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Quebec consumer group files class-action against The Brick, Leon's over finance fees PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   
MONTREAL (30 November 2009) - A Quebec consumer advocacy group is seeking to launch a class-action lawsuit against both The Brick and Leon's Furniture over the fine print in their "buy now, pay later" promotions.

Option Consummateurs said in a press release posted on their web site that The Brick - the operating arm of the Edmonton-based Brick Group Income Fund - is misleading its customers when it uses such slogans as "Do not pay for 15 months" and "No down payment, no monthly payment, no interest".

"In reality, consumers relying on The Brick's financing plan have, among other things, to pay an annual membership fee of $35," the group said in its statement.

Leon's annual membership fee is $21.

According to Stéphanie Poulin, head of Option Consommateurs' legal services, "the imposition of these fees are in contradiction with the representations made by The Brick. Those representations are false or misleading."

The group is seeking leave from the Quebec Superior Court to launch the class action and is seeking to obtain the reimbursement - "for the benefit of class members" - of a sum equal to the annual membership fee as well as an amount equalling $100 to be taken off their debt. The action will also seek punitive damages of $5 million.

Option Consummateurs filed the leave against the Brick in early November, adding Leon's to its action late last week.

According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, an out-of-court settlement was reached between Leon's and another Quebec-based class-action lawsuit in August 2005 over the same complaint. At the time, eligible class members were given the choice of a $38 cheque or a $100 gift certificate from Leon's.

In October 2007, Justice Claudine Roy of the Quebec Superior Court awarded $2 million in damages to 200,000 Brault & Martineau customers ($10 each) after they brought similar charges against Quebec's largest full-line furniture and appliance retailer.

At the time, the judge she said customers were deceived by advertising that offered them the opportunity to either defer payment for one year or to pay in equal payments without interest or added fees.

Click here to read the complete Montreal Gazette report.

For more information about Option Consommateurs, visit their web site at www.option-consommateurs.org.

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Picture of the Day
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Some 145 people from across the industry took part in Cantrex Nationwide’s annual charity golf classic recently. This year, some $10,000 was raised to benefit the ‘Take the Kids to Camp’ initiative of the Salvation Army. Here, Lt. Col. Sandra Rice (left), commander of the Ontario Central East division is accepting a cheque from CNW chief operating officer Jeannine Ghaleb and Jim Mahoney, vice president of photography and consumer electronics.


 

 

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