This case was a class action suit involving a card processing scheme brought on behalf of a class of consumers who purchased clothing with a debit card and were unknowingly charged an undisclosed fee by the defendant retailer. To drive more sales and increase its revenue, the retailer created a two-tiered split-pricing program which offered products for sale at a credit price and a slightly lower cash price. When a consumer used their debit card to purchase, the payment processing system authorized the transaction over its credit card network, initiating the higher fee. No disclosure of any kind was given to the consumers during this practice. It was alleged that had all facts been disclosed by the retailer, no reasonable consumer would have chosen to pay the higher credit price.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience with consumer purchasing behavior, specifically any experience relevant to this case.
- 2. Can you speak to the propensity of a consumer to choose higher / lower prices in scenarios such as this?
Expert Witness Response E-093330
I have a Ph.D. in marketing and have published extensively on the use of credit cards in spending. I have studied and taught consumer behavior at the undergraduate and graduate levels for 30 years. I am an expert in all types of data collection including surveys, experiments, and data analyses. I have published approximately 100 articles in the area of consumer behavior and as well as 2 books. I have published numerous articles and one book on money and the impact of credit card use on spending patterns. My research on credit card use is particularly relevant in the present case.
This extremely qualified expert completed his postdoctoral training in marketing at the University of Florida and has been conducting studies on marketing and consumer psychology for 21+ years. He is a fellow at the Society of Consumer Psychology, the Intercollegiate Center for Management Psychology and the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management. He has published 55+ peer-reviewed journal articles and served in the editorial board of 5+ academic journals. He is the former director of the Strategic Marketing Management Program at Columbia University and of the Advertising Education Foundation. He chaired 12+ marketing and consumer psychology conferences and lectures both nationally and internationally. He has provided consulting services for 17+ major companies in various industries, including Adidas, Coca-Cola and Walt Disney.
Expert Witness Response E-093321
This case would be well within my expertise, as I have experience working on similar matters. The most similar case I can point to is one in which a large bank was being accused of improperly processing overdraft charges. The case revolved around a study I did that examined what people understood about credit card policies specifically related to these issues. I had to determine if individuals were aware of the stated overdraft policy, and determined what a “reasonable consumer” would be expected to know and understand.
This prestigious business expert specializes in marketing strategy, marketing research, e-commerce, and approaches for one-to-one marketing. He has been a professor at one of the nation’s top business schools for 20+ years. He has published numerous articles in publications including Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing, Marketing Science, Interfaces, and Journal of Consumer Research.