Retailer to Pay $10 Million to Settle Pricing Claims

Lawsuits challenging how companies advertise sales are on the rise. In this year alone, we’ve posted about a lawsuit over a grocer’s BOGO offers, a lawsuit over a major retailer’s frequent sales, and a large settlement over another retailer’s sale practices. This week brought news of a new $10 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging that SelectBlinds’ sale practices violated California law.

The class action complaint focused on two types of practices:

  • False Sense of Urgency: The plaintiffs alleged that SelectBlinds used countdown timers and other tactics to suggest that sales were about to end. When the timers hit zero, though, the retailer would launch a new sale with a different name but a comparable discount, with an updated timer stating that the sale would expire at midnight the next day.” Allegedly, that cycle continued for over a year.
  • Misleading Regular Prices Discounts: The plaintiffs alleged that SelectBlinds often advertised a regular” price with a strikethrough, followed by the sale price. The retailer also often advertised the percentage of the discount comparing the sale price to the regular price. According to the plaintiffs though, SelectBlinds rarely sold the items at the regular prices – they were almost always on sale.

It’s likely that these types of lawsuits will continue, so retailers need to pay close attention to these cases and to pricing laws, particularly when they advertise discounts, sales, or other price reductions.