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Lost 80 Cent Coupon Value Turns Into $5M Lawsuit

Coupon-ing Gone Wrong

Coupons are a great idea. When you use them, you save money – simple as that. People in Canada love coupons just as much as people in the rest of the world, and we typically know how to use them without much trouble. If there is anything questionable, it is generally easy enough to resolve by reading the coupon again or talking with the clerk at the checkout register. However, some people out there get more than a little irate when things don’t work out in their favor, whether it’s with coupons or anything else. That’s the case with one such woman from New Jersey in the United States.

What Happened in This Case?

Several years ago, the woman, Tova Gerson, filed a lawsuit against a department store that had “ripped her off for 80 cents.” Suing someone for 80 cents seems a tad extreme. However, she claimed that the store, Century 21, was ripping off customers with a scheme involving coupon fraud.

She had a coupon that was good for $5 off the purchase of $50 or more. It was a decent deal, and anyone would use a coupon like that. After all, $5 is $5. She bought a number of items at the store, and then discovered that she needed to return a children’s outfit. The suit states that it was the wrong color. The store refunded the money, just as they would normally do. However, it did not include the 80 cents that would have been part of the savings from the initial purchase.

She claims that the fact that they did not refund that portion of what she should have saved on the coupon deprived her of the coupon’s full benefit. Technically, that is correct. She also claims that if she had known that she would not be able to use the coupon credit on those items, she would have made a separate purchase for them.

How 80 Cents Turned Into A $5 Million Lawsuit

It’s important to note that this is not a personal lawsuit. Rather, it’s a class action suit that seeks $5 million, as there could be a large number of other shoppers who could be in the same situation given the promotion by the store was, in the words of Gerson, “fraudulent and misleading.”

The attorney working for Gerson in this case actually happens to be her father, Harry Katz. This is not the first time that Katz has taken retailers to court. Some of the other companies that Katz has taken on in the past for similar “coupon schemes” include The Children’s Place and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Each of those suits were settled or dismissed from court.

Worth the Trouble?

Naturally, you are probably asking yourself whether filing a suit in a case like this is actually worthwhile. Since most people probably don’t have parents that are lawyers, it is probably not necessarily a good idea. Always read the coupons and know how they work. If there is anything unclear, as we mentioned, ask before using the coupon so you know what you can expect.

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