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Harbor Freight class action suit

If you purchased tools to fix your car (or anything else) from HF you may be entitled to some $$ back

Good grief! I am usually a wise consumer and don’t like being “scammed.”

I don’t live anywhere near a Harbor Freight store, but I have made purchases when I’ve been out of town and online.

However, I have never felt like I was being coerced into buying anything and I have always been able to get the prices advertised.

I mean, come on… I find some tool at an extremely good price and then they let me use a 20% off coupon!

My on-sale wire-feed welder and my electric impact wrench paid for themselves the first few times I used them.

I’d feel really funny about taking money from a class-action lawsuit after HF has given me a bunch of tape measures, screw driver sets, multi-meters, scissors, and other stuff for FREE!

Give me a break. And give HF a break, too.

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I don’t think whether or not HF broke the law should be decided based on how much free stuff they gave you.

…but I don’t buy things at HF, so how easily you can be bribed is really none of my business.

I’ve been hearing a lot of “the law is the law, and people should enforce the law” talk from my conservative friends, so this is a refreshing change, my conservative friend. :smile:

A meritless lawsuit IMO; but that’s not too uncommon in today’s world.

I wonder how often the offended parties who started this have visited HF as a customer since doing so…

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I’m not saying the laws cannot or should not be enforced. Reread what I wrote. What I am saying is that HF has been more than generous with me and I don’t feel I’d get any satisfaction by trying to get more out of them. Whereas, some retailers… I’d like to get them by the throat.

Is this a case where large numbers of people have complained or a case where some lawyer(s) noticed a way to make a buck?

From what I see nearly everyday, businesses are using unscrupulous or illegal practices. Even the government runs fake ads (false advertisement) all the time and I experience stores still guilty of bait & switch practices.

If it floats somebody’s boat to join this suit, I say go for it.

Besides, this suit is still pending and the settlement hasn’t been established, as far as I can tell. It might be much ado about nothing. Go for it if you have time to spend (waste).

The lawsuit alleges HF broke the law. I’m in favor of this being sorted out in a court of law rather than the court of public opinion.

I have news for you. That is how it will be sorted out… after you gave your opinion.

Oh, I forgot about ALL the free LED lights (that included batteries and have a magnet) that I use around the house all the time. I guess if I decide to join the lawsuit (that may or may not result in anything) I could give back the flashlights so that I wouldn’t feel bad about taking a settlement. :wink:

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I didn’t read it but the only thing I ever bought from them was a $15 HVLP spray gun. It worked the one time I used it but whadda ya think, its going to work like a $500 gun?

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Every tool I have ever bought at Harbor Freight has come with the disclaimer:
“Your warranty if good for so long, Bring this tool back in before the warranty expires, and we’ll give you a new tool. No questions asked.”

I’ve never experienced the issue in the lawsuit, but someone had to have their panties in a pretty serious bunch to mess with that kind of customer relations.

My gut feeling says the latter, because that’s the society we live in, like it or not :neutral_face:

If they’re really engaging in false advertising, they should stop. Simple as that. It doesn’t mean the company as a whole is bad, or that we should stop giving them business, or that the good things they do don’t counterbalance this bad thing they did, but it’s still a bad thing to lie to your customers.

What annoys me is that HF got caught and is going to have to pay, but there are hundreds of other companies doing much worse to their customers, and they never have to pay, even if they get caught. Comcast charges their customers rent on their customer’s own equipment. Verizon “loses” warrantied cell phones and charges the customer for full retail value unless the customer squawks and lawyers up (ask me how I know that!). BP destroys the Gulf of Mexico and skates. GM and Ford kill its customers with known defects that they keep secret from their customers, and they’re still around.

Even when companies do get fined, it’s often some piddling amount that is less than the company spends in a month on paper clips. My favorite punishments are the ones that are often 10% of what the company made by doing whatever they’re being punished for. As though I’m going to care if you fine me $10 million when I’ve just added $100 million to the profit side of the ledger.

In short, I’d like to see this kind of vigilance exercised against companies that are really hurting people rather than only wielding it against piddly stuff like this.


I am sure the lawyers believe they will win otherwise they would not be wasting their time.

I got the e-mail notice but does not really apply to me. I always track the price of the tool I want to buy and buy it around the bottom of the price. The most money I spent on a single tool there was the 3 ton low profile floor jack for around $79 which was a good deal. I think I have gotten decent deals so far, so not going to pursue anything.

Looks like if you bought tools you qualify for a) 20% of the use saved amount on your itemized receipt, b) 10% of purchases based on credit card statement, or c) $10 if you have no records.

I have many receipts from them. I will admit that I buy some of their tools for the one time use. Some tools are not bad and others are 100% junk. Based on my 18 month credit card statement, I would be eligible for $110. I would imagine if I had all my receipts from the time that the class action lawsuit is subject to (April 8, 2011 and December 15, 2016) my amount would be in the $500 range.

As I looked into the reason for the lawsuit, I have seen many violates of this law. It is essentially a result of overstating the MSRP price that a item never sells for. For example, the regular price is $100 but it is always for sale $50.

What makes HF different from any car dealer, furniture store, or musical instrument store (to name a few)?

The lawyers probably don’t care to go to court nor do they care if they win. They (like all others) shoot for that big out of court settlement where they walk away with millions and the plaintiffs walk away (in this case) with a 25% off HF coupon.


I got a settlement check from Allstate which was settled out of court for overcharging for two years and the award was about $19.00. This one sounds like about 43 cents. If somebody sues over quality the company may disappear. We don’t shop there for quality despite their claim of an independent lab testing their stuff. Independent of what? That should be the question.

If you read the proposed settlement, HF has admitted no wrongdoing, no government agency has gone after them and companies frequently give in to this kind of lawsuit because their lawyers tell them it is cheaper to settle than defend.

When I read the advertisements and emails that I receive from HF it seems half the store is on sale, quite questionable if this falls within the FTC’s guidelines for advertising.

I think anyone that feels cheated should be given the opportunity to purchase these cheap tools at full price.

There have been countless television adds searching for people who have experienced an air bag failure or suffer a disease after working in a navy ship yard. I place these ambulance chasers on the same level as the bums that work the same corner each day for cash.


You shouldn’t automatically discount the value of Class Action Settlements. While most of them result in paltry payments to plaintiffs, some of them can be surprisingly lucrative.

Case in point: A couple of years ago, I joined a Class Action Suit regarding price-fixing on CRT computer displays by certain Japanese companies. I expected to get a check for…maybe…$15 as a result of my claim for the three CRTs that I had bought during the disputed time period. Imagine my surprise when–well over a year later–I received a check for over $250!

I got a class action lawsuit letter once from buying a lawn mower with an inflated horsepower rating. I never took those horsepower claims seriously though and the claimed horsepower was never a factor in my buying decision.

I have noticed that lately, there have been a lot fewer home air compressors that have motors that magically could produce 6.75 horsepower while drawing 15 amps from a 115 volt outlet.

There was a company, Jett Engineering, that built high quality model airplane engines for pylon racing use. They refused to make any horsepower claims for their engines. Their answer to why they don’t make any horsepower claims was “It’s hard to beat the first liar.”.
That’s also the problem with outdoor power equipment. Your competitor makes a B.S. horsepower claim and you either have to match his lie or lose the customers who use horsepower as a buying decision. Some use weasel words like “peak horsepower” which is another way of saying “not really”.

The home stereo industry was also hit because they made totally unrealistic power claims and they likewise had to match their competitors lies or lose sales.

I guess there could be some benefit to class actions. My 2013 Sonata’s engine warranty is extended to 120K miles.