bill 314 by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) will allow online-dating customers to cancel contracts by email and have access to electronic copies of contracts.

Its sponsors, Match.com and the Internet Assn., contended that modernizing the law would reflect the use of a new variety of online dating platforms. Some prosecutors argued changing some of its provisions could jeopardize ongoing consumer protections investigations under current law.

In a statement Sunday, Mullin called it a "common-sense measure," saying it "simply updates the Dating Services Act to reflect the modern reality of internet dating." 

4:38 p.m.: This post was updated with a statement from Mullin.

This post was originally published at 4:12 p.m.

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