Jewelry Charge Account Overbilling, Unauthorized Opening and Claims

 

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and the People of the State of New York today settled claims against Sterling Jewelers Inc.  The Bureau’s and the State’s parallel investigations found that Sterling violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by opening store credit-card accounts without customer consent; enrolling customers in payment-protection insurance without their consent; and misrepresenting to consumers the financing terms associated with the credit-card accounts. The Bureau also found that Sterling violated the Truth in Lending Act by signing customers up for credit-card accounts without having received an oral or written request or application from them. The State of New York found that Sterling violated several provisions of state law.

Under the settlement, Sterling will pay a $10 million civil money penalty to the Bureau and a $1 million civil money penalty to the State of New York. Sterling has also agreed to injunctive relief.   Sterling operates over 1,500 jewelry stores under several names, including Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, JB Robinson Jewelers, Marks & Morgan Jewelers, Belden Jewelers, Goodman Jewelers, LeRoy’s Jewelers, Osterman Jewelers, Rogers Jewelers, Shaw’s Jewelers, and Weisfield Jewelers. Sterling is a wholly owned subsidiary of Signet Jewelers Limited, the largest specialty-jewelry retailer in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Copies of the complaint and the proposed consent order filed in federal district court in the Southern District of New York are available at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_sterling-jewelers_complaint.pdf  and https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_sterling-jewelers_proposed-consent-order.pdf 

If you experienced problems with a jewelry credit card, you may be entitled to compensation.

CALL (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation

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Typical Car Problems

A recent article in Carproblem Zoo discusses the incidence of vehicle problems.  Car Problems article

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Problem Category Number of Problems
  Engine And Engine Cooling
125407
  Electrical System
122541
  Power Train
106723
  Air Bag
106484
  Service Brakes
89519
  Steering
73914
  Equipment
55225
  Structure
50361
  Suspension
47318
  Vehicle Speed Control
47170
  Visibility
36326
  Other Fuel System
33821
  Exterior Lighting
33416
  Gasoline Fuel System
28181
  Tire
23063
  Seat Belt
16226
  Seats
14723
  Electronic Stability Control
13921
  Wheel
12208
  Latches/locks/linkage
11098
  Unknown Or Other
10920
  Parking Brake
2573
  Air Brake
2224
  Diesel Fuel System
1402
  Traction Control System
1361
  Interior Lighting
1180
  Child Seat
812
  Hybrid Propulsion System
138
  Forward Collision Avoidance
81
  Back Over Prevention
38
  Lane Departure
19

If you experienced repeated car problems, you may be entitled to compensation or a new car.  Call for a Free Consultation

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False Advertising Practices

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A New York publication outlines advertising and sales practices that can constitute consumer fraud or a deceptive practice,

 Watch out for FOOTNOTES AND ASTERISKS (“*”). The “fine print” in an
advertisement sometimes changes an offer made in the large print. That’s deceptive.
 PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS should match the products being advertised.
 Any PRICE QUOTED in an ad must match the actual purchase price.
 Beware of ads using phrases like “as low as,” “starting at,” or “… and up” next
to the listed price. Any phrase that refers to a RANGE OF PRICES, without
being specific about which item costs how much, makes the ad deceptive.
 COMPETITIVE DISCOUNT claims like “lowest prices,” “guaranteed lowest
price,” or “prices lower than everyone else” are nearly impossible to prove.
 When a vendor offers to bring his price down to undersell a competitive price
(“We will not be undersold”), the vendor should produce evidence that the offered price is lower. There should be a clear and conspicuously posted disclosure of the business’s PRICE-MATCHING policy.
 All of an ad’s PRINT SIZE should be readable—no smaller than 10-point type.
(This is a sample of 10-point type.)
 If an ad uses CONTRASTING COLORS, they must not make the ad harder to
read. For example, words in one color should not be printed against a background of the same color but a different shade.
 If an ad mentions a STORE WARRANTY OR GUARANTEE other than the
manufacturer’s, it should clearly say that the consumer would see the warranty
before the purchase is made.
 In cases of competitive discount and price-matching claims, stores sometimes
limit their discount to prices set by “AUTHORIZED DEALERS” of a product. Be prepared to compare that price to other stores’ standard price.
 Check to see if the specific amount of SHIPPING AND HANDLING
CHARGES are disclosed.
 When a discount is offered in A RANGE OF PERCENTAGE TERMS (“Save
from 10% to 40%”), the ad should be clear about the standard price that the
vendor is discounting.
 When an ad claims that an item is available at A PRICE LOWER THAN THE
MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE, ask the retailer to
prove that other vendors in the area offer the same suggested price. If not,
this may be no bargain.
 An ad may say “sale,” “discount,” “price cut,” “clearance,” and so on, without
actually offering a substantial savings from the earlier price. If you can’t tell
the real savings from the ad, find out from the business’s management.
 Ads that refer to RETAILER’S COST – “at cost,” “below cost,” “inventory
price,” “wholesale,” “factory billing,” and so on – sometimes cover up the
fact that the prices still include real profits to the retailer.”   New York Deceptive Practices

