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RealNetworks sets up $2 million compensation fund for subscription services dispute

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RealNetwork says it is setting up a $2 million compensation fund to refund some customers who purchased subscriptions by accident.

RealNetworks (Flickr)
RealNetworks (Flickr)

RealNetworks revealed this week that it plans to setup a $2 million compensation fund to refund customers who purchased subscriptions they didn't subscribe to. The Washington State Attorney General has been investigating the company over claims that RealNetworks customers were tricked into buying content with free subscriptions that were checked in web forms where customers attempted to download Real media player or the company's Rhapsody music streaming service.

The fund will compensate subscriptions sold between January 1st 2007 and December 31st 2009. RealNetworks CEO Thomas Nielsen says the company disagrees with the complaint, but acknowledged that "some aspects of RealNetworks' e-commerce practices were not what our customers expected of us." RealNetworks has since discontinued the practices, added Nielsen, and has launched a site designed to explain what the company has done to address the issues. If you were affected by the subscription issue then you can file a claim at