Jan. 15, 2010
The Consumer Lawyers at The Simon Law Firm File Suit Against Autotire Car Care Centers
Class action claims supply fee added to customer invoice is deceptive and unrelated to costs.
ST. LOUIS—A Missouri consumer class action lawsuit has been filed against Monro Muffler Brake Inc. d/b/a Autotire Car Care Centers, alleging that a “miscellaneous shop supplies fee” charged to customers is unfair, deceptive and not directly related to costs.
The suit, McCall v. Monro Muffler Brake, Inc. d/b/a Autotire Car Care Center, cause no. 09SL-CC05472, was filed in St. Louis Circuit Court on Dec. 24.
According to the lawsuit, the lead plaintiff took his car to an Autotire Car Care Center in St. Louis County for a transmission flush. The price quoted for the service was $119.99. However, the customer says, when he reviewed the invoice after leaving Autotire he found that a miscellaneous shop supply fee of $11.99 had been added to the bill. When the customer called Autotire to inquire about the fee, he alleges, he was told that company managers require the fee to be added to all invoices, regardless of the service performed.
The suit alleges that imposition of this fee amounts to an unfair practice and violates the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in one or more several ways:
- The fee is not related to the cost of the actual supplies.
- Charging the fee allows the defendant to advertise a price lower than the actual cost, allowing it to function as a bait and switch deal;
- The practice prevents true competition in the marketplace by keeping consumers from comparing actual costs.
The suit seeks to represent all Missouri citizens who have been charged a miscellaneous shop supply fee at any Autotire store in Missouri.
John E. Campbell and Erich E. Vieth of The Simon Law Firm filed the suit. Campbell explains, “We do not believe a business should be able to cleverly disguise a fee and sneak it past the consumer. A disguised fee is fraud and those charged the fee are owed a refund.”
The Simon Law Firm, based in St. Louis, handles catastrophic injury, mass tort, class action, intellectual property, environmental and commercial litigation cases nationwide. For more information, contact Campbell at 314-241-2929 or e-mail email@example.com.