New York City resident Luis Arnaud is up in arms after a visit to Universal’s Orlando theme parks and is suing NBC Universal over an unlimited soda refill offer that didn’t live up to his expectations.
In a class-action lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court on October 17, 2019, Arnaud claimed that he was denied prompt delivery of a promised “unlimited” soda promotion during a trip to Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay earlier this year, the New York Post reported.
Arnaud visited Universal’s Islands of Adventure on July 30, 2019, where he purchased a refillable, sixteen-ounce souvenir cup at the price of $16.99, which promised buyers unlimited refills at any of the parks’ Coca-Cola Freestyle machines and boasted “100+ drink choices” available.
The cups are fitted with RFID chips that serve to activate the Freestyle machines and enable the bottomless deal, but allegedly they also are “programmed” to prohibit multiple refills being dispensed within a ten-minute period.
Arnaud apparently discovered this undeclared condition of the drink promotion when he was prevented from “quenching his thirst” by filling up twice in under ten minutes. The Freestyle machines rebuked his attempts with displays that read, “Hi. You are not quite ready to fill up,” along with a countdown of the minutes until his cup would again be eligible to refill.
Clearly, his disappointment over the imposition of such harsh waiting-period restrictions wasn’t enough to deter him from purchasing a reactivation on his cup the following day at Universal’s Volcano Bay amusement park for another $8.99.
Still, Arnaud gripes that advertisements for the deal did not detail such limitations on so-called “unlimited” refills and that he was “injured” by the alleged misrepresentation.
Reportedly, the lawsuit has not specified what damages are being sought at this time, but that Arnaud is “demanding” a jury trial. The suit called the move both “deceptive” and an “unconscionable trade and business practice.”
The suit states: “He would not have been willing to pay the sum he paid had he known that the Products did not provide unlimited refills, and were mislabeled and falsely advertised.”
Although, one can only imagine what it might have cost to quench Arnaud’s thirst one full-priced cup at a time if he’d continued to down more than sixteen ounces of sugary, carbonated beverages at a rate of more than six times per hour.
The lawsuit also asserts that: “Defendant delivered Products with significantly less value than was affirmed by their representations, thereby depriving him of the benefit of his bargain and injuring him in an amount up to the purchase price.”
Perhaps it will ultimately be revealed that, for consumers’ own safety, some medically-based rationale lies behind the restrictions being placed upon the soft-drink volumes dispensed to an individual within ten-minute time spans, since it’s clear that common sense does not lead some of us to conclude that over 96 ounces of soda ingested hourly might lead to health complications.
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