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"Free" Items Not Really Free

H&R Block Logo

Did you know that H&R Block has a free filing program for persons who earn less than $66,000 per year? No? The complaint for this class action says that’s no accident. While the company is in the Free File Program, the complaint says, it deliberately hides that program from taxpayers and attempts to divert them to paid filing programs. The complaint claims that this behavior violates California laws, breaches contracts, and results in unjust enrichment.

Ad for Free TurboTax Services on Computer Screen

Is TurboTax’s advertised “free” filing service really free? The complaint for this class action alleges that Intuit, Inc., the company behind TurboTax, purports to offer “free” tax services, then steers consumers to paid options. But this is not all: TurboTax is actually required to offer truly free tax services to certain people as part of an agreement with the IRS.

FYE Storefront at Mall

Trans World Entertainment Corporation, this complaint alleges, uses “highly aggressive sales tactics[.]” To sell its merchandise? No, the complaint claims—to deceive people into signing up for “loyalty memberships” and magazine subscriptions, using tactics called “negative option marketing” or “free-to-pay.”

"Free" Filing TurboTax Offer on Computer Screen

How many people know that TurboTax must allow some users to file their taxes for free? The complaint for this class action alleges that Intuit, Inc., the company that makes TurboTax, has violated an agreement with the federal government because it diverts filers to paid options.

For Your Entertainment Logo

Trans World Entertainment Corporation runs For Your Entertainment (FYE), which sells entertainment, video, and music products; Synapse Group, Inc. is a magazine marketer. The complaint for this class action claims that the two companies partnered to charge consumers for memberships and magazine subscriptions that they had not agreed to purchase.


Telebrands is settling a class action alleging that it marketed certain products as “buy one, get one free” but in reality required consumer to pay for the “free” item via shipping, processing, or handling charges beyond those permitted by law.

image of visionworks logo

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Visionworks' "Buy One, Get One Free" eyeglasses offer was misleading because the price of the first pair of eyeglasses was significantly increased.

picture of chairlift with skiers

The lawsuit claims that the Ski Free® promotion at many Shell-branded fuel stations in Oregon, Michigan, Washington, and California is in fact not a free skiing program, rather it is a "buy one get one free" voucher.  There are also many date, time, resort, and other limitations.  The plaintiffs claim that this violates various state consumer protection laws.

This lawsuit alleges that Six Continents Hotels violated state consumer protection laws by how it enforced its cancelation policy for hotel room reservations.

Tinder Logo

This lawsuit alleges that TINDER deceptively advertised its online dating  “app” in two ways.  First, it advertised its services as free but then required a $2.99 monthly payment for unlimited swipes.  Then Tinder upped the monthly fee to $19.99 but also debited consumers accounts the additional $2.99.