LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - Best Buy is facing a lawsuit after claims the company rescinded orders made by consumers without their permission.
According to a suit filed Aug. 21 in California Superior Court by Anthony Martinez and Erubey Nunez, Best Buy listed $200 gift cards for sale for just $14. After customers purchased the cards, their money was refunded and their orders cancelled, the suit says.
The plaintiffs in the case claim the gift cards were “falsely, fraudulently, deceptively, deceitfully and repeatedly represented and advertised as discounted gift cards for purchase on the BEST BUY website.”
Jeff Sovern, a consumer rights expert and law professor at St. John’s University, spoke with Legal Newsline about this case. He said the verdict will likely be determined by what is expected of consumers.
“It sounds like the Best Buy offer was a typo. Courts have sometimes held advertisers liable for not living up to a price printed in error,” Sovern told Legal Newsline. “False advertising laws generally focus on whether a consumer would have been deceived by the ad.”
Sovern said the question a court will ask is whether the consumer who saw the $200 gift card listed for $15 would think Best Buy meant to do that, or made a typo.
“My own guess is that a reasonable consumer would recognize that was a typo,” Sovern said. “But other laws ask whether the ad would fool the credulous consumer. Maybe a credulous consumer would have been deceived.”
The plaintiffs in this case seek class status for all California residents who purchased the gift cards. They’re also asking for unspecified damages plus court costs.