Information on Ohio's Consumer Laws from Attorney Daniel Myers, Myers Law, LLC, not legal advice
Recently I teamed up with the esteemed Cleveland class action lawyers at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber, LLP to represent two Ohio residents who believe they, and others nationwide, have been shortchanged by Wal-Mart’s Walmart Stores and Sam’s Club Stores return policy.
Wal-Mart allows customers of its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores to return products to any of its other Walmart or Sam’s Club stores, respectively. The Complaint alleges that when a customer returns something to a different store location, Wal-Mart does not refund the amount the customer paid. Instead, according to allegations in the lawsuit, Wal-Mart calculates the amount to return by re-calculating the total purchase amount based on the sales tax charged by the store to which the customer is returning the product. According to the Complaint, Wal-Mart has known about this problem for years and has not corrected it.
The consumers allege in their Complaint that when a customer returns a product to a store with a lower sales tax, Wal-Mart shortchanges that customer the difference. The Complaint also alleges that other retailers do not shortchange customers this way and that Wal-Mart breaches the sales contract with its customers when it does. The consumers also allege that Wal-Mart’s practice costs consumers millions of dollars nationwide.
Think about the last time you returned an item to another major retailer, other than Wal-Mart. Odds are it did not matter what county you bought or returned the item in–the amount you got back was the amount you paid. The same cannot be said for Walmart of Sam’s Club stores. Although this may be only pennies or a few dollars to one customer, that change adds up quickly when you consider the fact that in 2013 alone, Wal-Mart’s net sales were $274 billion; Sam’s Club’s were an additional $56 billion. Those pennies add up very quickly for consumers who regularly shop or make returns at separate Walmarts (one near work, the other near home, etc.), as well.
The civil action is captioned Brandewie v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland Division on behalf of all Walmart and Sam’s Club consumers in the United State who returned items and allegedly received less than they paid because of a difference in sales tax rates.
Attorney Daniel Myers takes consumer rights seriously, even when it involves taking on the world’s largest corporation.
A copy of the Complaint can be found HERE.
Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber’s Walmart Class Action webpage can be found HERE.