On October 13, 2021, EDGE and Capstone Law filed a consumer class action lawsuit in California federal court alleging that HP advertises false reference prices on its website. The Complaint alleges that to generate sales, HP advertises inflated strikethrough prices and corresponding savings based on those prices. But, according to the Complaint, the advertised savings do not represent the actual savings obtained by consumers.
“California law specifically prohibits companies from making false or misleading statements regarding price reductions,” notes EDGE’s Daniel Rozenblatt, who represents the plaintiffs with co-counsel. “Not only does this practice harm consumers, it gives companies an unfair advantage over their competitors.”
As detailed in the Complaint, HP’s website violates California consumer protection laws by displaying a strikethrough price (e.g., $999.99) that is higher than the actual sale price. HP then advertises that online shoppers will save money based on the difference between the strikethrough price and the sale price. According to the Complaint, however, a significant percentage of HP’s products are rarely, if ever, sold at the strikethrough price.
The Complaint notes that as a result of this practice, consumers are induced to pay more for HP products and make purchases they would not have otherwise made. The lawsuit brings claims under California’s False Advertising Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and Unfair Competition Law. The lawsuit seeks an order enjoining HP from continuing to use false reference prices on its website, and an award to Plaintiff and the class members for equitable monetary relief and damages as appropriate under the law.