Maryland AG reaches settlement with BJs over deceptive coupons

Maryland residents wil be eligable to receive a refund if they used misleading BJ's coupons With many Americans who are in the midst of making every penny count as they consolidate debt, a settlement reached in Maryland may provide some savings to families who desperately need it.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced on Thursday that his office’s Consumer Protection Division had reached a settlement with BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc to return all money the retailer earned from deceptive coupons they offered.

From late 2008 to early 2009, Maryland consumers were offered “Buy One Get One Free” coupons for use at area BJ retailers. However, fine print in the coupon negated the offer by limiting it only to items priced below a certain price that the retailer did not offer

"Businesses in Maryland must abide by the law and when they advertise something for free, it is just that – free," said Attorney General Gansler. "As a result of this agreement, BJ’s has agreed to stop these deceptive practices and reimburse customers in Maryland."

In addition to refunding the 2,000 Maryland residents who wrongfully paid for products that should be free, the settlement also dictated that BJ’s pay a $40,000 penalty to the Consumer Protection Division.