The subway restaurant chain is well known for their "Foot Long" sandwiches and in particular the well advertised "$5 Foot Long". But what if the "Foot Long" being sold was actually only 11 inches long?
That very issue is now the subject matter of a class action lawsuit against Subway, as it is claimed that Subway locations in various states, including New York, are short changing their customers by 1 inch. The claim is in part based on false advertising and misrepresentation and seeks compensatory damages and a change in practices.
Although putting a figure on the compensatory damages may prove difficult, it is estimated that each person could be out of pocket between $50.00 and $100.00 per year depending on frequency of patronage. Claimants' attorney maintains that, "This is no different than if you bought a dozen eggs and they gave you eleven ...". A spokesperson for Subway stated, "We always strive for our customers to have the most positive experience possible".
Although on the surface this lawsuit seems superficial and like an indictment of our legal system, it represents something much more. That is, the protection of a consumer's right to know and receive what they are paying for. Regardless of whether or not Subway is found liable in this case, consumers must be protected against false and misleading representations in the marketplace. If companies are going to hold out their products to be for example, "All Natural", "Certified Organic", "Contains 240 tissues" or "Foot Long" in order to induce the consumer to purchase the product, then we must safeguard the consumer by making sure that these representations are true and accurate. This lawsuit, in its own way, seeks to accomplish that