Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
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Store credit policy crosses the threshold into deception

Have you returned a product back to the store – only to find you can only receive store credit? This can be frustrating, especially if you don’t want to continue shopping there, but there’s nothing you can do to change the policy.

Store credit can create a few unique problems if a store’s policy contains flaws, such as misinforming shoppers how the credit works. Some stores put conditions on store credit, which shoppers might not realize until they discover the value has disappeared.

Customers of an online lingerie brand, AdoreMe, found out about its misleading store credit terms too late. AdoreMe offers a monthly subscription service, which charges about $40 per month. If the shopper doesn’t select merchandise for that month, the amount rolls over to store credit. When customers cancelled their subscription, however, the store credit vanished from their account without warning.

The Federal Trade Commission recently brought forth a settlement with AdoreMe on the grounds that its policy was not clear to customers. As a result, the company must set certain limits on communication with customers as well as improving the process to cancel subscriptions. AdoreMe must also refund customers who lost their store credit in this manner.

AdoreMe’s previous approach created unwarranted obstacles to customers, according to the FTC. Business owners should review terms to make sure they are clear in compliance with the law, while shoppers should keep an eye out for misleading policies. Contact a skilled consumer fraud attorney to learn about what can be done to protect against costly miscommunication such as this.

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