Wednesday, May 22, 2013

News You Can't Use: Customers Free to Sue Department Stores for Fake Sales

Today's story is as American as apple pie, materialism, frivolous lawsuits, mathematical ignorance and baseball. It involves the classic dilemma of being duped by a so-called "sale" and then realizing when you get to the register that "20 percent" does not mean whatever it was you thought it did. Rather than simply at that point saying "You know what, no" and returning the items, as someone raised to believe in free markets and personal agency might do, you buy it anyway but later get a lawyer to file a waste-time lawsuit. A judge suffering from a Messiah complex then decides everyone should be doing this. After all, "stores" are the enemy.

May this New America live forever. 

Stores cannot be sued if they hide the fact that an item isn't actually discounted as much as they have advertised. The new ruling came in California where a judge overturned a class action suit against Kohl's department store. Now, if consumers find out that they paid more than the advertised discount price on something that they thought was on sale, they can sue the retailer for a sizable payout.

Maybe my reading comprehension isn't as A Class as I always brag it up as, but it seems these statements are contradictory. Having to do "fractions" is already tough enough, but now I'm faced with struggling through ill-constructed journalistic prose. Maybe it's time for a lawsuit against misleading opening paragraphs. A few million is all I ask.

What a bargain! Time to buy lots of luggage that I otherwise wouldn't!

The issue stems from the legal complaint made by Antonio S. Hinjonos, who argued that he would not have purchased as many items from Kohl's if he knew that there was not as significant of a discount as advertised.
I call that being tricked by a business. This is not the way to get a "come up." Popping tags? 

A year from now all of the above will be completely cryptic nonsense. 

According to the paper, he bought Samonsite luggage because he thought that it was 50 per cent off it's original $299.99 pricetag and he thought he was getting a 39 per cent markdown on polo shirts from the higher price of $36-per-shirt.

Because luggage is the sort of thing you buy more of when you think it's slightly cheaper, instead of buying it to fill an immediate need, like, say, a coming vacation. An ignorant scumbag "victim," an opportunistic lawyer and a judge drunk on power all converge to decide that cash-ins over arguably deceptive luggage labeling should clog up our courts and devastate local merchants. USA! USA! 

 Because it's so cheap I'm going to buy several dozen suitcases I don't really need.

Courthouse News Service cites the court filings where Mr Hinjonos said he 'would not have purchased (these) products at Kohl's in the absence of Kohl's misrepresentations.'

Well, I'm convinced. It makes sense that you wouldn't change your mind at the register, or keep your receipt and bring the items back. No, lawyers are a much cleaner and easier way to handle this non-problem.

'Here, Hinojos specifically and plausibly alleges that Kohl's falsely markets its products at reduced prices precisely because consumers such as himself reasonably regard price reductions as material information when making purchasing decisions,' the judge wrote.

Never has an obvious attempt to play the litigation lottery seemed so downright "plausible."

Originally the case was dismissed but that ruling was overturned by the 9th Circuit on Tuesday.

Originally sanity, common sense and the reasonable man standard won a rare victory, but they were defeated in a "do over."

Komment Korner
Kohls is notorious for doing this. I went in there a few times. They had dresses for girls at $49.99 and on sale for $29.99. You could buy the same dress for $29.99 elsewhere.

I hope this judge allows these people to also sue their public school teachers for turning them into economic idiots.

If I find out it wasn't the discount I thought it was, I either don't buy it or take it back if I did.

Better be careful. Once this principle gets started won't we be able to apply it to politicians too?

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.

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