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Santa Cruz County prosecutors win judgment against Shell Oil gift cards

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Stephen Baxter, Santa Cruz Sentinel: 07/23/2016 

SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office and prosecutors from six other counties won a $762,500 false advertising judgment against Shell Oil’s fuel rewards program on Thursday.

The lawsuit alleged that Shell failed to adequately disclose that discounts from fuel rewards cards and gift cards could not be combined, said Santa Cruz County prosecutor Douglas Allen. Second, it alleged that not all Shell gas stations honored the cards and the company failed to redeem gift cards with balances of less than $10. It also “falsely advertised that certain gift cards could ‘be used like cash’ when Shell knew or should have known some stations were charging customers the credit price for gasoline when purchasing with a gift card,” Allen said.

A task force with investigators from DA’s offices in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Alameda, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara and Solano counties participated.

Shell denied liability but made changes and additional disclosures to customers. It also agreed to pay $762,500 in civil penalties, costs and restitution.

—— (c)2016 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.)

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Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at www.santacruzsentinel.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. AMX-2016-07-23T05:18:00-04:00

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