News Releases

January 15, 2021: Home Chef Settles Consumer Protection Lawsuit

Pamela J. Johnson, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Home Chef, an online home-cooked meal delivery company, will pay $450,000 to settle a civil lawsuit alleging the company charged customers for ongoing subscriptions without their express consent, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today. 

“As the stewards of consumer protection, we do not tolerate deceptive or unfair practices that dupe consumers into paying for something they did not expressly request,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “This settlement serves as a stark warning to other companies that would abuse technology tools and violate consumer protections.” 

Headquartered in Chicago, the company was further ordered to comply with the settlement terms to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose its automatic renewal terms;
  • Get consumers’ affirmative consent to the terms through a checkbox before charging for an automatic renewal or continuous service;
  • Email consumers a confirmation of the transaction after they pay, which clearly includes the automatic renewal terms;
  • Allow consumers to easily cancel the subscriptions, including online, effective upon request
  • Avoid using misleading online sales information and payment mechanisms. 

Federal and state law requires businesses to provide consumers with clear disclosure of their automatic renewal terms and conditions before charging them for the service. The disclosure must include instruction for the cancelation of the automatic renewal subscription. The law requires businesses to obtain consent from customers prior to automatic renewal and provide confirmation of the transaction. 

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Richard J. Burdge signed the stipulated final judgment between prosecutors and Home Chef on Jan. 12, 2021. The settlement payment covers penalties, fees, and restitution. Home Chef did not admit wrongdoing, but cooperated with prosecutors on the resolution and is taking steps to correct the violations. 

Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun and Deputy District Attorney Duke Chau of the Consumer Protection Division prosecuted the case. 

The case was among those conducted by the California Automatic Renewal Task Force (CART). In 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, led by Chun and Chau, formed CART to address rising consumer complaints against online automatic renewal subscriptions. CART members include the District Attorneys of Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties and the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office.