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Deceptive Business Practices

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.

W. Hargrove Sign

The W. Hargrove Demolition Company, Inc., doing business as Camden Towing, has agreed to settle a class action alleging that the company overcharged for towing. The complaint claims that Hargrove has a contract with the city of Camden, New Jersey which specifies that the rate for vehicle towing is $89.

Indiana BMV Logo

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has agreed to settle a class action alleging that since January 1, 2002, it has overcharged Indiana residents for certain transactions. The complaint alleges that the amounts that the BMV may charge are set forth in statutes and public laws and administrative rules, but that the charges imposed since at least 2002 are higher than those authorized. 

Mercury Terminal

Mercury Payments has settled a class action alleging that, when processing merchants’ payment card transactions, it:

  1. Marked up fees due to banks, Visa, and MasterCard, rather than pass them through at cost, and
  2. Charged fees that were not authorized by its contracts with the merchants.
Wells Fargo Logo

The complaint for this class action alleges that Wells Fargo Merchant Services overcharged merchants for its processing services, adding on fees and charges that were not included in the original agreement between the merchant and Wells Fargo.

Applebee's Food

Apple-Metro, Inc. operates 37 Applebee’s restaurants in New York City and surrounding areas, one of which is on Broadway, and another of which is in Times Square. The complaint for this class action alleges that both restaurants engage in deceptive pricing practices by adding a mandatory surcharge to meals, one which is not revealed on the menu. While this surcharge is called a tip, the complaint says, the amount is not discretionary to reflect good or bad service, as tips normally are; consumers must pay a minimum percentage or they cannot cash out at the automated terminals at their tables.