If you have been a victim of deception, call for a free consultation.


New Jersey Automobile Dealer Fraud

Frustrated Woman Looking At Broken Down Car Engine

A press release by the Division of Consumer Affairs discusses consumer fraud.   If you

have been a victim of consumer fraud by a dealer, you may be entitled to compensation.



NEWARK – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that a Middlesex County car dealership has agreed to pay $136,000 and change the way it does business in order to resolve the Division’s consumer fraud investigation of the dealership’s advertising, sales, and leasing practices.

Sansone Hyundai, Inc., located on US-1 in Avenel, entered into the settlement to end the Division’s investigation of its alleged activities, including failing to disclose the total price for certain advertised vehicles, and charging consumers for aftermarket merchandise that was listed at “no charge” on certain leases and sales contracts.

“Consumers should be able to purchase a new car without having to worry about misinformation and hidden costs,” said Attorney General Porrino.  “This settlement ensures that consumers will receive transparency and honesty from this dealership, as required by law.”

​“Dealerships must fully disclose all costs and fees associated with the purchase or lease of a vehicle before consumers sign on the dotted line,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.  “We will continue to enforce the laws and regulations in place to ensure consumers have the facts they need to make informed decisions.”

In a Consent Order with the Division, Sansone Hyundai, among other things, agreed to:

  • comply with all applicable state and/or federal laws, rules, and regulations, including the Consumer Fraud Act, the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, the Automotive Sales Regulations, and the Consumer Leasing Act;
  • not misrepresent the terms and conditions of any financing or lease plan;
  • not add and charge for aftermarket merchandise, such as window etch or service contracts, without consumers’ knowledge and/or authorization;
  • not represent to consumers that certain dealer-installed options and/or aftermarket merchandise are mandatory when, in fact, they are not;
  • not sell consumers aftermarket merchandise that overlaps or provides similar benefits in part to merchandise the consumer has already purchased through the lease or sale transaction;
  • accurately reflect in leases the “gross capitalized cost” as required by the consumer leasing act;
  • provide consumers with an opportunity to review all leases and/or sales documents and/or aftermarket contracts prior to signing; and
  • not identify the advertised prices of a motor vehicle by reference to the MSRP sticker, when the motor vehicle includes an addendum to the MSRP sticker that reflects a higher total price.

Sansone Hyundai also agreed to make a $136,250 settlement payment to the State.

Investigator Patrick Mullan, of the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection, conducted this investigation.

​ Deputy Attorney General Cathleen O’Donnell from the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law represented the State in this matter.

2015 Chevy 4.3 engine problems

There have been multiple complaints about engine problems on 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and other models.  They include,
Engine Stalls/Dies While Driving,
Starts Hard,  Check Engine Light On
Excessive Oil Consumption
Hesitation/Jerking When Trying To Accelerate

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Here are some typical complaints excerpted from NHTSA records,

Engine light stays on will not pass state inspection, traction control or maybe stability light on, loss of power not shifting right, no ac, shut down eng display comes on.

