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Best Buy is facing a nationwide consumer class action lawsuit over allegations that its “0% interest” or “no interest” promotions are in fact, completely bogus.

Plaintiff Ruth Stinson filed the Best Buy class action lawsuit earlier this month in Minnesota federal court, claiming that she and other Best Buy shoppers were tricked into applying for and accepting financing for big ticket items like appliances and electronics that is “confusing, misleading, and deceptive.”

Stinson says she fell victim to Best Buy’s 0% financing scheme when she was shopping at a Best Buy store in Michigan in October 2015. The Best Buy salesperson informed her that if she qualified, she would receive 18 months with no interest on her purchase. Stinson believed this was true.

The Best Buy class action lawsuit goes on to note that the salesperson never informed Stinson that if she failed to pay off the entire balance of the account before the end of the 18-month promotional period she would be required to pay interest on the entire purchase price retroactive to the initial date of purchase.

According to the 27-page complaint, this is a practice Best Buy routinely practices – encouraging consumers to make expensive purchases with promises of “0% interest” or “no interest, but yet intentionally failing to give customers the entire truth about what they are signing up for.

If consumers fail to pay off their entire purchase balance by the end of the promotional period, they are retroactively charged interest on the entire purchase price from the date of the initial purchase. Even if a consumer fall just a few dollars short of full repayment, they are charged interest as if they had never made any payments to Best Buy.

“Best Buy exploits the foregoing lack of transparency and consumers’ corresponding lack of understanding by advertising and marketing its promotions using the phrases “0% interest” or “no interest” to mislead, confuse, and deceive consumers into believing they are signing up for a true “0% interest” offer, which they are not,” the Best Buy class action lawsuit states.

And that is exactly what happened to Stinson. Despite making timely payments and paying off a significant portion of the initial $947.82 purchase price during the 18-month promotional period, she was unable to pay off the entire balance, and was hit with $309.54 dollars in retroactive interest when it expired. Had she known that she would be charged retroactive interest, she would not have agreed to the financing, the Best Buy class action lawsuit contends.

Stinson is seeking to represent a nationwide Class and a Michigan subclass of consumers who made purchases at Best Buy on store-issued credit and were later charged retroactive, lump-sum interest on the full purchase amount. She is requesting the Court award restitution, punitive, and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction requiring Best Buy to adequately disclose facts regarding the true nature of its “0% interest” or “no interest” promotions.

Stinson and the proposed class are represented by Melissa S. Weiner and Christopher J. Moreland of Halunen Law.

The Best Buy Class Action Lawsuit is Ruth Stinson, et al., v. Best Buy Co., Inc., Case No. 0:18-cv-00295, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

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