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SoulCycle Has Alleged 'Illegal' Payment System, Suit Says

Alli Harvey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A cus­tomer of the pop­u­lar fit­ness craze Soul­Cy­cle says the com­pany is forc­ing rid­ers to use an “ille­gal” pay­ment sys­tem that requires cus­tomers to buy cer­tifi­cates with “unrea­son­ably short expi­ra­tion peri­ods,” accord­ing to a new lawsuit.

Rachel Cody, of Los Ange­les, told ABC News that SoulCycle’s pay­ment pol­icy is “infu­ri­at­ing,” because the firm requires cus­tomers to buy “Series Cer­tifi­cates” that can be redeemed for cycling ses­sions, the suit says.

Cody, who works in finan­cial ser­vices, bought a Series Cer­tifi­cate online for $30 in June of this year with the inten­tion of tak­ing a sin­gle cycling class, but she didn’t redeem it before its 30-day expi­ra­tion period. Her law­suit claims the cer­tifi­cates have “unrea­son­ably short expi­ra­tion periods.”

There are other, more expen­sive pack­ages that have longer expi­ra­tion periods.

Her law­suit, which alleges Soul­Cy­cle cer­tifi­cates have “ille­gal expi­ra­tion pro­vi­sions,” was filed on Tues­day in Los Ange­les fed­eral court and seeks class action certification.

Cody asserts that these Series Cer­tifi­cates “con­sti­tute ‘gift cer­tifi­cates’” and in pur­chas­ing one, believed “Soul­Cy­cle would abide by applic­a­ble state and fed­eral laws”.

One of the laws Cody refers to in the suit is the fed­eral Credit Card Account­abil­ity and Dis­clo­sure Act, known as the CARD Act, which pro­hibits gift cer­tifi­cates with expi­ra­tion dates of less than five years.

In her law­suit, Cody also says that “exac­er­bat­ing the ille­gal nature of SoulCycle’s scheme is the lim­ited avail­abil­ity of SoulCycle’s exer­cise ses­sions. In a July 2015 fil­ing with the Fed­eral Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion, Soul­Cy­cle stated that 30% of ses­sions were reserved within 15 min­utes of availability.”

Soul­Cy­cle, based in New York City, has 47 loca­tions with plans to open at least 250 stu­dios in the next “sev­eral years,” accord­ing to its IPO fil­ing with the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion last month. The com­pany said it had 235,000 unique rid­ers last year.

Accord­ing to the suit: “the num­ber of sep­a­rate indi­vid­u­als who have had all or a por­tion of their series cer­tifi­cate expire is likely to be in the tens of thou­sands and is iden­ti­fi­able and ascer­tain­able based on SoulCycle’s records.”

SoulCycle’s prac­tice of forc­ing its cus­tomers to for­feit unused exer­cise ses­sions is the epit­ome of soul­less unlaw­ful greed,” Cody’s lawyer, Dorian Berger of law firm Olavi Dunne LLP said in a statement.

A spokes­woman for Soul­Cy­cle declined to com­ment to ABC News on the pend­ing lit­i­ga­tion. The com­pany has about 30 days to file a response.

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See a Pair of Twins Hear Their Mom for the First Time

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — A pair of twin girls were able to hear their mother clearly for the first time this week after they were both fit­ted with new hear­ing aids.

Kayla and Kiara Her­nan­dez were born with mod­er­ate hear­ing loss and in need of hear­ing aids to hear prop­erly, accord­ing to ABC News affil­i­ate KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

But their par­ents didn’t know if they could afford the life-changing tech­nol­ogy at first because the hear­ing aids cost approx­i­mately $12,000 for both and would require follow-up visits.

The twins’ mother, Gemila Her­nan­dez, told KABC-TV that the fam­ily was ini­tially at a loss as to how to pay for the hear­ing aids, which were not cov­ered by insurance.

Try­ing to fig­ure out how are we going to get it to them as soon as pos­si­ble. Where do we even start?” she said.

But then the fam­ily found out about the Hear­Aid Foun­da­tion, a non­profit group that pro­vides hear­ing aids to those in need free of charge. Kelsey Duck­ett, a spokes­woman for the foun­da­tion, said that the family’s insur­ance did not approve the hear­ing aids and that they did not have the funds to pay for the hear­ing aids upfront.

Her­nan­dez told KABC-TV she was dev­as­tated when she first found out the girls had hear­ing loss. “I ques­tion that have they ever heard me say that I love them,” she told KABC-TV.

