FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Abigail Lootens / Christine Gianakis
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0042 firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Consumer Affairs Settles Charges with Luxury Bedding Company Brooklinen for Deceptive "SUBWAY" Promo Code with $25,000 Fine
NEW YORK, NY—The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced a settlement agreement with NYC-based luxury bedding company Brooklinen for violations of the City’s Consumer Protection Law, including misleading subway advertisements that failed to disclose a minimum purchase requirement to use a promotional code. Brooklinen, which has reported to have generated more than $50 million in sales since 2014, has been advertising a “SUBWAY” promotional code on New York City subway cars and subway station walls offering $20 off a purchase plus free shipping, without disclosing any restrictions or limitations. In the course of its investigation, DCA discovered that when a consumer attempts to use the “SUBWAY” code on Brooklinen’s website, an error message is displayed stating that the consumer must meet the $100 minimum required for the code to work. The failure to disclose this limitation in their advertisements is a clear violation of the Consumer Protection Law.
“Brooklinen used the promise of $20 off a purchase plus free shipping to bait New Yorkers to visit their website, unaware that they would need to spend $100 to redeem the promotion,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “These deceptive advertisements are misleading to consumers and are a violation of the Consumer Protection Law. With the holiday shopping season upon us, we want New Yorkers to know that DCA is here to protect consumers from businesses who deceive or mislead consumers and hope that this announcement sends a clear message to businesses that these types of business practices will not be tolerated.”
Brooklinen has agreed to:
- Remove the error message: “Your cart does not meet the $100 minimum required to use the code SUBWAY” to use the promotional code;
- Include disclaimers on future advertisements; and
- Pay a $25,000 fine.
DCA wants to make consumers aware of their rights to help them spend wisely and protect themselves from scams. Visit nyc.gov/dca
for DCA’s annual Holiday Shopping Tips
or file a complaint about deceptive advertising online
or by contacting 311.
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCA protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCA empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCA and its work, call 311 or visit DCA at nyc.gov/dca or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.