While driving my new 2015 Silverado. I experienced the dash lights flashing on and off, radio on and off, Stabilitrak warning, and Engine Failure. I find this issue to be very unsafe. Due to engine failure possibly in the middle of traffic.
Vehicle owners may be entitled to compensation for repair costs or inconvenience, replacement vehicle, or refund.  Claims may be presented for breach of warranty, lemon law, and Magnuson-Moss Act violations.

Sources


businessman signing a contract

Keywords

2015 chevy silverado problems, 2015 chevy 5.3 engine problems, Chevy Silverado recalls
Call (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation on Your Chevrolet Engine Claim

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Volkswagen Atlas Transmission Problems

Owners of the Volkswagen Atlas have been reporting multiple problems with the vehicle including  transmission malfunction.   Youtube features several videos showing problems,

VW Atlas trans problem video 1

Other problems include evap code and leaks, VW Atlas Evap Leak and Code
emissions issues, leaking engine oil,                  Edmunds VW Atlas complaint page

For a Free Consultation on your VW Atlas problem, call (973) 598-1980

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Subaru Infotainment System Failure

A Subaru Starlink lawsuit alleges the infotainment systems freeze and malfunction because the head units fail, and updates offered by the automaker have allegedly failed to fix the systems.  Subaru Starlink failures

The system offers touchscreen multimedia and video and controls  radio and audio system and the cell phone and navigation system. The proposed Subaru class-action lawsuit includes all current and former owners and lessees of the following vehicles equipped with Starlink systems.

  • 2018 Subaru Outback
  • 2018 Subaru Legacy
  • 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2017-2018 Subaru Impreza
  • 2018 Subaru BRZ

Problems include,

  1. Back-up camera freezes and/or shut downs.
  2. Failure of the system’s head unit with resulting loss of audio and radio functions.
  3. Complete system lock-up/error message displayed on infotainment system that only goes away after vehicle is turned off for several hours and then turned back on to properly reset entire system.
  4. Display shuts off even though functions of infotainment system remain working.
  5. Inability to shut radio/audio off or turn high volume level down (set automatically by way of technical glitch) when backing up.
  6. Radio automatically comes on at high volume when the car is turned on, even if the radio was off when the car was last turned off.
  7. Favorites from smartphone or connected device not being saved to the system.
  8. Audio/radio functioning is erratic, in that radio/audio will turn off at random intervals then come back on suddenly without warning.
  9. Touchscreen controls unresponsive.
  10. Bluetooth connectivity issues preventing phones from connecting properly and calls from being made as well as disabling Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality with the system.

 

If you experience problems, you may be entitled to compensation.  Call (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation on your claim.

 

Ford Service Bulletins: Lemon Law and Class Action

Service bulletins are typically issued to address a common problem faced by a manufacturer.  They may indicate a widespread problem and confirm unsuccessful attempts to address it.  Here are links to some common Ford vehicle problems.

Problems with GM 8 Speed Transmission

Owners of the Chevrolet Colorado and other models are complaining about hesitation and shifting issues.  Owners of the affected vehicles may be entitled to compensation.   Car complaints reports,  A General Motors 8-speed transmission lawsuit alleges fixes offered by the automaker haven’t solved problems with hard shifting, shaking, jerking, hesitating and shuddering.

The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all consumers who purchased or leased the following vehicles in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and Texas:

  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015-2019 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2016-2019 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2015-2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac ATS-V
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CT6
  • 2016-2019 Cadillac CTS-V
  • 2015-2019 GMC Sierra
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2015-2019 GMC Yukon Denali XL
  • 2017-2019 GMC Canyon

Car Complaint Article

The GM vehicles are equipped with GM 8L45 or 8L90 automatic transmissions that allegedly hesitate when drivers accelerate or decelerate. Drivers claim the transmissions can shift so hard it feels like being hit by another vehicle. One owner claims the GM transmission shifted from REVERSE to DRIVE so harshly the vehicle almost went through the garage door.

According to the lawsuit, each fix offered by the automaker has allegedly failed to repair the shaking, shuddering and jerking, and the plaintiffs claim both the torque converters and transmissions cause problems with the hydraulic systems and gears.

CALL (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation
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