But Her­nan­dez won’t have to worry about that after the girls were fit­ted with spe­cial hear­ing aids that the Hear Aid Foun­da­tion funded. The devices will help the girls with speech and learn­ing devel­op­ment as they age. On Wednes­day, the girls were able to hear for the first time and when Her­nan­dez leaned over to one daugh­ter and said “Mama” the girl cooed and kicked her legs.

Her­nan­dez and her hus­band said they hope by shar­ing their story, peo­ple will learn more about the foun­da­tion and oth­ers like it.

Sup­port them and learn about them. See how they’re impact­ing the com­mu­nity because if I could only tell you how they’ve helped us,” Her­nan­dez told KABC-TV.

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Radio Host Elvis Duran Details Dramatic 105-Pound Weight-Loss Journey

Noam Galai/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — As the host of the num­ber one Top 40 morn­ing radio in the coun­try, Elvis Duran had no prob­lem dish­ing out “real talk” to his seven mil­lion loyal lis­ten­ers or rub­bing elbows with the likes of Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and dozens of other A-list celebrities.

But one thing he was deeply inse­cure about for years was his weight – until now.

In Decem­ber, the host of the mega-popular Elvis Duran and the Morn­ing Show embarked on a dra­matic weight-loss jour­ney that has led him to lose 105 pounds in eight months, going from 265 to 160 pounds

I feel awe­some! I’ve got all this energy,” Duran, 51, told Night­line in an inter­view this week. “It’s still kind of a shock. I don’t even know who I am. I look at old pic­tures of me … and I don’t feel like I’m that guy any­more but then I look at pic­tures of me now and I’m not quite sure I’m this guy. So I don’t know, It’s kind of con­fus­ing. I’m an alien liv­ing in some­one else’s body. It’s kind of strange.”

The same reac­tions I get from peo­ple I work with and friends down at the local bar [is like] ‘Woah! really? what did you do?’” Duran said. “Katy Perry on the red car­pet kept going on and on about, ‘wow, how happy are you right now? I’m so happy for you.’”

Last Decem­ber, Duran under­went a bariatric sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure called a “gas­tric sleeve,” where 85 per­cent of his stom­ach was removed.

Going through this pro­ce­dure is a lot of nee­dles, a lot of blood work, a lot of test­ing. It’s a lot,” he said. “And then after the pro­ce­dure you have to re-teach your­self how to eat. It all starts with flu­ids. You eat flu­ids for weeks and weeks and slowly intro­duce solids into your life. It’s not easy. It’s not easy at all. I would not rec­om­mend this for any­one unless they truly had to save their life by doing it.”

He said he decided to have the pro­ce­dure because his weight was endan­ger­ing his health. Duran said he real­ized he had a seri­ous health prob­lem after Dr. Mehmet Oz, the famed car­di­ol­o­gist and host of The Dr. Oz Show came in his stu­dio for an interview.

He took my blood pres­sure on our show and we went to a break and he looked at me as if he saw a ghost and said, ‘I really want to take you to hos­pi­tal right now your blood pres­sure is beyond what a human should have,’” Duran said. “And he said, ‘you need to con­sider other options and that’s what led me down this path.’”

Although Duran is enjoy­ing his new life, doesn’t come with­out his chal­lenges. He’s had to adjust to new eat­ing patterns.

I miss being able to pig out some­times,” he said. “You get munchies, want to go get a big ol’ plate of chicken parm and spaghetti. You can’t do it any­more. You can have a lit­tle bit. It tastes good, but you want more.”

In keep­ing with the spirit of his radio show, where Duran pub­licly revealed his sex­u­al­ity – his boyfriend Alex is a zookeeper – he has been very open with his lis­ten­ers about his health journey.

I think the mes­sage I’m try­ing to send is, ‘look if you’re in a posi­tion where your future, your health, your life depends on los­ing weight and you’ve tried other ways and it hasn’t worked for you, con­sider this, look into it and see if its right for you, don’t be ashamed of it,’” Duran said. “For the first time in my life I’m look­ing for ways to extend my life, look­ing for ways to enjoy what I have already, [and] be thank­ful for what I’m given.”

Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Real On-Air Violence Can Traumatize Viewers

iStock/Thinkstock(ROANOKE, Va.) — The shoot­ing on live tele­vi­sion in Vir­ginia Wednes­day could have a psy­cho­log­i­cal effect on the thou­sands of view­ers who were exposed to the trau­matic event, accord­ing to some experts.
Ali­son Parker, 24, and Adam Ward,…