Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Home Depot is accused of shaking down suspected shopliters

Jimin Chen received two worrisome letters this summer. Both came from a law firm hired by Home Depot (HD). The first demanded payment of $350 to settle claims that he shoplifted from a California store. According to Chen, in early June he had been wrongly accused of taking two pairs of work gloves (priced at $3.99 each) as he purchased nearly $1,500 worth of merchandise from Home Depot. A second letter demanded $625. Both helpfully included five ways he could pay, and both threatened legal action if he didn’t.

Chen didn’t pay. Instead, on Sept. 5, he filed a class-action lawsuit (PDF) in California Superior Court, alleging that Home Depot is shaking down customers for arbitrary and unjust damages for shoplifting charges and using false threats of criminal prosecution.

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Photo by Ildar Sagdejev

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