Staples finds itself facing a proposed class action that alleges the retailer’s “Power Bank” brand of portable chargers does not perform as advertised.
Staples’ Power Bank products, which allow for phones and tablets to be charged without being plugged into a wall outlet, are advertised as having a battery capacity ranging from 2,200 milliamps per hour (mAh) to 20,000 mAh, the case begins. In truth, the lawsuit says, the capacity of the Power Bank products deliver an average of only up to 70 percent of their advertised capacity. A consumer who bought a Staples Power Bank believing the product had a capacity of 5,000 mAh “in fact purchased a Power Bank with a significantly lesser capacity of around 3,400 mAh,” according to the complaint.
As the lawsuit tells it, Staples rolled out its line of Power Bank portable chargers in response to growing consumer demand for convenient, compact device charging. The capacity of a portable charger is material to consumers in that they rely on the advertised mAh battery capacity in determining if a product is able to meet their needs, the case says.
Though Staples prominently displays what it says is the mAh capacity for its Power Bank chargers on the products’ labels and in advertisements, the retailer’s claims with regard to how the chargers perform “have proven to be false,” the lawsuit says. The Power Bank chargers, according to the lawsuit, are only capable of delivering, on average, up to 30 percent less than the advertised mAh. The plaintiff says testing results showing such “were consistently achieved across Defendant’s line of Power Bank products,” even after several full charge and discharge cycles.
Staples “knew or should have known” that its Power Bank products fell short of their advertised charging capacity claims, the case alleges, claiming the company has failed to correct its advertising and product disclosures concerning the portable chargers and has continued to disseminate misleading information. The plaintiff claims neither he nor other consumers would have purchased Staples’ Power Bank portable chargers, or paid as much as they did for the products, had they known their stated charging capacities were inaccurate.