Mass. AG says piano man is out of tune

Bryan Cohen Jun. 1, 2011, 3:31pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the owner of a piano store for allegedly advertising multiple false "going out of business" sales.

Coakley alleges that Roger Shaffer, owner of "Roger's Piano" in Hanover, Mass., has been advertising since at least 2007 that he is "going out of business" or liquidating but that neither is true. Coakley also alleges that Shaffer duped customers by falsely advertising deep discounts. Coakley's office is seeking penalties to address this alleged wrongful conduct.

"Repeatedly advertising that you are going out of business when you are not, or overstating discounted prices, is not fair to consumers, and it's not fair to competitors who are playing by the rules," Coakley said. "When consumers want to be smart shoppers and research a big ticket purchase, they have a right to know that a merchant is giving them honest information."

Coakley alleges that Shaffer violated Massachusetts law by running newspaper advertisements with false statements like "bankruptcy," "store-closing" and "liquidation" sale. In addition, Shaffer allegedly touted steep discounts off prices that weren't offered, which is a violation of state retail regulations.

Coakley is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Shaffer from engaging in the alleged practices. A hearing on that request will be held on June 9, 2011.

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