A portable charger sold at Disney theme parks is the focus of a lawsuit for $5 million over breach of contract and false advertising. According to the lawsuit, the $30 FuelRod is a portable phone and tablet charger initially advertised with ‘free unlimited swaps’ at kiosks in multiple Disney locations but changed the terms to $3 per swap. The initial price, alleges the lawsuit, was meant to cover unlimited swaps for fully charged units. The lawsuit compares the FuelRod unit to standard portable chargers on the market available at significantly lower costs to highlight the discrepancy for consumers.
What qualifies as false advertising?
There are many iterations of false advertising. Misleading ads put advertisers at risk for lawsuits from dissatisfied customers. It is illegal in California to display incorrect or misrepresented advertising for goods or services. Here are some common forms of false advertising:
- Bait and switch: A business offers a low-priced item to bring in customers, even though that item is not available, to get them to buy a similar but higher-priced item.
- Deceptive pricing: This includes false sales where a business charges full price for an item but makes it look marked down.
- Low stock: In this scenario, a business advertises a low price for a product even though there are very few in stock in the hopes that the customer will buy a more expensive item.
Holding businesses accountable for a breach of contract
Some types of false advertising can qualify as breaches of a contract if the offer and acceptance necessary for a contract are present between the business and customer. Though there is no standard formula for ‘offer and acceptance,’ if the parties involved can demonstrate they agreed to terms of a contract through a similar model, they may be able to argue for breach of contract. Businesses have an obligation to consumers to present information about their products truthfully. If you feel like you’ve bee grossly misled by a company, contact an attorney with experience in business litigation.