Fake Discounts Class Action Lawsuits: What You Need to Know
Consumers are always interested in good deals and discounts that can help them save money on their purchases. Unfortunately, some companies may use deceptive tactics to lure customers into buying products by offering fake discounts. This has led to a rise in class action lawsuits filed against companies that engage in such practices.
If you have ever felt cheated by a fake discount scheme, you should know that you are not alone. Many consumers have fallen victim to this unethical marketing tactic over the years, and the consequences can be significant for the company in question.
Fake discounts are a common tactic used by retailers to entice consumers to make purchases. These discounts may be advertised as a percentage off the original price, but in reality the original price may be artificially inflated in order to make the discount appear more significant than it actually is. This practice is known as “false reference pricing” and can be deceptive to consumers.
One recent example of a fake discount class action lawsuit involves the retailer Kohl’s. The company was served with a class action lawsuit in 2020, which alleged that the company engaged in false reference pricing by advertising fake discounts on its products. The lawsuit claimed that Kohl’s regularly inflated the original prices of its products, before then offering consumers discounts that were not as significant as advertised. The case is still ongoing.
Going back a few years, Hobby Lobby was served with a class action lawsuit in 2018, due to similar allegations. It was believed that the company had engaged in false reference pricing by advertising fake discounts on its products. Just as in the example with Kohl’s, this lawsuit also claimed that Hobby Lobby regularly inflated the original prices, before offering discounts that suddenly looked like a great deal. Hobby Lobby settled the lawsuit for $6 million and agreed to change its pricing practices.
Advice for Consumers
In order to stay safe as a consumer, there are a few things you can do before making a purchase. If you believe you have been deceived by a fake sale or discount such as a fake “Countdown Clock” on a website, please contact Shamis & Gentile, P.A. for a FREE case review as you me be entitled to compensation.
Research the original price
Before making a purchase based on a discount, research the original price of the product. If the original price seems inflated, the discount may not be as beneficial as you might think. This is relatively easy to do with brand names in retail, but can be more difficult with certain products. Due diligence is key when researching original prices.
Be wary of certain Countdown Clock Tactics or Sale Text
Retailers and companies often use a countdown clock on their site to make it seem as if you only have a limited amount of time to receive the offered discount. In many cases, these countdown clocks are permeant and always offered. This is just another tactic companies use to deceive you into make a purchase. Other companies use phrases such as “up to” when mentioning a certain percentage, may be engaging in false reference pricing. This is a common tactic of somewhat safeguarding the company’s liability, but in practice this can still be considered as fake sales or discounts. Be sure to read the fine print and understand the actual discount being offered, before you choose to buy your product.
Submit a claim and file a complaint with Shamis Gentile
It is possible and even encouraged that you to submit a claim with Shamis & Gentile, P.A. for a free case review, if you believe that you have been a victim of false reference pricing. Not only will this help your own situation, but it might also protect other people and bring more attention to the issue.
Join a class action lawsuit
Finally, a class action lawsuit can be filed against a retailer for false reference pricing. This option means that you might be able to join an ongoing lawsuit, or even start your own, and thus receive compensation for any harm you experienced as a result of the pricing strategy.
These lawsuits gather multiple affected parties in the same lawsuit, making the process more manageable and less stressful.
Contacting a professional law firm in order to safeguard your interests is a good idea if you are considering taking action. If you believe you purchased an item from a website that offers a Fake Sale or discount, contact Shamis & Gentile, P.A. today for a free case review. You may be entitled to compensation.
What is false reference pricing?
False reference pricing is a pricing strategy that is sometimes used by retailers, where they increase the original price of a product unrealistically high, in order to then provide “huge” savings in terms of the discount. This is unethical and illegal, and can have serious consequences for the company in question.
How can I tell if a discount is fake?
While it might be difficult in some cases, one way to tell if a discount is fake is to research the original price of the product before the sale. If the original price was artificially inflated, then the discount might end up being just the regular price. Correctly determining this will require some research and time.
Can false reference pricing lead to a class action lawsuit?
Yes. These practices are not only unethical, but also illegal to a certain extent. It is possible for affected consumers to bring a class action lawsuit against companies engaging in the false reference pricing. The plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit would need to show that they were harmed by the false reference pricing, and also that the retailer engaged in deceptive or fraudulent practices.
What are the potential damages in a false reference pricing class action lawsuit?
The damages in a false reference pricing class action lawsuit can include actual damages, such as the difference between the inflated price and the actual value of the product, as well as punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. The total damages can add up quickly, particularly in class action lawsuits involving large numbers of customers.
What can I do if I believe I have been a victim of false reference pricing?
You may be able to join a class action lawsuit against the retailer, if you believe that you have been a victim of false reference pricing. You can research whether such a lawsuit is already existing, or even consider starting your own. You can also file complaints with the appropriate authorities
What types of products are often subject to false reference pricing?
While it is possible for any product on sale to be subject of a false reference pricing scheme, the most commonly affected products are those that are regularly discounted, such as clothing, electronics, and home goods.
How do class action lawsuits work in the context of false reference pricing?
In a class action lawsuit, a group of individuals who have been harmed by false reference pricing can join together to file a lawsuit against the retailer. If the lawsuit is successful, the plaintiffs may receive compensation for any harm they experienced as a result of the pricing strategy.