The company’s various websites, such as BradfordExchange.com and HamiltonCollection.com, often promote numerous items in a collection together, the suit says. However, the Bradford Exchange does not make it clear that the displayed price appearing alongside a collection is actually the cost for each single item, rather than the entire collection, the case explains.
After a consumer makes a purchase, the company ships the ordered product and, unbeknownst to the buyer, enrolls them in a recurring subscription, the suit says. The retailer then ships additional items from the collection periodically and assesses new charges on the customer’s payment account, the complaint alleges.
“In this way, many consumers make what they believe to be a one-time purchase, yet later discover subsequent charges on their credit card, debit card, or other payment account for a purported ‘subscription’ that was never authorized,” the filing relays.
According to the lawsuit, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website is littered with hundreds of complaints from consumers who report being charged for a “collection subscription” in which they never enrolled.
For example, one man claimed in July 2020 that the Bradford Exchange had “sneakily tricked [him] into a subscription” without his knowledge, the suit shares. Per the case, the consumer added that “[t]rying to cancel the subscription is a nightmare!”
As the filing tells it, the number and frequency of customer complaints prompted the BBB to post a “Pattern of Complaint” alert on its website about the company’s alleged subscription practices.
The plaintiff, a California resident, placed an order on the Bradford Exchange website in May 2020, believing it was a one-time purchase of $40.49, the lawsuit says. According to the suit, the man was unaware that the company had enrolled him in a recurring subscription that would result in subsequent charges to his payment account.
Since the original purchase, the plaintiff claims the defendant has made numerous unauthorized charges to his payment account, totaling $223.67. The case argues that if the man had known the company was going to enroll him in an automatically renewing service that would result in later charges, he would not have bought anything from the website.
The lawsuit looks to represent any California residents who were enrolled in a Bradford Exchange collection subscription since December 1, 2010 and were charged for one or more items as part of the subscription during the applicable statute of limitations period.
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