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Deceptive Business Practices

Navient Building

If a student loan company Navient Solutions does not tell a borrower of all options available, is it contributing to the predatory schemes of another company that then takes advantage of that borrower? That’s what the complaint for this class action alleges in bringing suit against both Navient Solutions, formerly known as Sallie Mae, and Studebt, which ensnared plaintiff Shawn M. Davis in an outright fraudulent arrangement. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Navient breached its contract as well as its covenant of good faith, and that Studebt committed fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and also violated the TCPA while marketing its fraudulent scheme.

Floating on Water

Plaintiff Michael Marko called and booked three hotel rooms in Paducah, Kentucky for December 8-10, 2016. According to the complaint, he gave a payment method and they made the reservation, but he never received a confirmation or receipt. He had no idea, he claims, that he had been charged a $14.99 fee for each of the three rooms he’d booked. Later, when he tried to cancel one of the rooms, he was not permitted to, even though he claims to have fulfilled all the requirements.

AmeriGas Truck

AmeriGas has decided to settle a class action alleging that it violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act in the way it charged fuel recovery fee. The complaint claimed that the fee is deceptive because it does not bear a relationship to AmeriGas’s real fuel costs. 

Motorola Smartwatch

This settlement resolves a class action alleging that Motorola failed to live up to its obligations in providing warranty services. It claimed that the company was liable for breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, and violation of a number of states’ consumer protection laws. 

Herbalife Event

Herbalife has a system which it touts as a way to success: sell its products, recruit others to do the same, and attend its live events. The complaint quotes a speaker as saying, “If you go to all the events, you qualify for everything—you will get rich.” According to the complaint, the events consist primarily of testimonials, which the complaint calls “emotionally manipulative” stories of “former dropouts, vagrants, bartenders, flight attendants, nurses, teachers, single mothers, used car salesmen, bus drivers, and college volleyball players–each of whom has achieved astounding success through Herbalife and through religious attendance of Circle of Success events.” The complaint describes “[l]ong scripted days of income claims accompanied by loud music, shouting, clapping, hugging, and crying” that “move the prospect toward ‘I can do this!’” However, the complaint lays out the improper ways in which some of the successful actually make their money.

LensCrafters Store

LensCrafters offers what it calls its Accufit® Digital Measurement System, which it claims can more accurately measure the pupillary distance (PD) between a customer’s eyes, so that it can more accurately locate the optical centers of the eyeglasses it makes for customers. The company claims that this allows it to create prescription glasses with “a lens fit with five times greater precision than traditional methods.” But the complaint alleges that the company’s “decades-old” manufacturing methods requires manual measurements that must be rounded to the nearest millimeter, and that the glasses that result are no more accurate than those for which measurements were taken with a standard ruler.

CardConnect Building

Most merchants nowadays must accept credit cards, but the merchant services payment system is complex. The complaint alleges that CardConnect takes advantage of the complexity of the system and employs deceptive means so that merchants end up paying more than they thought. The complaint alleges, for example, that CardConnect negotiates an agreement with the merchant for low rates and fees that are set forth in a contract (the Merchant Processing Application), but incorporates in the contract the terms of a second, non-negotiable agreement (the Program Guide) with many pages of fine print that allow it to raise or add fees if it wants to. The complaint also claims that neither CardConnect nor the member bank actually sign the contracts, leaving CardConnect the excuse that it didn’t actually “accept” the contract.

Computer and Hand

This judgment resolves an FTC and State of Florida action against Inbound Call Experts, doing business as Advanced Tech Support. Previously, defendants Cashier Myricks, PC Cleaner, Inc., and others settled with the FTC. The complaint alleges that Myricks, PC Cleaner, and others offered “free trial” software to consumers that purportedly would enhance their computers’ performance.

Nokia Lumia 1520

In this pro se case, Plaintiff Roy A. Day claims that he bought a Nokia 1520 mobile device on June 7, 2014 and that he was told that AT&T Mobile had exclusive rights to provide services to that model of phone. He claims to have followed AT&T’s instructions to have the phone unlocked, but that the company refused, based on a clause in Day’s contract that said, “Prepaid/GoPhones: Device has been active for at least six months.” Day claims that his is not a Prepaid/GoPhone device. He also claims that it had a Microsoft Windows Phone 8.0 operating system, but that AT&T Mobile “upgraded” his device to the 8.1 system in a way that omitted source code for what he calls “controlling applications” such as Cortana and Shapewriting. In both cases, Day alleges that the purpose of AT&T Mobile’s action was to force him to buy a new phone, and he associates this with violations of antitrust laws, such as the Sherman Act and Clayton Act, as well as 2016’s Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act.

Shelves of Medical Records

This settlement resolves a class action alleging that HealthPort Technologies, now known as CIOX Health, overcharged patients or their legal representatives for furnishing copies of medical records.