National Retailer to Pay for Fake Sales Claims

SelectBlinds, a major national retailer, recently agreed to pay a $10 million class action settlement related to claims that its online sales tactics violated California consumer protection laws. The complaint specifically challenged two of SelectBlinds’ online sales practices: continuous limited time sales and inflated regular price discounts.

SelectBlinds’ website featured countdown timers that marked the hours, minutes, and seconds until a purportedly limited time sale expired. The complaint alleged that, in reality, when the countdown timer ended, it was immediately replaced with another sale countdown timer offering a comparable discount. The complaint alleged that this cycle was never-ending for at least a year.

SelectBlinds’s website also displayed certain of its prices as a struck-through “regular” price and a “sale” price corresponding to the advertised discount. The complaint alleged that the products were rarely sold at the advertised “regular” price, but instead, always sold at some lower price – at least 30% less.

Though the settlement means that the California court will not make a ruling on these practices at this time, retailers should be aware that consumers and regulatory bodies alike are cracking down on unfair and misleading advertising practices. If you have any questions regarding the impact of this settlement or the recent enforcement of other applicable advertising laws, please contact one of our Design & Luxury or Advertising, Promotions & Social Media attorneys.