LOS ANGELES (CN) – Beer giant MillerCoors maximized its profits on a $6 mail-in rebate on cases of beer by making the rebate instructions “illegible for most consumers,” a class action claims in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Stacy Wishner says she bought a case of Coors Light based on the mail-in rebate, but found the instructions too complicated and tiny to read.
She says MillerCoors and CVS Pharmacy boldly advertise that consumers can save up to $6 on Coors and Miller beer, but attach only a 2-by-3-inch rebate form to each box, “even smaller than an average business card.”
Even if the instructions could be easily read, the class claims, the rebate process is so convoluted that those who attempt to follow through will most likely have their rebates denied because of a missing attachment or bit of information.
“The mail-in rebate program constitutes an unfair and unlawful bait-and-switch tactic,” the complaint states.
The whole process is “unnecessarily burdensome,” the class claims.
MillerCoors is the second-largest brewing company in the United States, producing about 500 million gallons of beer a year. CVS, which is under contract with the brewer, is one of the largest retail pharmacy chains in the country.
Coors has been in hot water with consumers before for allegedly issuing invalid sweepstake prize codes on its products. In that lawsuit, consumers said the brewer continued to promote the contest even after it knew about the flaw.
Wishner and the class demand an injunction, punitive damages, restitution and disgorgement for conversion, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, false advertising, and violations of consumer and business laws.
The class is represented by Richard McCune of McCuneWright in Redlands, Calif.