Udemy Agrees to Pay $4 Million in a Class Action Settlement: What That Means For You

Online learning has grown a lot over the last several years. With many colleges and universities expanding their course options to include online courses to work toward degrees and certification programs, people have taken advantage of the convenient learning option. Udemy is among the many places to pursue online learning to expand your skills and deepen your knowledge — in just about any subject.

If you’re unfamiliar with Udemy, it’s improving lives through learning with a common goal: making quality education accessible to all. The company has eight offices throughout the globe, with three located in the U.S. (California, Colorado, and Texas). Some notable stats on the e-commerce site shows it has:

  • 62 million learners
  • Over 70,000 instructors
  • Over 210,000 courses
  • Over 830 million course enrollments
  • Courses in 75 languages
  • Over 14,000 enterprise customers

If you’ve recently purchased a course from Udemy, you may be entitled to recoup some funds through a recent class action lawsuit against the company.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a civil case or lawsuit brought on by a group of people or entities where all the members of that group (plaintiffs) have suffered joint injuries as a result of the conduct of the defendant, and one person or entity represents the entire group.

While each litigant could bring their own lawsuit against the defendant, joining all the individual actions together into one lawsuit is more practical for everyone. Several individual cases may not show enough damage as one case with multiple members. This makes the case more efficient, and less expensive for the parties involved. For example, why take a court case involving one individual being cheated out of $100? It’s more costly to take the case to court than to get anything out of it. But, if thousands or millions of customers were cheated out of that same $100, now it becomes a case worth pursuing, as in the case against Udemy.

Why Was A Claim Filed Against Udemy?

Claimants alleged Udemy falsely advertised the prices of many of its courses. Udemy regularly lists prices for its courses that are significantly below the price they say the course is worth. In fact, you will see the “original” price struck through for most courses, with a very generous sale price listed beside it.

The problem is the claimants have accused Udemy of never selling its courses at the struck-through or “original” price. In addition, Udemy implies a sense of urgency by providing a fast-approaching deadline for their sale. However, even after the sale period ends, the price of the course is never set to the “original” price. In essence, these are “fictitious original prices” that inflate the course’s perceived value and mislead customers into paying more for the courses than they would otherwise.

Initially, customers believe they are getting a significant deal on a course when they are not. Udemy has an office based in California, and under California state law, “retailers are not permitted to advertise a product as discounted from its ‘original’ price for more than 90 days unless they also disclose the date on which the item was last offered for sale at the represented ‘original price.’”

According to the claimants, Udemy’s selling practice is to give their products a false sense of value solely to generate sales. In the words of the claimants:

“This practice artificially inflates the true market price for these products by raising consumers’ internal reference price, and, therefore, the value consumers ascribe to these products (i.e., demand). Consequently, this false reference pricing scheme enables retailers, like Defendant, to sell products above their true market price and value— and consumers are left to pay the price.”

Who Is Eligible to File a Claim?

The lawsuit represents anyone in the U.S. who has purchased a course from Udemy’s online site between August 23, 2017, and April 21, 2023. If this is you or you received direct notice of this settlement via email, you may be eligible to receive a cash payment of $4.00 for every course purchased from Udemy up to $40.

How You Can File a Claim

If you received a Notice of the Class Settlement in this lawsuit or are a member of the class of persons taking action against the company, you can submit a Claim for a Settlement Payment.

The claim must be submitted by 11:59 pm (Pacific) on July 21, 2023.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a member of this action class or have received a Notice of the Class Settlement, don’t delay. Make sure to submit your claim prior to the deadline to recoup some of the funds you’ve given Udemy based on this recent settlement.

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