Wayne, NJ: Toy retail giant Toys "R"Us, Inc, is facing a potential consumer fraud class action lawsuit over allegations it engaged in a bait-and-switch scheme that lured in online shoppers with offers of valuable free gifts but turned out be small or non-existent.
In the lawsuit, entitled William Probert v. Toys "R"Us, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-07237, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, lead plaintiff William Probert alleges Toys "R"Us used misleading sales tactics which included promising customers free gifts like a $15 Barbie clothing outfit when they purchased a $75 Barbie Doll. However, most shoppers received much cheaper incentive gifts because the company either stocked an "exceedingly limited"number of the advertised free gifts or had no intention of giving expensive gifts.
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Specifically, the lawsuit states, "Under this business model, consumers almost always receive a 'free gift' of substantially lesser value than what was advertised and which served as the basis of the bargain, or no 'free gift' whatsoever."And, "This business practice, thus, constitutes a modern 'bait and switch' scheme. Toys R Us does not honor its promises to provide the promised free gift, and indeed never intended to honor its promises."
Furthermore, Probert claims he was lured to the Toys "R"Us website to purchase four Lego building sets, worth $62 and $112 each, based on an ad promising he would receive $15 Lego building set as a free gift with purchase. Instead, Probert was offered a $5 Christmas tree figurine and a $5 magnet.
Probert is seeking to represent a proposed class of all Toys "R"Us customers nationwide that purchased, not for resale, a product from the Toys "R"Us website and did not receive the "free gift"that was represented at the time of sale would accompany the purchase. The lawsuit seeks restitution, unspecified damages and an injunction barring the company from engaging in the alleged wrongful conduct based on allegations of a breach of contract, violations of New Jersey' Consumer Fraud Act and Connecticut' Unfair Trade Practices Act, and more.